Sven Van Hees
Sven Van Hees
“The Scofflaw Fleet” chapter grabs my attention with its descriptions of human tragedy. One sentence specifically, about a sinking vessel in the Bering Sea, sticks out to me: “The men could hear but not see the waves coming at them.” This sounds like Russian roulette to the extreme. Ian’s reporting brings to life the human side of stories like these, something that a breaking news video can not accomplish. Beyond the narrative of the sinking ship, are stories of labor abuse, horrifying working conditions, and men who refuse to take responsibility for running these operations.
As an artist who usually produces music that captures the ‘happier’ things in life, this project is challenging for me. The ocean has always guided my music and I’ve spent quite a lot of time on paradise islands in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Maldives, chasing inspiration both in and out of the water. For this project, I want to demonstrate the balance between hope and despair. For example, the track “WindowNesia” tells a heartbreaking story, but includes vocals from a joyous Indonesian wedding. I try to evoke a sense of positivity in my music to soothe and comfort the pain of people in these harsh situations at sea.
Considered one of the founding fathers of the electronic music scene in Belgium, Sven Van Hees was born and raised in Antwerp and made history by producing the first Dance music radioshow in Belgium with Liaisons Dangereuses, which ran on several local radio stations from 1985 to 1995.
He started producing house, techno and tribal music as a solo artist in 1989 on labels such as Usa Import Music, Atom, Elektron, R & S, Global Cuts and Wonka Beats. Worldwide fame came with his 1999 album release “Gemini,” a collection of jazzy and downtempo tracks that instigated a revival of so-called “lounge” music. The album is today still considered the blueprint of this genre. He repeated that story in 2002 with his release “Calypso.”
For that release he lived a while in San Francisco where he connected with the infamous Naked Music label .
In 2003 he compiled “Into Blue” for Blue None Records and toured with his live band “The Svengali Squad.”
In 2005 Sven created his own music label Your Lips. His first release was “Synesthesia.” Other releases on the label were “Exotica” (2007), “Maverick” (2009), “Heatwave.” (2011), “Beach Bliss” (2014), “Chameleon” (2015), “Aquatic” (2017) and “Svensei.” (2019)
As a DJ, he has travelled the globe for the past few decades (and continues to do so) with DJ sets in Europe, Usa, Australia, Asia and the Caribbean.