Battling the stormy British ‘Summer’, i-D online took to a rain-beating, Wellington boot-shaking Lovebox festival and squeezed through the crowds to 2manyDJs’ dressing room where we discussed their latest project, Radio Soulwax.
Radio Soulwax is a 24-hour online stream of 2manydjs doing what they do best. With each hour vastly different from the last, tracks vary from ageless American rockers The Rolling Stones to experimental electro outfits such as Kraftwerk. It’s a party-throwers dream! Dust off your wireless, extend your aerials and get ready to groove to hit after hit. Trust us, we’ve tried it. Then when you think it can’t get much better, it does, as a screen sizzling visual mix of album covers, graphics and more offer a feast for your eyes, it’s one-stop entertainment station! Before David and Stephen closed the main stage of the festival we caught up with them to chat about Radio Soulwax, their favourite gigs and a few other things we just had to find out.
Tell us about the story behind Radio Soulwax…
David: In 2002 we did a compilation which went on to become a word of mouth success and ever since people around us have been asking us to do a follow up. We started thinking about it in 2009 but it didn’t seem like the kind of thing that would make sense for us to do then; make a compilation, spend 9 months clearing the tracks, try to condense everything onto one CD and it has a shelf life of maybe two months. So we wanted something that was going to be bigger, more interesting and more substantial. We initially thought we were going to do a radio station and select x number of tracks and make it into an internet radio station. Then we started working with visuals for our live shows and figured it would be ideal if we continued that idea onto the radio and made it 24 hour with 24 different themes, both audio and visual, so that’s where it comes from.
Who worked on the visuals?
David: We have a team of people so the ideas are always coming from Stef, me and another guy called Fergadelic who we work with in art direction. Each hour has a different visual so a different animator or a couple of times we have worked with outside directors.
How long did it take to piece everything together?
Stephen: Too long.
David: We thought it would be cool to have 24 mix albums. We didn’t want to do the same thing as before and have one CD with 60 tracks on it, I mean anybody can make a mixtape. The idea of 24 comes from all these ideas we had; one hour would be Belgian new beats, another would be Brazilian music and so on. We thought it would take us about a year but it ended up being two and a half because once we had made the audio we had to sit down and make the script. Then we had to look for all the sleeves and they had to be scanned in and only then would the animators start so it was way more complicated than in our heads. We thought we could do it in a year but no way. We were over ambitious.
What comes next?
David: No idea, I mean it’s taken us so long to get here we’re actually going to do a Soulwax album.
Can you tell us about the best gig you’ve ever played?
Stephen: It’s hard to say because whenever you say one there is always another one that pops into your head.
What’s been the best one in the last week then?
Stephen: We played one in a small club in Aix-en-Provence in France, it used to be an old gay club called Spartacus with all these golden dildos on the wall it was fun to do!
You guys fly around a lot, what’s the best aeroplane food you’ve had?
David: I would probably say Air France.
Stephen: Yes the French know how to do their food.
What’s been the best thing about Radio Soulwax?
David: It’s been up for two weeks and I guess the biggest compliment I’ve personally had is that a lot of people have discovered a lot of music for the first time, which is the point of it.
How many DJs is too many DJs?
David: Probably anything more than 4 is too many.