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FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS AND OTHER PEOPLE WHO TAKE THEMSELVES TOO SERIOUSLY

Vol. II - Nr. 2 - 2012

Fall (In Love)

Schepenhuisstraat 17, 9000 Gent, Belgium www.angels-ghosts.com – @AndGallery


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NOVEMBER 10, 2011

MARCH 22, 2011

A&Gallery joined Facebook

Phoneography Along with the first Belgian Instameet, A&Gallery played host to The First Big Belgian Phoneography Exhibition, which led to a sometimes heated debate on whether phoneography is to be taken seriously and an unprecedented media frenzy. Honestly, we actually thought someone was playing a Photoshop prank on us when he emailed us that front page of De Morgen. instameet.be

Yes, we know his shares aren’t doing too well but we still think Mark Zuckerberg is a cool nerd. Besides, that timeline really comes in handy when making a page like this. facebook.com/AndGallery

MAY 18, 2011

Moby

DECEMBER 8, 2011 © Sophie Van Der Perre

The American musician slash photographer opened A&Gallery. He also attracted a few reporters, broke the air-conditioning at the Avenue L after party and didn’t touch any of the stuff on his rider. We ended up eating organic raw almond butter and vegan breakfast cereal for weeks! moby.com

I/OBJECT While in Antwerp co-hosting FASH!ON/off, our favourite online gift store I/OBJECT converted A&Gallery to Christianity. It installed a Christmas Pop-Up Store and sold extremely useful items in honour of Jesús. iobjectstore.com

MAY 25, 2011

Sophie van der Perre

Definitely one of the exhibitions we are most proud of: a genuine talent and a – despite her fondness for the Dutch – exceptionally nice girl. sophievanderperre.com

JULY 4, 2011

A&Gazette #2 Our second newspaper arrived from the printers and Joris (who was born Jesús and is the patron of A&Gallery and other hopeless causes) made us an amazing closet to put our books and other shop items in.

JULY 13, 2011

Angels & Ghosts A&Gallery, Pioneer and 10 Days Off presented the second Angels & Ghosts exhibition. They also introduced a brand new summer concept: 10 Days Of Rain. 10daysoff.be

FEBRUARY 27, 2012

The Intern We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our interns Michiel and Remco, who both did a great job. Of course, we constantly fed them oysters and cupcakes, and let them drink wine on the job. Which reminds us: we’re always looking for new interns – to organize and promote future exhibitions, liaise with our artists and partners, or simply add an extra level of coolness to our operation. email@angels-ghosts.com

MARCH 8, 2012

Jessica Yatrofsky They told us it would attract sexy women, so we invited New York photographer Jessica Yatrofsky over to showcase her remarkable naked men series I Heart Boy. We ended up with mostly gay visitors and a little lamb wearing a diaper, which was also cool. iheartboy.com

MARCH 31, 2012 SEPTEMBER 8, 2011

Magnolia

Bleed

Pop-up boudoir Magnolia transformed A&Gallery into perfume heaven. We genuinely never smelled (or looked) better. magnoliashop.be

Having been part of Maart Design Maand, we let the graphic design event Bleed take over A&Gallery (and paint our walls black, like The Rolling Stones). bleedacross.me

SEPTEMBER 29, 2011

MAY 5, 2012

Moving Albania Frederik Buyckx presented his book Moving Albania to the world, and we all drank lots of vodka. frederikbuyckx.be

OCTOBER 21, 2011

Giorgio A&Gallery joined forces with Avenue L and Goodlife to throw a little surprise party for Giorgio Moroder – in town to pick up a World Soundtrack Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ghent Film Festival. Felt a lot of love that night. avenuel.be

Anton Corbijn Co-hosting the Belgian premiere of the doc Anton Corbijn Inside Out at Cinema Zuid and Fotomuseum in Antwerp meant we got to meet The Man.

