August 23, 2010

Interview with DJ SoulClap...



By way of Kiel/ Braunschweig in Germany, comes CRDS's latest interesting interview subject DJ SoulClap and this dope DJ and beat-maker has a very cool story to tell...


Once upon a time not long ago...there was a website called masterace.com and as a member on the forum, DJ Soulclap made some connects and submitted some beats he was working on at the time to B.L.O from the Bronx and Lex from Queens, this led to more contacts being made, through word of mouth and on his My Space page.

Eventually he ended up being one of the many that remixed Jay-Z's Amercian Gangster album and his remix album American Clapster was praised on websites like Kevin Nottingham's

SoulClap almost had a beat of his on the Masta Ace and EDO.G collabo album Arts & Entertainment, his track "Authentic" ended up being released on a special version of the album on and EP titled Extra Entertainment



download it here from bandcamp.


He also provided a dope beat for Superstar Quamallah's 2009 album, Invisible Man in the form of "Purity"



So to find out more about DJ SoulClap I asked him such questions and here are his responses, Chris on behalf of the blog, thank you for this and for your contributions and I look forward to what you offer us in the future.


CRDS: SoulClap, please share with us your earliest Hip Hop memory and what
was the main thing that attracted you to Hip Hop?
 
SoulClap: 
 
In the beginning it was all about the music for me. I remember that I
had a compilation with commercial songs, a double CD with about 40
tracks.  Till then I was listening to pretty much everything and I was
13 years old at that point. On this compilation was a Busta Rhymes
song called “Turn it Up” and I loved it. I didn’t really think about
it as a different genre, I just thought it was hot. Then I bought the
album “When disaster strikes” and since then I only bought Rap albums.
Funny thing is, the version on the compilation was neither the “Fire
it Up” version, nor the “Turn it up” version that was on the album.
Till today I have no clue what version it was and why it was on this
CD.
 
With the time going by and copping more Rap albums and reading
magazines I found out more about Hip Hop. About the whole thing,
graffiti,breaking, DJ’ing, MC’ing and I could identify with it. The
thing I love about Hip Hop is the unity, I got to know so many nice
people through it and I’m very thankful for that.
 
 
 
 
CRDS: Tell our readers about how it goes down in Germany Hip Hop scene, how
strong is it?, what groups and artists should readers listen out for?
 
SoulClap: 
 
The Hip Hop scene became big in Germany in the late 90’s. This kinda
was our golden age. You had cities like Hamburg, Stuttgart and
Heidelberg that were the New Yorks and LA's of Germany when it came to
Hip Hop. Hamburg was standing for fun Rap with hilarious punchlines
and crazy beats. Stuttgart was more conscious to me, the beats were
more relaxed and the lyrics were a bit deeper. 
 
Heidelberg bought ussome classic Rap in the mid nineties, before it became big. It was
more political. Nowadays the MC’s from back then are more experimental
and they are combining different kinds of music with Rap. Then you
have those who are trying to carry the torch and still try to sound
like it sounded 10 years ago. And then you have this gangster stuff.
We were really late with it, I think it began around 2003 or 2004 and
started in Berlin. This is the stuff that became pretty big and sold a
lot, but I can’t identify with it, it’s not the type of Rap I like to
hear. 
 
At least lyrics wise, the beats are good productions in my eyes.
If you are interested in German Hip Hop you should check YouTube for
Eins Zwo, Absolute Beginner, Freundeskreis or Torch
 
Those are the golden age artists. I really don’t listen to a lot of German rap
anymore, cause it either sounds outdated or is too far away from how
it used to be. It’s hard to find the balance between the old and the
new stuff, but those who can handle it are dope.

CRDS: How did the recordings with B.L.O from the Bronx and Lex from Queens
happen?, did you just contact them at mastaace.com and send them beats?

SoulClap:
 
The Message board on Mastaace.com used to be crazy. It was like a big
family of people who shared the same interests. We had interesting
discussions about all kinds of stuff. When I told them that I started
making beats, BLO was the first to get at me and we built a good
friendship. He was the one I sent my first beats to. 
 

It was similar with Lex, he heard my stuff and we wanted to collaborate on something,
so we did a track called “I found you” for his mix-tape. 
From my standpoint now the beats sucked, but I think that’s what every artists
says about his or her first recordings. It was cool because you can’t
start with Premo productions right away.
 
 

CRDS: Tell readers all about the history of the Soul Occs please.
 
SoulClap:
 
I think it was in late 2005 when Brandon J. Atlas hit me up on my 
My Space because he wanted to collaborate. 
He was on DJ Episodes
Madeline Soul LLC label back then and so I got in contact with
Episode, and through him I got to know Tony Tigerstyle. 
 

