- At this point, Watergate's seven-year-old mix series is one of the few that manages to remain even remotely relevant. Recent installments haven't helped the cause, though, as a run of rather one-dimensional tech house mixes somewhat undid the good work of earlier releases. So the news that Bostonian funksters Soul Clap would make an entry into the series was welcome indeed—if nothing else, Eli Goldstein and Charlie Levine's penchant for colour and fun would offer a change of pace from recent Watergate offerings.
Watergate 19 was recorded live at one of the Berlin club's outdoor events in Rummelsburg. This seems to have brought the best out of them. Where Soul Clap's last official mix CD, Social Experiment 002, was an insular showcase of friends and family, this one is a much more playful and instinctive jaunt through classic house like Roy Davis Jr., Chez Damier and Mike Dunn. That kind of mix might not sound all that exciting in 2015, but Soul Clap are no rookies with this material, and they make their selections sound fresh. Ron Trent's impossibly feel-good closer "Traveller" is such a perfect fit, it could just as well have been made by Soul Clap themselves.
Opening with the luxuriant sax riffs and squeaky keys of Chocolate City's "Taxi Luv" is a great way to win over dance floors, this one included. As the live crowd whoops and cheers during the opening minutes, you immediately feel part of the party that sunny afternoon. The good vibrations keep on coming, thanks to a breezy groover from Alexander East and a jazzy number from Jake Childs. Goldstein and Levin stray a bit, but never lose focus: tribal beats, acid inflections and Chicago jack all come and go without disrupting the flow.
In the odd moment, a hi-hat will be a fraction out of time or a mix will feel slightly imperfect. But that's a good thing. It not only makes Soul Clap's all-vinyl session feel that more real, but it also harkens back to the original essence of a club's official mix series—that is, surely, to make you want to visit. As a snapshot of the Berlin club's open-air parties, then, Watergate 19 is a good one.
01. Chocolate City - Taxi Luv
02. Alexander East - Hazy Shade Of Love
03. Roy Davis Jr. - The Beautiful One
04. Jake Childs - Back to Basics
05. To-Ka Project - Turn On Tune In (To-Ka Blowout Mix)
06. LawnChair Generals - Sweet Nothing
07. AK - Say That You Love Me (FK-EK Percussive Dub)
08. Mike Dunn - Dance U Mutha
09. Fédéric Galliano & The African Divas - Koukou Lé (Jori Hulkkonen Remix)
10. Idjut Boys - Implant (Full Frontal)
11. Leo Young & E Vineenzini - Mr. Cosmico
12. Francois Dubois - Roy’s Groove
13. Chez Damier - A 2 1/2 Step
14. Scott Grooves - Expansions feat. Roy Ayers (The Pyramid Jazz Fusion Mix)
15. Ron Trent - Traveler - Deep Art Sounds