JUNE 21, 2012

Storm Thorgerson We felt we needed a vacation – some solar power to recharge our batteries – so we invited the legendary artwork designer Storm Thorgerson to present his work at Fort Napoleon, a huge fortress in the Ostend dunes. stormthorgerson.com

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THAT WAS THEN…

THE WONDER YEAR

The A&Gazette

THIS IS NOW.*

Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

* turn the page for added effect


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FUTURE EXHIBITION

ATHOS SEPTEMBER 13 – 29

The A&Gazette

Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

Born on September 4, 1987 in Ronse, Belgium. Lives in Antwerp, Belgium. “I also spent about seven years in Ghent. Then I graduated and I felt the need to move – a clean break, if you will.” Favourite camera Canon 5D “Although I also love Hasselblad for the intensity of its colours and I’m saving money to buy myself a decent Leica camera – amazing picture quality and simply gorgeous vintage design.” Digital is how he usually rolls. “Not that I don’t like working on film or Polaroid – I do – but I find it just too stressful to go analogue on the job. I’ve had it happen to me that a picture didn’t come back the way I wanted or imagined it so I don’t see the point in doing that anymore.” Flash! “I think there’s something flattering about a strong flash. I like it when a picture is almost turned into a drawing; with the contours and colours of its subject becoming clearer, more expressive and – well – much more in your face.” Drawing was in fact his first love. “I might still get back to it. I haven’t done much drawing or painting since I got serious about photography and I miss it – even though I feel photography comes more natural to me in terms of storytelling.” Life’s a joke. “Well, I mean, I like to tell jokes and use funny things I see or notice in my work – creating my own world in the process. There are already so many serious photographers in the world – shooting documentary – and I don’t particularly feel the need to join their club. Mind you: I really like documentary photography. It’s just that I prefer to bring my own, slightly more absurdist ideas to table. Music, maestro! “I often get asked to do press shots or even album covers for bands. I guess they like my goofy, somewhat sarcastic approach. In the end though, most magazines and newspapers tend to go for the simple, clean pictures. Shame, really.” Plan B. “Don’t really have one, I’m afraid. So far I’ve been able to do my thing without having to make much compromises. If that’s what I can continue doing, then I’ll just stick to Plan A.”

Athos Burez will present his impressive body of work at A&Gallery from Thursday September 13 until Saturday September 29. Check our event pages on Facebook.com/AndGallery for opening hours and more information. athosburez.com

L’Histoire de Babar, 2011 “I was doing a shoot for a brand of jeans in this strange-looking loft in New York – stuffed with all sorts of crazy things. We’d actually finished shooting when I started to look around and came across these elephants in a corner. I moved them around a bit and then all of a sudden this model – a rather spontaneous girl – started to talk and interact with them. That’s when I took this picture. I enjoy it when the models I work with don’t just loose themselves in my ideas but also add their own personality. Some of the people from the brand even thought it was the best photo I took all day. But of course they didn’t use it – I don’t think their bosses would have understood why we didn’t stick to the meticulously prepared plan.”


Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

FUTURE EXHIBITION

The A&Gazette

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BUREZ The Hunger, 2012 “I have a fascination with stuffed animals, which brought me to this amazing taxidermy place. No, I can’t tell you where it is – in order to get in, I had to promise to keep my mouth shut. Anyway, that’s where I saw these monkeys and they made me think of a story my neighbours used to tell me when I was still a kid: something about their Buddha image coming to life when they weren’t home. So later, I came back with a couple of bananas to see how they would react.”

The Audience, 2012 “Ghent pop outfit Teddiedrum asked me to become their ‘artistic director’. They said I could go totally crazy on them, which is also how they are in real life – totally crazy. I’d been thinking about Gulliver’s Travels and I wanted to take them to Mini-Europe, where I would tie them down to the ground and make them look like two trapped giants. Then this stupid movie with Jack Black came out so I had to rethink the concept. For the better, I feel.”

Maurice, 2012

L.A. Confidential, 2011

“There’s actually not much of a story here – as you might imagine. I was messing around with origami when this idea popped in my head of making it look like the paper animal was alive and very hungry. I even gave it a name: Maurice. Some people will probably find it silly, which it is of course, but it makes me smile.”

“A testament to my dark side: I see a great-looking pool and I immediately picture a floating dead body in it. (laughs) This photograph was actually taken on holiday. We were driving around California – spending the nights in kitsch motels. They reminded me of Old Hollywood; I could really picture James Dean and Marilyn Monroe checking in. Yet, at the same time, there’s also something rather sad and dramatic about places like these. You can tell people made a real effort to make ‘m look good, and warm and welcoming, but in fact they’re hollow and lonely.”


