Ahead of the “Welcome To Vice City” compilation release end of June, we asked Vice City members Arno Lemons, Lil Lawaw, Dj Boats & Juicy ‘The Dj’ to do a takeover on WAV with a 4-hours radio show & an interview … with themselves.
After 7 lucky years of translating paradisal philosophy to the dancefloor, they’re now releasing an 11-track strong compilation featuring a handful of previous guests and local talents from downtown, showcasing soulful tracks in various forms of house music which celebrate the 7 most exciting years of their lives. The compilation includes tracks frpm Pablo Valentino, Daniel Wang, Nick The Record, Glenn Astro, the mysterious G-machine project, Keith Lorraine and local talents Juicy “The DJ”, Coulier and My Loyal Friend.

Listen to their radio show this Friday 12.06 on WAV to discover lots of tunes from the compilation and enjoy this XL interview where you’ll find everything you need to know about Vice City. 🌴

The Vice City set-up / strategy when dj’ing. 

Lawrence: “Depends on where we’re playing. If it’s our own party, I start stressing hard about everyone arriving on time and calling Juicy and Lemons to make sure they don’t turn up late. Most of the time the mixer arrives half an hour later than agreed because Juicy isn’t the most punctual.
The first couple of tracks are mostly to test the sound and to see if we need to adjust anything, playing one track of different genres. This is almost the same when we’re playing in another city, but then I stress to make it on time to the venue . I just stress a lot basically….:)

When we do get there we also start with checking the soundsystem and the mixer. During the night, I don’t like it when it’s pure disco for an hour in a row so I step out during these times. Boats steps out when I play too much breaky stuff or electro but this all changes over time. For the moment I’ve been starting to love disco again. When we’re doing these all nighters, Boats and me look at each other and we know when we have to break it all down from 130 bpm high energy stuff to 100 bpm slow jams and sometimes build it up again (that is when we have the option to play a really really long one). Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” or Donald Fagen’s “I.G.Y.” were probably my favorite closing tracks.
Singing our own rendition of D’angelo’s “Shit, Damn, Motherfucker” is also fun but that’s mostly for ourselves.”

Pieter: “I agree, I might not always make it on time, but I’m always double checking if we got everything we need. As for the gigs abroad or in other cities; I’m kind of the driver, sound engineer and dj as well so I think I deserve some credit, haha. Personally I find it difficult to do the warming-up sometimes. I often start with observing the place for another hour and try to wait what kind of crowd we’re dealing with & see if the set-up is ok.  Needless to say the dj booth needs to be properly isolated when we play with vinyl so if this doesn’t turn out to be like that, we help ourselves with 8 toilet rolls. Just squeeze them and put one under each foot of the turntables: it works like a charm. Although I’m a rotary mixer user myself, I try not to be too picky about mixers. If there’s a Pioneer installed, I try to make the best out of it and musically incorporate the effects.”

Arno: “Concerning the set-up, our booth doesn’t look much different than any other one; 2 turntables, 2 side wheels for the kids (CDJ’s) and a mixer. The type of mixer depends on the availability and the mood. If we get Juicy convinced, he brings his Taula Rotary mixer along and sometimes a delay unit. I personally love faders, especially when they are down and you move them up! When we are feeling really Belgian, as we did at our Boiler Room session, we take out the Rodec mixer. But we play kind of every mixer there is. A big downer in the assortiment of mixers might be the one with a 4-band eq’s.. Jikes!

Anyway, it depends a bit on what “cards” we got in our hands, but there has been a basic pattern created which could define our sets, we call it the ‘PPMB principle’, as it stands for “Pumpy – Party -Moody – Banger”. It sort of defines simply the motion of our ocean, the waves of our raves, the crumble of our rumble.  Instead of staying inside one genre the whole time, we flip according to the principle of what sort of track the next one should be, as a guideline. Interpretations can be different but if you could translate this to a GPS System; you would end up in Vice City.”

Boats: “I love airhorns.”

Big stages vs smaller deejay booths. 

