LATE-NIGHT SEDUCTION “It’s about intimacy,” says Eli Goldstein (left, with Soul Clap partner Charlie Levine).
Closing in on a decade of collaborations under the name Soul Clap, the DJ duo of Eli Goldstein and Charlie Levine (a/k/a Elyte and Cnyce) have taken their local street cred and brought it on the road. Known around town for pulling off the bold and seemingly impossible "Dancing on the Charles" series as well as a long-running Wednesday residency at the Phoenix Landing, the two packed their bags last summer seeking success outside city limits. With a six-month stint in Berlin and now an extended stay in Miami, the two are following the party to various decadent locales and setting up temporary headquarters in each city to focus on making music.
"We'd never be who we are without Boston," says Goldstein on a Skype three-way with Levine. "Our sound, our career, and the whole thing. But by being in Berlin, we were able to focus on our DJ sets and experience a whole new world of partying. Now we're in Miami and have more time and peace to make music. It's a very relaxed effort, which goes with the pace of Miami. We're usually making music while sitting on the couch or lying in bed. With that relaxed style, the music becomes more relaxed."
That mentality is evident on DJ Kicks, a 27-track mixtape collaboration with Brooklyn production team Wolf + Lamb that, according to !K7 Records, will drop March 15. Placement on !K7's mixtape roster is one of the highest honors in the DJ community — it's an elite group who include Carl Craig, Kruder and Dorfmeister, Chromeo, Hot Chip, Stereo MCs, Four Tet, and Thievery Corporation.
"We have known Wolf + Lamb [Zev Eisenberg and Gadi Mizrahi] for a little over two years now," says Goldstein. "Like all of our mixes, we wanted this one to tell a story. So we chose tracks that fit in from artists in the Wolf + Lamb extended family. Ten of them are exclusive to this compilation, and most of those were written specifically for this. But most importantly, this record reflects the philosophy of what we've been trying to do with dance music over the past couple of years. It's a deep, sexy, personal vibe — not a pumping, in-your-face, light-show sort of thing. It's about intimacy."
Sleek, sensual, and sinister, the 74-minute continuous mix creates peaks and valleys of carefully blended down-tempo disco and house. Reeking of sex and love drugs, it provides the perfect soundtrack for a sunrise comedown.
"I think of bubble baths, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a big ass in tiny lingerie," Levine says about the record's feel — perhaps only partly in jest. Adds Goldstein: "Pretty much all of our mixes try to create a romantic feeling. But this one is also about getting together with friends after the party. We want this mix to feel like it's morning with the sun shining in through the skylight."
Although the music soothes and soars throughout, "Lonely C" is a standout. Catchy and creepy, it's delivered with Levine's dramatic robotic vocals over a sultry house beat, giving a longing, heavy heart and soul to the blissed-out collection of genre-bending tracks. "I think genres ruined everything," says Goldstein. "If we have to describe it, it's dance music from all times. It's past, present, and future classics."