McBain provides LFI listeners with an hour of meditative lullabies, the Belgian artist creates a bed of soothing tones and delicate melodies inducing an ethereal sonic experience. We recommend shoes off and horizontal for this one.
Social Harmony was born after a friend approached me wanting to start a cassette and zine label. I was the only one around who was digging for tapes, so I got involved. I help out with the tapes, publications and radio shows. We just put out a triple healing tape with a zine, I am loving it. For me it’s just some fun, something to do on the side, I really like the process of working with different kinds of people.
I used to have a blog called ‘Social B’ where I would post random stuff about social interactions, one post was on social harmony, over a period of time I started looking differently towards the utopian theories. I think Searching for perfection is overrated and the grand illusion of balance is ego driven. We put too much pressure on ourselves, not everybody has to get along. We live in parallel worlds next to each other, trying to get by.
I remember as a kid I got my first mix-tapes from various sources. I was around 11 years old playing tapes that I had stolen from my older cousins, the boyfriends of my babysitters and some old hippy movie director. It was a mixture of ambient, metal, rock and rap stuff blasting out of my Fisher Price cassette player. Today, I still feel like I did as a little kid, headphones on listening to sounds and ignoring the world around me.
I am fascinated by eerie sounds. For my LFI mix I used some library records, new age music and theater compositions to create the vibe of being alone at night. Sleepless, looking outside seeing the glow of the streetlights and feeling at ease, guarding the earth while everybody is partying or sleeping. Mesmerizing about social encounters, lost love and all around misconduct lead by motives of despair.
It’s nice to use different aliases for diverse projects. Sometimes I forget what mixes/projects I have done, it’s all about the diversity.
“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” – Alan Watts.
Social documentaries are great for samples or to tell a story, making something like a radio show or a dystopian talk show. I am a big fan of Carl R. Rogers who was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach (or client-centered approach) to psychology. My parents are both psychologists are I grew up in a house full of social diagrams.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” ― Carl R. Rogers
What are some of your other aliases?
For now just ‘The Peer Group’ for when I do radio shows or mixes with the other guy from Social Harmony and ‘Trapcurrent’ for my beats and hiphop stuff.
What’s some of your favourite artists in Belgium at the moment?
Bear Bones Lay Low/ Mathieu Serruys/ Bert Huyghe/ Liesbeth Feys/ Hiele/ Orphan Fairytales/ Afghan Gold/Dieter Durinck/ Floris Vanhoof/ Ssaliva/Ogon Batto/ Dsr Lines/Fame Circle/ Dj MichelGentil /The wizard/ Nosedrip/ Wim De Pauw/ Nana Esi/ B.A.A.D.M/ Holger/ Sophie Keij/ Brenda/ 019/ KRAAK/ Vooruit/ Les Atelier Claus/ Tobi Johnson/ Gabriela Gonzales/ Hectoliter and so much more…
The scene in Belgium seems exciting, why move to Holland?
I am moving to Rotterdam because I have some long lost family there that I have always wanted to meet. Plus I wanted to get out of my comfort zone in Ghent. I have helped get a lot of organizations going in the city with behind the scenes stuff. The kids are grown up now, doing their own thing, works good, Ghent is in good hands. I am looking forward to starting some new collaborations in Rotterdam and trying to develop the cultural exchange between Ghent and Rotterdam. Or I’ll do nothing and read books all day, depends on my mood.
Who do you dream of collaborating with?
I have always liked the idea of doing a soundtrack for a movie, documentary, performance or theatre show. Looking at imagery and finding the perfect audio to enhance the scene.
I once did a show on Stroom where I streamed a series of photographs taken in Sweden and added a mix that was inspired by the images.
My mother named me after Bertolt Brecht. Recently I have started delving it his oeuvre.
“Unhappy the land where heroes are needed” Brecht, 1943. He wanted his audiences to adopt a critical perspective in order to recognize social injustice and exploitation. So if someone was working on an modern interpretation of Bertolt’s work I would love to work on a project like that.
What are you listening to at the moment?
The Entourage Music & Theatre Ensemble was a 70’s ambient/theatre group. Their healing powers are insane.