"…Het dorpje in de Kempen, tussen dennen, bos en hei. Met z'n stille, goede mensen en z'n bloemen in de wei. Met z'n oude kerketoren en z'n sprookjes rond de haard, gij, m'n dorpje in de Kempen hebt m'n liefde goed bewaard. Gij, m'n dorpje in de Kempen hebt m'n liefde goed bewaard (…The village in the Campine, surrounded by pine trees, forest and heath. With its silentious, good people and its flowers in the meadow. With its old church spire and its fairytales round the fire, you, my little village in the Campine, have preserved my sentiments so well. You, my little village in the Campine, have preserved my sentiments so well.)."
Campina Reggae, a project started by bass player Steven Vangool (Wawadadakwa, Belgian Afrobeat Association, Klezmic Noiz...) and featuring Jan Bellemans (vocals, guitar), Jeroen Van Esbroeck (keyboard), Percy Jones (drums) and, of course, Zulema Hechavarria Blanco (flute), is one big ode to his native region the Campine. On their debut album 'Vet En Verstaanbaar' ("phat and understandable"), no big reggae clichés like ganja or Rastafari, but lots of references to the Campine roots of bandleader Vangool. Campina is both the old name for the region in the northeast of the province of Antwerp and the name of a local former brewery in the town of Dessel, birthplace of Steven. Campine son Louis Neefs, who passed away at a young age, also holds a prominent place on the album: 'Iet Nief' ("something new") contains a sample from his 'Als Ik Ooit Eens Vijf Minuten Tijd Heb' ("if I ever get the time") and 'Louis' is a tribute to the man himself. Musically it is Zulema Hechavarria's flute, a somewhat atypical sound in reggae (although reggae icon Bob Marley also played the instrument) that lifts the whole album to another level. Vangool is not the world's greatest vocalist - not that he pretends to be - but he overcomes this shortcoming by singing his often humorous lyrics in a lingo that holds the middle between Campine and Antwerp dialect. Somewhere in the middle of the album, Vangool sings: "Doe je ding…" ("do your own thing") and we'd like to encourage him to continue to do exactly that!