Pieter: “It’s not only the size of the stage that matters, the atmosphere and the crowd is also a key factor. One thing with smaller dj booths is that it’s important to give everybody the space he needs so therefore we often play short small b2b’s in duo’s.”

Arno lemons: “In a small booth we always have 1 or 2 persons standing on the dancefloor rather than 4 persons behind the wheels of steel, like that we know better how it sounds in the room too. Sometimes a booth can sound amazing but the room very soft or bad or just the other way around. So it comes in handy to have someone checking the dancefloor.
If the stage is big enough we invite more people inside to enjoy our hospitality rider. You’re not living it if you can’t share it!” 

Lawrence: “Of course you’d say that big stages are mostly shorter sets …  so we bang it out more quickly.”

Playing after Boats means …

Juicy:Taking over from Boats is just like taking over of myself actually. Our musical taste & the music we want to share matches pretty well. Although I don’t necessarily know a lot of the individual tracks he bangs out. If I had to steal somebody’s record bag after a gig, it’d surely be Boats’s.” 

Lawrence: “Boats loves high energy and drunk drummers, this makes it a bit difficult to follow as you’re getting an energy dip quite easily. But I also know his records so well because I heard him play almost every day for more than a year so I know what would fit. And dips are a necessary thing when you’re playing all night.”

Arno Lemons:If you tell someone he has green fingers because he’s great at gardening then Boats has black fingers!  Everything he does behind the decks is controlled, fits to the scenery of the moment and it’s packed with emotions.
If there’s 1 person who make the needle skip the most, it’s this man (check out Boats his mix into my first track at our Boiler Room session, it wasn’t me; it was him!!) , but that’s because Lawrence mostly goes digital and Juicy is mister perfect technically. And to be honest, every now and then I also like to hear a needle skip or hear a record crash, at least then you know it’s real. We are mixing it live, no sync play or recorded situations, because our crowd always deserves better than that in my opinion!” 

Taking over from Juicy is like …. 

Lawrence: “I honestly like playing after Juicy because it’s easiest. Lemons likes the curveballs a bit too much sometimes and gives you unmixable tracks with a grin on his face.  Boats just loves drunken drummers so that makes it harder as well but it’s a fun challenge!”

Boats: “Banging, just banging.”

Lemons:  “Precise, exact and perfect. Juicy always breathes in your neck until his vinyl is off the turntable, but it’s always a track where the beat is clear and solid. It’s rare to play after Juicy, now I think of it …. I wonder why that is.

What about Lil Lawaw …

Boats:I like to play before him so i can make him sweat with a difficult beat.”

Juicy:Lawrence tends to walk the r&b and hip-hop road a bit so it’s often a challenge for me to play something in the same style or otherwise answer it with a straightforward banger.”

Arno: “I’m sometimes slightly hard on Lawrence when he’s playing too much on his CDJ’s.“ He replies then: “It’s not on vinyl what I want to play” but I’m pretty old school when it comes to deejaying, and in my opinion: it’s never been a banger if it’s not on vinyl!
Anyway; kids nowadays don’t know the value of a record anymore… His vinyl skills took another puberty run ever since he started working at Rush Hour tho, gotta give him that one

And playing after Arno Lemons? 

Boats: “Most of the time you can go in any direction after a weird spaced out track by this crazy lemon.”

Juicy: “What Boats said … especially when it’s one of his Asian / North-African finds. 🙂 “

Lawrence: “As I said; Curveball o’clock with Mr. Lemons.

Name a favourite banger played by: 


  • Lawrence: “Vera – Take Me To The Bridge” has become a Boats classic, but I’ve gotten so tired of it by now and thankfully he’s left that out of his bag the last couple of sets, much to the dismay of some of the people in our crowd.
  • Juicy: “Unknown Artist – Beat Traxx 3 (Stilove4music 049)”
  • Lemons: Red Rack’em’s  “Wonky Bassline Disco Banger” or DJ Nori :”80s Drugs”. Nothing but bangers from the man behind the wheel baby !


