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By Sofia Ciechowska Illustration bi Basje Boer

Unruly Music Magazine March 2012

What’s Cooking

Food The Dream Issue

Molly Nilsson, Julia Holter, Chad VanGaalen Page 1


The Dream Issue


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The Dream Issue



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New Music

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This Months recommendations

The Dream Issue

This image was googled by Molly Nilsson upon our request to ‘google the universe’. A request she gladly complied to, since as you can read in the little interview printed on page 29 - the universe is her muse. What a dream of an answer for the Dream Issue. Not really a surprise though, since - given the large amounts of dark, hazy, airy and chilly sounds that reach us through the blogosphere every day - Molly’s fascination for ‘Dark Skies’ is one that is globally shared in the music scene these days. Sweet dreams!

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The Dream Issue

Chad VanGaalen

Julia Holter

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Molly Nilsson


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Top 5 New Music We Saw You Chad vangaalen molly nilsson julia holter still corners art

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reviews horoscope Agenda subbacultcha shows other shows Free Stuff after midnight Overview

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Most of us are simply too consumed by our everyday life to spend much time thinking about dreams. Sleep is just a black hole we dive into at night and emerge from in the morning. A shame, really, considering we’re asleep for about one third of our lives. So to come to terms with that black hole, we’ve made the Dream Issue. It was also to get our heads around all those psychedelic dream scapers out there that have been pushing modern music into a deeper and darker direction. So sit back, close your eyes and read without reading. Enjoy. Page 7


Who we are and what we do Subbacultcha! Magazine is published by Subbacultcha! Ghent Office Karperstraat 26, 9000 Ghent, Belgium Amsterdam Office Da Costakade 150, 1053 XC Amsterdam, the Netherlands

We are Editors: Leon Caren, Bas Morsch and Kasper-Jan Raeman Editorial Assistant: Sarah Gehrke Design: Bas Morsch and Marina Henao Interns: Freek van Heerikhuize and Ruud Van Moorleghem Good Girl: Loes Verputten Good Guys: Christopher Schreck and Bauke Karel Printing: Drukkerij Gewa, Arendonk Contributors: Carly Blair, Basje Boer, Brenda Bosma, Leon Caren, Zofia Ciechowska, Sarah Gehrke, Danny Gonzalez, Kathrin Klingner, Antonio Marques, Steven McCarron, Ye Rin Mok, Bas Morsch, Molly Nilsson, Stine Sampers, Laurence von Thomas, Jeff Thorburn and Johanna Valdés. Distribution: Brussels: Jesse Van Pée, Gertjan Rasschaert, Melika Ngombe Ghent: Bart Bruneel Antwerpen: Antonio Marques. Bruges: Pieter Devriese Leuven: Elmo Lê Van Kortrijk Hasselt: Sofie Marguillier Luik: Collectif Jaune Orange Namen: Eliot Opdenbosch Pick up Subbacultcha! Magazine here (among 200 other places): Brussel: AB, Buzz On Your Lips, VK* Concerts, BOZAR Gent: Democrazy, Vooruit, SMAK, DOK, Music Mania Antwerpen: Scheld’apen, Trix, Kavka, American Apparel, Think Twice Brugge: Cactus, De Werf, Snuffel Kortrijk: De Kreun, The Pits Leuven: STUK, Depot, De Werf Hasselt: Muziekodroom, Popacademie Luik: Jaune & Orange If you want your bar, venue, store or business to be on the distribution list, please send us an email. Advertising To advertise in Subbacultcha! Magazine send an email to Memberships Become a member of Subbacultcha!. For only €7 a month you get free access to all Subbacultcha! shows and the monthly magazine sent to your house. Plus, you get a fresh Subbacultcha! bag. Check the website to sign up. Cover: Photo by Danny Gonzalez of Jacuzzi Boys Page 8

Last month at our office


Top 5

Art: Happy House #1

Happy House is a new art concept in Ghent, which gives young and promising artists the chance to sell their art in a living room - high art standards in a casual atmosphere. The first edition takes place on 10 March and everyone’s invited. For more info, see


Magazine: DIS Magazine

Are you into weird images, unique haircuts or freaky lifestyle trends? Well then, DIS magazine will give you hours and hours of pleasure. Check out


Party: Dream Issue Party

On 8 March we’ll be hosting a smashing Magazine Party at Troya in Ghent. Expect nothing but good vibes and today’s finest dance tracks from our killer DJs, Disco Naïveté, Nosedrip, Holger and Sssound. Sign up to our mailing list and enter this night of pleasure for free.


Song: Molly Nilsson - ‘City Of Atlantis’

Molly Nilsson’s wildest song brings to mind 3000 gabber dudes jumping up and down to trance waves and heavy beats. We suggest you put your bomberjacket on and make this dream come true at our Molly Nilsson concert at DOK Ghent on 25 March.


Expo: Museum Night Fever

On 3 March no fewer than 24 museums will be staying open until the early hours in the city of Brussels for an offbeat programme of events. Tip: Check out the exhibition of the Danish architect and writer Per Kirkeby at the Bozar, and more and more and more. Page 9

New Music

This month’s recommendations

By Zofia Ciechowska

Dracula Lewis

This Romanian musical conjurer extraordinaire has fled his Transsylvanian castle to live in Italy, where it is common to call him a ‘gypsy’ - not that you should call him that. Dracula Lewis sticks samples of YouTube pageant queens in a box and saws them through in a furious rage of blood and gore, to then reveal a psych-horror mutant of noisy electronics. Let this one sink its teeth into your neck and carry you far away from the light of day. Check out Dracula Lewis’ split with Ducktails, his Soundcloud music tricks and his first official release Vernasca, Valhalla on Hundebiss Records. It’s the product of a broken mixer, two open mics and some heavy duty darknet excavations.

