Soul Clap Interview


"Before today is yesterday and after tomorrow is the future, Elyte and Cnyce's paths were crossed for all time when a Sun Ra light beam sent from Saturn collided with the P-Funk Mothership and sent them tumbling to earth. Now, Soul Clap time travels on a musical spaceship of dopeness.."

The last couple of years have borne witness to the rise and rise of the Soul Clap phenomenon. Remix masters at work, they have established themselves as firm favourites among party goers around the world pushing out a mixture of influences that texture their original productions as well as their famous colourful edits.

The Boston party starters stopped by R$N HQ as they prepare to journey into West London for eight, epic, unadulterated hours for A Night With.. On Saturday 9th June.

So, looking forward to your 8 hour A Night With… marathon on Saturday…

"An analogue vinyl utopia would probably be a better place to live." Discuss. Do you think we'll ever achieve this again or maybe we could all set one up where you have to leave your laptops at the gate.

Seems like vinyl is definitely on the way back. We read that sales have gone up 40% each of the last 2 years. The funny thing is that it's not DJs who are buying more records. It seems like less DJs are traveling with vinyl and that's just lazy! Needless to say we'll be dropping many of our favorites on vinyl Saturday nite. Our friends over at Phonica Records are helping us fill in the blanks with some of our jams that we left behind in Eli's mom's basement in Boston, by lending us records for the night that will then be on sale in a special bin at the shop next week.

How's the musical spaceship holding up?

We just docked at the space station for repairs and refueling so we're in tip-top shape.

With these 8 hours you've been given for A Night With… you're going to be exploring the history of DJing. I know it might seem obvious to most but can you elaborate on this a bit for us.

Well DJs have been playing for dance parties since the 40's and modern DJing as we know it began in the 70's so there's a ton of tradition and culture that gets forgotten. Remembering that DJing is an art is especially important in a time when even the New York Times says: "DJ’s do not spin records so much as command computerized sound systems, playing snippets of songs and using them to create their own protracted rhythms," and what better way to pay respect than to take it back to the beginning. In the 40's and 50's as the first modern DJs were taking over from bands in UK dancehalls a couple of them came up with a similar concept, play segments of slow jams at certain points of the night. Jimmy Saville in Leeds had "Smooch Time" at the beginning of each hour when "all the lights went out and then, bang, we started with all the romantic records." Ian Samwell in London called it "Dream Time, during which we spun the disco ball and played 3 slow songs in a row". For this special night we're going to take a cue from the godfathers and slow it down at the top of every hour. Feel the romance in the air.

"When Eli and I were just getting started in Boston around 2005, we had this night, Reunion Thursdays, We would get people in such a frenzy on the dance floor that the manager finally had to ask us, “Can you guys suck for a while? We need people to go to the bar and drink!” So we’d play slow stuff, and they’d make more money." Are there going to be periods like that on June 9th so Derren will be able to pay you?!

Yeah for sure. There's the "Smooch Time" thing, but hopefully during the slow jams people will find someone special to dance with. So we'll also have to get really weird and drop some serious spaced out songs to really get people back to the bar.

When do you ever stop? It seems like you've been on the road constantly. I can't even believe you managed to make an album!

Well we took 2 months off in Miami at the end of last year. That's when we wrote the album. We do actually really believe in taking chunks of time off a few times a year to help our bodies and minds recover from the craziness of the road. It's nice because after a break we get really excited about touring again.

Do you ever fight?

Like brothers.

How much ping-pong do you get a chance to do these days?

We train for 2-3 hours per day πŸ˜‰

Eli, did you ever start your hat line?

Working on it!

Eclecticism is a dirty word… discuss.

Bullshit! But we do think the term "anything goes" better describes our DJ sets. We learned that one from our homie DJ Kon in Boston.

Is this 8 hours something you've attempted before? I know you did Soul Clap vs the Wolf & Lamb Experience last year but is this something you've attempted on your own?

We've definitely played 8 hour sets together, but it's never been planned out this way, it's just kind of happened. We LOVE long sets πŸ™‚

Who'd be your ultimate A Night With..

David Mancuso

Any plans for Soulclap live? Charles I know you sang on a lot of the E-Funk tracks but have you got any plans to take the whole thing on the road?

We're working on a Marcy Allstars Band. Slow Hands on guitar, Charlie on synths, Greg Paulus on trumpet, Tanner on sax, Gadi on bass and Eli would be the DJ.

Berlin, London or NYC…or Boston?

Love 'em all and you can't leave Miami off that list!

Which one has the most open musical mind out of the above?

Definitely New York

You played the last ever Bar25 set. Bet that was pretty special? I went to see the film last week when were in Berlin and I don't think I fully realised how significant Bar25 was for the fabric of the Berlin and indeed underground parties in general. Do you think that something like that club could ever happen again anywhere or are those days over?

Bar25 was one of the most magic venues we've ever been to, but anytime you have ownership that builds there venue like a family instead of a business there's potential for magic. The Marcy Hotel in New York and The Electric Pickle in Miami are two more examples of this.

When you remix it doesn't just have a "Soul Clap remix" as the title. Tell us about the many titles you attribute to your remixes.

We like to pay tribute to our inspirations by making references to them in our remix titles

It must be frustrating when you spend hours on a remix like your Shake A Leg remix of Metronomy's Loving Arm – which is one of my favourite of your productions alongside your Laid Back remix of Bakerman – and for it not to come out. I know it came out finally but label politics but must sometimes be a difficult thing to deal with.

Oh man! Don't get us started. We've got remixes of Beastie Boys, Little Dragon and 11:11 (Gerber & Diddy) that will all probably never see the light of day. Guess they'll just always be our secret weapons πŸ˜‰

Could you pick us a track to reflect each hour of your 8 hour A NIght With marathon – I know you said you'd do it for us on a video but if you don't have time for that, here would be great.

1. Beastie Boys – Something's Got To Give

2. Voices Of Black – Dry Ur Eyez

3. Zapp & Roger – Computer Love

4. Blood Orange – Champagne Coast

5. Soul Clap ft. Jules Born – Let's Groove On

6. KB – El Musica

7. Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove

8. Inner Life – Make It Last Forever (Larry Levan Mix)

9. Hollie Cook – Body Beat

"Before today there was yesterday and after tomorrow is the future." And the day after that?

Love is the answer πŸ™‚

Soul Clap play the Loft Studios on Saturday June 9th. More info and tickets here.