For The Record: Soul Clap

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We are just over a week away from a much anticipated visit by Soul Clap. Eli and Charles were kind enough to have a chat to us, and we asked them a few things.

So, first trip to South Africa. Is this your first AFRICAN adventure as well? 

Yeah, our first trip to South Africa, but we’ve played in Tunisia before

Looking forward to leaving this cold ass United States and coming over to warm ass South Africa.

What have you heard about this ‘neck of the woods’ …

We first heard about South Africa from Louie Vega, who told us that the [deep] house scene down in RSA was really big and then we also heard from Till Von Sein and Daniel [Trickski] that it’s a spot we definitely need to check out. From there we got in contact with the guys down your side and this trip was scheduled.

It is still ‘Deep for Life’ for you guys, right? Although, you’ve proven that you’re comfortable taking it the route of some slowed up RnB or Jazzy sounds. Quite ‘ballsy’ of you lads!?

We have big balls!  The playing across the spectrum thing, is something we’ve always done. It came from playing gigs in shopping malls and doing corporate events, which called out for a more laid back sound. Also, it was at a time when Prins Thomas and Todd Terje were big influences, and were doing the same thing in their sets, so we kinda took their lead.

We’re also very nerdy about the history of house/disco  and where it’s derived from. It was common for DJs to play the slow down sounds at a certain time in their sets and we continue to do this, to pay homage to the guys who were around before us.

So, what would you view as an ‘ideal’ length of a set for Soul Clap?

4 hours is a bare minimum. We like a good 8-9hour set. When we’re playing the longer sets there’s more opportunity for our energy to dictate the feeling of the club, so at the end of a marathon set the crowd would be tired too. Whereas when we’re playing a 4 hour set, we find that we’re still at the ‘pumping’ phase and still wanna carry on when it’s time to end.

How’s your [fairly new] label going? We’ve heard a few belters, like Kon – Love Youx Forever, coming from there. Everything going the way you envisaged it to?

We actually thought it would go easier than what it is, to be honest. You know  “Soul Clap Records” people would just go out and buy our stuff. However, it’s been a lot of hard work. We’ve realised that every time you put music first and put out artists that you actually believe in, there’s a lot more work that [needs to] go into it. You learn that it takes time.

We’ve seen a lot of Nick Monaco’s work sell really well and again its because of the perseverance.

Some of our friends moan about having to play stuff, because they don’t really like it, but it’s on their label so they feel obliged to play it and we’re like, WHY would you do that to yourself and besides, it’s disrespecting the art form.

I think we need to remind ourselves that this is not a dead-end job or a cash cow, it’s actually about the passion and again the art-form of music

It’s so ‘funny’ that you mention that, because on my way here I was listening to a song by this jazz drummer from Boston area [Terry Lyne Carrington] – Money Jungle, which has a sample of an old guy speaking of a people who appreciate music and make music for the sake of the art instead of for financial gain

There are enough examples of [house music] artists who have gone off the other end, selling out for the sake of making wads of cash.

It’s a double edged sword when money gets involved, people forget about the moral implications and again it’s a call out to artists to just make music for the sake of believing in it.

We know there’s a point in artists lives when you have to make business decisions and do whats best to support yourself and your family, but be true to the art form.

One of the tracks on Efunk [The Album] features Lazarus Mathebula aka The Lazarusman. How did this collaboration come about?

That came about through Till Von Sein, when we shouted out a Tilly record on twitter and then Lazarus tweeted us saying he’d be honoured to feature on one of our tracks. Lazarus then wrote the acapella before we had even done the music for the track and we basically found a nice beat to go with that.

We’re looking forward to meeting him when we play in Johannesburg!

Speaking of albums, what you make of Moodymann’s new album? I’ve read mixed reviews on it

Who’s hating that album?! That album is DOPE man! It’s another great example of art. For me it’s exactly what I would want from a Moodymann album.

We try not to bother too much with media reviews as more often than not the guys writing these reviews have little ‘substance’ to their work and just write a bunch of words for the sake of it.

