There’s an ideology held within select dance communities that questions the validity – and in essence the definition – of an edit. Thus, when Soul Clap’s then-ubiquitous rerub of Stevie Wonder’s Love Light In Flight emerged in 2009, followed by 2010′s infamous R&B Edits EP, the duo became instantly divisive within the electronic underground. Fast-forward to 2012 and following a plethora of split EPs on New York’s seminal Wolf + Lamb imprint, an acclaimed addition to the DJ-Kicks series and hosting their iniquitous Midweek Techno parties in Cambridge – Soul Clap are now recognised as one of contemporary house’s most luminary outfits.
Alongside signifying the allegiance of global stoners and the drab conclusion of the Kony 2012 campaign, Friday April 20 marked the worldwide release of Soul Clap’s debut studio album entitled EFUNK. Whilst this collaborative date was a mere coincidence, Charles Levine, half of the Soul Clap duo alongside Eli Goldstein, explains that this quirk of date held an obligatory recognition. “On 4/20 we had come back from Milan and we went back to Berlin for the day. I had stashed some weed in Eli’s room, so I got it out and rolled myself a big spliff. I went downstairs and went to the courtyard of the Michelberger Hotel where we were staying. I saw my buddy Alex who was working at reception and I said ‘Alex, you and I are going to smoke this joint and we are going to celebrate the release of EFUNK! We are going to get high and celebrate 4/20!’ So we sparked up the joint – and as soon as I sparked it up the postman arrived with a big box full of EFUNK vinyl and CDs, I shit you not!” he cackles uncontrollably, “So we did celebrate. We got efunky.”
EFUNK, quite obviously, is an amalgamation of the duo’s career and musical experience. A culmination of their production prowess, it also represents their first fully-original release on Wolf + Lamb. “To have an album that really captures a moment – our sound in our lives – that’s all we could have really hoped for and I believe we’ve done that,” divulges Levine. “I haven’t really been paying attention. I haven’t read any reviews of the album besides from the one that Mixmag did, which was pretty good, but they said that they felt that a lot of the interludes were unnecessary and self-serving. I mean, I don’t know? They might be right, they might be wrong, everyone can figure it out for themselves – but I know my mother didn’t like it. I was like ‘mum! Come on, what the fuck!’”
In terms of their artistic progression and psychological development, Levine draws parallels with the infamous Mayan doomsday theory. “I know that this Nostradamus prediction has been around forever or whatever but I think it only entered my stream of consciousness in my 20′s,” he laughs pertly. “I told myself that I was going to live without consequence until [December 21] 2012 – and then I would, you know, start roping it in a little if the world still existed.”
“And as we come closer to this date – I don’t think that it’s really accurate, but I do feel as if it’s an awakening. The older I get the more I become aware of this idea of collective consciousness – I just turned 30, it’s 2012 and I’m having a personal awakening – I feel more confident and more wise in my musical career, my musical ability and my DJ ability.”
Levine pauses momentarily, before tangentially envisioning the Soul Clap end of the world party. “We will not be playing It’s The End Of The World As We Know It by R.E.M, that will not make the cut,” he jokes fervently. “We’d be playing plenty of Parliament and Funkadelic records, we’d definitely be playing some Herbie Hancock jams – actually, we’d be playing The Power Of Love as the tidal wave comes in and wipes us all out. Where will the party be? I don’t know man.”
Soul Clap’s EFUNK is out now through Wolf + Lamb. Expect to see them on Australian shores at the beginning of 2013.
Soul Clap on the web:
Words / Tyson Wray