References: R&S Records, Global Cuts, Liaisons Dangereuses
Born in May 1968, that truly remarkable month that was the apotheosis of the '60's when French students almost succeeded in toppling over an atrophied and authoritarian government, Van Hees cannot help but being a revolutionary and an innovator. But hey, this rebel comes in the guise of an emotive latin lover, flashing a seductive smile.
Starting out at the tender age of 15 when he hosted a jazz funk radio show for a local Antwerp station, Van Hees followed up with the popular Liaisons Dangereuses radio show, which ran for ten years. On the strength of this outlet, he was invited to record for local labels like USA Import, Wonka and Atom/Elektron. When the track 'Oempa Loempa' by Aquastep (on Wonka Records) turned into one of Western-Europe's most popular club anthems of 1992, Belgian top-label R&S invited Van Hees to record for them. 'Piano Power' by Remy & Sven (a collaboration with Dutch DJ Remy Unger) kickstarted R&S subsidiary Global Custs and has achieved classic status.
Signing to Arcade/Trust Foundation in Holland in 1996, Van Hees released his debut album, "Svengali", that same year. It proved to be a multifarious affair of club grooves and lounge moods, highly original and quietly advanced. Two singles, 'Freakysthan' and 'Neighbours', both highly sought-after (but hard-to-find due to Trust folding upon the release of the latter track), attested to Van Hees' unique perception of dance culture.
Summer. Sunshine. Balmy weather. Mellow moments. Quiet beauty. Lazy afternoons. Breezy sunsets. Sultry nights. The good life - Welcome to the lounge experience as soundtracked by Sven Van Hees. Antwerp-based producer and DJ Sven Van Hees is a true original. When he released his "Gemini" album in the late Summer of 1999, the burgeoning lounge scene could very well use a central focal point to help the nascent style crossover to its potential audience. And "Gemini" did exactly that. It thrilled its many buyers worldwide and woke the media up to the simple fact that there's life after clubbing. "Gemini" put lounge music on the map, and its various tracks were licensed to an unprecedented 100+ compilations, thus helping to spread its unassuming message to an audience that was stunned to find its dreams and desires reflected in the unlikeliest of releases.
"Calypso" is third album is the work of a subdued master. It's totally true to his nature and, although the album acknowledges '70s fusion icons like Quincy Jones and Lonnie Liston Smith, it creates a world completely its own - a singular dreamscape for all of us to wallow around in. Centered around the groove, "Calypso"'s eleven tracks take up the Sven Van Hees story were "Gemini" left it, creating a much-needed private space of leisure and introspection, of inner peace and enticing pleasure. It's like God's very own calypso band has sneaked out of heaven - for five minutes at least - and turned up in Antwerp, in Sven's sampler.
Sven Van Hees currently deejays lounge (jazz, latin, soul, brazil) and house sets and plays live with 'The Svengali Squad' (Dancefusion with jazz, funk and soul - members are Sven Van Hees - beatmaster / Johan Vandendriessche multi-instrumentalist already worked with Toots Thielemans, Wim Mertens and Marc Moulin / Paul Flush - pianist, Hammondist, Fender Rhodes-ist, from Newcastle. On Marc Moulin's "Top Secret" he plays Hammond organ /Steinhardt - guitarist / Peter Schneider - percussionist.)