Article | Soul Clap | Ode to Chicago

Soul to Take

Soul Clap shares the Chicago dance classics that stole its heart(s).

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 05.03.12

The music of Boston’s Soul Clap could be called blue-eyed future-funk, as if two white-boy George Clintons jumped into the studio and set the Parliament sound to a house beat. But, as much as Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine’s debut album, EFUNK—which dropped recently on the trend-bucking Wolf + Lamb label—is a mothership connection, it’s also heavily influenced by house music’s early days, which means looking and listening to Chicago.

We asked Goldstein, 29, and Levine, 30, to focus on the legendary Windy City days of the Warehouse, the Muzic Box, the Bismarck Hotel and Medusa’s, and tell us about the Chicago soundtrack that helped make their music what it is. Here’s what they picked.

Lil’ Louis
“Nyce and Slo (The Luv Bug)”—FFRR (1990)“This YouTube comment says it all: ‘I am a female Little and I slammed with the best of them. Even at Medusa’s but I was a Box-head!! Love this for real!!!!’ Makes us feel like we’re right there during Chicago’s underground history.”

Lil’ Louis
“Nyce and Slo (R-Rated)”—FFRR (1990)
“Same name, but this mix is completely different. While “The Luv Bug” is a slowed-down jack out, the “R-Rated” is pure R&B sex. “The Luv Bug” has caused hysteria at many an after-hours, but the “R-Rated” has always been a staple of our smooth out sets, from our days playing department stores to massive beach parties today.”

Master C and J 
“Face It” (Dub It)—State Street (1987)
“Our favorite deep house jam of all time. The original is an anthem, but the dub is deeper than the ocean.”

Jungle Wonz
“The Jungle”—Trax (1986)
“909 drum work at its best and, ooooo, that bassline makes this one really stand out as one of our ’80s Chicago house favorites.”

The It
“Donnie”—DJ International (1986)
“This is all about the lyrics and the darkness. It’s so emo, but still jacks with the best of ’em.”

Derrick L. Carter
“A Hope (Over U)”—Classic (1999)
“This list wouldn’t be complete without a D.C. jam, and this one sums up our late ’90s raving perfectly. It’s that funky boompity jack we just can’t get enough of.”

Roy Davis Jr.
“Gabrielle”—Large (1996)
“This one still brings out the goosebumps every time we drop it (which is at least once a month). No vocal can capture that universal feeling of dancing together quite like this.”

Green Velvet
“Answering Machine”—Cajual (1997)
“Just like this list wouldn’t be complete without Derrick, Cajmere symbolizes Chicago the same way for us Boston boys. First time we heard this at rave we lost our minds (and still haven’t really found ’em).”

Frankie Knuckles
“Baby Wants To Ride”—Trax (1987)
“Sounds as fresh today as we’re sure it sounded the day it was written. A masterpiece from the godfather that may never be topped.”


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