Nosedrip, to me, is one of the most interesting characters in the electronic music sphere. He’s not only a top-notch selector, but one with an honorable quest of digging out the records of the past that flew under the radar, were somehow forgotten or left behind, and giving them a second chance. He’s now touring around Europe and visiting my lovely place of residence, Vienna, this Friday. Naturally, as someone bordering on being a music journalist and an overly excited fan, I thought I shed some light on why I’ll be at the event and why you should too.

It’s going to be my first time seeing Ziggy Devriendt, aka Nosedrip, play live, though I should mention that’s entirely my fault. Back in 2019, Nosedrip also played in my hometown, Budapest, thanks to a collaboration of Cliché Bodies and LÄRM (two now, unfortunately, non-existent projects). It’s insane to realize it’s been 4 years since then, so much has changed. Just to name a few, I live in a different city now and listen to better music, so this time I won’t miss his set. 

Nosedrip’s story started on the coast of Belgium, in the small town of Ostend. He was already playing under the moniker when he launched Belgium’s first online radio station, STROOM.TV, with an unusual audiovisual approach.

dekmantel · Nosedrip at Dekmantel Selectors 2019

Stroom then grew to be a record label in the autumn of 2016, with the first release being a reissue of Alain Pierre’s soundtrack to “Jan Zonder Vrees”, the first full-length animation picture from Flanders. Since then, more than 70 records have been released on the label, with a probably quite unconventional mindset. It is rather hard to grasp the sheer variety of ways in which Stroom manifests, as you can stumble upon nearly any kind of genre looking through the catalog, like new wave, ambient, trance, punk, folk, and so much more. Devriendt said in an interview that the album 11000 Dreams by Jan Van Den Broeke comes close to defining the signature Stroom sound, but even then, he placed more emphasis on the idea than the genre itself:

“It’s more self-expression than anything else, like shouting in an empty room. Looking back at our catalog, it’s that amateur vibe of making music that makes our releases special.”

Ziggy Devriendt – reinterpreting music for a new generation with Nosedrip, objects & sounds, 2020

While contemporary music also has a place on the label, it’s usual for the releases to consist of music written in the ‘80s and ‘90s and, in a lot of cases, by Belgian musicians. These might be reissues in the traditional sense or some new interpretations of the originals, maybe spanning a decade or so, creating a whole new musical journey throughout a record. This is what I love about the idea of the label so much: reinvesting in maybe long-forgotten records and showing them in a new light. As for why music from the 80s, Devriendt explains:

“If people come to me to make an album with me and I can tell from their music that they are professional musicians, then I’m not interested in that. That’s why it’s hardly surprising that many of the reissues on Stroom date from the early eighties. That was the beginning of the democratization of recorded music. I love music from the ’60s and ’70s too, but the thing is: if it was pressed on record, then that meant the people behind it had money for a studio.” 

Ziggy Devriendt – Nosedrip im Porträt: Das Interesse am Unbekannten,, 2022

Nosedrip’s approach to DJing seemingly forms around these ideas as well. He has a unique classification system that involves tags like French Psychedelic, Lo-Fi, Dark, Berlin School, or Female Voices, and organizes his sets accordingly. He has been doing radio shows on various platforms since what seems like the beginning of time – currently on NTS – which can give you some insight.

Friday’s event, s c h w e b e n is going to be held at Kulturverein Einbaumöbel. It’s organized by sama recordings, a Vienna-based independent record label founded by Benedikt Guschlbauer. Besides Nosedrip, the night features Viennese names such as the founder of the label Neubau, Heap, as well as Dr. Schock and Weila.

Cover image: @nosedrip