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LONDON CALLING

The A&Gazette

Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

HIGH FIDELITY (FOR REAL): The 10 best record stores in London Words: Ben Van Alboom Photography: Hipstamatic

While British director Stephen Frears managed to turn it into an enjoyable film with John Cusack and Jack Black, he made one debatable alteration: Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel High Fidelity (about a record store owner with a passion for making lists) didn’t take place in Chicago but in London. Incidentally, that’s exactly where I ended up recently – accompanying a small group of journalists who got to do an interview with Storm Thorgerson about his summer exhibition in Ostend + finding just enough time to go record shopping and make a list of my own. A: song playing when I walked in B: best looking album cover in the store (according to staff) Go to angels-ghosts.com/highfidelity to find out which three other stores made it into the top 10!

ROUGH TRADE

Honest Jon’s

Not the record company, although the shop and the label do share a bit of the same history. Rough Trade set up shop in 1976; quickly turning into a punk haven and a record label that put out albums by Cabaret Voltaire and Stiff Little Fingers. Shop and label split in 1982 – the latter going on to release classic albums from The Smiths and more recently Antony and the Johnsons; the former continuing to sell records. In 2007, when pretty much every big record store was calling it quits, Rough Trade opened a huge depot just off Brick Lane where it started selling new releases (and coffee) – but only the good stuff! Also pretty cool: every other album of the month comes with a Rough Trade exclusive bonus record and the list of in-store gigs is endless.

This small Notting Hill store has been dealing in soul, jazz, reggae, blues, gospel and both African and Asian sounds since 1974 – attracting mainly black DJs and white hipsters. In 2002, one of those hipsters (who lived in the neighborhood and came in all the time to buy weird shit from strange countries) talked the owners of Honest Jon’s Records into starting a label of the same name. Ever since, the imprint has released pretty much everything from chopped-up electronic music to contemporary gypsy tunes – including new stuff from Vladislav Delay, Trembling Bells ft. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pinch & Shackleton and numerous side projects from Damon Albarn, the white hipster in question.

Lens: Jimmy Film: DreamCanvas

Honest Jon’s Records, 278 Portobello Road honestjons.com

Rough Trade East, ‘Dray Walk’, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane Rough Trade West, 130 Talbot Road roughtrade.com A: Chromatics – Into the Black B: Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

A: Bo Diddley – Gunslinger B: Various – Open Strings: Early Virtuoso Recordings from The Middle East, and New Responses

PHONICA

INTOXICA!

“My DJ boyfriend used to drag me to this store and I completely lost my nerves as they let you listen to all the tracks as long as you like. Oh my God, the long hours I waited!” Lesson No. 1: Don’t date DJs. They look cool but they’re actually quite nerdy and boring. Lesson No. 2: If you do decide to date DJs, ignore what that girl on Yelp said and have them take you to Phonica. While they get caught up in the top new electronic vinyl releases, you get to hang in a space age chair or check out a selection of cool new CD compilations for ‘normal’ people.

Precisely what an old and dusty record store should look like: old, dusty and a tad weird. Having said that, a place selling vintage exotica might as well have bamboo furniture and tribal masks hanging on the wall. Other stuff you’ll find in this vinyl kingdom: funk, soul, blues, jazz, reggae, Bollywood soundtracks, spoken word and an extremely rare 1967 pop-up book from Andy Warhol with exclusive photographs of The Velvet Underground for – bargain price, really – £600. Intoxica, 231 Portobello Road intoxica.co.uk

Phonica Records, 51 Poland Street phonicarecords.com A: NKC – Fading Floor B: Dobie – Nothing to Fear

Lens: Watts Film: DC

Lens: Salvador84 Film: Ina’s 1935

A: The Congos – God’s Kingdom Dub B: London Cowboys – On Stage

Lens: Matty ALN Film: Blanko Freedom13


LONDON CALLING

The A&Gazette

Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

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Feel like record shopping in London? Go to eurostar.com or call 070 79 79 89 to book yourself a seat on one of up to ten trains a day traveling from Brussels to London. Return tickets start at €88 and don’t forget to also purchase a Visitor Oyster Card online (or on the train). It’s a real money and time saver.