Halo Halo London-based friends Rachel, Gill and Jack named themselves after a multicolour Filipino pudding that is made from shaved ice, fruit, sweet beans and evaporated milk! Perhaps beans, milk and ice doesn’t sound like the most mouth-watering treat in the world, but if you just get one load of the sweet craziness that rushes through this motley mix of banjo, drum, guitar, keyboard and shanty chants, you will probably crave nothing else but this fucked-up musical dessert. Oh, and they call themselves a ‘dance-sinawi-pop trio’ which basically means they like playing around with this improvisational Korean music called sinawi that some people use for shamanistic rites. Check out their videos, they are very, very, very good. Page 10

New Music

Zammuto Nick Zammuto has cut through the umbilical cord to The Books and is charging forward with his new band named after himself. Zammuto lives in this hippie fantasy spaceship shack in Vermont with his wife and three kids, and they primarily eat homemade blueberry tart while Nick builds more house extensions and fiddles with music equipment in his cool little music shed. The result will please both die-hard Books fans and new listeners. It springs, beats and jumps with familiar acoustic ease, but a newfound independence lingers throughout. His self-titled full-length is out this April, in the meantime, feast your ears on his extremely nice and good Idiom Wind EP.


Austra’s drummer Maya Postepski and Robert Alfons got together a while back in Toronto and formed this eerie two-piece. Their LP, released in February, is called TRST - not hard to remember, eh? Well, their spooky synthy beats will blow through your ears like a gust of icy Canadian wind, make you wanna get an alt-piercing, maybe wear an upside-down cross/triangle necklace and pout at your laptop camera in your dimly lit room. I kid, I kid, these two are pretty fun actually, check out their creepy, cool house beats and maybe do a funny robot dance to them. Page 11

New Music


葛蘭 (Gě Lán) Grace Chang

In food terms, Grace Chang is not your local Chinese takeaway or frozen spring roll, she is a piping-hot honey-glazed duck served with those amazing little pancakes and Hoisin sauce. Born in 1933 and still alive and kicking (as far as I know), this little singer has appeared in a staggering 33 films, in which she has sung some pretty mind-blowing Western-influenced Chinese ’50s and ’60s pop. YouTube will provide you with the glamorous, glittering visuals, if you search for ‘Achoo Cha Cha’ and ‘Calypso’ from Tsai Ming Li’s film The Hole. Trust me, your iPod has never been this vintage.

Amerigo Gazaway This dude Amerigo from Nashville’s Gummy Soul has released something that, as a concept, sounds as vom-inducing as synthesising Mozart sonatas. And then I put Fela Soul on, an alleged ‘musical tapestry’ (cough, cough) that’s emerged from the combination of samples from De La Soul and the legendary Fela Kuti, and I was proved wrong. This record is super cool, not only because it makes your head bop uncontrollably to this Afrobeat-hip hop soup, but perhaps mainly because Gazaway has dug up some funky musical roots that have made these pretty different dudes into absolute bezzie mates. Page 12

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We Saw You

Spotted at Subbacultcha! Photo by Stine Sampers

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What is your worst nightmare? I was alone in an enormous white space without a beginning and without an end. I couldn’t get out of it and felt oppressed by this endless hugeness. A real nightmare.

Camille de Jerphanion, spotted at the Bosco Delrey show in Charlatan on 15 February 2012

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The Dream Issue

Chad VanGaalen

Chad VanGaalen is a Jack of all trades. Besides releasing a steady stream of eclectic indie folk/rock that he writes, performs and produces himself, he’s also an accomplished illustrator and animator. The notorious recluse gave us a peek into his home studio in Calgary, dubbed Yoko Eno, where he makes weird and wonderful dreams come true. Skype interview by Carly Blair. Photos shot by Jeff Thorburn in Chad’s family home in Calgary.

Everyone says you hardly leave the house. What’s your creative space like? It’s full of pretty cool stuff. This is my synth zone over here. Through that door you go downstairs and there’s a skateboard ramp. If I’m going crazy I go and skate for a while, then I come back up here. Page 16

Wow, if you put a jacuzzi in, you might never leave! Jacuzzis are weird, though. It can get pretty weird once you start adding jacuzzis. Cool place! Are your daughters allowed in there, too?

Chad VanGaalen


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The Dream Issue

Chad VanGaalen


‘It’s kind of crazy actually. I feel pretty fucking lucky. And I feel like no one’s really noticed either how lucky I am.’ [Smoking pot] allows me to zone out on it. But it’s easy to criticise yourself and fuck stuff up by over-analysing things. It’s not like you’re censoring yourself in your dreams. Obviously, subconscious ideas are less filtered. So maybe they’re a little bit more honest. [Dreaming] is just an easy way to find You actually trained as a lithographer. that in my own mind. Usually if I’m That sounds so formal, and a bit old- coming up with stuff when I’m sober and awake, it’s pretty bad. It just fashioned. Well, my grades weren’t high seems contrived. enough to get into the drawing programme at the college I was going to, You’ve said at one point that your earso they stuck me in the printmaking lier animations were like a screensavprogramme, which was fucking hor- er, and that you wanted to start incorrible. Not that I hate printmaking, porating more of a linear element into but it’s super process-oriented... I just your animations. There’s an animated short I finwasn’t into it. ished last year that has more of a stoYour work is often described as ‘dream- ry, and I’m working on a full-length like’, but you’re also a pothead. Is this animation right now that actually has stuff really inspired by your dreams, or dialogue, and I’m writing a screenplay for it. The morphological stuff was is it coming from a different place? I smoke a lot of pot when I’m awesome... but, you know, it was for working on animations, mostly be- me. It felt like I was alienating my aucause it’s monotonous work, so I’ll get dience. Now I’m trying to figure out really distracted while I’m doing it. what I like about storytelling. I want Yeah. My oldest daughter and I are in a band called Crocodile Teeth and the Snugglers, and then I’ve got a band with my two-year-old. It’s a techno band, and we’re called Banana Bread. Banana Bread’s pretty fucking crazy, actually.