Take for example a UK magazine who are uber PC about their publications…we sent them a Nick Monaco ‘The Stalker’ video…which we thought was very artsy and not at all disgusting, yet they thought it was not PC enough and wouldn’t go with it. Yet, their website/magazine name is as ‘non PC’ as it gets and they’d much rather put up some hip hop joint with foul language and naked women, than the Monaco work.

The Resident Advisor editorial is horrible, some of the worst out there. The problem with them is, that many of their writers can’t even write. They’re just throwing some buzzwords in there and actually have no idea or substance to base their opinions/writing on.

There are a few Saffers who do a bit of travelling and have taken a keen interest in the fairly new OUTPUT club in Brooklyn. You guys are about to play there this Friday, right?! Is it the go-to spot in NYC right now?

Output is the go to club in the United States right now. While Cielo has a great dancefloor and amazing sound, the area that it’s in means that it draws a kinda crowd that isn’t very cool. Output, however, has great character to it and the whole vibe of the venue and the people who go there makes it a great club. They have the ‘no camera’ policy too and also, when you go to Output you have the option of like three clubs with The Panther Room and another little bar/restaurant vibe going as well.

Alright, moving on then…what’s your favourite track right now and which record never leaves your record bag?

Favourite track right now is definitely Moodymann – Lyk U Use 2 and the record that never leaves the bag has to be the first LP by Metro Area.

That’s about it from me…I mean we could chat some more, but I know you gents have work to do

Wait, Is Jullian Gomes from South Africa?

Yes, he is. He’s based up in Johannesburg.

We love his stuff, Love Song 28 is a jam we love playing out. Tell him, we’re looking forward to meeting him!

Thanks a span gentlemen. I’m sure we’re in for one helluva night with you two. Expect some WILD ANIMALS on that dancefloor 🙂

We’re definitely looking forward to coming over, thanks!

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For The Record: Lemon & Herb

 

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We first heard of the Lemon n Herb trio, when Culoe de Song dropped “Violins In A Cave” a few years ago in his BPM Mag Podcast. A lot has happened for the gents since then and we thought we’d catch up…

 

How are you guys doing? We’ve never met, but it seems as if we’ve known each other for years…remind me though LOL, what are the three of your names [I’m seriously bad with remembering names]?

 

We all good brother haha..yea the music unites us all…Its Thami, Don and Skhu…

 

Can you give us the shortened version of how you guys met and what influenced you into making music [house music], please?

We are three guys from KwaZulu Natal. Skhu and Don went to the same primary and high school and went to same varsity where they met Thami. While studying we always played Deep House in the background,during breaks and the Durban scene was very Deep House cultured at the time…Taxis and everyone used to indulge in real house music…and we landed by chance on some music-making software..and one thing led to another…although we never took it seriously at first.

 

THAT Violins in a Cave track was something really special! When I heard it, I immediately went searching for who the track was by etc…How did Culoe latch onto it? Have you guys been friends for a long time?

Well thanks! The guys are fortunate to know Culoe on a personal Level as Skhu is related to him, and the guys lived with him while he was schooling in Durban and that’s where the music-making-bug really clawed on.So it was a matter of giving him the track and he liked it and it landed on his podcast.

 

At the risk of getting it wrong, I’d sum your style of music as rural with a hint of progressive and percussive…is that the ‘message’ you’re trying to bring across with your music?

Well when it comes to our sound…we do not like to box ourselves and put nametags on it..yes we are percussive by nature however we are not imprisoned by this and we are venturing into different avenues of house….The only real message that we want to resonate amongst our peers through our music is that freedom of mind is everything.

 

 

Since THAT track, there’s been a few more really really hot releases, most notably Velani, which is out on Carlos Mena’s label [Ocha Records], right? What else is there to speak of?

Yes we have only a few tracks out there as we trying to tread very carefully and only release quality music, other projects include ATJAZZ feat ROBERT OWENS – LOVE SOMEONE (Lemon&Herb’s Uplifting Mix) BODDHI SATVA feat FREDDY MASSAMBA (Lemon&Herb Spirit Mix). 

 

Who are your biggest inspirations, musically and on a personal level?

We look up to so many people musically and otherwise. But musically we look up to people like Charles Webster, Louie Vega, Shur-i-Kan, Jimpster, BlackCoffee and more recently we loving a lot of some Stimming , Detroit Swindle, Kyodai…but there is so much music out there not only house..we would spend the whole day if we listed each one! Haha

 

 

What has been the highlight of your career to date?

