The State Of The Belgian Underground

On Sunday 28 January, Subbacultcha will descend upon the Ancienne Belgique again for the third edition of The Sound Of The Belgian Underground. Just call it the New Year’s Reception of our musical undercurrent

On the sampling menu: ten acts that receive a half hour to themselves on stage at AB and 20 labels, art collectives and independent publishers who come to praise their wares. But make no mistake about what is considered Belgian and underground: our underground hasn’t consisted of only white men and guitars in a very long time, and it isn’t just jogging on the spot here in Belgium either. Subbacultcha and AB take stock.

Underground?

Subbacultcha has been promoting the most progressive music and art of the moment since 2011. With The Sound Of The Belgian Underground, Subbacultcha and AB now present (for the third time) local musical talent, labels, publishers and collectives that focus upon artistic freedom and are active in the fringe.

Although that ‘fringe’ is rather relative; the international underground network has gotten bigger and stronger in recent years and Belgium owns its place in it. Never heard of Sky H1, Hiele, Bear Bones, Lay Low, Ssaliva, Miaux or Orphan Swords? They’re Belgian, get enthusiastically picked up by prominent foreign media (think: FACT mag, Resident Advisor, The Fader), and play more concerts outside the country than in it.

The international potential is again easy to spot at this edition of The Sound Of The Belgian Underground. So, Mehdi Kernachi – a.k.a. AIR LQD – already played 70% of his hysterical noise and electronica shows outside of Belgium last year. Then, Brussels electronica artist Obsequies debuted at the end of 2017 on KNIVES (the prestigious label of Kuedo and Joe Shakespeare), Le77 is described everywhere as the next big thing in Belgian hip-hop, and Belgian-American-Japanese singer Golin was selected by the Shape platform (which means that she will be playing a series of quality festivals, all over Europe, in 2018).

In short, our underground is a diverse generation of artists that have already attracted an equally diverse and international audience and for whom making a ‘breakthrough’ in their homeland is now far from being a springboard.

Meet the B®ands

On Sunday 28 January, for an entire afternoon, The Sound Of The Belgian Underground programme meanders whimsically through bedroom soul, futuristic electronica, sultry hip-hop, hysterical noise, post-punk, psychedelic metal, and lo-fi rock.

But there are also discoveries to be made at the B(r)and Market. 20 underground labels, art collectives and independent publishers will be present to praise their music, media and merch. Think: international LGBT magazine Girls Like Us, the graphic designers of Brenda (Beursschouwburg, Stroom) or Brussels party collective Perron Zes that also provides graphics for Zwangere Guy. Established Brussels name Crevette Records, that distributes practically all the underground artists in Belgium, will also be present.

The Sound Of The Belgian Underground – Sunday 28 January as of 3pm, AB 

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