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Chad VanGaalen

something that people come away from with a story in their head instead of just this psychedelic stoner art. Which is cool, but I think it’s being overdone, and it definitely doesn’t take much effort. That isn’t bad, it’s just, I want something different now. You’re ready for a new challenge. Is it something you’ll share with your kids too? Oh yeah, they have tons of input. After I finish rendering stuff, I’ll show my oldest daughter, ’cause she can give pretty honest feedback. We watch pretty heavy cartoons, so they’ve got a good sense of what’s entertaining. There’s a long line of psychedelic animations that both children and adults can appreciate, like Yellow Submarine or something. Yeah, totally, stuff like that, René Laloux, all the Moebius stuff. Everybody can enjoy it. I’m pretty stoked about it. I haven’t been this excited about something in a long time. So, things are going well. You’re having Page 20

a good time being a father. Your creative pursuits are all going well. You seem like a balanced person. What are your dreams for what happens next? It’s kind of crazy actually. I feel pretty fucking lucky. And I feel like no one’s really noticed either how lucky I am. I’m pretty stoked to be a dad right now. So I just hope I get to keep on doing this. I get to work from home so I get to spend a lot of time with my kids, which is pretty lucky. And my wife works from home as well, so we’ve got it pretty sweet right now. I wanna do a bunch of camping this summer, I don’t think that’s too ambitious... [laughs]. Hey, you know, everything is relative! I’m gonna camp. I wanna throw some rocks in the river and have some fires. Pretty excited about that. Chad VanGaalen plays on 09 March in Trix in Antwerp and on 10 March in De Kreun in Kortrijk. Both shows are free for Subbacultcha! members.

The Dream Issue


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The Dream Issue

Googling t with Mol

‘We’d like you to google the universe,’ we told M a surprise, since her wonderful dark and dreamy and stellar stars and nebulas; her website is calle her recently released album History has been hitti universe, h

Questions sent by Images google

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The Dream Issue


the Universe lly Nilsson

Molly Nilsson. ‘I love that!’ she answered. Not really music evokes images of black skies, glooming lights ed Dark Skies Association; and if that isn’t enough, ing the blogosphere with a big bang. And hey, in the history is now.

y email by Bas Morsch. ed by Molly Nilsson.

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The Dream Issue

Subbacultcha!: Why did you choose these images? Molly Nilsson: They’re each beautiful in their own way. They possess unexpected simplicity. Had you ever googled the universe before we asked you to? Yes, many times. How big is the universe? Bigger than our minds, and that’s all we need to know. How big is it to you? Endless, but not infinite. What amazes you the most about the universe? I love the emotional vertigo we all Page 24

feel while looking up at the dark skies. The stars offer great comfort. And it never fails to show us how small we are within time and space, with all our pains and problems. How does the universe inspire you? It seems so far away, but at least it’s always there. I think Laurie Anderson said that the reason she loves the stars is that we cannot destroy them, and I would agree with that. Do you understand the universe? No. If I, or anyone else, did, it would only be a wallpaper. Do you know what a black hole is? A black hole is a point in space

The Dream Issue

at which gravity is so strong that no matter can escape it, not even light. That’s very similar to our perception of death: it’s where we’re going. What is your fascination with ‘Dark Skies’? I was interested when I first heard about the organisation IDA [International Dark-Sky Association; an organisation connected to the dark-sky movement, which is dedicated to reduce light pollution so the stars can be seen better, and to reduce the effects of unnatural lighting on the environment] and decided to steal their name. The only difference is that they


only work with one sky, whereas I work in the plural with many skies. I like the image those words put together evoke. How can there be more than one sky? There are multiple skies, just as there are different days and moments; they’re all part of the same timeline. What role does the universe play in your music? The universe is my muse. Molly Nilsson plays in DOK in Ghent on 25 March. She also plays on 24 March in Roodkapje in Rotterdam. Both shows are free for Subbacultcha! members. Page 25


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Julia Holter

The Dream Issue


Julia Holter

We’re ecstatic - Ekstasis drops on 8 March thanks to RVNG Intl. We asked bedroom-pop composer Julia Holter all about her subconscious nightlife. She told us about her tropical moments with the Kool-Aid man and why she woke up in a museum at 6 am one morning in LA. Dream a little dream with Julia. ‘I think it’s fascinating that dreams happen in an instant.’ Google Chat Interview by Johanna Valdés. Photos shot in Los Angeles by Ye Rin Mok.

How does your subconscious nightlife effect your everyday life? Julia Holter: Well, I had a bad dream last night and it made me feel kind of shitty today. What was it about? I was walking down an endless stairwell and everyone was silent. It was solemn and terrifying.

How long did it last? I have no idea. I think dreams only last for like a second but it seemed to drag on for hours. Have you ever had a shared dream experience? The Hammer Museum in LA had an event in discussion and celebration of sleep, where artists gathered to Page 27


Julia Holter

‘I don’t use dreams to influence my music. At least not directly. My dreams are part of me and my music is really trying to be something outside of me.’ give lectures and workshops and perform music. The night culminated in a big giant group sleep. Sleeping bags at the museum, it was really fun. At 6 in the morning, we were woken up to discuss our dreams. There’s a video about it, I’m in it too! I’m the one in the Benji sleeping bag, talking about roofs seen from above. I’ll just send it to you: dream-in/dream-interviews. [DreamIn dream interviews video by Amanda Law and Jesse Fleming] What about that event stuck with you? The most important thing I got out of that night was the emphasis in [musician] Laura Steenberge’s lecture: it is impossible to describe dreams with language, because none of it makes sense. I also think it’s fascinating that dreams happen in an instant. Does anyone from your waking life visit you in your dreams? What forms do they take? Yeah. They are all hybrids of peoPage 28

ple I know but never all at once. Laura Steenberge pointed out at her lecture that in dreams, things are always changing. From moment to moment, one person turns into another. What are some peculiar details from your sleepy-time? Like vivid details or a recurring figure. There are two recurring figures in the dreams of my childhood. One is the Kool-Aid man dancing on an island with a palm tree, and the other is a skeleton with a poison sign [skull and crossbones]. Does the poison ever get into the KoolAid? No. That one still happens to me, though. Scary... It flashes ­­— it’s here, it’s gone — before my eyes. It jolts me awake with a dissonant chord that is also gone in an instant. Chords eh... how do your dreams relate to your sound? I don’t use dreams to influence

The Dream Issue


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The Dream Issue

‘I was walking down an endless stairwell and everyone was silent. It was solemn and terrifying.’