FLASHBACK

J’BS

SOUNDS OF THE UNIVERSE

Truth be told: Flashback doesn’t seem to really specialize in anything – other than darn good music. However, they do have an impressive collection of vintage 7” singles and you’ll also find a large selection of second-hand vinyl at affordable prices. Top selling artists include The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Radiohead, The Smiths, Björk and Frank Zappa. Collectors can also browse through first edition rarities such as Shirley Collins’ album Sweet England, which is selling at £800. Mind you, that’s still a lot cheaper than last year’s priciest sale: the hyper obscure 12” Slay That Dragon from heavy metal band Holocaust. It was sold for £1,300. Flashback Islington, 50 Essex Road Flashback Crouch End, 144 Crouch Hill flashback.co.uk

Back in the day, this tiny shop just off Oxford Street used to be a famous soul asylum called Contempo Records. Today, the guy running the place mostly sells ‘60s & ‘70s rock, funk, progressive, punk, new wave, folk and Seria Jazz Nr. 1, a rare jazz recording from Jancsi Körossy selling for just £120. There’s also a section dedicated to ‘Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd’ – and absolutely no mention of ‘David Gilmour’s Pink Floyd’, which I thought was quite funny. Oh, and if you come back at night, you’ll find the coolest bar in town next door. Appropriately called The Bar, it’s where all the night owls and other funky animals flock together till early in the morning.

If it’s got soul and it’s any good, expect to find it here: reggae, dub, disco, funk, jazz, hip-hop and UK bass, this place is a true gem for contemporary music lovers who use to pay attention during history class. Sounds of the Universe also sells a nice selection of music books and magazines in the basement, and make sure check out new releases on the shop’s own label Soul Jazz Records, which seems to be on an endless quest for rare ska, roots, jazz, bossa nova and Afro sounds.

J’Bs Records, 36 Hanway Street

A: Dream 2 Silence – Liquid B: Hieroglyphic Being – Shikaakwa

Sounds of the Universe, 7 Broadwick Street souljazzrecords.co.uk

A: Anne Briggs – The Time Has Come B: U-Roy – Dread In a Babylon

A: The Pelicans – Ain’t Gonna Do It B: Albert King – Born Under a Bad Sign

Lens: Lucifer VI, Film: Blanko

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Lens: Lucas AB2, Film: Dylan

Lens: John S, Film: Blanko

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PRESIDENTIAL EVENING

The A&Gazette

Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

HURRAY FOR WASHINGTON On Tuesday November 6, A&Gallery and POSTRmagazine are set to host a suitably glamorous Presidential Evening inside our very own Ghent White House: Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof

BARACK OBAMA vs MITT ROMNEY FORWARD POLL: 46,9

From late in the evening until early in the morning, we’ll toast to the results as they come in, eat hamburgers and other nutritious American fare like popcorn, hotdogs, corn dogs and buffalo wings or apple pie and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. We’ll serve Bud Light, Californian wine and bourbon, while talking politics, birth certificates, gay marriage and contemporary American photography. Of course. We’ll probably make fun of Mitt Romney and go to bed laughing when he looses to Obama, or wither in despair and think the world will end, should he end up kicking Obama’s ass (when in fact not a whole lot will happen). We’ll dance to some real American country & western, throw in some rhythm & blues, rock & roll and Hall & Oates, get a comedian to make a couple of wise-ass remarks, maybe even tell a few good jokes about Donald Trump and put our own politicians to the test: what do they know about American politics? Like really.

On August 27, we’ll start leaking all the necessary information: www.hurrayforwashington.be

source: realclearpolitics.com

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Companies or big parties can get in touch with lana@angels-ghosts.com for dinner reservations. People who wish to book a hotel room should get in touch for special rates.

