The good stuff growing between the toes of our music scene
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'The mainstream comes to you, but you have to go to the underground!' - Frank Zappa
New Year, new music? Sounds like a poorly titled Spotify playlist of a distant future, but time flies and in a few months you might want some fresh finds to wipe the remains of Christmas dinners and New Year’s headaches away with. We got you covered. Every two years in January Subbacultcha and Ancienne Belgique organize ‘The Sound Of The Belgian Underground’. As an independent platform venturing into the outskirts of alternative music and arts, Subbacultcha is devoted to the niche, providing its members a curated agenda, an editorial magazine and tons of fresh content online.
January 26 2020 marks the fourth edition of our party of what’s secretly gathering underneath the surface. Subbacultcha and Ancienne Belgique will present nine national acts that value artistic freedom above a broader audience.
Partners is the audio-visual handshake of Femke Fredrix and James de Graef. Faust was their first release, named after their cat. It explored the dynamics between human and animal. In new album City of Freaks Partners dig into who we really are when, together with the daylight, our masks disappear. They are afraid in the dark, and maybe you should be too.
Grid Ravage (Yves De Mey trio)
Synthesist and sound engineer Yves De Mey has been around since the 90s, when he was a drum'n'bass producer, and adopted different monikers along the way. He got into experimental electronics, makes sound installations, scores performances and films ànd runs a label. The outcome of his recent techno project Grey Branches might be called ‘non-functional’, the adjective most certainly doesn’t apply to him.
Old Painless named himself after the minigun of sergeant Blain Cooper in sci-fi film series The Predator, yet also likes to take pictures with cute little baby goats. His noise-hop is a bit like Yami-kawaii, the Japanese ‘gothic-cute’ fashion style: it can be as dark and brutal as it is sensitive.
Thirty years ago shoegazers were dipping their guitars in pedals and effects, now Ben Bertrand is doing the same for his bass clarinet. Doing so the Brussels composer creates a dreamy and minimal universe where other so-called neoclassics as Steve Reich or Tim Hecker would feel at ease.
Brussels-based artist Rogergoon is no secret to fans from Slagwerk collective. While in the past Rogergoon has collaborated with Lauren Auder and even covered blink-182, he currently makes surprisingly metamorphic compositions.
A Russian-born artist with a Japanese musical alter ego who’s rapping in Russian, Dutch and English: Chibi Ichigo doesn’t like boundaries. Not even the ones around her comfort zone. Pushing herself further she has one message: follow your passion. Even if it’s nillies music or bird watching.
Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe
Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe is an ambitious theater maker, performer and ‘wannabe countertenor’. ‘Multidisciplinary’ is his favorite word and ‘busy’ might be his second – he performed in three plays this summer. Yet not everything has to be about profiling and success: when playing at SOBU with longtime collaborator Laurens Mariën (Alien Observer, Soldier’s Heart, Dolly Bing Bing), there will be room for songs like ‘Do You Smell the Poop, Poop, Poop?’, too.
Clara Y Maoupa
‘Avant-reggaeton’ is a thing. DJ and MC Clara grew up in Spain listening to reggaeton. Encouraged by experimental producer Maoupa Mazzocchetti, she became a songwriter in their collaborative project Clara Y Maoupa, a dancefloor friendly yet startling blend of trap, perreo and dancehall. The Brussels-based duo call themselves ‘club-ready’ but that doesn’t quite cover it.
Ikraaan - ‘glitterprincess’ on Instagram and a self-proclaimed ‘clown’ on stage - is a 21-year-old from Mechelen. She released her first ep Happy Pill in September, inspired by her own traumas and struggles. Her stirring and personal Dutch r&b could (but shouldn’t) substitute your psych.