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Julia Holter

my music. At least not directly. My dreams are part of me and my music is really trying to be something outside of me. What is the indirect effect? There is something interesting about the subconscious as it relates to the way music can drift from one place to another for no logical reason. It sacrifices logical or chronological order for immediate momentary impressions. Speaking of immediate momentary impressions, what made you start putting your own pieces together? I had been writing music, in notation, for a long time when I started recording in my late college years. There’s an immediacy and also an intimacy to recording. I felt really freed by it. Was that feeling something you’d anticipated in one of your childhood dreams? No. I hated performing (because all I knew were piano recitals) and I didn’t think I could write music. It


never occurred to me that I could be making my own music, in my own way, without an institution supporting me. I assumed I would have a stable job or something. What about childhood dreams deferred: do you have any life goals on delay, waiting to explode? No. Really? You’re completely fulfilled? Well, I’m not putting anything off on purpose. When I was 19 and miserable, I needed to fulfill the desire to create and form sounds that I liked. Once I did that, I felt a lot better about things. It would have been really devastating to have died before I figured that out. Julia Holter’s new album Ekstasis will be released on 08 March by RVNG Intl. She’s playing at Ancienne Belgique on 28 May.

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The Dream Issue

Still Corners

We battled the gloomy winds of London and met up with Tessa Murray and Greg Hughes of poppy shoegazers Still Corners to talk about dreamy dreams and taking trains. Their band’s music makes you think of all that nostalgic stuff. Y’know, misty forests, David Lynch, cashmere, cherry pie and coffee. But then - bang! - the two admit that Woody Allen is actually more their cup of tea. Exceptional excerpts printed here. Read the full interview online. The interview was done in London by Zofia Ciechowska. Photo shot on film in London by Laurence von Thomas.

Have you ever had the classic ‘coming to school naked’ dream? Tessa: Not really, but I’ve had a scary dream where my teeth fell out. Has anyone else had that dream? Greg: The most vivid dream I ever had was when I was eight years old and I dreamt of having a conversation with a giant ant. It was so real Page 32

that when I woke up I went to the place down the street where I dreamt it had happened and looked for the ant. Tessa: I dreamt I got chased by a motorbike gang that drove me off a cliff. I fell out of my bed and woke up. Greg and Tessa: Actually, there are a lot of good dream sequences in

The Dream Issue


that, I actually love Woody Allen. Hannah and Her Sisters is the best. I could just ditch the band and go and Yeah, I’ve heard you like your films, write a Woody Allen book. [pauses] I’m kidding, I’m kidding! what’s up with that? Greg: Well, with the whole dream pop thing, people expect us to be into Still Corners play on 27 March in Charlatan David Lynch and Laura Palmer and in Ghent. The show is hosted by stuff but actually, as much as we like Democrazy. Rosemary’s Baby and Picnic at Hanging Rock and even Vertigo!

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Featured Artist

Danny Gonzalez

Danny Gonzalez is actually playing bass in Jacuzzi Boys, a gritty three-piece from Miami spitting out sunny garage songs that sound like Beach Boy Brian Wilson got stuck on an island with Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone. While contemplating an interview with these Florida lads, we discovered that Danny is one hell of a photographer with an amazing eye for the wonderful details of everyday life. His photos show a very subtle and observant view on reality, resulting in wonderful images of seemingly unimportant stuff. We’ve printed a small selection on these pages but check out Danny’s frequently updated blog,, to get a full taste. Jacuzzi Boys play on 30 March in Charlatan in Ghent. The show is hosted by Democrazy and is free for Subbacultcha! members.

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Featured Artist

Danny Gonzalez


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Danny Gonzalez

Featured Artist


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By Carly Blair

New releases worth your while

Frankie Rose Interstellar (Slumberland)

Music Reviews

to gain confidence with each move, I’m anxious to see where this rolling stone heads next.

Dustin Wong Dreams Say, View Create, Shadow Leads Frankie Rose has made a name for herself by lovin’ (or at least drummin’ for) and leavin’ the Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls. She then formed a ’60s revivalist group of her own, Frankie Rose and the Outs. They quickly released their self-titled debut back in 2010, on which they very effectively channeled the lo-fi girl group sound. Clearly not one to stand by her band, as Rose is back with Interstellar, after just one record the Outs are out. With producer Le Chev as her co-pilot, Rose has left behind the reverb-soaked retro of yesteryear, setting her course instead for some downright heavenly dream pop. While Interstellar isn’t quite that stellar, the clean production does help her huge voice and knack for melody reach previously unattained heights. Since she seems

(Thrill Jockey)

Apparently, every time Baltimore art rock spazzes Ponytail have made an album, they ‘go on hiatus’ immediately, rumours fly that they’re broken up, ‘former’ members do solo projects and eventually they reunite. Hopefully this will be the case once again. In the meantime, guitarist Dustin Wong is playing his part, serving up a second solo album. Using only guitar and various effects pedals, Wong weaves together altered, looped and layered guitar sounds into an intricate and hypnotic sonic tapestry. He conjures up a surprising amount of good material, given the tools he’s working with, but after the hour of run time it starts to feel limiting. Page 41

Music Reviews


But fans of the upbeat experimentation of Ponytail, Battles and Delicate Steve should find plenty to enjoy here.

Julia Holter Ekstasis (RVNG Intl)

This LA-based sound artist has released five albums since 2008, but last autumn’s Tragedy was her first widely available full-length. Although she’s studied classical piano and can cite various brainy influences - for example Robert Wyatt or Greek tragedies - Holter asserts, ‘I don’t know what listeners hear when they hear my music but, to me, it sounds like pop in the sense that I’m trying to make something I want to hear. I’m not academic. I just pull things out of my imagination and do whatever I want with them.’ I can handle a nearly unlimited amount of experimental weirdness in a song, as long as it somehow acknowledges the exPage 42

istence of a listener by including even just one ‘poppy’ element. Luckily, on Ekstasis Holter succeeds at least in making something I want to hear; it’s not just experimental and it’s not just poppy, it also has a singular way of sounding simultaneously surprising and utterly organic. If you’ve worshipped at the altar of Julianna Barwick, but find her music a bit too angelic (or orthodox), give Holter’s otherworldly wonders a try.

