May 01 2018

Let's Get Bamboozled!

New York-Le Bain
We chat with Bamboozle, aka Eli of Soul Clap, before he funks Le Bain, alongside DJ Kon, on Saturday, May 12th.
LE BAIN: You said 2018 is "an exciting year of change and experimentation for me as I set off on my solo journey as Bamboozle." Almost 5 months into 2018, where did  that journey take you so far?
BAMBOOZLE: Well, the most inspiring thing is that my wife Andrea is pregnant! On the music side, I got my studio set up in the basement of my new apartment and started to work on new music. Things definitely take time and as I get older, I really understand and accept that. I also got to DJ a lot around New York which has been super inspiring.

You’ve been hosting the weekly Soul Clap Record show on The Lot Radio. Magic can really happen during a radio show. Can you tell us about one of those shows that really had an impact on you, the guest, the listeners?
The most excitement has been when special guests come in for interviews. I’ve had George Clinton, Nona Hendryx, and Dolette McDonald all come through. George performed some new Parliament music live, which was incredible. It’s also been really fun to dig into my old jungle records and share those. The response has been surprising. Breakbeats are back in a big way!
Bamboozle & George Clinton live on The Lot Radio

Speaking of breakbeat, you fell in love with jungle in the early 90’s and even worked at Boston’s drum & bass shop. Is it time for a jungle revival? 
Pushing the jungle revival for sure. Right now I’m on a flight to SF for a gig, but first I have a couple days in the studio with Justin Martin to work on some jungle cuts. I’ve also been digging a bunch of new stuff on Bandcamp. Metalheadz is still a leader, but there are some dope new labels, too, like Myor, Ruff Guidance, and Rupture.

Last month, Soul Clap Records released an EP of legendary singer and musician Nona Hendryx, which followed your 2016 Soul Clap collaboration with her. Can you tell us about the genesis of that record?
Well. the originally connection to Nona was through Sa’d “The Hourchild” Ali (RIP) and Chuck Da Fonk of FSQ. They brought her to one of our sessions for the last album and we really hit it off. After the album came out, she sat us down and said, “Hey, I have this new music I’ve been working on and I’d love it if you guys helped me finish it and put it out on your label.” We were honored to be a part of the project. Nona is a unique artist and truly special person.
The Standard
"Can you handle yourself there?"
You and Charlie of Soul Clap share the same mentor, the Boston disco DJ Caril Mitro. Can you tell us about her?
She was one of the original disco DJs in Boston, but she also spent time in the New York scene. Later, she opened Vinyl Connection, an amazing record store in Boston. It was always kind of a legend. Older DJs would tell us about it, but say, "But can you handle yourself there? You better come correct!" So we finally got the courage to go in and Caril ended up taking us under her wing. There was only one listening station with big speakers, so everyone knew if you played something wack. She had two stools in front of the counter labeled “chit” and “chat”, and Charlie and I would go there, dig for records and sit on stools and she would school us. 

Your vision of Funk goes beyond music. What does it take to be funky today?
As George Clinton says, "What is a booty and how will I know if I’m shakin it?"

Friday, May 12th, Le Bain presents Bamboozle & Kon
10pm | The Standard, High Line

Photos by Will Benrubi