Social Harmony

Ghent based Dieter Durinck talks in this interview about a 1990s hiphop mixtape, a low budget diy store in the Ghent neighbourhood De Brugse Poort, moroccan tapes and 1980s new age. Those words actually form a pretty accurate description for his trans-medial publishers outlet Social Harmony.
06 December 2017 | AG 10.1
Joeri Bruyninckx

The name Social Harmony seems to refer to new age and the like, but in reality there is nothing new agey to it. Is the name cynical? Or is there a meaning that I didn’t grasp?

dieter durinck

Social Harmony’s name totally sounds like a new age cassette label from the 1980s. That’s why I like it so much, but it’s not cynical. The style, just like the design, vibe and feel of both new age and moroccan tapes, inspired me a lot in what I do. I find it very heavy that we released 3 new age mixtapes ourselves.

JB

Some of the releases are very conceptual — jokes almost, like the loop release of Gerard Herman, or de ‘Vangelis vs. Tangerine Dream’ tape of the Peer Group. Does a good concept equal a good record? Can a good joke be a good record?

DD

These releases aren’t meant as jokes, I think, although sometimes the titles are funny. Like DJ Anti Crisis, which comes from a low budget diy shop in De Brugse Poort.

JB

Most Social Harmony releases seem to be one offs, except for the releases of Gerard, Spencer and Lucky Dragons. Sometimes I think that there’s only one person behind all of them: you, each time with another moniker.

DD

No, no… Most of the releases are by other artists, using other names. Like Michel Gentil, who played with Sylvester Anfang, RP GM KRC is Ssaliva and Dynooo, and Scorpio Love Child is Nosedrip. The Lucky Dragons and Monopoly Child Star Searchers are live recordings I have found on Soundcloud, and that apparently were never released as a tape.  

JB

Social Harmony came into existence 3 years ago, what was the reason for starting a label?

DD

It was never my intention to start a ‘label’, and I still don’t see it as a label. It’s just a name, to organize stuff under or to release things. It started in 2012 when I organized concerts in NEST at the old hotel Court Saint Georges in Ghent. Later we published a few books and only then we started to release tapes. More recently, Social Harmony acts as an exhibition space as well.

JB

You have studied graphic design?

DD

I studied painting, and that is what I still do the most.

JB

Is there a link between your work as a painter, and Social Harmony.

DD

I see Social Harmony as a way to release stuff, apart from the painting. And to experiment with printing techniques, other than in my own work.

JB

The graphic design is very remarkable. It attracts, but is repulsive at the same time, in a fascinating way. Is that your intention?

DD

No, not really. I just want to make something that fits in with the release.

Floris Hoorelbeke Book presentation poster by Social Harmony
JB

What are your plans with Social Harmony for the rest of 2017?

DD

There is the Electronic Gamelan Music tape by David Edren and a re-issue of a hiphop mixtape from the 1990s, called Hooded II. And maybe some bootlegs.