Tennis Young & Old (Fat Possum)

Though being a husband-andwife duo is adorable almost by default, Tennis’ backstory was particularly charming: they met in college, and after graduation sold their belongings, bought a yacht, and set off on an eightmonth-long sailing voyage. After returning to life on land, they started writing songs as a means of reliving their adven-

ture. Though their ’50s-channeling pop seemed sincere, it was sweet to a fault, and the whole affair felt a wee bit too elitist to truly relate to. On their ‘difficult second album’, Tennis have the experience of having toured with a full band and the production chops of Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney at their disposal. Their sound is still thoroughly nostalgic, but Carney’s input gives their new material a more muscular feel. Something like a flattering photograph rather than a painting, Young & Old is a portrayal of a couple in love that’s still romanticised but has a more human feel to it than their debut.

Grimes Visions (4AD)

Music Reviews DIY scene. Working in such a creative hotbed has helped her maintain a prolific output and a rapidly-evolving sound. Although Visions is technically her third full-length album, Boucher has said that she considers it her true debut, in the sense that she’s finally making the music she wants to make, as opposed to the music she can. Her basic approach remains unchanged: working with GarageBand, she typically tops a danceable foundation with girlish vocals and synths influenced by whatever dozen or so things she’s obsessed with at a given moment (eg Mariah Carey, Korean pop music...). However, not only are her vocals higher in the mix on Visions, but the whole affair is more accomplished and compelling than ever. Seemingly infinitely malleable, and a perfect balance between sweet and urgent, addictive and rewarding, we’re lucky if this is indeed a vision of pop’s future.

Montreal’s Claire Boucher, the 23-year-old experimental electronic pop singer/producer also known as Grimes, came of age within Montreal’s blossoming Page 43

Horoscope ARIES

21 March – 20 April

Sometimes it’s good to feel bad, sometimes it’s not good to steal someone else’s boyfriend.


21 April – 21 May

You feel like a cat who’s just come out from anaesthesia after the veterinarian has deprived him of his pride. Yes, this month you’re licking your phantom testies, while a melancholic, but mostly empty feeling looms over you. We’re very sorry.


22 May – 21 June

Opinions are to you what an appetite is to a bag of mini KitKats. You don’t really have any, but you spill them anyway. What did you utter?


22 June – 22 July

You’re still not a big fan of death. You drown everything and everyone out with your overactive behaviour. Did you know this is exactly what may cause a slow and painful passing? You wanna end up as that creep from the Edvard Munch painting?

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By Brenda Bosma


23 July – 22 Aug

You’ve got everything back on track again. Could you let us in on how you flipped it?


23 Aug – 22 Sept

This month, your flatmate is doing a Christina Aguilera on your stress levels. Try to establish a more Barbra-Streisand degree. How? Well, subtlety doesn’t apply to Miss Dirrty’s vocal range (or closet) now does it? Don’t be gentle, trooper.


23 Sept – 22 Oct

You’ll find yourself in quite a predicament at the end of this month. Let’s not hope it has anything to do with the LCD television you bought through a ‘Buy Now/Pay Later’-deal.


23 Oct – 21 Nov

We don’t know when you will have your big break. Is it when Mars is in the eighth house of Venus? Or when it’s raining Kit Kats? All we know is to stop asking these difficult questions. They only raise more silly questions. Hmm, they are quite amusing though. Go ahead, ask away!

Illustrations by Kathrin Klingner

Horoscope Sagittarius

22 Nov – 21 Dec

What’s up, Sag? Little frolics become banal, short- and long-term goals feel ridiculous? Are you finally growing up? Learn from this.


20 February-20 March


22 Dec – 20 Jan

Let us remind you that you are not a serf imprisoned by the feudal system. Shake yourself free of your (inner) landlord and live a little. We’ve said it once before.


21 January-19 February

Just like last month, you won’t win the lottery and you won’t meet Mister/Miss Perfect, so why the smiley face? It puzzles us. You are the most upbeat sign. What is wrong with your brain?

We know you have mixed feelings about shopping for new clothes. You hate that distorted image you see of yourself in the fitting room. Yes, those mirrors are fucked up. Sometimes it’s like you’re parading in a funhouse. Guess what though, this month you buy yourself a new pair of skinny jeans, even though, and we say this respectfully, you’re actually too big boned for it. Then, at a party at a friend’s house, as you stumble your way into the bathroom, you catch your reflection in the mirror and you think: ‘Man, I really look good in these jeans!’ You firmly pat yourself on that bonbon of yours. ‘Pats!’ Damn, girl! This month is all about embracing your BMI and you know it. Vogue on. Page 45


Europese Unie - Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling Union européenne - Fonds Européen de Développement Régional

Europese Unie - Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling

Shows in December and January


Agenda On the following pages:

Subbacultcha! concerts, totally free for members Page 48

Other shows Page 53 Free tickets Page 60

This is Molly Nilsson who plays on Sunday 25 March at DOK in Ghent. The show is free for Subbacultcha! members. Page 47

See all these shows for free. Sign up at

Subbacultcha’s Dream Issue Party By Sofia Ciechowska Illustration bi Basje Boer


What’s Cooking

08 March - Troya, Ghent 23.00 | €4 | Free for Subbacultcha! members Free if you sign up to our mailing list The Dream Issue

Unruly Music Magazine March 2012

Molly Nilsson, Julia Holter, Chad VanGaalen Yes, Subbacultcha! will keep all your dreams alive! We’ll be hosting a smashing ‘Dream Issue’ party at Troya in Ghent. Expect nothing but good vibes and today’s finest dance tracks from our killer DJs Disco Naïveté, Nosedrip, Holger and Sssound. Sign up to our mailing list and enter this night of pleasure for free. Page 1

Chad VanGaalen

09 March - Trix, Antwerp 20.00 | €11 | Free for Subbacultcha! members

This historically reclusive Canadian songwriter/producer/illustrator produced Women’s final album Public Strain. The experience was so enjoyable, it lured him out of the hermetic comforts of his basement studio into a larger recording space for the first time to record last year’s idiosyncratic pop gem Diaper Island. Though he’s still written, performed and produced everything on the record himself, his new material is less insular and more rollicking and confident-sounding than ever. Page 48

Shows in December and January


As a member you will also receive this magazine every month plus a stylish tote bag

Chad VanGaalen + Damien Jurado 10 March - De Kreun, Kortrijk 20.00 | €12 | Free for Subbacultcha! members

After a - most probably - amazing performance in Antwerp yesterday, Chad makes his way to Kortrijk for another set of heartfelt and honest songs easily blending folk, rock, pop and electro. And stylishly so. Supporting act singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has just released his excellent tenth album Maraqopa on the renowned Secretly Canadian label.

