He plays house.
Bart Van Neste has been DJing for 20 years—and as you can probably tell from the name of his label, he has a pretty clear agenda. We Play House was set up in 2008 as a vehicle for the productions of upstart Belgian producer San Soda and has since expanded out to take in artists (who make house) from right across the scene. The prerequisite for an appearance on the label has been a personal relationship with Van Neste, usually formed by DJs/producers such as Tyree Cooper and Reggie Dokes passing through Clues—the weekly party Van Neste has played for the last 14 years in his home town Deinze—and the monthly WPH night out of Ghent. Van Neste started out as "the guy tying things together and making sure all is well" but has since moved into production, linking up with San Soda to form FCL and writing WPH's biggest hit, "Let's Go," in the process. He also recently formed VFB alongside Motor City Drum Ensemble, splitting a 12-inch, Love Description EP, for Delusions Of Grandeur between his two collaborative projects.
As for his RA podcast? We think you know the deal…
What have you been up to recently?
These last couple of months have mostly been along the following routine: playing gigs every weekend, running between my office and the studio during the week. Office for running the label and doing my copywriting work (a leftover from a career before music) and the studio to work on FCL stuff with San Soda. Come to think of it, this has kinda been my routine for a couple of years now, interspersed with plenty of gastronomy, quality time with my lady and regular appearances on my five-a-side team and as a goalkeeper for FCL—the football team version of this AKA.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded at home in my living room, surrounded by my vinyl collection, a few stuffed animals and aided on by a good glass of wine or Belgian beer. Apart from the FCL remix of an upcoming Audiojack track everything else was strictly vinyl, as it should be in my world.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
The main idea about any mix I do, be it in the studio or live, is to just play good music that I think people need to hear and/or dance to. Sure I've done more conceptual mixes before, focusing on this or that genre, or this or that period, but for all mixes I can safely say that this is music that you can hear when you hear me play live. There is a time and place to play every record I own. In that same respect I wanna stress that this is a 100% one-take DJ mix. No Ableton, no effects apart from some minor EQing and no searching for the perfect playlist for days. Ableton or edited mixes may have musical value, and I can thoroughly enjoy listening to them, but to me you cannot call them DJ sets. There is a big, big difference between selecting music and putting it in a specific order and DJing for me.
With WPH you've been known to focus on talent from within Belgium. Is there anyone coming up inside or outside the label that people should try to check out?
True, I started WPH solely for San Soda's music at first, and even after almost five years of running the label he is still at the centre of it, be it as part of FCL or more importantly for his solo work. Without San Soda there simply is no WPH label. Other than that the focus on Belgium simply happened, but for me it's more a focus on people I know and respect, both as persons and as producers. Reggie Dokes, Dynamodyse, Russ Gabriel are not Belgian, but I simply consider them to be from the same musical family as myself.
That being said, when it comes to young, promising and Belgian, people should really look out for Lemakuhlar and Metrobox. On WPH and on our sister label Lany Recordings (which I run together with friend and fellow Belgian DJ/producer Maxim Lany) they will be doing great things in the near future.
You first got into electronic music around the time of the Belgian new beat scene. Where would be a good place for people to start who are new to the sound?
Funny you ask, because only a couple of months ago I took Julio Bashmore to a new beat party after his gig at Fuse, and he loved it and asked me the very same question: where to start to get to know new beat? As with all specific styles in electronic music the roots of new beat are many. It basically started with DJs in Antwerp and Ghent experimenting with the RPM of records, playing 45 RPM new wave tracks at 33 RPM, thus creating a dragging, hypnotizing rhythm with a lazy, sexy bass at the forefront. And then young producers simply imitated that and came up with new tracks at around 100-105 BPM. There was a big new beat compilation series under the name of AB Sounds, called New Beat Take 1, 2, 3, 4… that has most of the big tracks of that era. A perfect way to get into the sound of new beat.
What are you up to next?
With FCL we're fresh from releasing Matrix Plus on Delusions Of Grandeur 022 (last track of the mix), with VFB on the other side, a collaboration between Danilo Plessow and myself, aided by old skool hero Outlander, who just did the B-side of WPH White, which is out since early November. Furthermore we've also just finished what will be WPH 015, the follow-up to "Vocals for Everyone," to be released early January 2012, and we will be doing an EP on 2020 Vision as well early 2012, and there's our remix of Audiojack's "Stay Glued" that I'm very much looking forward to.
Next to that San Soda is finishing WPH 016 at the moment. On the gig front plenty of Belgian residencies to take care of, an FCL New Year weekend in Newcastle and London, a second appearance at Panorama Bar, and many more gigs all over the place. Not to forget that we just finished work on the brand new WPH website. It'll actually be the first full website ever of the label, including a webshop with exclusive stuff and a blog where San Soda and myself will be posting all kinds of shenanigans.