In the Booth with Soul Clap

Earlier this month Elyte and Cnyce’s interstellar Soul Clap ship descended on Jæger with the full force of Sun Ra’s most cosmic determination. Holled up in our basement the entire night, they brought the might of a Bootsy Collins platform down on Oslo, with their Funk-determined vision of an electronic future narrated by Mad Max.

Captivating and energetic, their set skated through dance music from the 70’s to the present on a celestial trajectory where no man has ventured before, their destination set to mark the release of their latest- and second album, “Soul Clap”. Like “EFUNK” before it this latest album is a highly intoxicating punchbowl of musical influences concocted from the group’s most primal experiences on the dance floor, distilled for your most hedonistic listening pleasures.

Tracing a line from their Funk roots, with syncopated, bouncing live drums, oozing cool bass-lines, and vocals that call out at you from some foggy hazy corned of a dance floor like a siren song, Soul Clap is undeniably a soul Clap album from cover to cover, while at the same time plotting perhaps a new orbit for the Soul Clap ship.

To find out where exactly the are headed with this new album, we shot over some questions to Elyte and Cnyce, which they answer here while you listen back to their time in our booth.

We’re gonna keep it focussed on the new album, but I just have one unrelated question: Did you enjoy your time at Jæger, and if there were any highlights you could recall?

The show at Jaeger was so dope!  What a great club, sound system, vibe, DJ booth, crowd, energy… it’s a winning combination over there!

Ok so onto the album, Soul Clap….

It’s self-titled. Is there any particular reason behind that?

We decided to self-title this album because musically we feel it really represents us at our core. This is the album we’ve always wanted to make and we want the world to hear it and understand that it defines us, where we’re at and where we’ve come from.

It’s your second only album in your extensive career. Why is the album such a rare format in your discography and what particularly inspired you to approach it again on this occasion?

You know, it takes a lot to create an “album”. There’s so much more thought and philosophy that goes into it. EPs, remixes, edits, they are the fruit of lesser work. Not that they’re any less special musically, just less of an overall musical effort. But albums are the most important form of statement for a musician. Albums also seem to be benchmarks in a musician’s career and therefore totally necessary for real growth.

As with EFUNK and many of your ep’s/12”, there’s a lot of collaboration on Soul Clap. What do you find other artists universally bring out in your music?

We really wanted to tap into the traditional style of making an album on “Soul Clap”.  And by traditional, we mean recording many session musicians. If we represent the canvas and the album represents the black and white lines, it’s the session musicians that are all of the wonderful colors that make this album dazzle. These are the players with the chops and while we’re not entirely all thumbs here, there are some ideas that require a greater skill level to come together and that’s what these artists really bring out in our music.

Wolf & Lamb make an appearance again too and you have a close relationship with that group. What do you like about working with them and what do they particularly bring out in your music?

W+L are our brothers, the four of us make up an incredible team. Together we’ve brought life to Crew Love, so much music and so many unforgettable parties. We love their art first over money approach. We love their classy taste that they applied to the Marcy Hotel which they then applied to their overall aesthetic. Musically Gadi specifically has always been an incredible A&R and helped develop our sound into what you hear today. We’ve always been on our own path, but it’s safe to say we owe a lot to Wolf + Lamb.

What did you take from the  EFUNK experience that you developed further on this sophomore work?

EFUNK was a tribute to our roots in house, r&b and most importantly FUNK. Especially Parliament-Funkadelic, and that love and sound is very much alive on this new album.  This new album also tells our story after we went down to Tallahassee, Florida where we met George Clinton and got to jam with him and the many other musicians who spend their time at the studio there. Tallahassee is also where the core of this new album was created. Songs like “Numb” and “Elevation” were written down there and hold that energy.

It’s undeniably a Soul Clap record with elements of Funk and House conspiring, very often in the form of a pop song, but was there an evolution to your overall creative process for this album?

For this album most of the ideas began as sketches, loops and jams. From there, as the arrangements came together the demo’s were born. Then these demos were taken into larger studios, like Redbull Studios in Manhattan, Midnight Magic’s studio in Brooklyn and finally Martin Buttrich’s studio in Barcelona, where the demos were fleshed out, studio musicians were recorded, feature vocals were recorded and these entities became album songs!

You favour the progression of a “song” over the repetitiveness of a “track” throughout most of your work and again on this album. Is this grounded in something unique within your musical upbringing?

The music we grew up with, the music we love, the music we want to write, they’re songs! It’s not that we don’t appreciate tracks and the power that tracks have, it’s just this is where our hearts are.

Your live mix that we’re presenting today on Jæger features a similar focus on the traditional song, especially on the beginning of the mix. How do you achieve this fluidity between the dance floor and the recorded format, that seems to exist both ways for you?

We’ve each been DJs for 20 years now, that’s 40 years of combined experience.  Fluidity in mixing and programming is achieved thru repetition. Just like working a muscle, these are exercises we’ve done countless times.

There’s this tangible party atmosphere to your music, and this album especially. I feel that if I put it on at a house party it would be like you’re in the room there with us. Is this something you set out to achieve and if so how did you get in that frame of mind before you went into the studio?

Thank you very much! Maybe we are in the room with you, watching thru a web cam… ever consider that?  We didn’t set out to achieve this goal, but it is certainly a compliment.

One final question. I mentioned that I really feel that party atmosphere on the record, but what do you hope the listener will get out of it?

We want our listeners to feel as funky, freaky and free as they wanna be!