I think we started to write on the yahoo messenger in early 06 and the first beat
that I sent him was the one for “My ChildHOOD”. He was crazy about
that one and recorded his verses pretty soon. When I heard what he did
I flipped out, cause I couldn’t believe that I was capable of creating
something this dope. Tony is capable of making a dope beat sound even
doper when he is recording to it. In my eyes he is one of the craziest
MC’s out there and the sad thing is that people just don’t know.
We were chatting almost every day and built a strong friendship. 
 

We kept on doing some songs and decided to form a group and do an album.
How often do you see a 20 year old producer from Germany forming a
group with a 35 year old MC from LA?  I thought it was kinda cool. But
the process on the album was slow, maybe because of the distance. 
 

So I flew him out to Germany in April 2008, to do it here. Tony was staying
with me for 2 months and we recorded songs, did shows including the
legendary debut show with eMC and we basically had a great time. The
album was pretty much done at this point, but due to some personal
reasons I never got to put the finishing touches on it.

Right now we are updating the album which will be called “Soul
Brothers” and we will release it in the end of this year for FREE. It
was not an easy decision but we felt that this is the right thing to
do. We also started working on the follower which will have a
completely different sound. “Soul Brothers” will be straight boom bap
with soulful samples and hard drums. The second album will be more
modern, different drums, other samples, different sounds. I’m trying
to take the old to the new and find the right balance.
 
 
CRDS: What is your equipment set up when you make beats?
 
SoulClap:
It may sound a little weird but I started with Cool Edit 2 and Fruity
Loops back in 04 and I still use em. Never change a winning team. I
added Cubase and WavLab to the line up for mixing and mastering,
though and I’m planning on getting an MPC 2500 soon. Of course I use
the good old Turntables and a mixer too.
 
CRDS: How did the collab with Masta Ace and EDO.G come about and why did the
dope song "Authentic" not make the final cut for the Arts &
Entertainment album, did you do any other songs with Ace and Ed?

Since I’ve been on mastaace.com I’ve been good friends with CC, Masta
Ace’s cousin who is running the website, and who did my logo and is
currently working on my website, by the way. 
 
SoulClap:

I had been working on a mix tape back then where I mixed Masta Ace songs with Live recordings
of one of his shows. She thought it was a great idea and forwarded it
to him and he got at me because he thought it was very creative. Since
then I’ve been in contact with him. Now that I talk about it, the
mix-tape never saw the light of the day, I’m pretty sure I got it on my
old external hard drive. I might have to get that out!

But anyway, Ace is on tour in Germany every year and we met for the
first time in ’06. He was in the town where I studied and had the rest
of eMC with him, which I also got to know. We were chilling after the
show and I went to the hotel the next morning to hang out a bit before
they left. The next time they were here I did my set with tony before
them and I think Ace was pretty impressed because he came to use and
said that the crowd was wilding why we did our set. 
 

Since then I have been sending him beats and when I sent Authentic he absolutely loved
it. He and Edo recorded their verses pretty soon and it was supposed
to be on the album. It was even on the track-list on Amazon and in the
Promo Sheet that Traffic sent around. But then the album got pushed
back and the track got kicked off together with “We want it All”.
These two tracks were supposed to be the i tunes bonus to the album,
but somebody screwed up and it didn’t happen either.

I was kinda pissed and disappointed back then, but Ace sent me an
email saying they will do Extra Entertainment with some tracks that
didn’t make the cut, so I was happy that they got it out in the end.
Plus it was the leak off that EP and he is screaming my name in the
end of the track, what he normally doesn’t do. He also told me that
they mixed the track 3 times but never were happy with it, so I think
this might have been the reason why they left it off.

And they totally made it up when they came to my town to do a show and
they did a world premiere of the track on stage. I didn’t even get to
hear the track before that. 
 

The first time I heard it was at the sound check
But it felt really good hearing them doing the track in my
town, screaming my name on stage and the people were going crazy. I’m
glad I got all that on camera. After the show Ace, Ed, Akrobatik,
Strick and DJ Moe-D came to my brothers crib to watch Monday night
football, because I told em the day before on ustream that I was
watching football and they couldn’t believe I can do that in Germany.
They are all huge Football heads.

Right now Ace is working on the next eMC album and Edo is working on
his album. I will help Edo with the Marketing since I just graduated
from University and Marketing is really my thing.
 
CRDS: Can readers still download your Amercian Gangster remix album,
American Clapster?
 
SoulClap: 
 
Ummm… I hope so, if not I definitely need to get it back up. You can
get it on www.myspace.com/djsoulclap by clicking on the cover. 
 

