SOULWAX – “Push It (Remix)”

The major labels are circling, and if that’s not a writ they’re carrying it’s a chequebook; the clubs are packed so tight you can’t breathe; the papers are racing to be first to sign the scene’s death certificate; and the bootlegged tunes just keep rolling out, more of them and more again. Some of the people who got the early star treatment are keeping the scene at a safe distance, parlaying their cut-and-paste notoriety into a fair hearing for their own music. Some of them, though, are cashing in while they can – Belgian outfit Soulwax have ‘the first Bootleg album’ out this week in, theoretically, a High Street shop near you.

Their reworking of “Push It”, swiped off the radio and available for download at Boom Selection, is a treat, dropping Salt N Pepa’s vocals over loops and cut-ups from the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. It’s the first bootleg I’ve heard in ages (ages = weeks!) that approaches the spunky punk-pop energy of “A Stroke Of Genius”, exploiting the transferability of the girls’ raucousness and the corruptibility of Iggy’s rockboy riffing. “Push it real good!” yells Salt-or-Pepa, “Come AWN!” replies Iggy – ‘versus’ in this case is kind of a euphemism.

Soulwax’s stuff all sounds like Big Beat – if you don’t like your rhythms big and dumb you’ll find them painfully corny going. But Big Beat took electronic music and rocked it up, while Soulwax bootlegs take rock and chisel at it until a dance track emerges. It blurs the line between ‘bootleg’ and ‘remix’ still further, but who cares when the dynamics work this well?