Exclusive: Soul Clap Mix & Interview
They've just released their debut album, so we caught up with Soul Clap and asked them to make us a mix.
Soul Clap is the galaxy-born alter ego of Boston-based DJ/producer duo Elyte and Cnyce (or Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine in Earth language). Eli and Charles grew up in a 90s world, living for hip hop and jungle, and now they're old hands at DJing, having remixed legends like Laid Back, Robert Owens, Raze, DJ Harvey along with others like Metronomy, Foster The People and Theophilus London. Their debut album EFUNK — Everybody's Freaky Under Natures Kingdom promises to restore 'dopeness' in the universe (as part of their mission "to change the world one dancefloor at a time") and was released a few days ago so we sat down with Soul Clap to discuss vinyl, DJ battles and the sound of now. They also made us an exclusive mix, including everyone from Fleetwood Mac to War to Jay-Z!
Sophie Bosch: You've both been DJing for years before releasing EPs and 12s. What made you finally decide to make an album?
Soul Clap: The album is a real opportunity to place our musical stamp out there. Until now, we really haven't released that much original music and believe it or not this album will be our first release on Wolf + Lamb music. EFUNK is a representation of our musical lives so far and not only has this process been one of self expression but it's also a tremendous moment of musical enlightenment as we've discovered our own approach to song writing and 'pop'. Now that this hurdle is behind us it feels like we can accomplish any style, sound or tempo!
When did you first get into DJing?
We both started really young and hip hop was the entry point. The DJ scenes in movies like Juice, Wild Style and La Haine drew us in and a hunger for more of these routines got us watching DJ battle videos. Although this was a totally different style of DJing to what goes down in a nightclub, the turntablism that emerged from the 80s and 90s was so visually stimulating and completely underground. But it was really when we started going to raves, that sealed the deal. Both of us, even before we were hanging out, got hooked and the hunger began to be the DJ in the booth working that magic.
As children of the 90s, what music influenced you most as you were growing up?
In the early 90s we were really into hip hop and alternative rock. Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, Cypress Hill, Dr. Dre and all that golden age rap music was huge influences. Simultaneously, bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden also had us rocking. Then we got into more electronic stuff like The KLF, The Prodigy and The Orb and also trip hop like Tricky, Massive Attack and anything on Ninja Tune or Mo Wax in the mid 90s was ill. Jungle music, however, was when both of us took our first foray into DJing electronic music. It was an easy bridge from hip hop to jungle which made total sense, but hanging at the party and understanding the power of funk, disco and the jazz influence in house music took priority and lead us to our path.
Are you both vinyl collectors? What would be the five records you would save from a house fire?
Yeah, we've been buying records for over 15 years and started sharing our collection almost 10 years ago. We love vinyl so much that we still each carry a bag of records to all our gigs! If everything burned at least we'd get rid of thousands of dead weight vinyls, but if we could only save five it would be: Jah Wobble — Snake Charmer, Gwen Guthrie — Padlock, The KLF — Chill Out, Presence — Better Day, Todd Edwards — Saved My Life.
If you could pick the decade you were in your twenties for — music-wise — which would it be?
Gotta be the 70s because of disco. To be alive for that moment in social change and music must have been spectacular. But we do enjoy breaking out the phonograph machine, giving it a crank and having a gool ol' lindy hop.
What are you most looking forward to touring with this album?
The third moon of Saturn, the far reaches of Alpha Centauri and of course... Uranus.
Are there any venues you want to play but haven't yet?
Panoramabar in Berlin, The Shelter in New York, Monegros Festival in Zaragoza and anywhere in Jamaica.
You've said that this album is Soul Clap's statement about the sound of now. What is the sound of now?
The sound of now is a return to real music and emotion! No more soulless La Bouche remakes that have taken over the radio.
And now for the mix!
Introduction: Alanna Bromley
Interview: Sophie Bosch