David and Stephen Dewaele are probably more famous for being 2 Many DJs. Which is actually a shame, as we loved their band Soulwax. As ever, this is another inventive and unique project. This release is a soundtrack to the Belgica movie, which Soulwax have composed, recorded and produced. It contains a variety of musicians and all the tracks are attributed to a different band.
The album opens up with the low key, but soulful, “The Best Thing”. Then things really kick off with the brilliant, indie/dance rock of “How Long” by The Shitz (nice name!). Along with tracks like “White Virgins” and the country folk stomp of “Roland McBeth”, these songs could actually sit comfortably on an actual Soulwax album.
There is also plenty on here to satisfy their fans from the dance music genre. “Rubber Band” and “Diploma” are the kind of funky dance anthems that would get their DJ sets really going. That dance sound gets a bit more ‘hard core’ and pure electronic on “Erasmus”. However, things take a more chilled out feel, on the sun blissed sound of “Light Bulb Matrix” and “Aquazil”.
As always though, the band are happy to throw a few surprises in to the mix. “Burning Phlegm” is a great, pure punk song, replacing subtlety with energy. That punk sensibility is kept going on “They Live” which is like Iggy Pop recording a rockabilly track. The Shitz then return for a garage indie/pop track with a great sixties feel. Whilst “Robert Vanderwiel” is like one of Soulwax’s great, soulful, indie ballads.
We really did not know what to expect with this album, which we expect is exactly what the Dewaele’s wanted. We’ve never actually been a big fan of soundtracks, especially when we haven’t even seen the film, but this is fantastic. It’s a truly eclectic mix of styles, sounds and it’s quite right that the songs are credited to different bands. The end result is an album which is fascinating and totally absorbing but without being pretentious. It certainly achieves the objective of a soundtrack in making us really keen to see the film. Now, we can only hope that that the next creative output we see from Soulwax is a genuine Soulwax album, that would be a real treat!