Various Artists ‘Social Experiment 002 mixed by Soul Clap’

Various Artists / ‘Social Experiment 002 mixed by Soul Clap’


No.19 Music / Released February 28th 2011

What a wonderful thing a good mix album is. Particularly when it can be enjoyed in a multitude of situations.

Though more suited to the pre as oppose to after sesh, Social Experiment 002 certainly does the business when it comes to transcending the low-high volume pleasure points. Yes, it’s more of that broken-ish house of the nu-school variety that often falls short of the ‘ownership of limbs’ mark. But here Soul Clap prove why there’s so much hype around them, meaning when heard softly things roll out gently across a soundscape of strings, warm low-ends and stepping beats. Then you turn it up, and there’s enough here to make everyone in the front room feel their legs going.

It’s a diverse collection too. So much so that it seems ludicrous to begin discussing any of the 24 individual tracks. Surely to reference Soho 808’s Just To See, with those instantly recognisable post-rave vocals and synthy harmonies, would give an overall impression of the album as being one thing. Whereas Nightplane’s Parallel Lines begs to differ, taking us on an atmospheric, live sounding tip that’s ready to impact some beatless hypnosis on anyone in earshot.

Elsewhere the characters behind the mix throw in Art Department’s remix of their own Serious Heat, referencing Chicken Lips and the raw basement-soul vibes sorely missed parties like Manchester’s Electric Chair were famed for. And then there’s the electro. Sweet but all too short is Michael J Collins’ Schizotypal, an inviting wave of distortion rides behind drum-kit rhythms and blissful chords, providing a welcome break from the booty-shaking styles either side, reminding us of Andrew Weatherall’s contemporary productions, if one were released via Kompakt.

And sat the other end of the spectrum, Craig Richards deep ambient cut of Jozif’s Beats In Space appears twice, opening and closing the proceedings, save for Art Department and Soul Clap’s gospel-dubstep workout. When it finally arrives, Glen & Boo brings things to a contemporary close in a logical way, without sounding forced in any way. Eclecticism that works? Imagine that.