The Belgian capital of Brussels might not register on the musical radar as much as it's neighbouring capitals, Berlin and Amsterdam, but don't be fooled there's a lot at play in the city's underground music scene — from exciting artists and tastefully curated record shops to multi-venue festivals and independent radio stations.
One DJ and producer who's part of Brussels' flourishing music scene is Mambele. Holding down regular residencies at two radio stations, BRUZZ and Kiosk Radio, he connects the dots between the different sonic worlds in his head, piecing together polyrhythms, broken beat, rap and much more. These influences feed into his own productions too, which have previously come via Cosmic Pop Records, and are soon to have a home on Vice City.
Much like his radio shows, his 'Shine A Light On' mix crosses boundaries and borders, drifting through places and time, through rhythms and tempos...
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you.
I’m Mambele, a musician born and raised in Brussels. I love to DJ, make music and twice a month I host a radio show called “Bolingo” on BRUZZ (a Belgian radio station) where I invite people that share the same love I have for music and sounds in general.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
It’s quite a difficult question to answer but I guess my music sounds warm and wavy. I’m inspired by all kinds of sounds. I think my music sounds like a cloud trail going from one part of the world to another. Connecting the dots between the myriad of worlds in my head/mind.
Where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded in the bedroom of my homie Meex Dub. He moved a couple of months ago in a beautiful house with a nice garden. The room used to be a garage, but the owner completely transformed it. There is a great vibe and energy in his room.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
There is no ideal setting in my opinion. It’s a set one can listen to whenever, wherever.
What should we be wearing?
You should be wearing comfortable clothing, whatever makes you feel at ease.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
My dream setting would be a festival somewhere in a hot country with thousands of people vibing to the music. Miss playing in front of a crowd so much. Getting tired of the streaming bullshit.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Swell Session - Prepared To Go is my favourite. I love the contrast between the heavy hitting drums and the smooth chords and vocals. It’s a very empowering song with a lot of energy and bounce.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
I don’t have one specific favourite recorded mix. I love to listen to different sets depending on the mood. There are a lot of great DJs in Belgium I love to listen to like AliA, Arno Lemons, Bona Lea, Kuna Maze.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
I would love to back to back with Dego or Kaidi Tatham. Obviously, for the major inspiration, they had/ still have on my music. I remember looking for something different than what I was used to hearing. When I discovered their music it felt like a breath of fresh air for me.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
Some random controller I bought for 20 bucks and virtual DJ. Now I still don’t have a proper setup lol, I invest my money mostly in stuff to produce music rather than mix music. Mostly I use the BRUZZ studio or my friends set up. (Lucky me!)
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I think they are both pretty important. I can’t choose between both. I love to tell stories in my DJ sets, I’m used to starting really calm and ending with hard-hitting songs.
What were the first and last records you bought?
My first record ever was ODB - Shimmy Shimmy Ya
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
My mix would be a typical Belgian praline. First, when you suck it, it has a sweet and tender a taste, but once the chocolate is gone and you start biting, it has a really bitter taste.
If it was an animal what would it be?
My mix would be a butterfly. The butterfly develops through a process called metamorphosis. This is a Greek word that means transformation or change in shape. This is clearly reflected in my mix. Butterflies have four life stages: the egg, the larva, the pupa and the adult butterfly. Each of the four stages is very unique and rich.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
I don’t really know, I don’t believe there are songs that are impossible to mix. It all depends on how you play them.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Not for now, perhaps keep an eye out on Brussels music scene in general. The scene is undervalued as fuck. SHIT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN!
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