Soul Clap – Soul Clap LP
Soul Clap’s second and self-titled album comes full circle for the Boston bred duo, carving a trajectory of their collective experience and forging an authentic testament to their true selves.
The spirit of the album was born during their first trip to Tallahassee, Florida to meet George Clinton, resulting in their 2015 single together, ‘In Da Kar’ featuring the one and only Sly Stone, and featured on Funkadelic’s 2015 critically acclaimed album. For their own album Soul Clap returned to Tallahassee to record at Clinton’s What? Studios, collaborating with many fresh young and local talent work day and night in P-Funk’s creative space. Between there, Miami, Red Bull Studios Manhattan, Midnight Magic’s studio in Greenpoint and Charlie Levine’s Rad Pad in Williamsburg, this body of music took its shape.
In ‘Soul Clap’ we can hear four years of maturing technique since their first album, carefully crafted and supported by a whole community of musical talent. In the words of Charles Levine, one half of the duo, “it digs deep into our funky souls and turns our wildest dreams into sound. If ‘EFUNK’ [their first album] was an attempt to create a blueprint using our past inspirations, then “Soul Clap” is the beautiful skyscraper, standing tall as it looks to the future.”
This is music from an eclectic universe, where creativity and mystery are the guides. Lead single ‘Shine’ is an anthemic wonder featuring the legendary Nona Hendryx, founding member of the group Labelle who’s ‘Lady Marmalade’ is a timeless classic and has collaborated with acts such as George Clinton & P-Funk, Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel to name a few. ‘Elevation’ and ‘Numb’ feature Tallahassee locals Ebony Houston, Ricky Tan, Dayonne Rollins and Freeky Neek, while original member of Funkadelic, Billy “Bass” Nelson brings his low-slung flavor to ‘Funk Bomb’ and ‘Future4Love’. Members of Soul Clap’s core Crew Love family, Wolf + Lamb, Nick Monaco and Greg Paulus of No Regular Play also play integral roles on this eleven track album, a truly collaborative endeavour that echoes its message through the soul.
Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine have a rare and insightful take on electronic music, their style breaks through the usual limitations that others often find themselves caged within and they have held residencies everywhere from Circo Loco at DC10 Ibiza, to Output in New York. “Long ago our mentor Caril Mitro from Vinyl Connection [a record store in their hometown of Boston] taught us that “House wears many hats”. That means that the music that we love so much comes in many shapes and sizes,’ explains Goldstein. ‘We are children of the 80’s and 90’s so funk and hip hop were our early influences, but discovering the rave and being led into house and disco, these genres feel very organic and homegrown to us. We carry these influences in our attitudes and beings. Music has the incredible power to shape a personality and it has molded us into the artists we have become.”
Starting out cutting their teeth in the early rave scene in Boston, they soon found fame through a series of edits and became household names through notable releases including a DJ Kicks alongside close allies Wolf + Lamb and their electric first album called EFUNK. The title, which stands for Everybody’s Freaky Under Nature’s Kingdom, and sounds like modern electronic funk, became their calling card. EFUNK is a bridge between the discerning futurism of underground dance and the charisma and boldness of funk and pop culture. For Charlie funk is his foundation, for Eli it’s jazz, and as their infamous Yoyoyo 90’s Jam parties testified (playing only classics from the era), they have the ability to transform and lead in more than one movement.
“Back in the day at the Warehouse in Chicago with Frankie Knuckles or The Paradise Garage with Larry Levan there was no one sound that dominated musically. It was all about diversity and eclecticism. This was the ethos then and it is a very large philosophy behind us individually and as Soul Clap. In fact it is diversity in sound that initially brought us together back in the 90’s and it is the yin-yang nature of us today that pushes us forward into the FUTURE!”