No guitars, heavy drums and a synth storm: that’s FROM DEEWEE, Soulwax’s new album, following Any Minute Now and its remixed version (Nite Versions). 12 years but Dewaele’s brothers haven’t been wasting their time in the meanwhile. Following the success of Nite Versions, which became in someway more famous than its original version, the Belgian duo concentrated on their dance project 2ManyDjs with a bunch of remixes, the RadioSoulwax project and a never ending calendar of Dj Sets.
FROM DEEWEE is, unescapably, the son of 12 years concentrating on their side project. For those who were waiting for Soulwax to be back not just as another moniker for 2ManyDjs, the result is a bit unsatisfactory. In 2004 the band became famous for tracks like “Any Minute Now” and the funny video for “E Talking”, in which they analyzed every kind of drug from A to Z. In those years and in the previous experiences (Much Against Everyone’s Advice), Soulwax seemed to be influenced heavily by rock and indie rock style. Most of the people could think about them as an indie rock band with a little delight for electro.
Now the situation is completely overturned. The main sign of a change is the fact that the whole album is a long single mixed track.
But does this means the album took a bad turn? Not actually. Like in the past, the band concentrated especially on rhythm: most of the tracks are soaked with heavy drums (“It is Always Binary”, “Do You Want To Get Into Trouble?”, “The Singer Has Become a DJ”), something that we could already listen in the past (take for instance “Krack”). Moreover paying attention to DJing did not defy the willingness to produce songs and not only dance tracks (“Missing Wires”, “Masterplanned” and “My Tired Eyes”). Eventually the result is good: FROM DEEWEE is full fun.
So the question is: did Soulwax leave behind the guitars because of 12 years DJing around the world? Or is this just a sign of indie rock being in crisis?
We don’t have an answer right now, but remember that last year Soulwax produced a Movie Soundtrack (Belgica) in which their love for rock was fully shown. So the choice to avoid rock influences in FROM DEEWEE could be totally intentional. Moreover in 2017 another similar and important band is going to come back with a new album: James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem. What if they leave their guitars behind as well, giving space to a bunch of Synths and heavy drums patterns?
One thing is for sure in 2017: we’ve got something to dance for.