Davy is well-known for initiating one of the first underground dance music parties in his home country, Belgium. Down Under, which he launched with his twin brother Ken, is a movement of a party currently residing in the dark and intimate second room of the capital’s dance music institution, Fuse. They have welcomed an impressive list of local and international guest DJs such as Perlon queen Vera, Dj’s DJ Nicolas Lutz, and Romanian hero, Rhadoo. Most recently, Davy celebrated the party’s sixth anniversary with Onur Ozer and Binh.
Although he made the move to London more than 5 years ago, Davy continues to run successful nights for Down Under. Not solely a resident for his own party, Davy homes a residency at London’s intimate Cymatic parties, which specialises in but is not limited to Romanian minimal techno sounds (Guest DJs include Cristi Cons, Barac, Vlad Caia, Gescu and Vera), as well as being a regular for London’s Cartulis Day, a party famous amongst those in the know. Davy’s sounds can also be enjoyed online via podcasts for Francesco Del Garda’s NoRules and Fabric’s WetYourself.
Here at MEOKO, we took the opportunity to interview Davy as part of our Under the MEOKO microscope feature, where we scout out emerging and underrated talents. He tells us about his musical journeys from his home town Leuven in Belgium to Brussels to London, and paints us a picture of what clubbing is like in Belgium, and why Fuse is such a special venue. Read on…
You founded ‘Down Under’, and it is a pretty good looking party if you ask me! Can you tell me about your journey? How and why did you decide to make a party like this in Belgium?
Ken and I were invited to play regularly for a party in my hometown Leuven. Soon enough we became friends with the promoters (Andreas and Jelte aka “Dezz Terquez”) and started our own club night together “Down Under” in the legendary club Silo in Belgium. After 3 parties we managed to fill the club completely and from that moment we had something great going on. Our aim was to bring good underground music and artists to our parties and also to bring people together to enjoy this music with us. On top of that Down Under has always been a platform for us as dj’s.
After three years the club unfortunately had to close their doors. Luckily there was Fuse in Brussels that welcomed us in that moment. If there was one place I wanted to be after Silo it was definitely that club. Through the years I always tried to program the best of the underground scene. Young upcoming talent but also more established names shared the decks with us including Rhadoo, Fumiya Tanaka, Vera, Onur Ozer, Binh, Tini, Fred P and many more. Quality music was always a priority. I try and create a perfect night from start to finish with a smooth flow between the different acts, but still with enough diversity to keep it interesting.
Also in London we had some amazing warehouse parties but after a while I decided I wanted to fully focus on music so Down Under in London came to an end as promoting parties became a full time job. I wanted to spend more time in the studio, on record digging and dj-ing in general.
Can you tell me a bit about the party’s venue, Fuse? How does it attract such stellar line ups? And what makes it such a special place for an underground dance music party?
Belgium played a crucial role in the techno scene since the early stages, that’s why it’s no surprise the capital Brussels owns one of the oldest techno clubs, called “Fuse”. Almost every respected artist in the electronic music scene has played there. Jeff Mills, Juan Atkins, Ricardo Villalobos, Aphex Twin, Luke Slater, Daniel Bell, Andrew Weatherall, even Bjork in 1997, you name it… The club exists for 20 years and everyone is very passionate about what they do and dj’s love to come and play there. The crowd is a nice mix and understands the music so there is always a very good atmosphere. Downstairs you can expect dj’s like Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, upstairs a bit more minimal, groovy techno. This is where we host our party and I am truly in love with that room, mainly because of the intimate feel, the connection with the crowd and the energy you can build when dj-ing. I sometimes wish to have this in London.
You recently celebrated Down Under’s 6 year anniversary at Fuse with Onur Ozer and Binh as special guests. What were some of the party’s highlights?
Onur Ozer and Binh were our headliners for our anniversary party. As they are good friends (both living in Berlin) they decided to play 4hours B2B which ended in a very nice result. The room was filled all night with great music from the start, a good warm up from Dezz Terquez, a great 4h journey from our headliners and I closed the party (which I always do at Down Under) and I really enjoyed playing. It was definitely one of my favorite Down Under nights in Fuse and it was very inspiring musically.
You also play gigs in London. Is this city your base at present?
I moved to London 6 years ago, because I was amazed by the club scene in that time, I couldn’t even compare this with Belgium, I had never experienced anything like it. London was definitely the place to be for clubbing in Europe in that time. I think Berlin took over that position now. I still love London as a city and met some truly amazing people here. I think that’s why I love this city the most, because of the interesting variety of people, who are usually very friendly and open minded, also with music.
When and why did you originally make the move from Brussels to London?
My hometown in Belgium is Leuven, a small town right next to Brussels. I studied and finished my degree in Brussels before moving to London.
You are a resident of Cymatic in London. When did you take up this residency and how are you finding it?
I took up the residency with Ken a few months ago. It’s still quite a new party in London but with nice people and with good intentions. They celebrated their first anniversary in April with Vera headlining the line up. They also bring many Romanian dj’s to come and play. This Friday I share the decks with Cezar and Tulbure both from the ‘ourown’ collective. Still, I try to do my own thing and bring a bit of a different sound to the party. It has always been fun playing, and happy to have this opportunity in a city as London.
You have also played for London warehouse rave, Cartulis Day. What were some of your favourite nights at this party?
I do play regularly for Cartulis Day. Unai Trotti (the promoter) became a very close friend of mine so it is always fun to play for him. My favorite night was the last one with Nicolas Lutz and Jane Fitz, and they have brought many other great acts to the table. Their anniversary’s line up is looking very nice too. I heard Fred P playing in Fuse last year and can confirm that he is a very good DJ with his own distinguished sound. I never had the chance to listen Anton Zap, so I am looking forward to his set.
You will return to play for the party’s 5th anniversary. What is one special track that you will surely play to get the dance floor moving?
Do you mind if I keep this secret? I like to surprise people on the night and rather do something unexpected, as I do think this is what dj-ing is about. When I go to listen to a DJ, I like it the most when I don’t recognize any tracks and that the dj takes me on a journey I have never been before…
You recently started doing some studio work. Was this a natural progression for you? How is it going so far?
Actually I was working together with my brother for quite a few years already. Since 2 years we were going into an analogue studio that we used for processing our sounds and experimenting. We were close to finishing our first EP but Ken decided last summer to go on his own musical direction. For me it came as a big surprise after working together all these years but I suppose that life goes on and I’m going to carry on with what I love doing most. In the last few months I have been focusing on dj-ing and collecting records but I am now looking forward to get on with studio work again.
Do you have any plans for next year in terms of your musical career?
Spend time with music as much as possible, hope it will lead to many nice moments in the next year…
Thanks for the interview, guys
We also look forward to an incoming exclusive MEOKO mix from this burgeoning talented. Keep your eyes peeled for future sounds!