  • Lawrence: “Gwen McCrae – Keep The Fire Burning”…  No actually it’s “Moskow Disco” by Telex. The Gwen McCrae thing is an inside joke
  • Boats: Lood – “Shout-n-loud” feat Donell Rush
  • Lemmes: Manzel – “It’s Over Now” (Masters at Work Remix)


  • Lemmens: DJ Deeon’s alternate mix of “Let Me See You Butterfly” is something he played a lot..
    But I don’t think he knows it’s about a butthole… other than that he has this song on his USB that’s just called “Britney Spears”; nobody actually knows what it is.
  • Boats: Law has a big love for the broken beat scene so anything by Dego and Kaidi
  • Juicy: Kyle Hall – “Full Play” (Forget the Clock).


  • Lawrence: Raphael Top-Secret’s edit of “Sekele I Like it”, this was one of the tracks I already liked before I was a part of the crew and it still brings me back to those days in Piaf when I was just getting into nightlife.
  • Boats: Midnight Star – “Operator” 
  • Juicy: Any of the Torben Jams he played; no titles, just numbered releases. That’s why I kept forgetting about ‘m but Arno has always been a German Kraut/Sample-house geek.

Most memorable dj set together 

Lawrence: If it was that memorable we might not remember too well.
Listen Festival (2019) was really fun, I got to do some harder stuff without Boats hating on it because he was drinking backstage. A shout out btw to the best backstage manager ever. Also, our all nighters in the Pekfabrik are always as much of a party for us as it is for our crowd. Because we have the freedom to fill in the whole night. New Year’s eve 2 years ago when Boats played “Take me To The Bridge” and we had people dancing all over the DJ booth was pretty memorable as well and thankfully because of the video’s everyone took.

Boats: It’s all pretty hazy, Although very short & hectic: hosting & playing our own boatparty at Dimensions Festival almost 3 years ago + the one in the fort 2 days later in a stage so small that it was probably full with just Belgian fans.. But hey, it was Dimensions Festival, right?

Arno: I’m never gonna forget our Boiler Room set. As typically as always with our organisation; it was pure and joyous chaos. The owner of the Chinese restaurant took off on honeymoon with his wife and the money which we paid him to hire the venue. So this made me the end-decider and responsible for the whole event (lol). That’s why around 50 minutes into that recording, you see me run out of the booth and suddenly everyone is staring for death towards the entrance. The police came by and I had to explain what was happening, since the owner did not notify the police of the event (when he said he did..); Hence why I’m not in screen for a while. It was surreal to explain what Boiler Room is to Belgian police officers while the clock is ticking and the restaurant is full of people sweating. (Not all cops are bad, some come by to our nights for a cola and a talk, loving our atmosphere just as much as we do.)
Surreal to live that moment of fame together with the guys ì’ve been playing with for 7 years. I repeat: if you don’t share it, you’ve never lived it ! Surreal we’re not sick of each other yet.

Vice City in 2025? 

Juicy“I hope it’s going to be more or less the same, probably with a few more broken needles, scratched records and dirty t-shirts + hopefully we’ll have done a few more international gigs by then. But first let’s see how the current situation around Covid-19 evolves and which long-term impact it’s going to have on nightlife in general.

Lawrence: “Let’s hope the whole scene survives so that we can do the same type of thing forever, hosting festival stages, throwing our own parties and doing all-nighters in other cities! I really believe the capacity limits that will be imposed on parties will bring opportunities to fresh initiatives who we could work with. Secretly I’d also like to give artists a platform to release their music on, just like what Arno’s done with the compilation but running like a normal label. Also I’ve had a TV show idea in my mind ever since Lemons’ first gig in Wilde Renate.

Lemons:A book, an independent documentary, a BelPop episode, a Netflix serie, a few more records coming out, a talk show with Lawrence, a 69 headed orchestra directed by Juicy to play Vice City Anthems, Boats’ his very own party boat, a spicy calendar, a Japanese cartoon series offered in 69 languages and perhaps Jeffrey’s Eppstein’s island (Little St. George) bought super cheap since nobody wants it anyway. (Will be made +18 directly of course, don’t worry!!) Maybe a Nobel prize for peace but I guess that’s something for 2030..

Boats : “Same as it ever was”