A scene is nothing without the people that inhabit it, the bold ones that power it forward day in day out. Likewise for a city’s nightscape. And, unbeknown to most, a dedicated tribe of instigators – from promoters and producers to DJs, radio hosts and label heads – take to studios, basements, dance floors, fields and tents to ensure that no stone is left unturned and no night is left untouched in the pursuit of unfiltered and unfettered fun. Here, in a new collaboration with favoured gin imprint Bulldog, we meet six of the country’s nightlife movers and shakers – Dour’s Mathieu Fonsny, Horst’s Jochem Daelman, Deep in House’s Tom Raoul, Hush Hush’s Hush Hefner, Crevette Records’ Pim Thomas and Studio Brussel’s Charlotte de Witte – who each in their own right extoll the benefits of the country’s unique electronic music diversity in a six-part series of videos. For part six, Ghent’s heavy-hitting Charlotte de Witte discusses Belgium’ long-standing legacy of electronic music, and it’s vital influence on the rest of the world.
We’re a country of muddy fields and camping sites, our festival landscape being one of the strongest in the world
From my point of view, Belgium stands out in a lot of ways. First of all, there’s a rich cultural legacy in the country when it comes to electronic music, one which is undeniable and – even though our international standing might not be what it used to be – where its strong musical heritage remains palpable in today’s scene. Secondly, we’re a country of muddy fields and camping sites, our festival landscape being one of the strongest in the world. I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many festivals we host exactly but I know there’s a ton of them. And you don’t need to be an EDM loyalist to understand the impact Tomorrowland has had on the international festival circuit. I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement, as I sometimes find for instance that some of our techno festivals lack in originality, but for a country our size we boast quite a reach in festival territory. Finally, when it comes to nightlife and the club scene, the level of cooperation and collaboration between different players is truly amazing. There are so many platforms and opportunities for an emerging artist and, for a country as small as ours, that is something to be proud of as it makes us stand out. On a more personal level though, Ghent will always be special to me since it’s my hometown. I love playing there as it always turns into a memorable night. Brussels too is increasingly holding a bigger place in my heart, especially since I’ve been hosting my KNTXT parties at Fuse for a little over two years now, but the city is a little more raw, without that necessarily being a negative thing. Raw is good.