In another excerpt from Sound Travels: DJs in Transit, Berlin 2012-2017, the crate-digging Boston DJ duo Soul Clap talks life behind the decks and on the road.Lauded for their all-vinyl sets, famously lasting upwards of six hours such as during the legendary DJ Kicks series, Soul Clap, a.k.a. Charles Levine and Eli Goldstein blend many shades of house with elements of funk, jazz, disco, and techno. Between their label, Soul Clap Records, and teaching the occasional college course, it’s clear Levine and Goldstein are dedicated to their craft.
Q: Approximately how many gigs do you play a year?
We play around 100 gigs a year.
Q: How many flights do you need to take for your annual bookings?
We probably fly 100 times a year.
Q:What equipment do you typically use? What do you pack?
We use 12-inch and 7-inch records, slip-mats, cartridges, headphones, hard- drives, computers, and costumes.
Q:What does traveling mean to you? Are you still able to enjoy it?
Being able to travel as part of our job is incredible! Seeing new places, returning to old favorites, making new friends, reuniting with old ones. Even all the airports and flights have become like meditation. Sure we get tired after a few weeks on the road and miss our beds, but as long as there is balance we’re all good.
Q: How do you keep your life balanced?
By eating as healthy as possible, sleeping whenever we can, and doing yoga or at least stretching a lot!
Q: What do you miss most when you’re on the road?
Eli: I miss my wife, my bed, my shower, home-cooked meals, listening to vinyl at home… Charlie: My apartment, running my hands over these sexy vintage synths, walking around aimlessly in Williamsburg, juicing them veggies, and my neighbors Elie and Chaya.
Q: What’s the best, weirdest, or craziest situation you’ve experienced on your journeys so far?
Once we were performing in Denver, Colorado, with Voices of Black and Tanner Ross. The gig was fun and it was followed by this grungy after-hours, which was also a hoot. Everything seemed like a normal night out until it was time to head off. The sun had already come up when we were driving across town in a cab, when suddenly we noticed traffic had completely stopped. The entire downtown of Denver was completely split down the middle by the annual marathon and all the commotion surrounding it. Thousands of spectators and police had brought traffic to a standstill. “We’ll have to wait for the runners to pass,” the driver said. But that was gonna take hours and we had a flight to catch! The only way to make it on time would be if were able to cross the race and catch another taxi on the other side, so we got out of the taxi, grabbed our record trolley bags and wheeled them over to the edge of the race. We waited until the police were looking in the other direction and the five of us were off! Sleepless, pulling DJ bags and all,we joined the stream of runners and for about 10 seconds we were a part of the marathon! Laughing hysterically, we veered off and into the crowd on the other side. We had made it safely and headed back to the hotel to prepare for the next adventure.