Soul Clap: ‘People want to put us into a box’

American DJ duo Soul Clap are redefining the musical landscape with a new, genre-defying record label. Vision enters the vibrant world they bring from Boston to Level 41 in Dubai

Fresh from performing an hour-long tribute to Prince at Coachella, American DJs Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine have landed in Dubai to play at Level 41 on Friday, May 13. Vision finds out what to expect...

What kind of talent have you found with your new record company?

The most challenging thing about setting up a record label has been defining what that label sounds like (or really doesn't sound like). We want the label to be an extension of our DJ sets, which don't stick to just one genre, but that can be really hard when you're trying to sell music. People often want to put everything into a box.

We have diverse tastes and have found some seriously diverse artists we want to support. This year we're putting out albums from Brooklyn disco collective MidnightMagic and Boston MPC house wizards Juice Belushi. Plus EPs from Jamaican Prince of smooth David Marston, Philly music veteran Michael The Lion, Boston Multi Culti master Bosq and then there's our New Directions in Funk 7" series. You get the picture.

You met in America… tell us about that time – what are your best memories?

We met initially at raves around New England in the late ‘90s. It was a very vibrant and funny time when being cool meant you had really baggy pants with leg cuffs bigger than your waist. We had a mutual friend named hardcore Pete who introduced us because he knew that we were both DJs but from different towns. Back then there was actually a pretty strong bleed between the hardcore rock scene and the rave scene, we had slightly similar fashion and similar attitudes (sort of). Both of us spent some time slam dancing in mosh pits before we found our way into the rave.

The late ‘90s was a time when being cool meant you had really baggy pants with leg cuffs bigger than your waist

Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine , Soul Clap

What makes a talented DJ in your opinion?  

The most important aspect of good DJing is programming and having a wide bandwidth of musical knowledge. I don't care if you let every record end, if you're playing the right music the crowd will eat it up! These days technology does the mixing for you and it seems like most folks don't really know their history, they're just paying attention to top ten lists. Come on DJs! Do some digging.

Who do you dream of collaborating with?

Stevie Wonder, d'Angelo, Andersen Paak, Janet Jackson, Kendra Foster, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Mary J.

Describe your music to us… what makes it different from anybody else?

We don't just stick to one genre, we're really all over the place, but routed in deep house. Just come and take a listen and you'll be able to figure it out!

What can we expect from Level 41?

Expect the unexpected. Now go tell your friends about us!

See Soul Clap at Media One Hotel, Level 41, Dubai on Friday 13, May from 7pm.