When I first arrived in Brussels some years ago, one of the key club I remember was called K-Nal, right on the small bay of the city river. I have vivid memories of some proper underground nights, which contributed massively to me slowly falling in love with Brussels. After a while, however, K-Nal closed down and with it one of the best place to dance was gone. I guess it is true, all good things come to and end, sooner or later.
For years I have always wondered if anyone would have taken the initiative to re open the place and this summer finally the good news. The former K-Nal was about to come back under a new name, but with the same rebel spirit: Archipel.
Behind the project the guys who also run Under My Garage and Les Garages Numerique, and also behind Under My Label in the past. For the entire summer every weekend (fridays, saturdays and sundays) 18 parties in total will run in partnership with the main electronic music collectives and clubs in Brussels: from Fuse to Forma.T, from Libertine Supersport to Play Label Records and Deep In House, from We Bring You to Brüxsel Jardin.
Some of the most relevant players have teamed up with Archipel to deliver a full experience around underground music which will run also through the day with the parties on the beach of Bruxelles les Bains.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of taking part into a memorable night, when the Hungry Music crew took control of Archipel delivering an unforgettable journey with their notorious blending of house and techno. The French electronic music label, created in 2014 in Aix-en-Provence, has made a solid reputation thanks to the unique sound and the powerful impact of their energetic parties.
Stereoclip, Joachim Pastor, N’to and Worakls were on the line up (together with Surfing Leons and Elska), meaning a full blasting party was the most probable thing to happen. It was not the first time I had the chance to listen to the Hungry Music crew, but it was the first time in a club. To be completely honest, I believe they give their best in this environment, much more than in festivals.
The melodic sound, the persuasive search for complex buildings through their sets, the measured, relaxed and intentional use of articulated sounds are much more effective in confined spaces.
The crowd was theirs from the start, as it was clear many fans were in the room that night, already knowing what to expect. But nothing was obvious, nor ordinary. The sound system was surprisingly clear and bright for a venue which will not be hosting this kind of events after the summer. Maybe the back of the main room should have been a bit more powerful (but that was probably intentional), but for the rest everything was on point.
The vibe of the place was the same as in the old K-Nal. Like minded people, smiles all around, and a the sense of being part of something bigger. For most of the night, the crowd seemed to be unified by the melodic touch of the Hungry Music artists, with a clear harmony floating around the room.
Everyone exploded with some classics from Salzburg to Adagio for Square by Worakls, and from Oulan Bator to Reykjavik by Joachim Pastor, rearranged in the semi-live set up they had for the night. The result was a melodic journey, house oriented but techno punctuated, with well placed and smooth drops, in a coherent, spectacular, flamboyant blast of talent by the south French label.
We have talked for years about a possible return of the French touch, maybe there’s a new French touch around and we should be more thankful to Hungry Music for that.
The nights at Archipel will continue through the whole summer, this weekend with an interesting party by Fuse with Seth Troxler.
Make sure you check out the full program here!