Soulwax - From DEEWEE

by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2017-03-24

It seems like these two Belgian brothers in Soulwax simply don’t put out enough music.  Whether it’s their muscular beats and rich layers over the years or the creativity in the mixes, I put this group right up there with Crystal Method and LCD SoundSystem as the ultimate purveyors of groove-laced electronica at its finest.

From Deewee even has some fine vocals from Stephen Dewaele this time around instead of those synthesized, processed vocals they specialized in the early 00s.  His voice falls somewhere between Cut Copy and any number of strong silky alternative front men.

What separates out From DeeWee from their earlier stuff (this is their first studio album since 2004) is the clever and heavy use of multiple drummers.  More electronica should employ drums.  Often the synths don’t have that depth the song deserves.  Soulwax knock it out of the percussive park (Check out ‘Missing Wires’ and ‘Is It always Binary’) and on this album they mix it up more than ever.  There’s an almost bluesy electronic track (‘Goodnight Transmission’) and a few tracks that industrialize their sound a bit (‘My Tired Eyes’). Regardless, the addition of drums instead of another synth layer is a master stroke on this album.  Yes, it borders on retro from back in the 80s when drums were more a part of such bands instead of the sofa-driven electronic toolsets proliferating today.

If Cut Copy and Hot Chip don’t quite have the electronic bite you might be wanting and you want something mixed with more depth and richness then Soulwax should be an essential addition to your collection. A strong effort.

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