TOP CONTRIBUTORS $347,916 Microsoft Corp

$573,080 Goldman Sachs

$297,027 DLA Piper

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$373,850 Morgan Stanley

$212,719 Google Inc

$317,410 Credit Suisse Group

believe in AmericA POLL: 44,7

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FUTURE EXHIBITION

The A&Gazette

Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

A POLAROID STORY OCTOBER 11 – 27 “They say falling in love is like Polaroids: instant.” A Polaroid Story is my baby. It’s about chasing instant moments in time; a journey I embarked on a few years ago – out of my love for music first, my love for Polaroid second and a healthy dose of curiosity for the music industry. Soon enough I learned that the road to a Polaroid was never straight, bumpy even, but always interesting. A Polaroid Story is also about perseverance, focus, reaching your goals, believing in yourself, not giving up (or in), accepting failure while you dust yourself off and try again. Behind every Polaroid there is a story – sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious. With every story I try to explain to my readers why I love this artist, producer or personality so much. And if I’m lucky enough, the story is topped off with a pretty Polaroid. A Polaroid Story made me travel the world more often, introduced me to so many new people, made me fall in and out of love, gave me new friendships and – last but not least – gave me the opportunity to build an online relationship with people who like to read my stories, love the music, the artists I try to portray and who have grown accustomed to my trials and tribulations. I call my readers ‘troopers’. Sometimes I can almost feel the love and support they inject through the digital veins of my blog. This exhibition is the next chapter of the journey I want to take with them. You might call it The Bigger Picture. I will put as much love in A Polaroid Story – The Expo as in my stories. I hope you will too. Love, Ouni Ps: Of course there will be an after party. Duh.

A Polaroid Story by Elisabeth Ouni will be on display at A&Gallery from Thursday October 11 until Saturday October 27. Check our event pages on Facebook.com/AndGallery for opening hours and more information. ouni.be


Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

The A&Gazette

From top left to bottom right: Kelis, Tyler The Creator, Mos Def, Gil Scott-Heron, Lianne La Havas, M.I.A., Eyrkah Badu, Q-Tip, Theophilus London, Kid Cudi & Pharrell Williams,

Quality basics since 1906. Shop online at www.originaleskimo.com

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FUTURE EXHIBITION

The A&Gazette

Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

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FRANKY VERDICKT

NOVEMER 8 – 24

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1. The pastoral living 2. Totem 3. Totem 4. Here we live


Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

2007 was a big year for Brussels photographer Franky Verdickt. He graduated – magna cum laude – from wellknown and equally respected school of art Sint-Lukas, travelled to Amsterdam to pick up his Photo Academy Award (the most prestigious prize among photography students), Magnum photographer Carl de Keyzer singled him out in the ‘Emerging Talents’ competition and he joined Photolimits – ‘Belgian based platform for documentary photography’. Fast-forward five years and Franky’s photographs have been exhibited in – to name but a few dots on the map – Beijing, Paris, Madrid and Copenhagen. Next he’s taking over A&Gallery with Totem, a project some might consider a far cry from documentary photography. ‘True,’ says the photographer, ‘but I really can’t be bothered with labels. I like taking photographs – and that includes experimenting with different styles and techniques. I guess it’s like being able to speak more than one language. I’m sure some people are perfectly fine only speaking Dutch for the rest of their lives but I also like to communicate in French or English. I look at photography in the same way: one minute I’m shooting construction workers for a documentary project, the next I point my camera in a different direction to take a photograph for Totem. I feel it’s okay for a photographer to do that. In fact, I wish more photographers did. A lot of them are just taking the same pictures over and over again – not even slightly embracing the possibilities photography has to offer but calling themselves artists nonetheless. Seriously, for photography to be art, you’re required to do something with it.’ Enter Totem. For three years, Franky Verdickt has travelled to countries like China, Egypt and Brazil – fascinated by how people build homes. Or should we just stop calling them that? ‘I find it fascinating how our lives are so gravely effected by the place where we live yet a lot of people rely on big developers to build them a house or an apartment. Oh, but don’t worry: the brochure said the new place will be so you and I guess a lot of those houses and apartments actually do have everything a person requires. So how come they feel so cold and empty?’ Of course it doesn’t help that Verdickt refuses to fit in any form of human life in his pictures. Verdickt: ‘Are you sure? Maybe there are people in the photos but they’re just not visible? I usually work at night – inevitably using a slow shutter speed, which even more inevitably absorbs anything or anyone passing by. You could consider that to be a metaphor for the way those seemingly utopian housing projects absorb their inhabitants. Take the hutongs in Beijing per example: one day you’re living in a community where everybody knows your name, then the government forces you out of your home to build an enormous apartment building where you get to spend the rest of your life not knowing anybody. True, you got a new house – nice and clean; and let’s not forget there’s airconditioning – but often there’s a huge difference between a house and a home.’

