Deewee is the new record label of Stephen and David Dewaele aka Soulwax/2manydjs and all tracks are recorded in the Deewee Studio in Gent where they write and produce all the music. Their manifesto states: “DEEWEE is a building, a studio, a label, a record collection and a publishing house. DEEWEE is all of these things.” Even though the Dewaeles have been busy producing their own work they have also managed to develop and nurture a host of new talent and have succeeded in creating an incredible roster of original and exciting music artists who are quietly but consistently shaping the next wave of electronic music.
With the glut of uninspiring and repetitive EDM clogging up the airwaves, dance music seems to have been reduced to a non-stop deluge of anthemic crescendos where subtly, finesse and quality production have been put to one side in favour of an endless spewing out of identical sounding computer generated tracks. This has created a seemingly indistinguishable monotonous experience and the scene is badly in need of a shake up. Fortunately Deewee is now on hand to do the shaking.
The recent output from the Deewee label has been fast and furious and extremely prolific. New music is being released on a regular basis and they all manage to have their own feel and uniqueness whilst all fitting within the label’s overall sound. And the production on everything is incredible. Not that you would expect anything less from the Dewaeles but the use of analogue equipment and traditional recording techniques means that they really stand out amongst the current output. It is as if Deewee has actually heard your silent screams for something new and fresh and felt duty bound to deliver.
One of the main factors that make the releases sound different is that they have warmth which is in stark contrast to the predominantly cold starkness of techno tunes. The lushness of Charlotte’s Senegal seduction shows this to great effect, feeling like a soundtrack from a 60s french movie got time warped into the future. But the Deewee sound still packs a serious punch with stomping bass lines and there is definitely an old school tripped out & spacey rave feel to some of the tunes. For example, Bolis’ Pulpul’s Teknow sounds like a fax machine having sex with a retro video arcade game. There is a great quirk to some of the tunes with some crazy electronic sounds, such as Karma by Philip & Rodrigo (beatboxing tweety pie) & Volium by FSOA and its great to have such a playfulness and experimentation return to dance music.
Even though this is beat based music you feel you are being wrapped in a velvet duvet rather than being repeatedly beaten over the head by the bpms . Even with the krautrock machine minimalism of Die Verboten, which will undoubtedly appeal to the serious tech heads, yet it still all has groove and funky edges and melody and depth and yet all done with a clean & beautiful simplicity. And they are all joined by the incredible hooks and beats woven into each tune that make dancing an irrepressible desire. Heaven Scent, the track Soulwax made with Chloe Sevigny and Asa Moto’s Wanowan Efem will blow up any floor guaranteed. It is overall extremely uplifting music and instantly transports you to the disco of your dreams. If you are ever coming home from a club in an uber at 4am cruising through London there is nothing better than listening to Emmanuelle’s Italove at full blast. Have done this too many times to count and it delivers everytime.
And not only do they all sound great but the vinyl records all look spectacular as well. Beautifully designed by Thomas Subreville at Ill Studio, he has brought a visual unity to all the releases, creating a unique style that has extended to all the promotion and merchandise for the label which both reflects and enhances the music. The whole package is about as far away as you can get from a faceless forgettable mp3 download. This is the new music revolution right here. A return to quality over convenience, ear candy and eye candy created to give you a deeply satisfying sensory experience. If the recent modern era presented the ringtone or rather the wrong tone as its contribution to music consumption, this is the right tone.
Charlotte Adigery, Bolis Pulpul, Future Sound of Antwerp, Philip & Rodridgo, Emmanuelle, Laila, Asa Moto, Die Verboten and Klanken are the stars of Deewee, with many having more than one release already out. The gang, although an eclectic bunch clearly have similar sensibilities and there is a real sense of camaraderie and family vibes amongst the Deewee crew and they are all a genuinely lovely friendly bunch. There is also quite a considerable crossover with members appearing in more than one incarnation. Some of them, pictured above, supplied the support for the recent Soulwax tour as both djs and live performers and got the crowd properly hotted up for the main attraction.