Highlights would definitely be winning the Atjazz remix competition, Louie Vega listing ‘Velani’ as one of his top 5 tracks on a SoulHeaven interview he just did and also working on our Debut Album with Ocha Records.

 

Your podcast #MixedInMotion is one of the podcast series I don’t miss. How do you go about choosing your playlists every month and which one of you puts the mix together, or is it a team effort hehehe?

It is definitely a team effort, we listen to a heck of a lot of music, constantly…and luckily we are brothers more than anything and we like a very similar sound…so choosing songs comes naturally without conflict.

 

Mixed In Motion is not only the name of your podcast series, but the record label you guys established and where you released your first EP on. With you now signed to Ocha Records, what’s happening with your own label?

This is True…and the label and its targets still remain.We were fortunate enough to be approached by Ocha for an album deal and we took it as it was a chance to join hands with an influential label and make some music that can be heard by a broader audience. MIM is very much a future active label that we have great plans for.

 

Surely there should be an artist album in the pipeline? There’s enough bloody-hot material to make that worthwhile, or are you guys biding your time?

Yes we are in the last stages now with our Debut Album that is due to come out on Ocha very soon! We have been very busy with that and are chuffed at the outcome.So keep your ears on the street.

 

You’ve been kind enough to do an exclusive mix for us. Tell us a bit about the thinking around this mix please? [If you don’t do a mix, then just ignore this one, shot]

We always do mixes as we feel at the time and we don’t follow any rules per se, we will include a L&H exclusive, which is the next single from us, a track entitled ‘Heaven’ alongside the talented Kholi.The rest will be music we meditate on.

 

Finally, where can we catch you playing out AND when are you visiting Cape Town?

We are going to be playing a lot of gigs in the near future, to keep updated. Do follow us on twitter @lemonnherb and ‘lemon & herb’ on Facebook. That way fans can know where we playing next. We are hoping promoters in CPT will bring us down soon! Haha 

 

Thank you very much gents. Much respect and keep pushing!

Thank you for having us!! Be blessed.

 

Lemon & Herb – For The Record SA Podcast 002

 

 

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For The Record: Kyle Russouw

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Kyle Russouw has burst onto the local music scene in spectacular fashion. Having heard his name being mentioned by the likes of Erefaan Pearce and having played at the monthly Tableism events, I thought it best we get to know a little bit more about the new face on the House music scene.

Hi Kyle, thanks for chatting to us. Can you give us a bit of background on yourself? Where you grew up, what interests you etc?   

I  was born and raised  in Kensington Cape Town (the beautiful Mother City) where i currently still reside. The past 20 years of my life i have been exposed to different genres of music, but my one true love will remain deep house. I grew up in a house in which music was always played from jazz, R&B and even instrumental. My teen years, I joined the club and house party scene, and this just drew me closer to my calling of becoming a DJ. My uncle (Falko) is also a well known graffiti artist  and is a part of the classics event.

My second love has always been sport, which is why as a youngster I never really took my passion for music seriously, as it was my dream to be a professional soccer player. I also obtained my Western Province colours for baseball 8 years ago and still enjoy the game.                                                                                                                                                      

You’ve not been DJ’ing for a long time, right? How long has it been and what were the main factors behind you becoming a DJ and playing House music?

I’ve been DJing for 2 years, but out of that 2 years I would only recognize 1 year which has truly made me feel a part of this industry. 

A close friend of mine moved down  to Cape Town in 2009 from Johannesburg. Our friendship and the music he brought down with him influenced my interest for house music. Ziyaad Salli and I would fool around for hours on Virtual DJ and he would always update me with the latest local house music. Since then my archives have grown from buying albums such as Sutra and the Soul Candi collection.

Being a youngster and not being able to attend house parties such as Shake your pancreas: Funky Buddah ; Soul Revolution and the list goes on, all I could do was add these dj’s on Facebook to keep myself updated and with this the interest grew.

