Soul Clap on Working in Miami: "We Saw the Musical Power of this Climate, We Were Sold"
For one thing, they've been WMC regulars for a decade. But they also spent this year's entire winter season in the 305, holding down a DJ residency with label mates and regular collaborators Wolf + Lamb at the Electric Pickle.
And it's not just career opportunism that's brought Soul Clap down here. No, they've actually found something of a spiritual musical home in Miami. It's no surprise, given the duo's penchant for the type of bass-heavy booty jams this city has exported since the '80s.
Soul Clap didn't choose Miami -- Miami chose them. And we should all be happy about that, because our town helped spawn the pair's upcoming debut album EFUNK on Wolf + Lamb, and it's a groovy affair indeed.
Crossfade: So what's the concept behind your debut long player EFUNK?
Soul Clap: E.F.U.N.K. means "Everybody's Freaky Under Nature's Kingdom" -- a call to emancipate the universal booties from the clutches of dancefloor repetition! It's our first album and is therefore a sort of culmination of our lives so far in music. This album contains music that's totally different than what we would put on an EP. It's not just designed for DJs or dancefloors, but we wanted it to be something we would have put on in high school while we were chilling with homies, cutting class or trying to kick it to a chick.
You've been rocking WMC week in Miami for ten years now. What have been some of the highlights? Any favorite anecdotes?
Here are some crazy highlights from our ten years of WMC: One year Charlie broke his leg the day before Conference started and was rolling around on crutches the whole week. It was a blessing in disguise because we got to cut the line at every party! One year our friend blagged us a daytime gig at the Clevelander and we played records to a grand total of two people. Our friend who got us the gig... and a guido. Around 2005, we got our first official gig at WMC at some hotel on Ocean Drive that we forget the name of. Every year we made a promo DJ mix to bring down and give out, but in 2006 we put out the first edition of the "Great White Hope" mix series. In 2007 we released Volume 2, and then in 2008, we had just released our first record, The Giraffe on Airdrop, and we spent the week giving out cute yellow 10" records. Probably one of the last times anyone has given out vinyl at Conference.
2009 was the breakout year for our music at WMC, with Shaun Reeves dropping our "Smiling Faces" remix and Seth Troxler opening his set at Sunday School with our "Conscious" edit. But we still couldn't score a good gig! 2010 was the year we finally got to shine as we opened the terrace at Get Lost and played possibly our best set ever at Sunday School. It also was the year we dropped "EFUNK: The Mixtape" and our "Extravaganza" edit stole the show. 2011 was the year of the Clap. From the Wolf + Lamb/Soul Clap DJ Kicks release party at the Pickle, to our second time kicking off the Get Lost terrace, to the Liaison boat party, to dropping an all-vinyl disco set to close out the week at Hot Natured. We finally made it!
You gotta admit, regardless of some cheesy moments, WMC is one of the best weeks of the year for dance music. Miami is the perfect city for dance music, plus all the amazing talent coming to town, walking around -- the energy just builds in the air. We're living down here these days during the winter, so by the time that week rolls around, we've got all our bases covered. It's a real thrill. Can't believe its been ten years!
So how did this winter residency at the Electric Pickle with Wolf + Lamb come about? And what is it about Miami, and specifically the Pickle that compelled you to move here and spend the whole season with us?
Well, first Eli started spending some time in Miami during the winter months. Meanwhile Gadi [Mizrahi] from Wolf + Lamb has a family condo that we started taking advantage of to beat the cold and come write music. This is the place that gave birth to the first Double Standard Records EP. Gadi and Deniz [Kurtel] had their Beach Club project, and once we all saw the musical power of this climate, environment, and pace, we were sold. The musical energy is here -- the echoes of freestyle and '80s electro, Miami bass, latin music. Everything you write here sounds like Joe Satriani's "Echo" -- it's just so epic!
So the next season, we stepped it up and got firmly planted with a place for all four of us (Gadi and Zev [Eisenberg] from Wolf + Lamb and us, Charlie and Eli from Soul Clap.) So with the help of Will [Renuart] over that the Electric Pickle, we teamed up to fly some of that Marcy Hotel magic down south in Miami. We've had a good portion of the family to perform this season, Deniz Kurtel, Voices Of Black, Tanner Ross, Slow Hands and most recently No Regular Play dropped an all-new live set that is gonna catapult them into 2012!
The album comes out on Wolf + Lamb, and you also did a DJ Kicks mix album with them last year. How did you guys all get together? And what makes your creative kinship so powerful?
We've really met our creative match with Wolf + Lamb. We are two duos from similar parts of the world with a shared outlook on this musical life and lifestyle. We first linked up around 2007-2008, after stumbling upon the Marcy Hotel. We were in total awe of the place and the vibe there. This crew is really unique. Wolf + Lamb and Double Standard are not just record labels, they're big creative families! We try to spend as much time together as possible, collaborating on music and enjoying our lives. The four of us together bring a real house party feeling when we play parties, from deep to disco and beyond!
What does the future have in store for Soul Clap?
This year's all about worm holes, you'll see! Wiggle it, just a little bit.
Soul Clap as part of Giant Throbbin' Electric Pickle Invades Miami with Guy Gerber, Wolf + Lamb, Heidi, Crazy P Soundsystem, Soul Clap, Blond:ish, Shonky, and others. Sunday, March 25. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 7 a.m. and tickets cost $40 plus fees via residentadvisor.net. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.
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