This mix is a modest tribute to one of the unsung heroes and most outrageous characters of the Belgian dance music scene.
Ronny Vandenberghe or 'RVDB' was a West-Flemish disk jockey hailing from the small parish of Doomkerke. We dare to say that from the mid seventies until the late eighties he was one of the most knowledgeable and risk-taking dj's in Belgium and possibly beyond.
His first love was not music but at that time it's most spread carrier: pirate radio. Every bar or house on an elevated piece of land had a radio tower at that time and Ronny learned everything about the trade from his uncle Marc who was working at the nearby SCRE transmitter station.
Competition was though and wanting to reach an audience with his makeshift home set-up he created 'Ronny's Show'. A short lived stint because Ronny was also able to receive radio stations from around the world, hearing music from Italy, Brazil, America to even Japan.
The interest in pirate radio soon faded and Ronny started looking for the music he was hearing in his Bo Derek poster-filled room, taking semi-phonetic notes of the records being played in a small notebook.
Working a job plucking poultry he spent most of his wages on wax, driving his mother's opel
kadett to Antwerp, Germany and even Italy. When he heard an Italian dj mix on his radio things really got out of control as Ronny would desperately try to copy this style with the equipment at hand. His uncle customized his Dual record players with foot pedal-controlled pitch control and a local electronics one-man operation built him a mixer with 'transform' buttons, a primitive isolator and a siren sound.
Local gigs followed and soon Ronny was playing at clubs around Flanders, usually very late or at more adventurous venues as his music selection was unconventional to say the least. Nonetheless he started to gain a small but loyal following. At that time Ronny started drinking and his musical selections went from daring to outright ridiculous. He held a short residency at a place called 'Lolita's'. Being booed of stage more than one time, he got badly injured there Christmas eve 86 when he got bottled and his equipment was partially destroyed. Apparently he played a one-hour Steve Reich medley...
Disappointed he became more and more of a hermit and his drinking worsened. In '92 his house caught fire due to Ronny using a piece of tinfoil as a fuse on his mixer. Unfortunately he stayed in the fire and passed due to severe third degree burns.
His records, mostly stored in a garage were sold off by relatives shortly thereafter, only to be found scattered across flea-markets and small collections throughout the following years.
Seeing RVDB written on so many sleeves we believed there was a story and by chance we stumbled upon it.
This mix contains a lot of Ronny's records, and some new stuff we think he might have enjoyed.
Hardly anyone knows about this guy and this mix is a feeble attempt to give him some of the recognition he definitely deserves! We want to thank everyone involved for their cooperation on this project.
Biaz & Tom Dee 2016
RIP Yves-Berlina Bastard