- The past few years must have been a wild ride for Charles "Cnyce" Levine and Eli "Elyte" Goldstein, the fun-loving duo known to fans of woozy disco, house and R&B as Soul Clap. It's a trip that's seen them morph from local Boston party-starters to international superstars—or at least as international-superstar as guys who make and play woozy disco, house and R&B are gonna get. Some of their current cachet is undoubtedly due to their proximity to the still-burning-hot Wolf + Lamb boys; their scene-dividing R&B Edits came out on the Wolf + Lamb Black imprint, for instance, and the two teams regularly produce and DJ together. (Of course, one could argue that it was Soul Clap boys who enhanced Wolf + Lamb's rep, softening the latter's perceived air of seriousness and serving as the floppy-eared foils to the W+L formalists.) The relationship between the two camps has been further cemented by the recent release of the well-received DJ-Kicks compilation. But it would be a shame if that mix overshadowed Soul Clap's own new session, Social Experiments 002, on Jonny White's No.19 label.
In some ways, Soul Clap on their own eclipse the DJ-Kicks mix, which—deep and beautiful as it is—can feel a bit insular and claustrophobic. Social Experiments 002 doesn't stray too far from the template (it's got that same dreamy, creamy vibe in spades), but whereas the former set drifts into chin-stroke, head-nod territory at times, the latter is strictly for the get-down crowd, albeit a get-down crowd with a willingness to accept some out-there sounds.
Ghostly R&B is a recurring theme, with tracks like Puente & Rosch's "Serious Compassion" and "H.T.A.D." by SECT—Levine and Goldstein with Sergio Santos and Tanner Ross—referencing '80s dance-radio material in various zig-zagging ways. (The set's penultimate track, Teeloo's "Sooo Oooh," goes so far as to lift the vocals of Howard Johnson's 1982 hit, "So Fine.") Lee Foss, Art Department, Benoit & Sergio, Deniz Kurtel—the kings of new-school deepness are all accounted for, and while their appearance on an Soul Clap mix is hardly a shock, these artists are all at the top of their game right now. Soul Clap is as well, and they prove on Social Experiments 002 that they can stand there on their own.
01. Jozif - Beats In Space (Craig Richards Ambient Mix)
02. Jonny White - Rainsong (Rainbeats)
03. Gadi Mizrahi - Hurt Me
04. James Teej - Galactic
05. Soho 808 - Just To See
06. Jonny White & James Teej - Musique Noir (Jamie Jones In And Out Edit)
07. Benoit & Sergio - Principles
08. Tanner Ross ft. Flo Night - 4 U
09. Puente & Rosch - Serious Compassion
10. SECT - H.T.A.D.
11. Michael J Collins - Schizotypal
12. Nightplane - Parallel Lines
13. Jimmy Edgar - Seven Mile (Soul Clap & Sergio Santos Beantown Edit)
14. No Regular Play - Serious Heart (Art Department Remix)
15. Soul Clap - Fried Chicken
16. Miguel Campbell - Kiss & Tell
17. Lee Foss - Foxy
18. Robert James & Burnski - Malibu
19. Art Department ft. Seth Troxler - Living The Life
20. Justin Drake - Cosmic Log
21. Deniz Kurtel - The L Word
22. Teeloo - Sooo oooH
23. Jozif - Beats In Space (Craig Richards Ambient Mix)
24. Art Department & Soul Clap - Glen & Boo