The Stilll Label

“Stilll is a one of the jewellery of the Belgian crown”
– Gonzo Magazine
“I recently discovered Stilll and in almost no time it superseded Transgressive as my
favourite label of the year”
-Drowned in Sound

Back in 2005, Jérôme Deuson and I decided to create a label that would be able to
propose something different, experimental while being accessible for everyone who has a minimum sense of beauty. 
The Stilll label was created with the release of Arden, one of the most impressive improv band of that time. Ultimately, the label released 15 albums and 2 singles/eps and won a notoriety that easily overpassed Belgium.
Stilll stopped in mid 2010.
By that time Off was taking most of my time and depicted more than Stilll my preferences in music.
Nevertheless, I'm still proud of what we did at the time and you will find here the story of some of the best albums we released.
There are all sold out but I created a special Stilll Bandcamp page where you can listen and download the music ( and buy a few copies left!).

Arden : Conceal (SCD001)

Arden is the new band of Mitchell Akiyama, aMute and sogar. For friends of Colleen, Fennesz and Keith Fullerton Whitman.
Arden is a Belgian-Canadian-French six-piece band that unites the forward-thinking micro-forces of Mitchell Akiyama, aMute, sogar, Jeuc Dietrich, Christophe Bailleau, and Sébastien Roux. Their debut, "Conceal", was conceived across a three day production bender at an old house nestled in beautiful Belgian country. The album's style marries a minimal-electronic approach with post-rock sensibilities from each artist's sonic palette to birth an entirely unique provisational sound. "Conceal" is a delightful production piece with unlimited moments of candid melodic beauty that spring into dynamically intense yet masterfully contained emotive exaltations.

“There is poetry in every bend of this amazing album” – Mouvement
“An album that makes us dream on the liner sheet but most of all with its music” – Liability Webzine
“De subtiles et superbes mélodies surgissent d’un canevas electronique minimal, au sein de plages flottantes flairant bon l’improvisation inspirée. Les huit morceaux composant « Conceal » s’offrent encore et encore à l’oreille, s’exposant differents à chaque écoute, comme un endroit auquel on revient sans cesse, mais que l’on redécouvre à chaque fois d’un oeil et d’une sensibilité renouvelés. » - Indie Pop Rock . Net

Off The Sky : It is impossible to say what I mean (SCD002)

Second release from the Stilll Label with a clear electronica tedency !
Off The Sky "It is impossible to say just what I mean", a line in T.S. Eliot' s poem "The love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", fits apropos as title-to-idea for the artists on-going struggle to transcend innate social limitations. And in the process of completing this album, Off The Sky (Kentucky based Jason Corder) successfully crossed many boundaries through working with countless musicians to form a diverse sound. "It is impossible to say just what I mean" deftly fuses atmospheric-electronic sensation with heart-felt, post-rock melodies that exists truly as a work of poetry in motion.

Vraiment, on est très vite sous le charme de sa musique, dès les premières secondes où se mêlent voix, bruits, notes de guitares traitées, combinées à toutes sortes de textures et grésillements numériques... Off The Sky et ses amis (10 musiciens présents sur l’album) dévoilent des paysages soniques régulièrement mélodiques (riff de guitare, glockenspiel,
voix, piano etc.), tout plein d’ampleur. Leur musique se rapproche parfois d’un post-rock romantique voire (Elliot Goodbye, Denouement, avec sa batterie et sa belle trompette) ou évoque directement l’oeuvre de Matt Elliott (le duo de voix de Faint, Wishful Thinking). Vraiment, un beau disque au coeur chaud, pas plus orienté laptop que post-rock ou
ambiant. – Autres Directions

Favorite album of the Month – La Médiathèque February 2007

Various Artists : Stilllysm (SCD003)

