For The Record: Soul Clap

_MG_7163

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!

Advertisements
Standard

For The Record: Portable

Alan Abrahams or as he is known around the globe as Portable/Bodycode is proudly South African, born on the Cape Flats in a very modest area called Bonteheuwel. We caught up with this world-renowned DJ/Producer shortly before he comes out to Cape Town to headline the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival.

 bodycode_042910

Good day Alan [or “awe ma-se-kin”], thanks for taking time out of your super-busy schedule to chat to us ahead of your visit to the fairest Cape.

Is this the first time you’re playing in Cape Town? I think you may have featured at a Killer Robot night before, but it’s certainly not been a fixture on your gig guide right?!

No I played at Killer Robot a few years ago, the last time I was here it was closed for refurbishing ,so I haven’t been playing here in years. My Johannesburg gig will be my first one there.
Also, as I am playing in the late afternoon my parents, will be able to come see what I do for the very first time!

 

You’re world-renowned. Have played on all the major stages around the world and are revered by your colleagues in the industry, yet there are many people back in South Africa, who are in the electronic music industry [in particular], who have never heard of you. How does this make you feel?

I don’t take it personally to be honest, I am composing music for a living and get to perform it live, unlike no one else, all over the planet, and get the appreciation from the hosts who invite me and the audience at the events. For me, that is enough, I am not composing music in order to be recognised by this or that industry but for the appreciation and uplifting of the social consciousness as a whole, through direct communication with a people at large.
In this day and age, in clubs or festival gatherings is a very effective means in doing this. It is the true form of social communion.

 

Recently you featured on the Slices DVD Feature. In there you allude to your upbringing on the Chicago House sound and how you’re reinventing that sound to suit the current scene. How difficult is it to bring this ‘message’ across to your audience today and get them to relate to that era?

I don’t go about intending to do anything of the sort. That era is gone and assimilated into this current age.
It was just an initial base when I started composing music but now it has been merged and morphed into my growth as an artist and a composer into something else entirely, something that you could call a Portable sound, as a source of reference.

 

 

You are certainIy well-traveled and I liken your gig guide to be as busy as Golden Dish take-away on a Saturday night. Where do you find the time to produce with such an intense schedule?

I am always composing music, even if I am not physically recording it. I am always in state of furious nonstop recording for days on end, and then a few weeks of nothing but absorption and conceptualizing. I am travelling with my live set-up, so when I want to put down ideas, I can, my studio is totally portable, and in that I don’t mean, just my laptop, but my controllers and portable workstation. In fact, as I am writing this, I am planning to go to a lagoon, here in Florianopolis, Brazil, with my workstation and record some ideas for a future Südelectronic release.

Tell us a bit about the project with Esa, Ali Ooft and yourself called “Prophets of the South” How did that come about?

I know Esa, and he asked me if I would be interested in doing a remix for their project.

 

When listening to “Into Infinity” I get the feeling that you were going through many-personal challenges and articulated this well in the lyrics of the songs on there. Is this the way you always go about writing your music?

Yes of course, my music is a form of personal release. It has always and will always be that way. I think that is one of the things that could set it apart from the general run of mill these days.

 

You and Lerato Khuti have forged quite a partnership! Collaborative project putting out gems like “A Deeper Love” and of course the Süd Electronic label. Are there any new productions coming out by the two of you?

Lerato, Tama Sumo and I collectively run the Südelectronic imprint. I am currently finishing a new 12″ for the label. And working on something for a new Perlon release too, later this year.

 

Besides playing at CTEMF, what else are you looking forward to doing here in the 021?

Seeing my parents and family. They’ve never seen me live before…Mutton Salomies, Table Mountain! 

 

I firmly believe that Cape Town is in for a treat when you get on stage on Sunday 09 February at 17h30pm and I’ve actually bet a Gatsby [and Frulatti] that you will be the stand-out performer. No pressure, right?

People always ask me if I get nervous, of course I do, but its more often than not, a waste, I just do what I do and things always work well, guess as my parents will be in the audience, that makes me also a little nervous, but it will be fantastic ! I know it!

Well I’m definitely looking forward to enjoying a Mutton Salomie with you and having lots of fun while you’re down here. Thanks again Alan!

 

Standard