Berlin Investigations 3: Soulwax/2manydjs

Two acts, but only one set of twins? What is this Belgian madness! Regardless, both seem to be highly acclaimed by all and sundry, and I’ve heard great reports from a 2manydjs set at Glastonbury. Since they are both playing Berlin this year, I think it is high time to look into these two. Go!

Right, Soulwax. This seems to be the original/main alias for the brothers Dewaele (David and Stephen), and live, they perform as a band (with two other guys). A band dressed entirely in white, it would seem. They’ve also done buggerloads of remixes for everyone everywhere, including LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz and Daft Punk. These remixes were collected on a cd called:

Hefty, and self-explanatory. Anyway, aside from making electro remixes, Soulwax also produce their own brand of danceable electro-rock, which they sometimes then remix themselves, as on their ‘Night Versions’ album. This is what I expect to be hearing when we see them at the festival; long, funky, ‘banging’ electro-rock songs, to which there will no doubt be much dancing and general excitement. For example, the track ‘Krack’ (ooh, inadvertent rhyme!) is full of good old fuzzy-distorted electro-synth, a most funky bassline and some brilliantly rhythmic drums, and features a ‘breakdown’ section, which then builds up layer by layer to a big drop. Likewise ‘I Love Techno’, ‘E-Talking’, ‘Miserable Girl’, and pretty much the whole of the ‘Nite Versions album. Soulwax material seems to be repetitive, samey and formulaic. And its awesome! Because it’s a damn good formula, that surely can’t fail to make people lose themselves to movement and music in an old airport in Berlin. Soulwax ought to be a highlight; I can’t wait!

2manydjs meanwhile, are the Soulwax brothers in DJ mash-up mode. They, it would appear, like to splice songs of all shapes and sizes into one thoroughly danceable whole. And, according to youtube, they have some entertainingly animated album covers as their visuals. It seems like fun to me; Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin, Breeders, Kraftwerk… Everything is mixed up into a big ball of tunes, quickly moving from one to another, hundreds of hooks, all with a danceable beat and bass. I’ve heard good words from all over the internet, and youtube videos seem to prove their point. I am now also very excited to be seeing 2manydjs, and the idea that their show will come after seeing LCD Soundsystem, Fever Ray and Caribou, and with Fatboy Slim and Erol Alkan still to go, seems like an unrealistic level of overload. This festival might very well be brilliant…

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