Kasper-Jan Selects

For the latest edition of this ambitious festival dedicated to experimentation and the underground, Subbacultcha is hosting a stage on the second day. TOPS’ dreamy indie vibe and First Hate’s bright synthetic pop tunes will transfer you from deSingel to a colourful party in an abandoned building in Berlin with a view of the setting sun. However, Lean Chihiro, a young Parisian rapper, and Kim Berly, an underground performer mixing vogue with industrial beats and palm trees, will pull you back to the dark and steamy vibes of the sweaty room where you’ll be dancing your ass off all night.


Sugar at the Gate, TOPS’ latest, is a subtle nod to achieving satisfaction and pleasure, but also encountering a barrier to what’s desired. If you know records numbers one and two, you’ll recognize the dreamy TOPSy pop that made your heart swell and hips sway when you first heard it. But you’ll also feel more pronounced tremors of strange psychedelia and live show exuberance, and a lyrical confidence of self-expression that’s come into its own. In their video for ‘Petals’, the band is pictured in their Glendale home filled with light and technicolor balloons, gorging on heavily frosted pastel-colored cakes with Michael Jackson and Madonna impersonator

Lean Chihiro

Parisian model and rapper Lean Chihiro only turns 18 this month but is already firmly on our radar. Still experimenting with sound, flow and productions it might be too soon to define her musical style accurately, but her latest track, ‘summer hunter’, is catchy as hell and now supported by no less than two video clips. The slightly older ‘Kush Box’ also shows Chihiro’s potential. Thematically she draws a lot inspiration from Japanese culture and anime – not especially surprising given that ‘Chihiro’ is a Japanese name that means ‘thousand fathoms’. She mainly sings in English but slips in some Japanese and French verses every now and then. Oh, and did we mention that this self-proclaimed sad girl princess calls Tommy Genesis her BFF?

First Hate

This mysterious Danish Duo creates dreamy and detached synth-pop with a unique atmosphere. Calling First Hate a contemporary cold wave band would be a stretch. But the voice – did Ian Curtis have had a baby with Robert Smith? – and the creamy, haunting synths do evoke the atmosphere of Brussels’ early 80’s post punk scene. First Hate have mastered the tackiness of the early 80’s and use it as a tool to surprise, thrill and move the listener.

Kim Berly

Raised by Kacey, a famous pole dancer, and Benji, the bouncer of club Amnesia, Kim was still very young when she became one of the most important party hosts in Ibiza. At the age of 25, she got hit by a couple of super strong laser lights; after this tragic incident, Kim went blind, forcing her to wear a pressure mask for life. In its vanity, Ibiza ditched an amazing host. But this one’s a survivor, turning loss into creativity and genius. Looking for love and intimacy through the way of music and dance, Kim is trying to get her confidence back in the underground scene, and we’re confident she’s already getting there. VOL 1. is Kim’s first mixtape and it’s amazing.

Swim With The Current Day 2
08 June – deSingel, Antwerp
with First Hate + TOPS + Lean Chihiro + Kim Berly and more
This show is free for members. Join here.