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The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives on the world-Radio!

On October 26, 1999, there was an item about this site broadcasted on Radio Vlaanderen Internatonaal (The VRT World Service) : I was interviewed in English by Dominique Wittevrongel, who has a regular feature on the "Brussels Calling" show where she introduces Belgian Artists.
Below you find an English transcript of the interview, but you can also listen to it in English in streaming Real-audio : interview.

Het Belgisch Pop & Rock Archief op de wereldradio!

Op 26 oktober 1999 werd er een item over deze site uitgezonden op Radio Vlaanderen Internatonaal (The VRT World Service) : ik werd er in het Engels geïnterviewd door Dominique Wittevrongel, die een dagelijks hoekje heeft gereserveerd in het programma "Brussels Calling" waarin ze Belgische artiesten tracht te introduceren.
Hieronder staat een transcriptie van het interviewtje, maar je kan er ook naar luisteren in Real-Audio : interview.



Coming up now : Around Town.
In our regulalar "Sound Box" feature, Dominique tries to introduce as wide a variety of Belgian artists as possible. But of course it's impossible to cover everything. Music fans who want to know more about the flourishing Belgian music scene, can obtain loads more information from the website of the Belgian Pop & Rock Archives. For "Around Town", which is today "Around The Net", Dominique tells us more.

From dEUS, K's Choice, Hooverphonic over Soulwax and Praga Khan, it can't be denied that Belgian rock is doing great these days, both here and abroad. The website of the ... was started about two and a half years ago and is in fact a one-man project. Dirk Houbrechts, a young man from the province of Limburg is behind it. He has always been a big music fan, and also has a way with computers. One day he decided to combine his two hobbies and let the world on the internet know what great music we have here in Belgium.
There are already a few similar projects, but those are always limited in one way or another, and are rarely in English. Originally, the Belgian Pop & Rock Archives looked back on Belgian music from the sixties 'till the eighties. Later, following the success of the site, weekly or daily updates were made on Belgian music as well. Now it's one of the most complete sites in English about our vivid rock and pop scene, featuring over 200 artists and bands, extracts from the songs in real-audio, photo's, biographies and reviews.
We spoke with the man behind the project, Dirk Houbrechts, who's working on the site almost daily, when he comes home from work. We pointed out to him that two less obvious names amon the artists are Jacques Brel and Soeur Sourire.

They were in the charts at their time. It's not always so easy to make a distinction between rock music and chanson or other genres. I mainly make the distinction on the feeling I get from the music. If I think it appeals to a lot of people without being overtly commercial, I consider that pop & rock.

And surprisingly enough, they are also the artists which are most popular, I think

Yes, strangely enough, or perhaps not so strange is that artists like Adamo, Jacques Brel, Soeur Sourire are really he most sought after artists . I also have a link on the site that leads to an internet cd-shop, and I can see that the things people buy most coming from my site are Jacques Brel and Soeur Sourire.

And the people reading the site, are they Belgian or coming from abroad, I mean now for the Jacques Brel-pages ?

For those kind of artists, most are coming from abroad. All in all, the spread is almost 50-50, or a bit more from abroad than from Belgium.

And the users from abroad, which countries are the most frequent.

Of course the neighbouring countries : there's a boom going on of Belgian artists in Holland, so there are a lot of Dutch people coming to the site. But of course, the larger countries come more than the smaller ones, but I get visitors from the stranges Isles and republics.

I was wondering the the American and the English users, are they interested, because they have a reputation of being a bit reluctant towards foreign music ?

I think the public in general in the U.K. for example couldn't care less about Belgian music, but there are some artist, like Jacques Brel, who are respected troughout the world. But nowadays, there are a number of artists which are released abroad : For example Soulwax is now going to America, and I can see already there are more people from the States coming to see the page about Soulwax.

It's a one man project, don't you never get the criticism that this is a very personal site, that it's not really "objective".

The only problems I've had so far is with bands that would like to be on the site, groups wanting to have their bio included, who have released just one or two singles or so. My most difficult time is how to say no to them.

That was Dirk Houbrechts, the creator of the excellent and useful Belgian Pop & Rock Archives-website, and you can find the website on




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Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

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Last update to this site : March 2002.

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