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Alternative & Indie - Released March 24, 2017 | Play It Again Sam

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As Technicolor dream synths creep to life, so begins the journey of From Deewee, the Belgian duo's eighth set and first as Soulwax in over a decade. Recorded in just one take at Deewee -- the Dewaele brothers' studio in Ghent -- the album follows 2004's electro nu-rave effort Any Minute Now and its 2005 remixed sibling Nite Versions, yet it bears more resemblance to their 2007 one-off project, Die Verboten, which was heavily informed by Kraftwerk. Melding the pounding beats that recall early Daft Punk, Vitalic, or Infusion and the indie dance stylings of contemporaries like Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem, the combination is infectious. Percussion plays a big role here, with no less than three drummers -- Sepultura's Igor Cavalera, Jamie T.'s Victoria Smith, and Turbowolf's Blake Davies -- recruited for Deewee. Their presence grants the album a natural, organic feel that stresses rhythm and flow. When the trio lets loose, the results are thrilling, like on the pounding punk finish of "Missing Wires" or the extended jam that summons "Is It Always Binary" to life. "Trespassers" rides the cymbals on a menacing mix of rock and rave, while the persistent throb on "Masterplanned" builds until the drums kick in, creating a glorious cacophony at the end of the track that rocks as it grooves. This iteration of Soulwax is rounded out by Stefaan Van Leuven (bass/synths) and Laima Leyton (synths/backing vocals), whose programming and attention to fine detail create an entrancing atmospheric backbone. Album highlights include "Conditions of a Shared Belief," a synthesis of that Kraftwerk sound and the sparse synth pop of Depeche Mode or Goldfrapp; "Do You Want to Get in Trouble?," a propulsive throbber that sounds like Franz Ferdinand going techno; and "My Tired Eyes," another dose of synth pop à la 'Mode. With gapless transitions that make the listening session as much a throwback as their live recording single take, Deewee rarely bores and is over before the listener can acknowledge the end on "Goodnight Transmission." Fans of their early-2000s work will appreciate the live instrumentation, especially the drum work, while those who remember 2ManyDJ's' classic As Heard on Radio Soulwax, Pt. 2 mix will relish the twists and turns of this nonstop ride. From Deewee is a welcome and satisfying return from the sibling pair. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Electronic/Dance - Released June 22, 2018 | DEEWEE

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These guys truly don’t do anything like others. In 2017, when Radio 1 approached them for an Essential Mix (BBC’s historical show dedicated to DJs), the Dewaele brothers didn’t just want to dig back into their record collection for a few classics. “We decided to do what every sane human being would do, we decided to lock ourselves into our studio for two weeks and make an hour of new music based around the word 'Essential', instead of preparing a mix of already existing music.” Well, it’s hard to assess how sane they truly are, but the subversion is very much appreciated. Particularly as their emaciated dance music was starting to be dearly missed. This concept album, on which every track is titled Essential, starts with a jam of sound machines and a robotic voice repeating “Essential” over and over, followed by a minimal trip with TB-303 style bass, a wonky beat and a tiny chord straight out of a Lansay guitar. And yet, what incredible energy! The same simplicity spills over the third track, a hypnotic bass, female vocals whispering “Essential” to the beat and improvised drums, the kind of throbbing track that would have been all the rage within the nasty confines of the Pulp nightclub in the early 2000s. Also worth mentioning, Essential 5 and its idiotic chorus “namanana namanana” on top of a hard techno beat, as if the two Belgian brothers were sticking their tongue out at their colleagues who increasingly rely on sensual, mysterious vocal samples for their own raveries. The Soulwax are still poking fun at conventions, and it’s a real treat! © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz 
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Pop/Rock - Released October 1, 2012 | Play It Again Sam

Soulwax's US debut album Much Against Everyone's Advice mixes rock and electronica on songs like "Too Many DJs," "When Logics Die" and "Overweight Karate Kid." The Belgian group's mix of loops, guitars, strings and dance-inspired rhythms is fresh and appealing, and Much Against Everyone's Advice - Soulwax's third album overall - is their finest to date. ~ Heather Phares
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Pop/Rock - Released August 23, 2004 | Play It Again Sam

After spending 2000-2003 working on their Too Many DJs project (and thus co-creating the bootleg remix sound of 2002), the Belgian slacker rock act reconvened Soulwax to create this album of tight polished positivist indie rock. The true follow-up to 1999's Much Against Everyone's Advice finds brothers Stephen and David Dewaele taking on influences from Weezer to Pavement with a touch of electronica.
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Pop/Rock - Released January 17, 2005 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 27, 2005 | Play It Again Sam

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Electronic/Dance - Released April 19, 2018 | DEEWEE

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Pop/Rock - Released October 23, 1995 | Play It Again Sam

Before Belgium's Soulwax released their slick and enchanting album Much Against Everyone's Advice, they were cutting their teeth with their 1996 album Leave the Story Untold. While lacking the electronic exploration and pithy sense of humor that would later serve them well, the album displays delicious melodies, thinking person's chord changes, and the desire to expand beyond the guitar-bass-and-drums paradigm. Tracks like "Caramel" ooze with post-grunge melodrama, while others like "Reruns" show that they were tight enough (and tough enough) to have passed as a credible metal band. Forgettable lyrics give way to a band skilled at constructing a pop record rather than just a string of singles. What ultimately holds the record together is the band's captured energy: frantic guitar solos (hot but just shy of Radiohead wankiness) and a well-oiled rhythm section jump off the recording, leaving behind an aura of passion and pop music. Leave the Story Untold is a solid and ambitious beginning for a band that, luckily for listeners, was just getting warmed up. ~ Jaime Vázquez
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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 24, 2017 | Play It Again Sam

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Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

Back in the early '80s, when extended dance mixes were crossing over from the late-'70s disco scene into mainstream pop music, the idea was particularly embraced by the British dance-pop acts of the time. Among the most ardent remixers circa 1982 were Duran Duran, who always dubbed their extended remixes/re-recordings "night versions." Nearly a quarter-century later, Belgian dance-rock conceptualists Soulwax borrowed that bit of pop culture ephemera as the title of their remix project Nite Versions. Radical dance-oriented remixes and reconstructions of tracks from Soulwax's 2005 album, Any Minute Now, Nite Versions is an unabashed celebration of the sound of early-'80s dance mixes, with ironic samples ("NY Lipps" blatantly lifts Lipps Inc.'s cheesetastic masterpiece "Funkytown" for all of its main hooks) and regular use of all of the clichés of the era. This isn't just a sarcastic joke, however; both due to Soulwax's natural talents and to their obvious affection for the style they're working in, Nite Versions is a fluffy, frivolous, but utterly enjoyable listen. ~ Stewart Mason
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 9, 2017 | Play It Again Sam

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Electronic/Dance - Released May 25, 2018 | DEEWEE

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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | Play It Again Sam

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Pop/Rock - Released December 4, 1995 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2017 | Play It Again Sam

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Pop/Rock - Released August 9, 2004 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2017 | Play It Again Sam

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Pop/Rock - Released September 7, 1998 | Play It Again Sam

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Pop/Rock - Released March 29, 2004 | Play It Again Sam