joost van bellen

Joost van Bellen is a craftsman and an artist who’s passion for plating music emerged back in1985. In the ensuing years he has become one of the most respected and revered figures of the Dutch dance scene with a CV that reads like an encyclopedia and with a musical spectrum that goes from underground garagepunk to acid house, from house to ambient house, from New York garage to speedgarage and now the cutting edge of the newest wave of electronic music.

He started out in Amsterdam organizing the infamous squatclubs Armageddon and Armadillo in 1985 and 1986, where he played insane psychedelic music and ‘60’s garagepunk.

As one of the first dj’s who introduced house music in the Netherlands (at the RoXy in 1987) he has an ear for new, fresh sounds and an eye for creating parties which combine the arts with street credibility, humour with fashion, poetry with hipness and awareness with sheer fun. In that aspect he was the initiator of the infamous Amsterdam Loveball, a yearly held charity event for the Dutch Aids Fund, featuring artists, dj’s and fashion designers from all over the world. In that same period (1991-1995) he was the artistic director at the legendary club RoXY in Amsterdam.

Next to his flirtations with the world of fashion (he is the musical director for prestigieus the Robijn Fashion Award, and was did the music for the Diesel 25th anniversary show in Italy, several shows in Paris for VanDrimmelen and many more) he created his own series of parties from 1997. His production company Meubel Stukken guarantees great parties in the Netherlands. At first there’s Speedfreax, which was and is an instant succes. Speedfreax introduced speedgarage and 2step in the Netherlands, and has an amazingly relaxed atmosphere. Vanbellen got bored with this sound and now hosts and plays at a new series of parties called RAUW (RAW), inspired by club-nights like Culture Club in Gent, Pulp in Paris and Trash in London, RAUW brings you music which cannot be pinned down to one style. One thing is for sure, the sound is raw, uncooked, wild and trashy, the dj’s mixing up just about everything, from Belgian new beat, acid house, dirty disco, hardrock and old school hiphop to the latest underground tunes from discopunk, rockhouse, electroclash to electrofunk. Guest-dj’s included Erol Alkan, The Glimmertwins and Laidback Luke (City Rockers).

The annual OHAF, OWAP and Fucque Les Balles Balles parties are always sold out in minutes. The first two being acid house revival fests, the latter an in between Xmas and NewYear extravaganza together with star photographer Erwin Olaf.

He is one of the initiators and musical director of the Mathhaus Passion - The Remix (J.S.Bach), which combines Bach's classical masterpiece with young dj's/producers and video-artists. The Visual director is star artist 00-Kaap, with who invented VJ-ing at the RoXY early ‘90’s in co√∂peration with van Bellen.
Matthaus Passion The Remix was loved and hated the first time, got an incredible press, and is due for a follow up in 2005.

Vanbellen is one of the elected members of The Amsterdam Nachtwacht, an organisation which advises the City of Amsterdam on nightlife and nightculture and initiaties new project concerning nightlife, sexual diseases and nocturnal architecture. The Nachtwacht received the Diversity Award of the City Of Amsterdam in 2003 and wrote the book ‘Nachtnota’ which has been groundbreaking material, changing the opinion of politicians and many more about nightlife culture.
As the artistic leader of a few of the most innovative Dutch dance-happenings of the last few years Van Bellen does not forget where he comes from.

As a dj he received the LSDA award (the Oscars for the Dutch dance industry) in the category best house/garage Dj in 2 consecutive years: 1999 and 2000. He also received Golden Goblin Awards for Best CD (Nightclubbing 1), Best Party ( 2times!), Best Party Promoter (Speedfreax2000), and Best Dressed DJ (2002) and was inaugurated in the Hall
Of Fame of Popmusic, published by the weekly magazine Nieuwe Revu.

Along the line he had time to release numerous mixed compilation CD’s, like Loveball 4,Nightclubbing vol.1, 2 and 3, Speedgarage and Speedfreax volume 1, 2 and 3.
He has residencies at Now&Wow in Rotterdam, RAUW based in Amsterdam, Big Beat Boutique in the UK and numerous other underground clubs in Europe.
The most memorable gigs in 2003 include the Condor/Massive Music party at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the prestigious 5 Days Off Festival in Amsterdam with Arthur Baker, 2manyDJ’s, Tiga and LCD Soundsystem, and Boutique at Turnmills London together with FatBoySlim.

2004 promisses to be a very interesting year.
Joost will finally start producing some tracks. Work is well underway for tracks by Zubrovka (‘Allochtone Taxi Fahrer’ & ‘Do you love me?!’) and by photographer Cornelie Tollens (‘Princess Song’).
Two new clubs are opening in The Netherlands: the new Now&Wow in Rotterdam (capacity 5700) and the TPG building in Amsterdam (capacity 550). Joost will be an ambassador extraordinair for the Now&Wow and will host two regular club nights there (Speedfreax Eclectix and The Electric Ballroom). The TPG building will be the homebase of the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art for three years, top floor will include a restaurant and nightclub. At this club Joost’s Meubel Stukken company will host a regular Rauw night. Both clubs are scheduled to open this spring.

Joost van Bellen