This weekend sees Belgian brothers Stephen and David Dewaele, better known by their nom-de-turntable 2 Many DJs, visit Japan for a two-date tour, starting at Womb in Tokyo on July 28 before heading into the mountains for Fuji Rock Festival ’06 the following night.
The duo, who rose to fame in the late 1990s and also perform as a rock band under the name Soulwax, are perhaps the only DJ outfit who can be credited with creating a new genre of dance music — “the mashup” — since Fatboy Slim ushered in big beat in the mid-1990s. Their style combines music from various genres, so don’t be surprised to hear the likes of Led Zeppelin and MC Hammer played alongside 1980s metal, hard techno and funk.
Mashups involve splicing together the music of one familiar song and the vocals of another. Two of their combinations known to fill dance floors are the music to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” mixed with the a cappella vocals of Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious” and The Stooges’ “No Fun” combined with Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It.” Dance music purists may hate it, but wherever 2 Many DJs are, big crowds go to party, and as the act have established themselves, it has become more common to hear DJs ranging from techno maestro Jeff Mills to progressive house’s Sasha mixing rock into their sets.
So far, 2 Many DJs have released only one official mix album, the frenetic 46-track, 60-minute “As Heard on Radio Soulwax Part 2,” which took two years to get permission from all the acts included and was released by the PIAS record label in 2002. But there are also many other unofficial mixes around, many of which are available in Japanese record shops, though some are of questionable authenticity.
2 Many DJs play at Womb, Tokyo, on July 28 (4,000 yen at the door, visit www.womb.co.jp for details) and the Red Marquee at Fuji Rock Festival on July 29, 3:30 a.m. (all tickets have sold out).