The Brussels-based label's first compilation, Stilllysm, confirms a commitment to best in organic electronic post-pop music with melancholic tinge. 
The comp includes music from established artists such as Mitchell Akiyama, Aoki Takamasa, aMute, Ghislain Poirier, Peter Principle, Off The Sky, Benjamin Lew... as well as newer names, including the post-jazz duo Tangtype, the sonic destructured post-rock of Mikale De Graff, the extremely talanted and catchy Holiday for Strings (who will soon release their official debut album as a co-production between Stilll and Intr-Version) and many other excellent surprises such as Immune and Nox, both future releases from Stilll.
Sometimes melodic and dynamic, other times vast, contemplative and ambient, Stilllysm is a cohesive and powerful record that will listeners in anticipation of the great things to come from this new label. 

Immune : Sound Inside (SCD004)

It’s always easy to compare a band to another but in this case even if we can feel a lot of influent bands, we can’t easily describe the grace and beauty that touch Immune’s wonderful official debut "Sound Inside". Magnificent guitars, piano melodies, smooth electronics, strings and drums are melted in a thrilling imaginary score for a sad but hopeful
world. Some references that are usually mentioned are Mark Hollis, Sigur Ros, Hood, Arab Strap or Elbow. 
Immune defines a thin line between post-rock and sad post-electronic with its own delicate wave of tenderness that will push you to remind all the souvenirs of your childhood or the smell of winter falling leave in lonesome woods.

Il n’est pas question ici, vous l’aurez compris, d’un disque facile. La musique d’Immune ne se laisse approcher qu’après moultes tractations et négociations, en jurant notamment de revenir à une écoute bien moins directe et spontanée que l’impose l’ensemble de la production musicale actuelle. Toutes proportions gardées, Immune est à la pop ce que Ligeti est à la musique classique, le côté obscur, la face nord, la plus inaccessible, mais à l’arrivée, la plus belle. Les lignes mélodiques y sont suggérées, les répétitions de phrases tristes imprègnent l’auditeur d’une moiteur étrangement maternelle. Sensation sûrement due au choix d’instrumentations essentiellement organiques, appuyées par des boucles électro savamment dosées, notamment le piano, omniprésent mais pas envahissant - ce paradoxe à lui seul suffit à souligner l’extrême finesse de cette musique. Même si la basse aurait mérité d’être un peu plus en avant, la production de ce disque semble avoir pour mot d’ordre l’épure. Et de nos jours, l’équation "musique = épure" relève de la gageure, et rien que pour ce choix courageux il convient de féliciter Immune.
Enfin, il y a cette voix, celle de Gary Soubrier, incroyablement douce, ronde, chaude et friable. Les amateurs d’Elbow savent de quoi il en retourne. Cette voix est le pendant rassurant de cette musique transcutanée, cette musique qui ne se contente pas de se laisser écouter mais qui envahit l’auditeur et le pénètre par tous ses pores, lui mettant tous les sens en éveil. Immune est actuellement en cours d’enregistrement, inutile de préciser que l’attente devient pénible. From

Holiday For Strings : CD (SCD005)

HFS first full-length release was titled CD and came out in 2006 on Stilll. It's a post rocking, groove based album that earned them an opening slot on the 2007 European tour with Peter, Bjorn and John. The album was described by the music magazine Wire as "an unholy alliance between The Monochrome Set and the B52's."
A slow growing autumn glower, subtle, mystic, warm and melodic.
"CD" is the ace debut by Swedish band Holiday For Strings. Think the mad guitars of a clean Sonic Youth mixed with the groove and unlimited beats of an alternative Lee Perry or Animal Collective. Holiday for Strings is throwing infinite melodies, humour, tensions and relief. It's a slow grower. Catchy without being hip, HFS proves through their rhythms,
guitars, vocals that groove has its place among alternative post-pop, that funky tunes and beats can be perfectly connected to everlasting guitar riffs. Purely and simply outstanding… Mastered by Harris Newman (Constellation) and designed by Hans Seeger (Pulseprogramming, Tortoise,…).