Film: Asparagus, Joy Street, El Doctor and Visitation (Suzan Pitt) 15 March - KASK Cinema, Ghent 20.30 | €5 | Free for Subbacultcha! members

Suzan Pitt is an American visual artist, who’s made a name for herself with her bizarre, dark and adventurous short animation films. According to Animation Nation, her work is a luscious ice cream cone dripping with despair, surreality, hope and redemption. Well, that’s certainly triggered our curiosity! Tonight, Kask shows four of her finest films. Page 49

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Shows in December and January

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Molly Nilsson + Giana Factory 25 March - DOK, Ghent 20.00 | €7 | Free for Subbacultcha! members

Formerly known as Formerly Known as White Bread (sic)!, Sweden’s Molly Nilsson famously created the excellent song ‘Hey Moon!’ that John Maus awkwardly (charmingly?) sung over the top of last year. While we doubt she minded the tribute (or the boost in exposure), Nilsson’s deceptively simple pop is bittersweet and hypnotic enough to fascinate on its own. That she’s stylish and sexy and wan should also contribute to a compelling live performance. Also performing is Danish doom pop ensemble Giana Factory who’ll present their new album Save The Youth.

White Hills

28 March - Botanique, Brussels 20.00 | €12 | Free for Subbacultcha! members

While their stage names (eg Ego Sensation and Nick Name), music videos, genre (space rock), and general stoner vibe are hard to take seriously, the music of New York’s White Hills definitely isn’t. Their blend of massive guitar riffs and fuzzy psychedelia and a growing live reputation have earned them Page 50

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Shows in December and January


As a member you will also receive this magazine every month plus a stylish tote bag

a devoted following. Their latest album, Frying on this Rock, out in March on Thrill Jockey, promises their most energetic and concise songs to date.

Jacuzzi Boys

30 March - Charlatan (Democrazy), Ghent 20.00 | €11 | Free for Subbacultcha! members

When asked if they’d ever consider relocating from their hometown to a place with a more vibrant music scene, Jacuzzi Boys answer an emphatic ‘No!’ Why’s that, you ask? Probably because they’re from Miami, and their practice space is located in a trailer in a state park on a tropical island. Guess that explains their surfy garage pop and sunshiney dispositions too. Word on the street is they kick ass live.

Bletchley Rules Fest!

31 March - Scheld’apen, Antwerp 20.00 | €8 | Free for Subbacultcha! members

The gentlemen of Action Beat are bringing their notorious entourage from hometown Bletchley (UK) to Scheld’apen to present a ‘happening of everything’ featuring Don Zero, Hired Muscle, Tape Deck Orchestra and much more. Expect energetic noise rock, ridiculously loud drones and baffling bagpipe bliss. Not for the faint-hearted. Page 51

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Shows in March

Future Islands


Sharon van Etten

02 March - Charlatan (Democrazy), Ghent

03 March - Botanique, Brussels

There must be something in the water in Norway, as Casiokids’ danceable tunes are kindred spirits of those of fellow Norwegians The Whitest Boy Alive, Röyksopp and Annie (not to mention another Norwegian group, A-ha, who awarded them a one-million Kroner prize for being one of Norway’s most promising new acts as part of a TV competition in 2010). Their stubbornly Norwegian-ly named third-full length, Aabenbaringen over aaskammen, just got released worldwide.

While her earliest material was timid and damaged-sounding, born out of a screwedup relationship and moving back home to New Jersey, Sharon van Etten’s foray into music ultimately proved cathartic and inspiring. She’s now based in Brooklyn, and her new album Tramp features collaborations with various hot shots such as Julianna Barwick and Beirut’s Zach Condon and production by The National’s Aaron Dessner. While she describes songwriting as ‘selftherapy’, she actually finally sounds ready to put up a fight.

Kraak Festival ft Amen Dunes, Girlseeker and others 03 March - Netwerk, Aalst This annual festival has a reputation for being exceptionally contemporary while also acknowledging and being on hugging terms with the past. Twenty-twelve looks like maintaining great form, with the aim of looking back on and then deconstructing the sounds and ethos of punk, musique concrète and audio-visual art. As well as a long and varied programme of independently-spirited, exciting music experimentalists, there’s also a solid film and art programme, plus pre- and post-fest shows. Well worth the effort and exploration.

Chairlift 04 March - Botanique, Brussels In the three years that have lapsed since their 2008 debut, this Brooklyn-based synth pop group shook things up by shedding their third band member and getting involved in other projects. For example, Caroline Polachek guested on various sexy dance tracks, while Patrick Wimberly produced the latest Das Racist album. More importantly, they got a major label deal and spent 18 months labouring on their new album Something. Not surprisingly, their new material is denser, more polished and more ambitious than ever. Page 53

04 MRT


14 MRT


15 MRT


23 MRT


06 APR








support: tbc

support: KÖHN

PNEU support: ED WOOD JR. 20/04 KEEP IT UNREAL with MR SCRUFF (over 4h set) 10/05 LOWER DENS support: tbc 21/06 THEE OH SEES support: tbc 07/04 SOUNDBITS ft.





