Sometimes an idea is too big to stay in one place. While Soul Clap‘s House of EFUNK began as an afterparty event during Movement Detroit in 2014, it was destined to spread its freaky, funky word to the rest of the world. From the start it was in the stars for EFUNK to become something greater, its 12+ hour marathon of DJ and live performances covering a wide range of styles, combining to remind us of one thing: Everybody’s Freaky Under Nature’s Kingdom.
With their music, message, and mission all aligned, it became obvious that they were going to have to go further than ever before. This not only meant planning events across the US and Europe, but establishing a record label that showcases the essence of what it’s all about at the House of EFUNK.
Thankfully the EFUNK team knew what it would take to make that happen, and how to do it right. Having run Soul Clap Records since 2012, Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine (aka Lonely C) have been entrenched in the industry from both behind the scenes and on the stage as Soul Clap. Fitting alongside their musician focused Soul Clap Records, House of EFUNK is an outlet for the club tracks that unite people on the dance-floor and capture the vibes of those nights that last forever.
Their first release, Jupiter Crush EP, is fittingly from Soul Clap themselves, with two instrumental party tracks that feature the signature electronic funk of their original club music sound. Backed by the spirit of the rave and the history of house, Soul Clap invites everyone into the House of EFUNK to experience music that moves your body and your soul, and encourages you to be true to freaky self.
How did the idea behind the House of EFUNK experience first begin?
SC: House Of EFUNK was born during Movement, Detroit on May 24, 2014. It materialized out of a confluence of forces orbiting around us at that time. These forces include: the spirit of the rave, a collaboration with Dr. Funkenstein aka George Clinton, a love affair with the city of Detroit. But perhaps the greatest catalyst was a man known as Sa’D “The Hourchild” Ali, most likely because he somehow managed to always be right on time. The last five years have seen the House Of EFUNK grow into one Movement’s most renowned official Paxahau afterparties: an annual 12+ hour tour-de-force of DJs and live performances that showcase the full spectrum of our eclectic tastes and musical curation.
From its beginning only 5 years ago, it seems like it took on a life of its own – were you surprised by how everything has progressed?
SC: The growth has really been all about the amazing people of Detroit and the amazing artists that perform at the annual party. Each year we sell out the party and each year the music gets more and more adventurous. It’s amazing how supportive the city has been to us and that has made the House Of EFUNK into the force it has become. We didn’t originally intend on EFUNK becoming a traveling party brand but with so much excitement in the eyes of the fans and artists and even the staff at TV Lounge, it became clear that there was also a need for events and a vibe like this in cities beyond Detroit.
When did the idea of starting a label based on the events begin? What were the driving factors that brought it into reality?
Eli: We started Soul Clap Records back in 2012 and it took ages for the label to really find it’s sound. While it started out more club oriented, over the last couple years it’s become an outlet for disco, funk and electronic MUSIC, played by real musicians and bands like Midnight Magic, Underground System and Lonely C. This happened super organically, and has been an amazing experience, but I felt like we still needed an outlet for club tracks. At the same time we talked about growing House Of EFUNK into something bigger than just a party and it felt like the perfect time to start a label to help get the name out there. So now we have House Of EFUNK as our club music label.
Is the process of starting House of EFUNK different than when you began Soul Clap Records?
Eli: Completely different! When we started SCR we had no idea how to run a label, and more importantly how to SELL RECORDS! We were just releasing music from artists that we were close with, and that was amazing on one level, but it’s really hard to break new artists and I don’t think people knew what to expect from the output. Like I mentioned before, it took years to hone in a sound of SCR, but with House Of EFUNK the A&R is much more focused from the beginning and I’m signing music that I hope will actually sell vinyl.
What are the main messages or missions that underlie the House of EFUNK concept – how did you translate those from events to individual releases?
SC: It all goes back to the dual meaning of EFUNK. First, Electronic Funk – so music made with machines, but that also has that stank that only a human could put out. Second, Everybody’s Freaky Under Nature’s Kingdom is an open minded ethos that brings together the worlds of funk and house, rave and disco, and most importantly reminds us that the dancefloor is a place where we are all equal and free to be our true selves. Also, all the music on the label will be from artists who we have booked or would book at that parties, so the music and parties are all connected.
Did you have a plan from the start that “Jupiter Crush” and “Natural Bliss” would be your premiere EP? How do these tracks represent what House of EFUNK is all about?
SC: Charlie had been working on these tracks for awhile and brought them to the table as potential Soul Clap music. Just like with Soul Clap Records, we hadn’t put out proper original club music for a long time and felt like these would be a great return to that sound for us. We finished them at about the same time that we decided to start the label and it felt like the perfect music to kick it off.
Is there anything that you hope fans or newcomers to the House of EFUNK, or Soul Clap, experience when they listen to the label’s releases?
Eli: I think in everything we do, we want open people’s ears and minds to dance music as something that doesn’t just move your body, but can also open your heart and soul. It can be musical and emotional and tell a story. That’s EFUNK and that’s Soul Clap.
What are your big dreams for the future of House of EFUNK?
SC: It’s a big year in our HOUSE! We have EFUNK parties lined up in Miami, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and hopefully Berlin, London and Amsterdam. Beyond our inaugural release on the label we have music coming from our late brother in funk Sa’D “The Hourchild” Ali, Ozgood, Kenny Dope, PiranaHead, Lee Curtiss, Pontchartrain, Ian Fink, Scott Groove’s Overdubs project and Lonely C. We hope all the amazing DJs and performers we have booked and the music coming on the label reaches out to the universe!
Jupiter Crush, the debut release from Soul Clap on their new House Of EFUNK label, is out now on 12″ vinyl distributed by Prime Direct.