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This review was first published on CLUAS in 2002
Other albums reviewed in 2002

Soulwax

A review of their mix album '2 many DJs'

At the time of writing, Sugababes "Freak Like Me", an amalgamation of Adina Howard's "Freak Like Me" and Tubeway Army's "Are Friends Electric?" is number two in the Irish Singles Chart and has been to the top of the British charts. It is an obvious sign that bootlegging is currently at it's peak. If anything was to further cement that proof, it would be the release of the new Soulwax mix album, "2 Many DJs". However on this album, Belgian brothers David and Stephen Dewaele have taken the "art" of bootlegging overground. All the samples used on the album have been legally cleared (thanks to some poor sod employed by their record company!) This is where a lot of the criticism has been aimed at the album. As they are popularising the "movement" of bootlegging, it will soon lack diversity and eventually destruct. On one hand, it is fair criticism; but on the other, is it such a bad thing bringing something to the masses?

SoulwaxKeeping with the whole cheeky tone of the album, you have to rewind from track 1 to get to the actual first track on the CD. Confused? That's probably half the plan and half the fun. The track in question is their own remix of Kylie's "Can't Get You Out Of My Mind", and it soon becomes obvious why you have to skip back to get this track as it is one of the weakest. A better way to start entirely is with their magical cut and paste job of Emerson Lake Palmer's "Peter Gunn" and the funk punk of Basement Jaxx's "Where's Your Head At".

"2 Many DJs" contains many combinations of respected acts and those you'd like to forget about in a hurry. One of the prime examples of this - and indeed one of the album's highlights - is the mix of the scheer filthy sound that is The Stooges' "No Fun" and the pure cheese of Salt N' Peppa's "Push It". Likewise the resurrection of Skee-Lo's "I Wish", a light rap tune that most of us have (rightly) forgotten, and The Breeders' fantastic "Cannonball" is a fascinating and worthwhile mix. Other greats to receive the soulwax treatment are The Velvet Underground ("I'm Waiting For The Man") and New Order ("The Beach") while the not so great Nena ("99 Red Ballons") also makes an appearance.

This album is simultaneously one of the dumbest and smartest you will hear. It's the type of record that will make you cringe in a few years time when you find it in your collection. However, at this point in time, it contains something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Ciaran Ryan

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