photo by Bill Kennedy
Eli Goldstein and Charles Levin have been making a name for themselves since 2001 as DJ and production duo Soul Clap. As Soul Clap, Eli and Charles make a distinct mix of house, funk, and disco music. Hailing from Boston, Soul Clap is, if nothing else, undeniably prolific. Since 2008, the year of their first release, the duo has released a plentitude of EPs, LPs, Singles, and Remixes. Beyond that, they maintain a near relentless touring schedule boast appearances at some of the country’s biggest music festivals, including the Electric Forest Festival and Osheaga Festival. Since 2012, the group has released two full-length albums, EFUNK: The Album and Soul Clap, collaborated with funk music legend George Clinton, and started their very own record label, Soul Clap Records. Eli and Charles operate SoulClap records out of Boston. The label has put out music from Wolf + Lamb, Night Plane, and Soul Clap themselves.
If any of our readers are in Boston for just one day, what are three record stores they have to hit up?
Cheapo Records and In Your Ear, but we really need more suggestions for Boston… All of our favorites (Vinyl Connection, Satellite, Boston Beat, 4Front, Biscuit Head) closed years ago!
Same scenario, but now for Brooklyn.
Second Hand Records, Superior Elevation, Human Head
What was the last record each of you bought?
Eli: The new Amp Fiddler LP on Mahogani Music
Charles: Syreeta Wright’s 1972 album “Syreeta” written with Stevie Wonder
What keeps each of you addicted to digging for vinyl?
Eli: I love digging for old stuff, but it’s finding new amazing music that’s only available on vinyl that really keeps me addicted. Also having a weekly radio show on The Lot where I play 99% records keeps me on my toes.
Charles: I find vinyl is where a lot of the inspiration comes from to keep pushing forward in life and in music . There is something so incredible and tactile about it; looking at the art, reading the liner notes, playing the wax. Old or new, it’s still the richest and most rewarding source of music for me.
As vinyl enthusiasts, how has starting your own label changed your relationship with vinyl and record stores?
From running the label we realized quickly that just because we love the music doesn’t mean it’s actually going to sell records. The music we put out is in this space between club music and listening music so it’s always a challenge to reach the right audience, especially with the vinyl. I would definitely say that being super into records keeps me motivated to keep pushing to release music on vinyl and find new ways to promote the records, whereas if I didn’t play records, I would have given up a long time ago!
Early on in your careers, Soul Clap was mentored by Boston DJ and record store owner Caril Mitro. What did she teach you about collecting vinyl that you think every young, aspiring record collector should know?
Caril taught us that records can be an amazing tool for teaching. Using the music in her shop she taught us so much about the history of disco and house, just by listening and talking about each record. I think young record collectors should take every opportunity to talk to and listen to record shop owners and other DJs, that personal history and knowledge can’t be duplicated!
Interview by Shane Stroup