Ancienne Belgique is starting a new concert series focussing on the innovative electronic music scene. The series is hybrid between a concert and a club night and is labelled ‘Braindance’, as a homage to IDM-pioneer Aphex Twin’s music. We sat down with promoter Tarik to discuss the concept, electronic music and its representation in Belgium.

Interview by Dennis Meersman


Why did you guys start the series? Was club music something AB missed out on?
Bookers frequently offer us DJs and producers who suit a nightlife setting better. Because Ancienne Belgique is a concert venue in the first place, it’s difficult for these kinds of artists to show their full potential. After a 1,5 hour set, the lights go on and the audience is disappointed, wanting to party on. Whereas in the Fuse for instance, it would be a full event with other DJs before and after. We wanted to find a solution by transforming the room to a more clubby environment with lights and visuals, and with more artists on the line-up to create the club feeling. We used to do dub and dubstep soirees in the heydays of those genres. AB always has been busy giving a platform to new electronic music, but now we can promote these evenings even more, since we’re putting them in a series.

Did you seek for inspiration in similar programming in Belgium and abroad?
In Belgium you have Horst and Meakusma. As for abroad: we always check what Unsound festival in Poland is doing. The programming simply suits our taste. Same goes for Amsterdam Dance Event.

Which factors do you take in consideration for the bookings?
The music obviously has to fit in the electronic niche. The music is allowed to be accessible but it needs to be innovative. We prefer artists who search for the limits in electronica.

First up in the series was Lanark Artefax. Why?
Nuits Sonores, an electronic music festival all over Brussels, approached us. Lanark Artefax isn’t the most accessible artist, but he fully complies with the name Braindance. He’s making intelligent dance music with matching visuals and he is a young and innovative electronic musician.

Ross From Friends, Lanark Artefax and Jarreau Vandal (all on the line-up) are three very different producers. What connects them?
The fact that they all excel within their own niche. We try to pick the young pioneers of those electronic sub-genres. For instance, Ross From Friends is an artist who works with this lo-fi sound but he’s distinguishing himself from other artists in the lo-fi scene.

How is it going with the electronic music in Belgium from your point of view?
I think Belgium is doing great actually. We’re keeping an eye on artists like ssaliva, Hantrax and Lawrence Le Doux. As for Belgian labels, we’re definitely looking at Vlek, B.A.A.D.M. and Crevette.

What can we expect for the future?
We’re throwing the nights in the AB Club in 2018. For 2019, we’re planning on programming five or six evenings with an apotheosis in the AB Box in December. Keep it locked!