My ears were really opened to my calling of becoming a DJ at the age of 17, when i was invited to play at a car wash fundraiser by my good friend Alister Fester. I found myself extremely comfortable behind the decks, and the reason for house music would definitely be the melodic side. I also wanted to find some sort of isolation to the everyday music, and found that deep house not only does that, but it also takes me on a spiritual journey. To sum it all up house music rocks!!!  

 

I believe you studied at the Soul Candi Institute of Music right? Tell us how that came about and how it’s benefited you as a DJ?

Thats correct i studied at Soul Candi Institute of Music for only a year, but i have to say it was the most exciting and enlightening year thus far. 

I found myself inspired by one particular person, he was my dj lecturer Blanka Mazimela,  we spent a lot of time together and he most certainly matured my taste in music. He became my mentor. The production course helped me understand the finer details that a songs’ production consists of. Therefore when I listen to a song I know how much time an effort was put into making that track and I appreciate it more. This also affects the way in which I select my music , as I look at music in a different dimension: knowing and listening. 

 

Listening to some of your mixes on your Soundcloud page, it’s evident you are able to play the slower, moodier side of [deep] house music as well as the slightly more melodic style too. Are these your two chosen areas of house music or does it run deeper than that? [Mandatory pun]

Yes it most definitely does run deeper, as not all motion is physical movement. With my style of music I get to feel the rhythm in the strings an melodies; also with this style you get to feel the movement from the inside and just allow it to flow.

Taking into consideration this ‘slow-mo’ style you’ve taken on as your own, would you say you prefer playing the earlier slots or are you comfortable adapting to whatever time of the night you are booked?

I can play to any style, as a DJ you need to be versatile and be able to adjust and adapt. I must admit I do love the moody and down tempo beats, this stems from always getting the opening slot. When I entered into the DJ scenes I was always given the opening slot but I never minded as I actually enjoy it, but I can play an awesome set at any time of the day.

It’s easy to become disheartened in this industry, especially in a City where everyone and their friend is a [deep house] DJ! How do you stay motivated and how do you differentiate yourself from the rest?

There are 3 main reasons why I remain motivated: I try to maintain a fresh approach by always seeking new ideas to better my skills. I just recently started buying records and this has pushed up my motivation to a whole new level. Then there is pleasure of collecting new music. The last one would be my loyal listeners who have continued to support me even when I played at 9pm and there was no one else at the club yet. 

The music industry is rather cut-throat, as you may have discovered. At 21yrs of age, you have a long way ahead of you. Do you have any short to mid-term goals in place to ensure you can maintain this career as well as support yourself?

I do have an important goal set out for next year, I would like to have one of my own productions pressed and released, this was a personal goal but now its put out there, and I know this industry is hard core, but i believe with the right attitude and consistency i can make that goal a reality. 

 

Who are your favourite DJ/Producers/Record Labels locally and on the International stage?

There are so many I favor, it would be unfair to pin point; but if i have to i would say:

Smallville Records, Desos Records and Secretsundaze

DJ’s:    Rene Wolski

    Sibonelo Zulu

    Erefaan Pearce

    Julius Steinoff

    Ron Trent

I know you’ve only been playing for a short while, but I’m sure there’s been a few stand out DJ sets you’ve played. Would you like to share one of those please?

All my sets I play at CTDHM for me are all standouts, but there is one particular set I played at an event called Two Doors Down which I enjoyed the most. It was at a nightclub in Cape Town, Manilla Bar. It was like I could feel the floors move as i stood behind those decks; truly an amazing experience. 

 

Finally, do you have any residencies at the moment and/or where can we see you playing out?

I recently became a resident/ member at Alba Lounge with the cloud 9 Sundays crew.

 

Thanks very much for taking the time to chat to us and all the best my friend.

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For The Record: Kat La Kat

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Many of us have just recently discovered the DJ who goes by the name “Kat La Kat” A purveyor of all things deep, slow and emotional… For The Record SA caught up with him, to find out a bit more..

You’re originally from Pretoria, which many claim is the ‘real’ House music capital of South Africa. How much truth is in this claim?

Well it’s a claim that even internationals can attest. It is now slowly evening out throughout the country, but Pretoria has always been at the forefront when it comes to consuming deep house. It’s been a part of the urban youth culture in PTA for a long time.

