With its calm pace, friendly inhabitants and the overall bourgeois vibe, Brussells seems like the perfect city from where the EU leaders can watch over the prosperity of our old and sometimes too conservative continent. Yet, as serene as Brussels may be perceived from the outside, the electronic music scene in the underground is alive and kicking: take as an example New Beat of R&S Records. The movement is more intimate when compared with cities like Berlin or Amsterdam but, then again, that’s the beauty of it.
Crevette Records is that kind of place where you can grasp a bit of the electronic Brussels vibe. The small record shop opened its doors 3 years ago, in 2016, in Marollen, an old neighbourhood in the city center where you can find lots of art galleries, antique shops and flea markets. Focused on electronic music, Crevette has managed to create a nice community of people around the shop, sharing the same passion for music as the people working here. The record stock, counting no less than 8,500 vinyl pieces with a backstock double in size in the warehouse , is maintained by Pim, Crevette owner, Jakob, who also deals with the distribution duties, and Walrus (Basic Moves), responsible for the second hand selection. Their record collectors alter egos contribute to this unique blend of various electronic subgenres you can find in the shop, matching even the most pretentious ears when it comes to electronic music on wax.
Crevette also operates as a record label, focused on local artists more than on a specific electronic genre. Crevette’s latest releases comes from Weird Dust and it is expected to hit the record shops’ shelves somewhere at the end of May 2019.
Curious about the things that fuel the Crevette vibe, we sat down and chatted for a bit with Jakob about Brussels’ underground, the shop’s vibe and the people that feed this amazing vibe. At the end you will find a short track selection to get a taste of Crevette Records.
What’s your background when we talk about electronic music and its underground, especially?
Everyone who works in the shop has been involved with music for at least 10 years: collecting records, DJ’ing, organising events, working for recordstores, clubs and festivals, etc.
Do you remember how did you come up with the idea of opening a record shop?
It started with an idea to start a label…this idea exploded and ended up evolving into a recordstore that still exists after two and a half years.
How does Brussels’ house & techno underground look like from Crevette?
Especially the last few years it’s growing in a very qualitative way, becoming more diverse, more inclusive, more alive and more professional, and everyone is working from a positive attitude. There is a very strong group of up and coming residents and local artists in general, and all of this is interconnected beyond just the house and techno categories.
What are the DJs looking for when they step into your shop?
I guess this goes for every shop, but they come to look for the records they didn’t know yet! It’s always rewarding when you can surprise someone with a record they really like but didn’t know about before. We also see more and more people coming to the shop for our large second-hand selection.
In any case we always try to help them find what they were looking for.
What criterias do you follow when you select records to be available in the shop’s stocks?
We buy what we think is good music, music that we would play ourselves. Obviously this means our personal tastes play a big role, but we regularly discuss where we want to go and are very much open to suggestions from our customers to improve.
Can you make a profile of the regular Crevette customer?
Impossible! Our regular customers go from local DJ’s, to kids coming to spend their hard-earned pockey money, to life-long collectors well in their 70’s.
Are you focused on some musical genre?
The focus is on electronic music, within that category we try to offer things that you won’t easily find in every other store.
Are there any second hand records crates for the avid diggers?
About 50% of the crates are filled with second-hand stuff. We get new stuff in every week which is expertly curated by Walrus and we aim for fair prices. We are always actively looking for stocks to add to our 2nd hand crates, and in Belgium you could say we are in the ‘golden triangle’: in between the major hubs and with an extremely rich history of electronic music. Treasures can be found in the strangest places and the most unlikely connections.
Any chance we can find some Romanian releases to buy?
Yes, the scene around that type of music is very much alive in Belgium! If anyone is curious about our take on it, they should check the music on ‘Hoot’, one of the labels in our distribution.
The fastest selling record you had until now
The round one with the hole in the middle 😉
Anything nice cooking for 2019 at Crevette?
We are investing heavily in our distribution platform and you will also be seeing more events, mainly in coöperation with local club C12.
Crevette Records in 5 tracks
Gols – First8 (Hoot)
MGUN – The Nerve (Futurepast)
DJ.Booth – Interflug (Basic Moves)
Weird Dust – Koto 1.1 (Crevette Records)
Ben Bertrand – Orion Molecular Cloud (Les Albums Claus)