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A Sit Down With DJ 2manydjs

08:28 Apr/01/2018

Belgian brothers David and Stephen Dewaele began performing in their band Soulwax as teenagers, an alternative indie and electro band and even now still do perform and release as Soulwax though as a duo the pair perform as 2manydjs. Kind of. David explains that the lines between the two projects are blurred and that really one is just an extension of the other...


"Those are just the landmarks that the outside world would know, I’m assuming millions of people went through the same thing as we did only maybe they didn’t have bands or projects to verify it with."


In the past you’ve described DJing as a way of showing people what you like and all the different stuff you’re into. Do you still get a thrill out of introducing people to new music?

Yeah, yeah definitely. That’s exactly the biggest thrill! My brother and I, we’re old men, but it’s really satisfying to meet all these 18 – 19-year-old kids who are heavily inspired by the music we opened up to them. There’s a bunch of kids who come up to us, like when they listen to some of the stuff that we’ve put on the radio and said, ‘I had no idea about this, and it inspired me to go on and to either make this kind of music or discover something else. That’s the biggest compliment you can get. You introduce people to a world new world and it starts them on their own journey.

Was it always your aim to create something out of the ordinary?

That was the idea, although I feel like we approach it to a certain degree like this is what we would like to be not that out of the ordinary. It would be great if whenever you went out you felt like it sounded really great, people played whatever music they liked and everyone was smiling. Unfortunately it just doesn’t normally feel like that, for me.

You make a very valid point. How about the changing music landscape, do you think you have evolved with it?

Music is forever evolving. Regardless of what anyone else is doing you have to continually push forwards otherwise you become a fixed moment in time. Sometimes you become part of the zeitgeist, part of a current movement and sometimes you’re out of time with things. The most important thing is to follow your instincts rather than what’s trending, otherwise you become just like everyone else.

Do you find your mindset changes a lot when you fluctuate between your various monikers?

We do a lot of DJ stuff on the weekends which is always fun, but during the week we try and create music for Soulwax. For us it’s all pretty much all the same; it’s all just music. I guess the biggest difference is when we play live – when we DJ, we don’t have to think about whether the next chord changes to an ‘F#’ or an ‘Am’. Whether we’re working on a film, making a remix or creating a song, it’s all coming from the same part of the brain – it’s just changes depending on which outlet you choose to use it for.

Do you have a particular favourite Factory artist?

I know this might sound weird, but it has to be New Order. What is there not to like about New Order? I could go on for hours and hours about them. I think one of the biggest compliments we got was when we met Peter Hook from New Order and he said one of our remixes was one of his favourite that had been done of them. It was an amazing compliment because I think he really understood what we did and where we were coming from.

Were you excited to hear what your own music would sound like over it?

To me, that was one of the highlights. We made a record, another project called Die Verboten which we recorded in Ibiza… and we played the entire thing last night, 19 minutes.

Have you found that people have come to your Despacio nights with different expectations?

A lot of people don’t know what to expect, and they come in and it’s a completely different experience than what they expected. There’s a lot of people that have come around and said, “I used to go when I was a little kid to the Boccaccio in Belgium,” or “I went to go to all these raves in the U.K. and this is the closest I’ve ever been to it, sound-wise and community-wise.” Which is a really big compliment. Some of them say it with tears in their eyes, which is really nice. But I see a lot of people being confused because what we do in the club isn’t just difficult music, we also play a lot of techno and a lot of weird electronic new stuff. And there’s been a lot of people that have come up to me and said, “You can’t play that track on minus 12; you can’t do it.” And then you have to go, “Well, I just did.” And they’re like, “Yeah, but you’re turning my world upside down, you can’t do it.” And I like that. I think the worst thing is if people would leave and go, “Eh, it’s ok.” We want people to talk about it, and I think we want to provoke a little bit, also.

What’s your favourite time of the night to be playing?

1AM. I don’t know why. No explanation.

What kind of modifications have you made to the turntables?

So some of it even goes over my head, but everything from basically the stability to the speed that you can go up and down. So this one can go, I think, plus-or-minus 32 whereas a normal one can go plus-or-minus 8. That’s one big aspect, where we take these records that are maybe quite fast and then we slow them down, and it gives you a whole other dimension to the song. But it’s also the stability: the feet, the arm, the needles. Same with the mixer, the guy took an existing Bozek and basically replaced everything and then we added a bunch of functions. So it’s bespoke, you know, all made for Despacio.

You guys are famous for your remix style, but how do you approach the process?

I really don’t know what thought process we go through. Some remixes will take us three mixes to get it right, and others will just flow. It’s hard to tell what it is that we do. Maybe the reason we keep doing it, or it is interesting for us, is because we just don’t know what we’re doing.


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