"The Swedish connection appears in the form of the fabulously named Holiday for Strings from Stockholm, whose deeply groovy “I got Two Hands” sounds like an unholy alliance between The Monochrome Set and the B52’s" – THE WIRE
"Holiday For Strings filter their pop songs through a prism. They allow their structure to break apart, like the light on the album cover, and the tones radiate symmetrically in different directions. Piercing, ethereal and crashing guitar sounds
are interlaced with precision and muted words are cradled by a static groove or tranquil slams. The debut album is beautifully searching, slightly desolate and comforting at the same time."- Favorite of the week in DAGENS NYHETER (SE)

Vedette : Vedette (SCD006)

The idea behind Vedette's madness could be summarized as a mix between minimal Hip-Hop ala Anticon and a cellar full of toys !
The Vedette duo are Manuel Stagars and Neil Carlill, two transplanted Europeans now residing on opposite edges of America, and this is their debut on Stilll Records. These are disturbed collages of dirty experimental hip-hop (à la Clouddead), illuminated like stained glass by vividly poetic lyrical rays. Their auspiciously combined talents have created something belonging to a world all its own. Here the tandem takes root in the muddy earth of neodeconstructed pop, where Xiu Xiu serenely intertwines with Captain Beefheart. Composer and vocalist Neil Carlill was a founding member of Delicatessen, who recorded three albums on the UK's Vanguard mid-'90s alternative/experimental music scene. Manuel Stagars is a composer, artist and producer. He has recorded many experimental/ambient albums and has a fetish for cassette tapes, samples, flute whistles, ukuleles, the para-military and Dadaist looseleaf concrete. Combined to produce music from a concrete future. The past is sleeping around right now and being reconstructed by Vedette.

Vedette is probably one the best and most original record of this year. – RIFF RAFF

Baja : Maps/Systemalheur (SCD007)

Do not try to classify this release. It is impossible. So many boundaries are crossed through this album, so many genres and emotions... Glitch, electronica, jazz ? You may think of The Books in its approach of freedom.  
BAJA is a loose collective around composer and sound artist DANIEL VUJANIC. It is also a three piece live band. The debut cd "Maps/Systemalheur" consists of the 40 minutes long "Maps": oscillating between progfolk-postrock, jazz, minimal music and haunting electroacoustics and the compact, percussive and theme based "Systemalheur": turning analog and digital sounds into cut-up pop and almost symmetrical, edgy rhythms for 30 minutes. BAJA music has been compared to quite a lot of very diverse artists and genres: composers and musicians like BRIAN ENO, TERRY RILEY or JOHN FAHEY have
been mentioned, also experimental rock acts like THIS HEAT, HARMONIA, SONIC YOUTH,and TORTOISE. It's not easy to pin down the vivid instrumentalism. Even indiepop electronica acts like PSAPP and THE BOOKS have found their way into comparisons while the jazzrock enthusiasts rather drew charming analogies to 70ies fusion works like "larks´ tongues in aspic" or "bitches brew".

Maps / Systemalheur is a record which will appeal to both free-jazz enthusiasts and fans of minimalist electronics. The production is great, and the musicianship manages to work well in the cut-and-paste way that Baja works. – Drowned in Sound
"...clever und von schlichter schönheit." INTRO 05/2006
Baja is a work that’s somehow entirely friendly and sincerely detached all at once. It’s pretty, twisting, and curiously impalpable, like a ball of feathers. (And, pssst, it’s only a debut). If the indie rock just isn’t getting it done for you anymore, Baja’s enveloping, intangible compositions may be just the guide you need to more engaging musical territory - Tiny Mixtapes
"It's not that Maps/Systemalheur resists being brainy. It's just that the intellectualism at work in Baja's music is located in the listening, detected in the way it emotes intelligently rather than intelligently references emotion. By making process and reward one in the same, mirroring the obstinacy and arbitrary nature of human emotions, Vujanic is using electronic music in a way that makes it less a statement about media or a contemporary discussion about subverting conventional songwriting than a tool of matter-of-factness; Vujanic is a Apollonian fully aware of the necessity of his Dionesian counterpart, returning us to a more fundamental discussion about how words may never encapsulate what it is we want to say, or how music makes us feel." From

