In these days of anything goes, sometimes the Luddite approach pays off after all...
Why know your limitations when no-one else sticks to theirs? In a world where Marky Mark acts and Posh presents, nobody does just one thing any more. As both DJs and band, [a]Soulwax[/a] are a sign of those times.
Not that you’d know it from their British debut album. Inhabiting 21st-century Belgium rather than medieval Italy, brothers David and Stephen Dewaele are not obvious renaissance men. Because, apart from sporadic breakbeats and loops on the crunching sub-Chemicals ‘Too Many DJ’s’, there’s little evidence of their night job in Ghent’s clubs. Which makes the comparisons to Beck and The Beta Band they’ve been collecting rather baffling.
Instead their genre abrasion is gentle – infusing their basic indie-guitar moves with a touch of the blues, some sweetly odd time signatures and the inevitable whiff of The Beatles. But that shouldn’t detract from their easy quality. They might not exhibit anything new, but ‘More Than This’ is reflective mock psychedelia, ‘When Logics Die’ theatrical melancholy like Travis waltzing in the wreckage of a dead love affair, and the title track makes The Wannadies‘ trick of crunching riffs into pristine pop its own.
Small steps maybe, but perhaps steadfastly refusing to mix their two worlds was right. In these days of anything goes, sometimes the Luddite approach pays off after all.