Soul Clap (fabric 93)
Eli: I was born in Boston and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both my parents are professors so they’ve always been super supportive of my creative endeavors.
Charlie: I’m from Brookline, which shares a border with Cambridge on the Charles River. My parents, who both worked in Psychology, fed me a lot of Jazz, Blues, Folk, Reggae and Soul music from their big record collection.
E: My father is a jazz head who plays the bass, so that was my biggest influence. I was really into jazz as a kid and played alto sax for years. From there I found jazz funk like Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers, before discovering Hip-Hop and labels like Acid Jazz, Mo Wax and Ninja Tune Records, which finally led to jungle and house. Then best friend Andrew took me to a rave and I got to see DJs playing and people dancing to electronic music, and I knew I had found my calling.
C: When I was real young I learned about the Beatles and the Stones, Bob Marley and Paul Simon, but it was the 80’s so I was a huge Michael Jackson fan. I’ve got a photo from when i was about 3 or 4 playing air guitar while listening to “Beat It”. Then 9-12 was my big musical discovery breakthrough when i attended summer camp at a place called Camp Killooleet in Hancock, VT. Two councilors there named Ben and David Harris had started a Parliament-Funkadelic camper cover band. I was the front man as George Clinton and through these two crazy brothers I learned all about funk and soul. P-Funk, Barry White, Curtis Mayfield , The Isley Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, Sly Stone…. The list went on and on.. By the 90’s I had gone through my reggae phase, dreadlocks had been grown out and shaved off and it was about that time that I discovered the Rave. My story is so similar to so many others. Once you go to that first party and see the DJ’s the music and the energy, you’re HOOKED!
E: Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders were early favorites, but there were two compilations that opened my ears to more modern sounds: Stolen Moments: Red Hot & Cool, which was a collaboration project between jazz musicians and rappers, and Classic Jazz-Funk Mastercuts Vol. 2, which turned me on to super deep cuts like Idris Muhammad's “Could Heaven Ever Be Like This” and “Dominos” by Donald Byrd. Hip-Hop was also really important in high school and I remember lining up to get new albums at midnight on Mondays at Tower Records, like Outkast - Aquemini, Tribe Called Quest Beats - Rhymes and Life and The Roots - Illadelph Halflife. But then I got into DJing and I was hooked on vinyl. I was buying all kinds of different records, jungle, house, hip-hop, dancehall, techno. Just trying to explore everything. We had great record shops in Boston at that time: Vinyl Connection, Satellite Records, Biscuithead, Boston Beat, Newbury Comics. Important early electronic albums were Goldie’s Timeless and all the early DJ Kicks mixes.
C: Big concerts that shaped my musical vision were Ziggy Marley & The B52’s sharing one bill, Paul Simon during the Graceland Tour, Parliament-Funkadelic (I went to my first Pfunk show with the camp councilors at age 12) and I would catch Jamiroquai everytime they came to town. I was listening to everything from the funk to punk, rock, dub reggae and dancehall… But once the rave was introduced into my life I got deep into jungle, hardcore breakbeat and finally house music. Record shops like Tower Records and Sam Goody were still in business but once i was regularly going to parties and seeing DJ’s it was all about the music being sold at the DJ oriented vinyl record shops and even more importantly, MIXTAPES! You’d get mix tapes from your friends, at the record stores and even at the parties themselves. You’d just have to make sure you always carried a pencil in case that shit got messed up!
"We also wanted to make sure that the mix represents the music that we play at fabric, faster tempo, more electronic drums, deep and trippy sounds, we still believe that mixes should be appropriate to listen to at home, on your headphones, or at an afterparty getting silly with friends; energetic, but always gentle." - Soul Clap
E: DJing became my career really early on and I haven’t had a real job since I saved up for my first turntables and mixer.
Me and my friend Sam started DJing our high school dances. I already had gotten into raves and jungle and house, but there is a big Caribbean population in Cambridge so i had to learn about dancehall and soca early on and we played a lot of hip-hop. Then I was playing the electronic music I lover at house parties around Boston and played my first real gig at a jungle night called The Rinse in 2001.
C: I never thought music would take me as far as it has as an artist. I loved DJing in high school in my bedroom and in college at parties but thought i might become an agent one day. I had an internship in the early 2000’s with MN2S (Milk n 2 Sugars) in London, but when a job offer from them turned too complicated due to visa issues I joined Eli and Sam at Next Generation Productions in Boston doing the high school dances, mobile gigs and weddings and such. We had some gigs playing top 40, old school, hip hop and reggae. It was cool, we were real working man DJ’s lugging the speakers around like a couple of ding dongs. It was great experience but I was certain being a mobile DJ wasn’t something I wanted to do forever… By about 2007 we had had enough and just dove feet first into making music and being creative with Soul Clap, not knowing what would happen but dedicated to the idea that from that moment forward we would no longer take requests or do a party that wasn’t our natural vibe.