Babils : The Joint Between (SCD008)

Psychedelia out of Belgium. That's how you could try to describe this work of art. Think about the good old Kraut years and the tension of bands such as Acid Mothers Temple, Gong and Can. 
This is Brussels based quintet Babils' first official album, "The Joint Between", and it could be compared to elephants running in a chaotic urban landscape. It’s a massive hour of psychedelic influences and disturbed layers of ufo guitars, dreamy bass lines, distorted trumpets and repeated drums. Some addicted audience to the Belgian scene will recognize the Babils founder and multi-instrumentist Gabriel Severin (aka Silksaw who has released many projects on notorious labels such as Sub Rosa and Ant-Zen). Some others will simply fall, head first, into these dynamic and unforgettable rivers of steady melodies. "The Joint Between" is heavy and dense, loud and hypnotic.
Babils has the following members: Michel Duyck(ufo guitars), Etienne Vernaeve (drums, little objects), Patrick Bellefroid (bass, guitar), Lukas Vangheluwe (trumpet, percussions), Gabriel Séverin (voices, keyboards and other stuff).

This CD would be the perfect soundtrack for a descent into the Underworld – Cyclic Defrost
Voor velen zal ‘The Joint Between’ volledig uitzitten een even zware opdracht zijn als met een leger olifanten over de Alpen trekken, maar de Hannibals die de trip aandurven, zullen het zich zeker niet beklagen. Babils duwt de luisteraar bij momenten dan wel freejazz-onzin en pretentieus geneuzel door de strot, maar op hun beste momenten is hun psychedelische draaikolk van eclectische fusionwaanzin roesopwekkender dan een dagje coffeeshopping over de grens met onze noorderburen. Voor de durvers! – DIGG
Babils is de eerste Belgische band op het Brusselse label Stilll en ze trappen de deur meteen stevig in met een dreunende sound die weinig aan de verbeelding overlaat. "Een obsessieve baslijn, een groove of een riffje bieden een houvast aan de luisteraar en vormen de basis waarop het geweld in de bovenbouw kan losbarsten.
– Kwadraatuur
"Interestingly one of the more astounding tracks is “Coca hygienique”, even though it has a more gentle approach and contrasts the complex drums with an interesting guitarsound that is a mix between surfpunk and Henry Cow. (I have no idea if the title refers to the cleaning capabilities of drugs or to the urban legend that you can prevent pregnancies by washing the vagina with coke the softdrink after sex – don’t trust it, by the way, it doesn’t work…) An interesting release also for the direction still is taking as a label, where I was getting used to gentle and composed electronica and electronic pop, so this thunderstorm of noise and power improvisation really makes for an interesting surprise." From

One track, Dents de Sagesse, is available on the Wire Tapper 18 – October 2007-08-28

A Perfect Friend : APF (SCD009)

This is the debut self-titled release from Sweden's A Perfect Friend on the Stilll label. Members CJ Larsgårdenand Thomas Denver Jonsson's music could be ranked among the quieter moments of Sigur Rós, the icy electronics of Radiohead and the lyricsm of Johann Johannsson. It is more a story to live on its own than a family album, with its very own ways of seducing and choking our hearts. Their homespun mix of electronica, indie, post-rock and folk is a secret ready to be revealed. The album was recorded early summer 2006, partly inside the studio, partly outside on numerous field recording excursions, and the result is eight songs, from psychedelic folk tunes to deep suggestive electronica -- a 45-minute indietronic experience. Sweet pop melodies, purring cats, quacking ducks, glockenspiel and fingerpicked guitar stream through warm layers of organic and electronic sounds.  A Perfect Friend is a full introspection into dream lights and slowcore shadows. A Perfect Friend: Thomas Denver Jonsson (glockenspiel, silvertone organ, accordion, electric and acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica, field recordings, handclaps, vocals) and CJ Larsgården (synths, field recordings, various electronics, loops, beats and samples, electric and acoustic guitar, whistle, handclaps, vocals, production and engineering).