Totem by Franky Verdickt will be on display at A&Gallery from Thursday November 8 until Saturday November 24. Check our event pages on Facebook.com/AndGallery for opening hours and more information. frankyverdickt.be

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For more info and subscription www.facebook.com/eastpak.belgium


Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

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あなたが私を見て、パンク

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TOKYO GODFATHER “I do not want to be a judge. I want to be a witness – a faithful witness of my own vision. I guess that’s why the Yakuza project quickly turned into something different than what I expected. I started to feel that it’s a way of life more than anything else – and that’s where I latched on. The bad part, or the good part for that matter, quickly became irrelevant. The subtle shades of grey are the key.” In case you missed him in De Laatste Show or didn’t see his work in dS Weekblad, talented and intrepid Belgian photographer Anton Kusters spent two years of his life documenting the Yakuza – yes, the Japanese mafia. More importantly: he lived to tell and made an impressive book of his underground chronicles: ODO YAKUZA TOKYO. A limited first edition of the book sold out in no time through Anton’s website (and in our A&Gallery Shop). That led to the publication of a second edition with some slight changes: no Japanese transparent paper between chapters, different binding, a change of cover and – most importantly – no limited edition number on the package. In other words: a cool book but not as exclusive as the one that came before. Why are we telling you this, you wonder? On the one hand, because you can now also buy the second edition (€50) in our A&Gallery Shop. On the other hand, because the first edition of the book is – in reality – not completely sold out. Anton saved nine copies of the already much sought-after previous edition: numbers 55, 365, 366, 367, 368, 435, 436, 437 and 438. They are now exclusively sold through A&Gallery for €199 – signed by the photographer and accompanied by a (also signed) poster of one of the pictures from the book. Please contact lana@angels-ghosts. com for more information.

Keep an eye on antonkusters.com as Anton is preparing for the first Belgian exhibition of the Yakuza project at Cmine (Genk) in the spring of 2013. It will be – trust us – mind-blowing.


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THE SOUND OF B(OOKS)

The A&Gazette

BEATS, BOATS & BATMAN:

Vol. II – Nr. 2 – 2012

“How come electronic music Made In Belgium has no trouble crossing borders whereas our nation’s rock bands are barely a minor footnote in history”, wrote A&Gallery co-founder Ben Van Alboom three years ago in the intro of a ridiculously large paperback called This Book Is Elektronic. Three years later, that paperback is sold out – except for a few remaining copies in our A&Gallery Shop.

“Now before all you T.C. Matic and dEUS fans start ripping my vintage Technics SL-1210Mk2 turntables apart,” Ben continued, “a music journalist uttered those words – not me. But I guess it’s an interesting question, albeit one with no real answer. Presumably, Stephen & David Dewaele often say it’s because Belgium is at the crossroads of Europe – in between the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxemburg (although I must admit to only throwing that last one in for added drama) – which gave easy access to the first electronic and/or dub music. And while I have in fact encountered numerous Belgian electronic musicians and DJs who used to regularly hijack a boat to go record shopping in the UK – back when both the Eurostar and techno music were still science fiction – it doesn’t explain why we caught on faster than some of our neighbours, who also had boats. Nor does it explain why Belgian rock bands didn’t profit in the same vein from having a bunch of record shops ‘just’ eight hours of seasickness away. Or why Italy – a further cry from the UK – was pumping out electronic music before we did.

In fact, Belgium’s electronic music label par excellence R&S Records got its break by putting a Ferrari logo on its first sleeves, shipping them to France and then selling them to Belgian shops as Italian import – or so the story goes. It didn’t take long however before the ‘secret’ got out and pretty soon Belgian vinyl was in much higher-demand than those Italian records ever were. True, most R&S producers probably had trouble finding Belgium on the map – given our size, it’s a miracle someone even bothered to put it there – but since music is a universal language, rave kids from all over the world quickly got introduced to groundbreaking R&S releases from Aphex Twin, Joey Beltram, Phuture, Jaydee, System 7 and Juan Atkins’s Model 500. But all that is – of course – common knowledge. As is the rise and influence of legendary Belgian bands like Telex, Front 242, The Neon Judgement and The Klinik; the whole New Beat chapter; the success of several other records labels like Bonzai, Ant-

ler-Subway and Music Man; and our nation’s soccer team making it to the semi-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. What a lot of people don’t know (or might have forgotten) is that Belgium was also at the forefront of club culture. No, we didn’t invent it – who did? But we put some impressive clubs on the map and filled them with people from all across Europe. I should know because I grew up right next to one: Boccaccio. Truth be told: in its heyday, I was way too young to make it passed the bouncers but I remember watching the club’s powerful light beam outside my bedroom window at night (and waiting for Batman to arrive). Mind you, I wasn’t the only one waiting for a caped crusader to wash all the scum of our streets. It seemed my hometown’s police force was having a lot of trouble dealing with ‘nightlife tourists’: hundreds, even thousands of foreigners driving up to ten hours every week to let the beat control their body. Like The Hacker