LABELS & PRODUCTION
E & C. It’s been almost 10 years of seriously making music at this point! We both had taken some production classes early on and started working together on music around 2004, but it was that moment in 2007 that things got serious. We were DJing a lot of club gigs around Boston and realized that we were going to be miserable by our 30’s if we didn’t focus on the music we really loved, HOUSE! So we decided to take a year to really focus on production and see if it worked out. Luckily for us our friends Paulo Reachi and Henry Glucroft really believed in us and started Airdrop Records to put out our first few releases in 2008. Also at that time, retail shops were really into booking DJs to play in-store so we were playing gigs like that to pay the bills and got really into new disco and edits. Our first edits of Stevie Wonder - Love Light and Womack & Womack - Conscious caught the ears of Wolf + Lamb’s Gadi & Zev and they started the Wolf + Lamb Black vinyl only label to put them out. That was really our big break as they were really catching fire in Europe and brought us along for the ride. From there we put out EPs on Crosstown Rebels, Glasstable (Hypercolour), Culprit (as SECT) and remixes for everyone from Laid Back to DJ Harvey. In 2011 we did a DJ Kicks mix with Wolf + Lamb which was a major event for us after listening to the series since we were kids. Since then we’ve released two albums on Wolf + Lamb and Crew Love Records, started our own label Soul Clap Records and collaborated with tons of amazing musicians like George Clinton, Sly Stone, Nona Nendryx and many more.
E: The first time I went to fabric was in the early 2000’s and I went to a fabriclive party while I was on vacation with my family in London. I remember waiting in line for at least an hour to get in, and then being totally blown away by the bass! After buying some of the early mixes like Terry Francis, Hipp-E & Halo, James Lavelle and Fabio, we subscribed to the mix series soon after. I think the first one we got in the mail was DJ Heather and all the mixes in ’05-’07 were super influential for us. There were not any where near as many mixes on the internet and the fabric mixes were our connection to what was happening with house and techno around the world. Favorites were: Rub-N-Tug, Ralph Lawson, Villalobos (that mix really blew our minds!), Steve Bug and also the fabric live mixes from Spank Rock and James Murphy & Pat Mahoney (which opened our minds to some amazing disco cuts). The first time we played in fabric was around 2010 in room 3 and we couldn’t believe we actually were playing at the club were the spirit of all these mixes originated.
C: I feel like my first encounter with fabric was at a drum n bass party during my days at MN2S, but returning to play was a whole other animal. I mean wow what a crazy space it is down there. This complex of sub level brick masonry leading down down into the belly of London where its rumored that when the sound system is off you can here the tube trains fly by. Fabric in a league of its own. Its a true cultural space that should be preserved like a museum! I mean shit, i heard once Banksy fooled the doorman and got in there to paint, so the place already has priceless art in it!
In some ways this mix is a follow-up to our DJ Kicks mix. We’re really trying to capture the current musical moment for us and our collective of artists, but this time we offer a more eclectic look into our musical world. The mix features music from our Crew Love affiliated labels and other musical friends, but also explores other modern and classic producers that excite us. We also wanted to make sure that the mix represents the music that we play at fabric, faster tempo, more electronic drums, deep and trippy sounds, we still believe that mixes should be appropriate to listen to at home, on your headphones, or at an afterparty getting silly with friends; energetic, but always gentle.
Sound-wise, we did our best to fit our many styles into the 70+ minutes. As always everything is tied together by two vital creative ideas that Everybody’s Freaky Under Nature’s Kingdom (EFUNK) and “house wears many hats". EFUNK is Electronic music that’s futuristic, but still funky as hell and it’s a great moment to explore these ideas with so much new synthy, funk influenced music coming out that we could include on the mix like Harvey Sutherland, Zackey Force Funk, Life On Planets, David Marston, Scott Grooves, Jay Daniel, Midnight Magic, Moon B, Youandewan, Nu Guinea, Conga Radio, Zopelar, Taylor Bense, and our collaboration with No Regular Play and John Camp.
House wears many hats is the idea that eclecticism = house music, so, while we break out of the 4x4 and explore different beats (from breaks to electro to funk to disco to afro) we always keep our feet planted firmly in house. On the mix the spirit of house is represented from the soulful sounds of Ancient Deep, Ken Gill and Daev Martin, the voice of Life On Planets vocalist Phil Celeste, to the afro styles of Sol Power All-Stars and Maajo, to the classic samples of Barbara Tucker, Indian Ocean and Storm & Herman.
There are also very personal moments on this mix.Thanks to Goli, Craig and Magda we got our hands on a recording of Derren Smart, a close friend of the fabric community who sadly passed in 2014. Derren was one of the first promoters to believe in us and our sound and helped us spread our vibe through London to the world. The mix begins and ends with his voice as our tribute to the immeasurable impact that he had on so many of our lives.
fabric 93: Soul Clap is out on 21st April.
Order your copy from fabric here.
Get this and every fabric release from just £5: http://bit.ly/fabric1st
Soul Clap launch fabric 93 on Saturday 15th April.
Tickets are available here.