Shows in March

Future Islands

Lazer Crystal

05 March - Le Grand Mix, Lille (FR)

08 March - Rockerill, Charleroi 17 March - Beursshouwburg, Brussels

On the Water, the latest from this Baltimore synth pop trio, was recorded at the seaside. Waterfront life is present throughout the album, from field recordings to the tempo, which has mostly slowed down to match the ocean’s tranquil rhythm. While mellower than the songs on 2010’s excellent In Evening Air, their new ones have all the romance, throbbing rhythms, addictive melodies and stirring vocals needed to impress in their own right, and these guys’ live shows haven’t let us down yet either.

Diagrams 07 March - AB, Brussels As it features the words and music of Tunng’s Sam Genders, there’s an immediate urge to reach for the ‘folktronica’ label when describing the music of Diagrams, which, however, is a considerably more electronic take on Tunng’s typical psych-pop and prog. But other than the fact that there’s still a hefty anglo-folk vibe to this band, they’re actually rather surprising, generating fresh sounding bouts of playful electro folk reminiscent of Kings of Convenience.

Zun Zun Egui 07 March - Magasin 4, Brussels 09 March - 4AD, Diksmuide It’s undeniably tricky to keep punk fresh or even interesting, but a few bands manage to maintain the required spiritual fury while embracing sonics from around the world. Akin to The Ex from Amsterdam, this Bristol bunch produce a fiery brand of avant-punk that exists without ever acknowledging global borders. The punk rawness and energy is right up front, but the grooves are delightfully Pan-European, African and South American. Support from New Bleeders, a homegrown hyper-kinetic noise punk outfit.

Featuring members of long-running electro dance pop weirdos Mahjongg, this Chicago project follows in a similar vein of freakbeat grooves and super-chilled synths. But rather than dealing in the short simplicities of electro pop, this trio is a jam band equivalent for the chillwave scene. Just close your eyes and go with the flow.

Neptune 09 March - De Kreun, Kortrijk This Boston quartet have been making noise for almost 16 years. Not just regular noise or punk, but a pure and percussive form of noise rock performed on custom instruments. Expect a thrilling, rhythmic experience performed with a weird and wonderful array of guitars/noise making equipment.

Teebs + Samiyam 09 March - AB, Brussels Los Angeles deals out stoner hip hop in the same way that the west coast desert bands conquered the stoner rock scene. Mtendere Mandowa, aka Teebs, is a product of an LA scene that’s blessed with contemporaries such as Gonjasufi and Flying Lotus. And while he’s not one for imitation, his sonic sketches and weird dreams are a vivid representation of that tripped-out beat scene. Support from Samiyam, an East Coast beat maker who owes plenty to Dilla but who’s also mastering his own path through the world of spacey instrumental hip hop.

Chad VanGaalen 09 March - Trix, Antwerp 10 March - De Kreun, Kortrijk 12 March - Les Atelier Claus, Brussels This notoriously reclusive and relentlessPage 55


Shows in March


ly creative Canadian songwriter/producer/ illustrator has been cranking out idiosyncratic pop for years, but his new material is more guitar-oriented and rollicking than ever. Read more on page 48.

School of Seven Bells 10 March - Botanique, Brussels This Brooklyn-based neo-shoegaze outfit got its start when Benjamin Curtis (then of Secret Machines) met the identical Deheza twins (then of On!Air!Library!) while touring with Interpol. Claudia Deheza left the band back in 2010, leaving them one raven-haired beauty short of a trio. Their new album, Ghoststory, features their most collaborative work yet, and apparently tells the tale of a young girl named Lafaye and the ghosts that haunt her.

Cass McCombs 10 March - Botanique, Brussels Northern Californian songwriter Cass McCombs has developed a reputation for being extremely forthcoming in his lyrics and extremely private in person. The odd mix of reclusiveness and confessionalism has Page 56

helped this enigmatic vagabond quietly build a cult following. 2011 saw McCombs release two acclaimed albums, Wit’s End and Humor Risk, the latter of which he’s described as ‘an attempt at laughter instead of confusion’. Hopefully the joke won’t be on the audience! Ba-dum chhh.

6th Forma.T Birthday ft James Blake, Martyn, Canblaster, Sebastian 17 March - Halles des Foires, Liége This is one birthday party that’s supremely dance-friendly, so it’s no surprise that James Blake is sticking to his future beat vinyl rather than getting all morbidly soulful on our asses. He’s joined by an array of ultra beatmakers from the dubstep, house and techno scenes - most crucially, a bunch of musicians who’re adept at breaking through genre boundaries and pushing the sonic limits of dance music.

Veronica Falls 19 March - AB, Brussels This brooding London-based quartet specialise in lo-fi art pop that harks back to the


Shows in March

Veronica Falls

early ’80s in northern England while blending in elements of classic Scottish indie pop (where the band originally came from). Whether you’re coming to them as a fan of The Pastels or a follower of Vivian Girls, pretty harmonies emerge from the ramshackle noise to make you swoon. Expect new pop moments from the long-time Subbacultcha! faves on their upcoming album.

Gala Drop + Bepotel 22 March - Les Atelier Claus, Brussels The electro-tropical-psych pop of this Portugal crew struck enough of the right chords in 2011 to result in support slots for Animal Collective’s Panda Bear. Sure, they sound like a low-budget ’80s movie soundtrack, but only in the most memorable of ways. Support from the bubbly electronics of Bepotal, the funky electronic sound of modern-day Brussels.

New Build 23 March - Botanique, Brussels Those heartbroken by LCD Soundsystem’s recent break-up may find a beacon of hope (or at least a somewhat satisfying fix) in

New Build. This newly-formed music collective/supergroup of sorts features former members of the ’system as well as of Hot Chip and trades in the kind of discoinformed dance tunes you’d expect given their main projects.

Grouper 24 March - Recyclart, Brussels Portland’s Liz Harris records as Grouper, a name derived not from the giant fish but rather from the notion of a musician as a ‘grouper’ of sounds. Her electro-acoustic ambient noise has been alternately described as arty, druggy, meditative, nightmarish and devastatingly beautiful. No wonder she’s won the admiration of Animal Collective, who chose her to open on the Merriweather Post Pavilion tour and to play at last year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival.