If my calculations are correct, you’ve been DJ’ing for a decade+ now and producing for 7years. Why then have many of us only just heard about you? Is it because you’re “proper underground” hahaha?

Could be?! Hahaha. Well firstly I was a bedroom dj for a long time because 1) I wanted to make sure the moment I start DJ’ing; I know what I’m doing and doing it well and 2) I couldn’t do club gigs for a while because of my age when I started. 3) I played different styles of music in the earlier years, was a bit “soulful” when I started then got very “minimal techy” then very afro influenced which a lot of people got to know me by, so I have tapped a bit into different markets. Lastly I think it’s also because it hasn’t been what I do on a full time basis.

 

Take us back to how you got into playing the music you do and who were the main influences [locally and internationally] to the sound you now enjoy?

Growing up where I grew up, deep house has always been around me. I started collecting tapes in the late 90’s then there was a boom of compilations so was collecting CDs, though it was mainly the mainstream sound and a bit of Mid Tempo which I enjoyed big time. I fell in love with the underground sound around 2004 playing the “flipsides” of records, the versions most people overlooked but most I’d only play at home in my room, then the bug really hit around 2006 when the minimal and deep tech sound was getting very popular in Pretoria so I can’t really pin point main influences. It was just a matter of a bit of history, maturity, exposure, exploring music and trying out new unheard of artists, that I stumbled upon this awesome sound.   

 

Listening to your Deep Vibes podcasts, you’re always pushing ‘rare’ sounds and you seem to have a love for the slower/deeper cuts, has this always been the case or have you refined your sound over the years?

As a deep house listener, yes I’ve always liked my music a bit slower than usual and most of the times it made so much more sense to me and tracks would hit me harder at a slower tempo. I thought I was a bit weird and that people wouldn’t appreciate that type of sound and that’s why I almost never played it in public, but it felt so good to me that after a while I felt bad that others around me were not experiencing what I was and that’s what inspired me to start the podcast.

 

Your DJ name “Kat La Kat” is a lot easier to roll off the tongue than “Kgakgamatso Tlholoe” Did you have the nickname before you started DJ’ing or was it one you acquired for your stage presence?

Well throughout my life people have always found funny ways to shorten my name. There has never been any -one consistent nickname which sucked ‘coz I had memorized sooo many names that people would call me hahaha. The name was almost accidental because my initials are K.A.T and that’s how I would mark my books at school.  After a while people were calling me Kat and there were a lot of those so I just added a bit of spice to the name

Tell us about your other moniker “Deepnotic” where does this name fit in?

That is the name I normally use a lot for remix projects

 

The last time we spoke, you were now staying in Johannesburg. Has this increased the amount of DJ bookings you’ve received?

Not really, I found Johannesburg to be a bit too mainstream for my liking and I’ve been very picky with the bookings. I know many say that I haven’t been to “the right places” but back in Pretoria “The right places” are way easier to find.

 

I see you’ve just been booked for The Warm Up, which is arguably the premier [deep] house night in the City. You must be really excited to play alongside a quality contributor like Lance DeSardi?

Yes im quite excited about it because I attend a lot of “The Warm Up” parties and the crowd there is always great. Playing alongside a big name like Lance Desardi (whose remixes kill me!!!) and the awesome resident DJs like 2lani the warrior, Brian Blaq and Phat Jack is an experience I wouldn’t pass on 

 

You’ve been rather busy on the production side. Had a listen to some of your work on the Reverbnation website and your sound moves from the full-bodied Chicago house sound to the more Afro-house style [Joy Fantacy for example]. Is this where Kat La Kat is most comfortable?

Yeah I like exploring and trying out new things with music listening to it, making and playing it. I don’t have a specific style or formula that I stick to

 

What are you currently working on and is there an EP or album on the way?

I have taken quite a long break from making music but yes there’s a couple of remixes and projects of my own that should be dropping soon this year.

 

I know you currently do not have a bookings agent, which is something you’re working on. How can promoters get in contact for bookings/enquiries?

djkatlakat@gmail.com should sort you out

 

Thanks very much my friend!

It has been a pleasure brother

Kat La Kat – Deep Vibes 032

 

 

 

 

 

 

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