(from Miss Kittin & Himself), who used to regularly drive 863.91 kilometres from some place in France to Boccaccio. Yes, that would make him a bit crazy in the coconut, but back in the eighties, if one wanted to listen to proper electronic music and had the misfortune of not being born in Belgium, that’s really all you could do. In any case, with our boarders being invaded every single weekend by thousands of raving backpackers, and an ever-growing number of natives making their way to the same clubs, the police was in a state of frenzy. These days, I guess it’s pretty hard to believe, but less than fifteen years ago, it was a federal offence to go dancing and stay up after dark. No, really. Police held bi-weekly raids in most clubs, looking for drugs but really just ruining everyone’s mood and in some cases even molesting visitors – especially when they were gay. Well-known doctors and moral crusaders like Luc Beaucourt reasoned that man was programmed to sleep at night and campaigned for

a curfew – he was recently caught speeding on the highway, at night no less – and the media was all over it. Unfortunately, journalists in those days seemed to only have an appetite for drugs and dirty dancing; showing no real interest in pounding techno music whatsoever. People were put behind bars, clubs were forced to shut down, and politicians believed they had won the war on electronic music. As we all know by now, there was simply no stopping it nor was there a way to stop people from raving. It didn’t matter how many raids took place, people kept coming back. And finally, the cops grew tired, politicians got a grip and journalists discovered there was more to life than listening to folk songs and drinking beer. Well, at least some did. This Book Is Elektronic, a foray into the most legendary and/or good-looking flyers in the history of Belgian nightlife, is a salute to all the club owners and party promoters who kept the fire burning, to all the deejays

and producers who had (and still have) people dancing till the break of dawn, and to all the graphic designers that made sure we had something to – literally – look forward to every weekend. They’ve probably had people telling them this all your life but I’m sure they don’t mind me saying it one more time: you did an excellent job!”

This Book Is Elektronic was published by Ludion and Red Bull Elektropedia. It includes over one hundred legendary flyers, nightlife essays from Johan Faes (De Standaard), Jonas Boel (Knack Focus) and Mathieu Fonsny (Forma.T) + a CD with classic tracks from Telex, The Neon Judgement, 2 Belgen, A Split Second, Erotic Dissidents, 101, Praga Khan, Jones & Stephenson, T99 and Thunderball. Exclusively sold at A&Gallery; €10. www.redbullelektropedia.be


KURSAAL OOSTENDE PRESENTEERT

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kursaal classics: / 9 KLASSIEKE CONCERTEN

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09.11.12

05.10.12 - 29.06.13

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16.06-09.09.12

The Human Body Exhibition

11.10.2012

Les Compagnons de la Chanson

24.11.2012

Alex Agnew - UITVERKOCHT!

22.06.2012

Urbanus Zelf! - UITVERKOCHT!

12.10.2012

Frans Bauer Live in Concert IX

16.12.2012

New Tenuto 2012

23.06.2012

Nationaal Orkest van België

13.10.2012

Els De Schepper

22-27.12.2012

Geert Hoste 2012

solist ANDREY BARANOV

14.10.2012

Marco Bakker - Wien bleibt Wien

12.01.2013

Ein Abend in Wien

Swan Lake

27.10.2012

Chippendales

20.01.2013

Operette van Wenen tot Parijs

24.07-05.08.2012 Riverdance

31.10.2012

Willy Sommers

02.02.2013

Golden Earring - Unplugged

14-15.09.2012

TRACES - Les 7 Doigts de la Main

03.11.2012

Sterren Aan Zee

14.02.2013

Thomas De Stoomlocomotief

23.09.2012

Koen Crucke 60

09.11.2012

The Future of Marketing

24.02.2013

Requiem van Verdi

05.10.2012

Nationaal Orkest van België

10-11.11.2012

Lord of the Dance

01.03.2013

Naturally 7

06.10.2012

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18.11.2012

Jill Lawson

06.04.2013

Young-Choon Park

30.06.2012

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www.vincentfournierbooks.com www.marclagrangebooks.com www.eenleveninbeeld.be www.icetour.org www.brandsfromflanders.be

Š Vincent Fournier, Moon Valley

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