"[APF] do a great job of crafting a very organic album out of mostly sounds created from electronic knickknacks. It stutters and clicks and crackles, but is always counteracted with warm touches of acoustic guitar, accordion, organ or something else with a very autumnal tone". - (US)
"[APF] is indeed exactly; A Perfect Friend /.../ Melodica-drone made in heaven"
- De:Bug #114 July 07 (DE)
"fantastic" - Sound Lab, ABC Radio (AU)
"a promising first effort" -All Music Guide (US)
"El resultade, un disco magico /.../ Casi perfecto" ("The result, a magic cd /.../ almost perfect") - Suburban Lab (ES)
**** 4/5, "Like two perfectly boiled eggs" - NWT (S)
Brilliant song writting by Swedish duo A Perfect Friend. A masterpiece melting glitch, electronic, guitars and folk. 
"APF do a great job of crafting a very organic album out of mostly sounds created from electronic knickknacks. It stutters and clicks and crackles, but is always counteracted with warm touches of acoustic guitar, accordion, organ or something else with a very autumnal tone" From

De Portables : Top Less is More (SCD011) - Vegetarian Bbq (SCD013) - Haut Gay (SCD010)

 Topless Is More aka T.I.M. is the fifth full-length album by Belgium's legendary De Portables, yet it's their debut full-length release for Stilll. It was recorded over a period of almost five years in three different locations. De Portables celebrated their 10th birthday in 2006 with a big sold out concert in the Ghent Vooruit (one of Belgium's finest venues). With amazing past records like Rosegarden and Girls Beware, De Portables have erased the imaginary line between post-rock, humor, pop and electronics. Their concerts have won the reputation of being unforgettable and blasting. The band has arrived at a point of creation where everything is possible; every style can be touched; every note can be held for hours. T.I.M. is an album of mysterious plots and strange twists and turns that leave you with one question at the end: "Who did it? And with what?" T.I.M. is an album filled with songs and stories, social criticism and bad jokes, hits and misses. T.I.M. is an album of familiar surprises telling stories about a drummer lost in the woods, frustrated lovers-to-be on a vegetarian barbecue, malfunctioning doorbells giving electric shocks, a strange Indian intruder, friendly cows in the zoo and random thoughts and philosophies on the nature of songs and making music in today's world. T.I.M. is probably one of the most prodigious albums of the year -- a tempered post-pop/rock storm fuelled with funky beats, unlimited waves of synths, guitars, drums, vocals and twists. It's a hit.

‘Het Gentse antwoord op Sonic Youth’ in HUMO
“Het mogen dan wel de beeste postrockers in België zijn! Op dit ep krijk je naast een 17 minuten lange van ‘Vegetarian Barbecue’-
misschien wel het strafste nummer van ‘Topless is More’ !”
“ L’an passé, de Portables avait sorti l’extraordinaire “Topless is More”, et le EP qui vient de sortir est centré sur un des titres lesplus forts de l’album.
Une version de 17 minutes, insiste sur le côté dansant et en fait un morceau de bravoure des plus grandioses! De Portables bourre son maxi au maximum, nous réservant moult bonnes surprises!
Du caviar à la louche!!!”                         

Costa Music : Lighter Subjects (SCD012)

Incredible first solo release by Joseph Costa (L'Altra), pure and beautiful electro sad pop filled with piano, guitars and intense vocals.  Costa Music is the brainchild of musician Joseph Costa. Joesph was once a member of L’Altra has come out on his own for his solo debut. “Lighter Subjects” sees a mix of electronic, folk and chamber pop elements all fused together. Costa also brought in a number of talented people to help out as well including Telefon Tel Aviv’s Josh Eustis to mix the record and including cellist Fred lonber-Hol and Kevin Duneman from The Race. 

