SOULWAX and 2 MANY DJS at the Mod Club (722 College), Monday (September 18). $20. www.ticketbreak.com Rating: NNNNN
Terrorists are making Stephen Dewaele's life hell. The 2 Many DJs DJ, musician, producer and sibling of Soulwax co-founder David Dewaele says travelling with records has become a nightmare in these suspicious times. Airlines won't let him carry on his record bag, so the precious vinyl he totes on tour often gets lost.
"Since all this terrorist bullshit happened, the real people being affected are the DJs," jokes Dewaele from his home in Ghent, Belgium, on 9/11's fifth anniversary. "My record bag has been lost so many times. Every four or five flights it goes missing. And since this whole Heathrow thing I'm even more screwed because they won't ever let me take it carryon. "
Fortunately, Dewaele won't need too many slabs for Soulwax's upcoming North American jaunt. On this tour, Soulwax will play live remixes of their 2004 album, Any Minute Now (Pias).
But here's where it gets a little confusing. They're remixing their own material, already a heavily sampled composite of pop-rock thievery, and doing covers as a live band that includes David Dewaele (guitar), Stefaan van Leuven (bass), Steve Slingeneyer (drums), Dave Martjin (guitar) and Stephen Dewaele (vocals). For example, they cover Daft Punk's classic house music homage, Teachers, but tweak it as an ode to classic rock by name-checking Thin Lizzy instead of DJ Funk.
They're calling the concept Nite Versions, a subtle bow to Duran Duran, who used to release club-ready B-sides of their hits under the same moniker.
"To be honest, DJing and playing with a live band are two very different things," says Dewaele. "With a band, so many things can go wrong, but DJing is just playing other people's music, so it's much easier. It's good to be doing both. It's good to have a split personality."
The lines between Soulwax and the Dewaele brothers' other personality, 2 Many DJs, are often blurred. What started as a side-off from Soulwax then became a showcase for their mash-up mastery and uncanny instinct for mixing unlikely combinations on the Dewaeles' Belgian radio show, Hang The DJ.
In 2002, before technology made the technique commonplace, their seamless blends of anything from Led Zeppelin to Destiny's Child made them famous. When they dropped their copyright-damning, 46-track megamix As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt. 2, they were hailed as "mash-up kings."
But Dewaele isn't particularly fond of the title.
"We were pioneering a lot of that stuff, but it was just the way we like playing music," says Dewaele. "It's just the way we mix, which is something I can't explain to you. If someone calls me a 'mash-up originator,' I don't care, because I've been called so many things.
"Right now, they're calling our music neo-rave in Britain. A few years back it was punk funk or electroclash. It'sbeen given many, many names, but I'm proud of the fact that I've always done my own thing.
"I think Soulwax now has its own thing going. People aren't trying to categorize us; it's just the Soulwax guys."