BEST NEW SONGS: SOULWAX - MISSING WIRES

3/2/18
Soulwax - Missing Wires

Time has been kinder to '90s Alternative bands that have remained open to the tastes and trends of the times they're playing in. Bands like The Chemical Brothers, Slowdive, The Jesus And Mary Chain sound even fresher and better today than they did in their heyday, making us wonder what might've been had they managed to achieve more mainstream success in their time (in the case of the latter two, at any cost.) Bands that keep plying the same old schtick ad infinitum (looking at you, Smashing Pumpkins) sound kind of limp and tired after a few decades.

 

SOULWAX - MISSING WIRES

Belgium's Soulwax have weathered the test of time well with "Missing Wires," the lead single off of their first album in 12 years, Deewee. In 2005, Soulwax listed off a list of musical influences ranging from ELO to Kyuss to The Cramps. That roster would have sounded like madness a decade or so ago. Today, it's par for the course.

What makes "Missing Wires," so vital and vibrant is the way Soulwax polish and present their postmodern punk electronica. Beguiling, disorienting, and catchy as hell. "Missing Wires" is built around a slinky, funky bleeping bassline over a machinedrum breakbeat. Soulwax have always plied  a kind of electro dance rock, and they haven't lost in on "Missing Wires." Their sound was always built around a love of hardware, squelching acid synths and dusty drum machines. Their return after 12 years is timely. It seems like audience's might've been less impressed by such things in 2005, but in today's resurgent analog synth scene, the sound of circuitry is irresistible.

"Missing Wires" is classic Soulwax as well as totally refined. They've retained the acid squiggles of 2005's Nite Version but slowed it down and beefed it up. The slower pace and more muscular presence serve them well. Soulwax traditionally have sounded ready to rock a basement rave. You could imagine "Missing Wires" on a large festival stage. Or a dischoteque.

Some things get better with age.

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.