Interview: Golf Clap

Hugh Cleal and Bryan Jones, a Detroit duo with an unmatched passion for house music and a seemingly endless supply of studio and club­ focused creativity, make up Golf Clap.

Golf Clap have established themselves as in ­demand artists and performers in their own right. Releases on Simma Black, their own Country Club Disco imprint, and Madtech, while performing at the likes of Movement, Electric Forest, Mysteryland, Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, Output, and, of course, Detroit’s Grasshopper Undergrouund, have announced Golf Clap as a musical force to be reckoned with.

This 23 September, Golf Clap will support the one and only Roger Sanchez at Grasshopper Underground. Anticipating the event, we caught up with the duo for a quick Q&A sessions, where they dish the inside story on Detroit, Grasshopper Underground, Roger Sanchez, and more.

“If all of these groups started intermingling a little bit more than that would be a step in the right direction.”

What space would you say the Grasshopper Underground occupies in current Detroit’s nightlife scene?
Hugh: That’s an interesting question because most clubs usually align with one group or scene. Grasshopper is unique in the respect that we can have Moodymann come play a show for us and the next night bring in AC Slater. The club is open most days of the week so there is different programming each night. We personally feel like Ghop is helping bridge the gap between the festival scene and upscale night clubs.

Speaking of that, how do you gauge the atmosphere of Detroit’s current dance music network and infrastructure? Would you say it is thriving? What is still needed?
Hugh: Detroit has always been a destination for touring acts and because of that we’ve always had lots of shows coming into town. The people are here to support the shows even though it’s not as big of a city as many others it’s put next to. There is definitely a lot of different “scenes” that are all active right now too which is a positive thing. If all of these groups started intermingling a little bit more than that would be a step in the right direction.

On the 23rd you have Roger Sanchez coming to Grasshopper Underground. It’s fairly obvious what his contribution to the world of House Music is, but what do you see as Roger’s lasting influence?
Bryan: I think it’s being able to stay relevant for this long. A lot of guys that have been in the game as long as him are just kind of getting gigs because of stuff they did a long time ago. Roger is still putting out great tunes, mixes, running a great label, all while continuing to tour.

See also: Grasshopper Underground Podcast By Roger Sanchez

When you play alongside the likes of Roger Sanchez, or anyone at GU really, how do you approach your sets and performance?
Bryan: We always try to think of what kind of crowd that artist brings and what music they play. Over the years it’s been fun to try and put together specific opening sets for various artists. In the past we’ve done weekends where we open for a deep house guy on Friday, then for a techno DJ on Saturday and we pretty much don’t play any of the same music because the vibe of the nights are way different.

What is it that you would specifically like to say about the club or your residency?
Hugh: This is a club for the real heads. I’ve been booking for nearly 20 years now at nearly every club in Detroit and this is by far the biggest acts and most steady programming of anything I’ve ever been a part of. All while being the smallest room of any I’ve booked before. There isn’t another club in Detroit that is bringing in the volume of shows that we do each and every year and nearly all of our shows you can get in for free. Who else can say that?

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23 September | Roger Sanchez w/ Golf Clap | Tickets | Grasshopper Underground, Detroit