Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #39 Soulwax
The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
Soulwax is a key definer of the DJ crossover movement. Throughout the 90s and into the early part of this decade the line between DJs as producers and DJs as musicians has been steadily blurring. It is not uncommon these days to see DJs such as RJD2 move fluidly between his turntables and his guitar or keyboards. Soulwax may be the best example of this trend, stepping out of the booth to become a fully functioning band.
David and Stephen Dewaele, the core of Soulwax, cut their teeth on the turntables during the mid 90s doing dancefloor mash ups as as 2ManyDJs. Steve Slingeneyer (drums) and Stefaan Van Leuven (bass) have been added to round out the band. They still tour as 2ManyDJs and have also brought the Euro "bastard pop" mixing sensibilities to their live and studio work. Soulwax is best viewed as 2ManyDJs with instruments - a DJ'ed/ produced electro rock dance band. Or, as Brooklyn Vegan succinctly put it, "the future of electronic music".
Combining DJ mixing sensibilities with the rock band idea has eliminated much of the tedium of both approaches. Let's be honest, most turntablists are pretty boring to watch (multimedia artists like Spooky or virtuosos like Shadow excepted). Rock bands? Your father's music - totally uncool. But Soulwax brings the cool back, providing the intensity of a great live performance in a new dance sensible veneer. They're one of the most exciting and original live bands, a culture jam of mixing abilities and top-notch musicianship.
Check back tomorrow for the next artist! To see the full list of the Top 100 Artists of the Decade, click here.