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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