Soulwaxmas: London – 2manydj’s, Soulwax & MixHell
Repeat Button on tour: Brixton, London
I had no idea what a tradition Soulwaxmas was to the English but its definitely up there with miserable weather, egg nog and getting grandma undies from relatives as gifts. For me this was definitely an occasion where ignorance is NOT bliss and when I rolled into the event at Brixton’s O2 Academy I was utterly unprepared for the bright lights and debauchery ahead of me. After being inapporpriately frisked by a scary female security guard and surveying the scenery (read: smeary mess) I realised i’d better sharpen the fuck up pretty quick.
The penny dropped once I popped up onto the tiered seating section to get my bearings, took one look at the filthy heaving crowd, looked back at my mate and yelled ‘DRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGS!’ in the most curdled, ineloquent way possible. Off I bounced through the venue to perch at the front right of the speakers ready to get my ears gloriously ripped to shreds by Soulwax who were already visibly rolling the crowd around and around in the palms of their hands like putty.
2manydj’s did not disappoint either with a series of popular tracks stretched to breaking point and back, interlaced with heavy house beats and banging electro. At one staged they dropped in a version of Jingles Bells which sounded more like a munted, screeching Santa Claus caught in a bear trap than a lighthearted Christmas carol. The boys kindly provided their audience with some educational reading as part of their grandiose audiovisual show as ‘facts about ACID’ walked themselves onto the screen one by one. Blazing, bold, shiny and utterly hypnotised we all opened our souls through our pupils as they finger fucked tracks by P Diddy, Duran Duran, Kylie Minogue and Gossip into a gorgeously sweet grittiness.
MixHell, long time amigo of the crew took the stage for the last bit of the gig and did his thang with percussion infused electronica so rampant that everyone was throwing downwards, sidewards and all ways shapes so viciously that we were all pretty much star gazing.
As I stroked my fur vest I had a rare moment of clairty…it sounded like Pacman swallowing shards of glass. Come to think of it it was a scarily insightful sentiment. Before I could hurt my brain with anymore thinking a wave of relief momentarily washed over the crowd when Julio Bashemore’s track of the year contender Au Seve filled the air. Of course no audio visual, electro sensation is complete without confetti falling onto a euphoric crowd. Queue chunky confetti falling from the roof like snow. Gradually the squeals of joy subsided when the whole crew reemerged to give it one last sweaty nudge and again chunky, beefy, dirty, gritty beats returned to run through the veins of the people and nestle in their hearts til next year. Merry Soulwaxmas Brixton.
All photographs courtesy of Soulwax.