People seemed to love it. I was one of the first to do that remix album and I
think I was the only one who legally got the accapellas on wax, lol.
That’s why the lyrics don’t sound as crisp as they do on some other
albums, because I had to record em from vinyl.
 
CRDS: Name your top 5 Hip Hop producers and why you rate them so highly
 
SoulClap:
 
 
 
1. DJ Premier: He has been doing all my favorite records.May it be
“Boom”, “When I be On Da Mic”, “Nas is Like”, “Return of the Crooklyn
Dodgers”… man I could rattle down a list of 30 Premo joints I love
without even having to think.
 
 

2. Pete Rock: Mecca and the Soul Brother, Main Ingredient, Soul
Survivor… This man produced so many classic albums and always stayed
relevant. He is a legend.
 
 

3. Hi-Tek: Although pretty famous I think Tek is still underrated. The
beats on Train of Thought were some of the best ever made. He
sometimes makes pretty simple beats, but his ability to combine
samples and instruments or synths is crazy. Plus he is one of the best
when it comes to drum programming. He always got the right drums for
every track and that’s what separates him from others.
 
 

4. J Dilla: Most versatile producer in history. It seemed like he was
reinventing himself every other year. He has produced so many classic
cuts and is an inspiration for every producer.
 
 

5. Timbaland: This one might be surprising, but Timbaland has done the
best commercial Hip Hop beats. His percussion's and drums are always
crazy. I even bought Justin Timberlake's last album because Timbaland
absolutely murdered the production. I heard he is using trash cans and
sh*t like that to record his percussion. 
 
I mean, he has people who
play melodies for him and he is mostly working with the drums, but if
you can afford that, why not, I’d do the same.
 
CRDS: Can you recommend any artists that you think are very under rated for
the readers?
 
SoulClap: 

 
Definitely check out my man Tony Tigerstle and Wyldbunch! Two crazy
lyricists. I’m not saying that because I work with em, I work with em
because I’m saying that, lol. Other underrated artists might be Dynas,
Has-Lo, Paten Locke and Tiye Phoenix. I loved all the albums that
these people put out last year, you definitely have to check for em if
you haven’t already.

 CRDS: What is next on the list for DJ SoulClap?, do you ever see yourself
touring down under?, are you still sending your beats out to MC's and
groups?
 
SoulClap: 
 
 Next step will be my official debut mix-tape. I’m working on it with DJ
Easy from Berlin, who will mix everything. I can’t do it myself
because I don’t have Serato, I’m still sticking to vinyl. It will be
some songs I produced in the last years and some exclusive joints. It
will feature Masta Ace, Edo.G, Punch & Words, Chaundon, Superstar
Quamallah, Pav Bundy, Donny Goines, K.Sparks, Respect Tha God, H.Stax,
Doitall, Tony Tigerstyle, Wyldbunch, Dominique Larue and some other
surprise guests. I got word from Blaq Poet too, but I don’t wanna say
anything until I got the vocals from everybody.

The next thing will be The Soul Occs album “Soul Brothers” which I
already mentioned and my album with Wyldbunch from BK. Both albums
will be crazy. I’m not somebody who always calls his own albums
classic, that’s somebody that the people decide. 
 

All I can say that, as a fan of Hip Hop, love em. Not because I made the beats, but
because it’s good music from the heart and people will hear that. The
album with Bunch will be called “Life” and it will be something
everybody can relate to, from pain to joy, some storytelling, you
definitely need to hear it.

I’m also still sending beats out, so if anybody wants to buy some, hit
me at djsoulclap@gmail.com. I also make beats that contain no samples,
I’m trying to stay versatile, I don’t want to be pushed in a certain
direction.

If there is an opportunity to go down under I will definitely do it.
One of my DJ friends moved to Perth last year. I also know the
producer from the duo Low Budget.
 
CRDS: Please tell readers about your upcoming cookbook 'Soul's Kitchen'...
 
SoulClap: 
 
This will be something special. I always loved to cook, it’s one of my
passions. But I changed the plan a bit. It might not be called Soul’s
kitchen because I will collaborate on this book with Chaundon. You
definitely need to stay tuned, because it will combine different
things that will be interesting for you. I don’t want to let loose of
the concept right now, but you will love it. You will find recipes
that won’t be super complicated with 30 ingredients, you will find
something you can cook on a regular basis.
 
So please stay tuned and check in with me. Add me on facebook:
www.facebook.com/DJSoulClap to keep updated and witness a lot of
random acts of f--kery! I’m also on twitter, my space and sound cloud.

Always just type djsoulclap after the slash and you will find me.
I have a little bonus for the readers of coldrockdaspot. It’s the
first single of the upcoming album with Wyldbunch called “Never forget
you”. It’s dedicated to everybody who ever lost somebody.
 


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