tue 15/10/2019

CD: Soulwax – Belgica (Original Soundtrack) | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Soulwax – Belgica (Original Soundtrack)

CD: Soulwax – Belgica (Original Soundtrack)

An eclectic film soundtrack that consistently hits the mark from the Belgian experimentalists

Belgica: a wild venue with plenty to recommend it

Read the track listing of Belgica and you might assume that this soundtrack is a compilation featuring 15 different artists from a wide variety of musical genres. In fact, it has been written and produced in its entirety by Belgian experimentalists Soulwax, using virtual bands created purely for this project. Soulwax is actually made up of Belgian brothers Stephen and David Dewaele (AKA dance titans 2manydjs) and Stefaan Van Leuven, and their latest offering accompanies a film set in a nightclub in Ghent which, on this evidence, sounds like quite a wild venue with plenty to recommend it.

The sheer variety of sounds in Soulwax’s world soon becomes apparent on Belgica, as Charlotte’s mellow and soulful electropop “The Best Thing” is swiftly followed by the quiet-loud-quiet-loud grunge of “How Long” by The Shitz and the funky LCD Soundsystem-like “Caoutchone” by Rubber Band. However, while the sounds may shift from one apparently unrelated musical style to another, Belgica never sounds clunky but flows seamlessly from one cracker to another. Particular highlights include the thumping African-flavoured bump and grind of Erasmus’s “Ti Recordi Di Me”, the sleazy funk groove of Aquazul’s “Slippy Fingers” and the hardcore punk of Burning Phlegm’s “Nothing”. However, there isn’t a bum track here at all, and Soulwax’s skilful sleight of hand makes you wish that all of these bands really did exist and had a lot more to offer.

Very few contemporary artists would have the artistic vision, never mind the ability, to create an album of this scope. Belgica has an almost flawless soundtrack that will, no doubt, have many seeking out the celluloid tale of clubland hedonism that it has been created to accompany. But there will assuredly be plenty more who view it as a stand-alone record packed with exciting and lively tunes that keep hitting the spot.

While the sounds may shift from one apparently unrelated musical style to another, Belgica never sounds clunky but flows seamlessly from one cracker to another


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.