The record on a whole has a really tender record with delicate instrumentation that can be likened to a M83 or even a The Notwist. The album starts of with “As I Go Between” gets you sucked in with its xylophone like sound and and the patting drum beat. The thing that I like about the song is how well the vocals just seem to wove together. “Feathers” could potentially become a stable in my late night listening. The song has this sense of with Costa’s dull set tones combined with that distant horns and the light trickle of a beat make this one great chill out piece. “Sounds Like A Sigh” starts off with a broken beat and some gorgeous tones are into the background in this beautiful good/evil battle. “Lack of Light” begins with this beautiful orchestra movement. Then the sad chords of the piano and crash into the vocals. Then at about two minutes in when things sound like they are going south in one of the most beautiful moments on record this year this tranquil moment just completely overtook me. “Southern States” closes off the album with this weird slightly country twang. The guitar riffs and the crashing drums and it just ends suddenly and I just simply want more.
“Lighter Subjects” gives you just enough and never overstays its welcome. The nine tracks are a perfect taster for this blend of electronic and folk elements. The arrangements are incredible complex at times. From ComfortComes.

some online reviews :

aMute : Infernal Heights for a Drama - SCD014 SLP001

For more than 5 years now, Belgium-based Jérôme Deuson has produced post-folk/electronic music as his solo act, aMute. He has released two albums on the Canadian label intr_version and toured most of the European countries, Canada and the USA. Since 2008, the project turned into a brand new band of four people, now including Samuel Volan (bass), Thomas Venegoni (guitars, keys) and Stéphane Fedele (drums). This is their first release as such. Infernal Heights For A Drama is an album full of introspective songs, psychedelic approaches, yet accessible compositions. Their music draws a thin line between indie-rock, post-folk and electronic, yet none of these genres can exactly apply to the rich array of artistry heard here: loud, roaring, dark electronics, swathes of guitar wash, and echoing, disembodied vocals. Using a wide diversity of sounds and instruments, aMute is now ready for a fuller, fresher start. Featuring guest musicians such as Robert Toher (Apse), Joseph Costa (L'Altra), Mitchell Akiyama (Désormais), Bryce Kushnier (Do Make Say ThinkVitaminsforyou), and Jean-Paul Dessy(Musiques Nouvelles).

Infernal Heights... is certainly ambitious in its scope and the amount of musical ground it attempts to cover, and that ambition is not left unfulfilled. There are elements of post-rock, prog, jazz, glitch, electro, folk and even classical influences at work. This willingness to experiment will certainly not be to the tastes of all, but it does not render the music inaccessible. To the contrary, beneath its weighty surface, is a warmth and a sense of purpose, and even though, after the album has finished, you feel as if you’ve just returned from working undercover in a hostile land, you miss it, and want to go back. - Steve Gislam for Tiny Tapes. 

The Guilty Brothers Experience : TGBE ! (SCD015) 

TGBE ! is the first record from The Guilty Brothers Experience, probably one of the best Belgian rock band of the moment. With their ability to synthetize decades of musical genres in one epic opus, the Brothers have managed to enhance their powerful live shows in a damn fresh and wide album.
Going in the shallow waters of pure heavy rock to the sweetest sides of post-punk influences, the band delivers a complex and tremendous music. Psych rock and a few shoegaze highlights also help the 12 tracks to get its places among names like Led Zeppelin, The Mars Volta or Faith No More.  Months and months of studio aside from people like Rudy Coclet (Arno, Sharko, Mud Flow...), Jeuc Dietrich (aMute, Dietrich…), Manu Hermia (Slang, Mamady Keita... ) and many other guests have given birth to one of the most epic rock album a Belgian band has ever delivered. 

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