Soul Clap & Boston Cohorts Talk ‘Dancing On The Charles 2’

Soul Clap

Though they’ve been hard at work forging and finessing their funky grooves for years, Soul Clap’s star has been on the rise internationally for the better part of the past three years. During this time they’ve released their brilliant EFUNK: The Album, toured extensively all over the world and have continued to champion quality dance music of all styles and eras without sacrificing their artistic integrity. Despite the challenges that come with trying to make it as a mixmaster these days, Soul Clap’s Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine remain adamant about paying it forward to the slew of electronic artists based in their hometown of Boston. Having released music by various emerging local artists on Soul Clap Records, they’ve just issued the second volume of their Dancing On The Charles compilation series (read our review of the compilation) featuring a lineup of all-Boston dance-music artists. In Soul Clap’s view, nothing is more satisfying than shining the spotlight on great music — especially when it emanates from your hometown.

“We owe everything to growing up in Boston: Our mentors, our musical knowledge, our DJ style,” says Eli Goldstein, explaining the pair’s highly localized A&R philosophy. “It was a lot of work to make it here, a lot of playing weddings and cheesy clubs and retail gigs, but that’s what made us who we are and therefore we love our city. We’re some of the only electronic artists to make it from Boston so we gotta represent! There’s also an amazing community of DJs and producers here that need to be showcased and that’s what Dancing On The Charles is all about.”

“The plan is to keep Dancing On The Charles an annual thing. Boston producers keep making better and better music and we will keep the spotlight shining on them.”

Goldstein says assembling Dancing On The Charles 2 was less difficult than its predecessor. “It was much easier to A&R the comp this year, now that we had the first one to build off of,” he relates. “We have a few artists featured again like Bosq, Caserta, Roldy Cezaire… the Bon Johnson guys have a couple tracks under different aliases and Sheffield Boys, which include Chas Bronz from the last comp. Then there are long time DJs who we’ve known for years and finally have been making music we can include, like Serge Gamesbourg, D-Lux and Brendan Wesley. Also, this year we started compiling the music like six months in advance to make sure we had enough time to get it right.”

While the compendium offers a broad overview of great Beantown talent, Goldstein reports that it wasn’t possible to get a few artists this time around. “We still haven’t been able to get a Tanner Ross track on a D.O.T.C. compilation. This year, we couldn’t get DJ Kon on it either, but we hope he’s back next year.”

As Soul Clap jet from gig to gig this summer and mull over ideas for their next artist album as they set up their new studio, Goldstein says Dancing… will be a yearly endeavor for quite good reason. “The plan is to keep Dancing On The Charles an annual thing. Boston producers keep making better and better music and we will keep the spotlight shining on them.”

This summer Soul Clap will release “Misty” featuring Robert Owens on vocals and remixes from Louie Vega and Tanner Ross on Soul Clap Records.

What Does Boston Mean To You?

We asked artists featured on Dancing On The Charles 2  to wax poetic about all things Beantown.

Caserta: Boston means thinking outside the box. It can be really easy to fall into the trap of doing the same thing the guy next door is doing. Then you’re just another face in the crowd.

Brendan Wesley: Boston is the city where I came into my own. It’s where I took my love for music to the next level. It’s where I discovered and learned about so much amazing music and became a part of the local scene and an international community. It is where I found myself and others.

D-Lux: Boston is a community of artists creating beauty in all forms. I’m in love with this city mind, body and soul. Found myself and the music, dancing on the Charles under the stars!

James Cook: For me, Boston is about heritage. Modern society is quite transient by nature, so I feel privileged to live in a city where I have some roots. Story goes that my great grandparents met in the park next to my office; I think that’s pretty cool.

Bosq: I have always had a love-hate relationship with Boston, which I guess fits with the extremes we experience. Arctic winters/sweltering summers, the rudest people on earth mixed with the most open and loving hippies. Can’t decide if that’s why I want to leave, or why I’m still here.

Paul Foley (Juice Belushi): People around the country criticize Boston as not being a very friendly town. Well, we’ve lived here for 38 years and would have it no other way. Now, get out of our face so we can make some more music…make you dance, sucka!

Tamer Malki: Boston is where it all started for me so it will always have a special place in my heart. I actually met Eli and Charlie when I first moved to the city and played at a boat party with them. I would definitely say it was my base and learning playground which I explored to the fullest in such a smaller scene like B-town. Made some amazing friends along the way which makes it all worth every minute.

Sheffield Boys: To us, Boston has always played a very important role in each of our lives. We consider it the Heartbeat and center of it all, not only is it where we are all from, it is where we all crossed paths on our music explorations. It’s an opportunity and it’s growth, and we all pride ourselves on calling it home… GO BRUINS!

Darren Ressler