Molly Nilsson + Giana Factory 25 March - DOK, Ghent Sweden’s Molly Nilsson crafts deceptively simple pop that’s bittersweet and hypnotic. Read more on page xxx. And rean a small interview on page 50. Page 57


Shows in December and January


photo ©Kris Mouchaers

big deal + alt-J (01.03) • buraka som sistema (03.03) • sharon Van etten + Faustine hollander (03.03) • chairliFt+ o F F loVe (04.03) • Wu lyF + apes & horses (07.03) • andreW bird + dosh (08.03) • team me + uno mØller (09.03) • lambchop + cortney tidWell (09.03) • school oF seVen bells (10.03) • cass mccombs (10.03) • elliott murphy (16.03) • We haVe band (20.03) • connan mockasin (26.03) • White hills (28.03) • shearWater (29.03) • other liVes / deer tick (02.04) …





• the rapture (11.05) • laura gibson (11.05) • maggie bJörklund (11.05) • François & the atlas mountains (12.05) • chapelier Fou (13.05) • yacht (15.05) • general elektriks (16.05) • housse de racket (16.05) • c2c (16.05) • ghostpoet (16.05) • perFume genius (16.05) • Woodkid (17.05) • baxter dury (17.05) • grimes (17.05) • eWert & the tWo dragons (18.05) • king krule (18.05)…

les nuits


more @

Page 58


Shows in March


Still Corners

25 March - Zaal Zwerver, Leffinge

27 March - Charlatan, Ghent (Democrazy)

The Tuareg region of the Sahara Desert has become famous for blues acts playing uniquely dry, hypnotic rock. What was once a unique political protest is now a defining facet of desert life, and while many more bands are now emerging from that scene, none are quite as memorable onstage as these innovators. You honestly have no idea how unique they are until you experience their grooves in person.

Like many other bands of late, Still Corners mix ’60s and shoegaze inspirations. The fact that co-founder Greg Hughes is a big film buff explains not only the lovely projections that wash over their live performances, but also their particularly cinematic take on this fashionable set of influences: their songs methodically build to a climax, and the denouement satisfies while leaving enough to the imagination to keep you coming back for more.

Summer Camp 25 March - Trix, Antwerp These Londoners are a duo both on- and offstage. They’ve been courting blog buzz since 2009, when they released a few songs, made a couple of stylish videos, and briefly pretended to be a group of summer camp friends from Sweden. Given their fondness for storytelling, it’s no wonder they both aspire to be writers. For now, listeners can settle for the music on their long-awaited debut Welcome to Condale, which came out last autumn.

Connan Mockasin 26 March - Botanique, Brussels Under his thick mop of blond locks and with his awkwardly pitched voice, Connan Mockasin crafts creative tales of dogs, dolphin love and friends from the fringes. It shouldn’t really work beyond the quirkiness and character of his live shows, but it does. In 2010 he released his debut album Please Turn Me into the Snat (re-issued in 2011 as Forever Dolphin Love), which touched upon his loopy lyrics and sense of humour. But more than anything it showed that he’s actually something of an elaborate composer of original psych-pop. No matter its name, it’s an enchanting listen from an even more enchanting live performer.

White Hills 28 March - Botanique, Brussels New York’s White Hills blend massive guitar riffs and fuzzy psychedelia. Read more on page 50.

Jacuzzi Boys 30 March - Charlatan (Democrazy), Ghent Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys create surfy garage pop from a trailer which just so happens to be located on a tropical island. Read more on page 51.

Disappears 30 March - Les Atelier Claus, Brussels 31 March - Zaal België, Hasselt This krauty, repetition-loving Chicago group has described theirs as ‘music for record collectors’. After releasing their second album last year, they lost drummer, producer and co-founding member Graeme Gibson to his other project, The Fruit Bats. Fortunately, they struck gold in terms of replacement: Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley joined their ranks and is now fully integrated into the band. Their third full-length album PreLanguage has just dropped on Kranky and purportedly features their most focused work yet. Page 59

Free Stuff

Free Tickets and Goodies

To win, sign up to our mailing list on 3x2 tickets Museum night fever

2x2 Tickets chairlift

2X2 Tickets school of seven bells

02 March All museums in Brussels

04 March Botanique, Brussels

10 March Botanique, Brussels


2X2 Tickets still corners

2X2 Tickets gala drop

24 March Recyclart, Brussels

27 March Charlatan, Ghent

28 March Les Atelier Claus, Brussels

We’re also giving away free tickets to We Have Band, Casiokids, Teebs, Zun Zun Egui, Connan Mockasin, Neptune + Ping Pong Tactics, Diagrams. As well as the We Have Band Album Ternion. Page 60

Submitted photos


Send photos that were taken after midnight to If your photo gets published, you win a good goodie This month’s photo was submitted by Jolijn Ceelen Page 61

Overview of all Subbacultcha shows in March

08 March

Subbacultcha! Dream Issue Party Troya, Ghent 23.00 | €4 | Free for members Free if you sign up to our mailing list

25 March

Molly Nilsson + Giana Factory

DOK (Ladda), Ghent 20.00 | €7 | Free for members

28 March

White Hills

09 March

Botanique, Brussels 20.00 | €12 | Free for members

Chad VanGaalen

Trix, Antwerp 20.00 | €11 | Free for members

30 March

10 March

Chad VanGaalen + Damien Jurado De Kreun, Kortrijk 20.00 | €12 | Free for members

Jacuzzi Boys

Charlatan (Democrazy), Ghent 20.00 | €11 | Free for members

31 March

Bletchley Rules Fest!

15 March

Scheld’apen, Antwerp 20.00 | €8 | Free for members

Film: Suzan Pitt

KASKCinema, Ghent 20.00 | €5 | Free for members

Coming up:

Teen Daze, Brothertiger, Hype Williams, Chelsea Wolfe, Unison, Cercueil, Group Bombino

See all these shows for free. Join at Page 62

Subbacultcha Belgium Magazine March  
Subbacultcha Belgium Magazine March  

The Dream Issue ft. Molly Nilsson, Still Corners, Chad VanGaalen, Jacuzzi Boys, Julia Holter and much more