Album Reviews

Soulwax – Nite Versions

(PIAS) UK release date: 26 September 2005

Soulwax - Nite Versions Soulwax, the Belgian band who can’t figure out whether they’re an indie band or a dance machine have swapped black and white dots for pink and white stripes and re-released recent album Any Minute Now with a new name and remixed the whole thing.

It’s a sad omission that the title and opening track of the previous version no longer features, but in its place we get Teachers, which basically consists of a whole bunch of dance sounds with what basically seems to be a list of Soulwax’s favourite bands read over the top in a doctored voice.

The track NY Lipps, is as glorious as any music fan who knows the original track was co-written by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem fame would be hoping for. Containing a sample of the old hit Funkytown, it’s an edgy and jagged remaking of the Soulwax single NY Excuse.

Occasionally the album gets a bit repetitive, like the vocals on Accidents And Compliments, and the way the album ends with two mixes of the same song (albeit pretty different reworkings!), but all in all it’s a danceable gem that mashes up the Any Minute Now album in 2 Many DJs style.

This will delight all the dance fans who have become Soulwax fans through enjoying the 2 Many DJs side project of the Dewaele brothers, but what will the old school Soulwax fans – the indie kids – make of it?

Well, indie purists shouldn’t even bother going near it, but anyone who’s ever danced to LCD Soundsystem’s Daft Punk Is Playing In My House or even Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys at an indie disco should be able to find a space in their record collection for something rather less guitar-driven. And if you’re going to stray from your indie roots, at least with Soulwax you know you’re always actually listening to an indie band, even when there’s not a guitar to be heard.

This album is certainly a must for any Soulwax fan, and a must for anyone who felt Any Minute Now missed the mark (oh come on, give them another chance to get it right!). Fans will have already heard Teachers at the band’s live show, and have probably been gagging to hear it again ever since (tell me I’m not the only one), and while the scruffy jean brigade will probably prefer the original version of the album, each version is great in its own way.

This one is less diverse but more coherent and sits together better as one unit of musical greatness, and it finally proves under the Soulwax banner the full extent of the Dewaele brothers’ dancefloor-filling potential.

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More on Soulwax
Soulwax – Essential
Soulwax @ Electrowerkz, London
Interview: Soulwax
Soulwax – Nite Versions
Soulwax + Brassy @ Charlotte, Leicester