Essential – Soulwax

Belgian rock/electronic band Soulwax is the long-running project of brothers Stephen and David Dewaele. Along with bassist Stefaan Van Leuven and drummer Piet Dierickx, the group formed in the city of Ghent and released their debut album, Leave the Story Untold, in 1996. Much Against Everyone’s Advice followed in 1998, after which the Dewaele brothers began shifting their focus to their remix project 2manydjs. Loosely operating under the Soulwax umbrella, they began creating clever mash-ups that they featured on their own internet station, Radio Soulwax. Their 2002 release, As Heard on Radio Soulwax, Pt. 2, became an influential cult hit. The Dewaeles would continue to maintain both projects throughout the rest of the decade, releasing more straightforward Soulwax albums like 2004’s Any Minute Now, as well as remixes of their own music and DJ mixes like 2006’s This Is Radio Soulwax. By the early 2010s, the Soulwax name was operating even more as a sort of umbrella brand for the Dewaele’s 2manydjs remix efforts, and they stayed busy working with artists like LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, MGMT, and many others. In 2016, they re-teamed with director Felix Van Groeningen, for whom they had previously scored the soundtrack for 2004’s Steve + Sky. The new film was called Belgica and for the soundtrack, Soulwax ambitiously created 16 different fictitious bands, each with their own single relating to the film. In 2017, the group released their eighth long player, the percussion-heavy From Deewee. The album was recorded in one take with Igor Cavalera (formerly of metal act Sepultura), Victoria Smith (formerly of Ipso Facto), and Turbowolf drummer Blake Davies on percussion. They also adopted the one-take recording session idea for its follow-up, Essential, which arrived the following year. ~ Timothy Monger

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