The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tim McNa­mara

From Dee­wee Soul­wax PIAS Whether mash­ing up Dolly Par­ton with Royk­sopp as 2ManyDJs, pro­gram­ming an ingame ra­dio sta­tion — Soul­wax FM — for Grand Theft Auto V, or record­ing as 15 fic­tional bands for the sound­track to last year’s film Bel­gica, broth­ers Stephen and David De­waele have never been shy of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. The duo’s new al­bum, recorded un­der its best-known Soul­wax moniker, is no ex­cep­tion. Recorded in one take at the broth­ers’ home stu­dio in Ghent, Bel­gium, in early Fe­bru­ary, From Dee­wee is based on the Tran­sient Pro­gram For Drums & Ma­chin­ery, the broth­ers’ tour­ing con­cept hatched last year meld­ing drums and ana­log cir­cuitry on stage. Armed with a dizzy­ing ar­ray of in­stru­ments, vin­tage synths and tech, the broth­ers have, un­sur­pris­ingly, de­liv­ered a largely mechanical, oft-in­dus­trial, elec­tronic sound­scape. Pre­set Tense starts off with a warped, spi­ralling synth line, steadily build­ing in in­ten­sity be­fore giv­ing way to the leath­ery bassline of Mas­ter­planned. Matched with vo­cals and steadily deafen­ing drums, it’s a sign of things to come. There’s a hint of the bizarre through­out; some tracks re­mind of a creepy cir­cus sound­track, and the ro­botic aes­thetic of­ten strug­gles to con­nect. Oth­ers tunes such as Miss­ing Wires, how­ever, are all class. Its pul­sat­ing drum in­tro, play­ful vo­cal line and synth break­down meld to cre­ate a chug­ging swag­ger that reaches its peak on a frisky outro. The Singer has Be­come a DJ is one of a few more up­tempo grooves. Soul­wax’s first stu­dio al­bum since 2005’s Nite Ver­sions demon­strates the duo has lost none of its am­bi­tion, even if may have lost a lit­tle of its soul.

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