Claptone is a unique proposition in modern music. Painted as a mythical character shrouded in mystery, Claptone has become one of the biggest names in electronic music whilst himself remaining in the shadows. He has however constantly sought to deepen his own distinctive world, creating a rich tapestry, which tells the Claptone story.
In his second artist album ‘Fantast’, the Claptone universe is at its deepest and most vivid. He is the master of his domain and in his most artful offering yet, the assured 13 tracks come together to create an album full of varied colors and atmospheric textures.
We had the chance to talk with Claptone as he’s about to embark into a South American tour that includes two appearances on RESISTANCE parties.
EG: Hi Claptone, thanks for your time. We’re sure you heard this a million times, but what’s the meaning behind the mask?
Claptone: Hello all. For me, it has no fixed meaning. I love that it’s open for interpretation and I tried to interpret it myself over and over again as it’s part of my personality, one of my many faces. It being Venetian for me hints at the rich history and culture we all share and of course at the masquerade balls we hold since centuries. A social tradition which allows us to explore our identity and to fathom our freedom as individuals in performative play. One aspect of it is being able to question authorities and hierarchies, structures of self-sustaining power, question the ones we kneel down before. The beak with its birdlike shape is giving me access to perform beyond human abilities. At the same time, it ridicules ‘pop idols’ who think they are more than just human and love to run around present their tail feathers. The gold for me reflects the treasure that I found in music. But it as well ridicules the greed and materialism of your average ‘rock star’ or ‘hip hop hero’. The resemblance to a plague doctors mask is not by accident either. You are welcome to perceive me as some kind of sonic plague doctor.
Electronic Groove: The summer season just came to an end. What was your favorite show?
Claptone: The highlight was certainly the shows I put on with my very own event ‘The Masquerade’ at the main room in Amnesia, Ibiza together with Elrow, where I played all night long. The energy was fantastic. But there were so many other amazing shows, like when I hosted my ‘The Masquerade’ stage at Tomorrowland, Belgium or when I brought my show to the Unique Hotel in Sao Paulo. The boat cruise I did in New York to celebrate the release of my ‘Fantast’ album this summer, or the release party for that album at Sonar Festival Barcelona at a more than just packed out W-Hotel. The show I did for Mixmag and Yacht week in the Croatian sea playing midst 40 yachts on the water, that gig I played on top of Whistler Mountain, Canada or the sunrise at Neversea Festival Romania. So many great shows and memories, more than some people have in a lifetime.
Electronic Groove: Now that you are heading to South America for a series of gigs including a few with Resistance as well as your own The Masquerade events. What are your expectations for this tour?
Claptone: I play South America quite a lot and the people are always amazingly warm-hearted, up for the party I bring. The series of gigs you are referring to is a proper ‘The Masquerade’ event tour on which I bring stage design, masks, dancers, performers and of course curate the music, invite musical guests so it will be a perfect night. I’ll bring different additional guests like Camelphat, Cassius, Felix da Housecat, Lee Foss, Solardo, Mat.Joe, Tensnake and more to various events in Santiago de Chile, Cordoba, Medellin, Bogota, Mexico City and Tulum and as well play for RESISTANCE in Bolivia and Ecuador.
EG: Talking about RESISTANCE… Are you excited to play at this unique event? Are you preparing any new material for it?
Claptone: I am super excited to be invited to play there as it’s legendary (same as me I guess) and it’s an honor to be asked to play. I’ll surely bring exclusive edits and remixes to make these events even more special.
“I bring ‘The Masquerade’event tour on which I bring stage design, masks, dancers, performers and of course curate the music, invite musical guests so it will be a perfect night”
EG: Tell us about your recent album ‘Fantast’. What was the inspiration behind it? Were you trying to achieve any specific feelings? Did it meet the initial intentions?
Claptone: I see my first album‚ ‘Charmer’ more as a brief introduction of my character and‚ ‘Fantast’ as taking the listeners with me on my path which now leads into the great outdoors. It’s no secret that I am an unashamed romantic, having blindly fallen in love too many times to count. Themes of love and tones of romanticism will always be present in my creative work. ‘Fantast’ reaches deeper than my first album but it has another more defining different quality: I venture in nature, I face the elements and try to unveil the truth about my non-human traits of character; you could say I am chasing the animal in me, facing my demons. But at the same time there’s positive, dreamy and beautiful moments on‚ ‘Fantast’ which can turn a dark forest into a fairytale garden from one moment to the other.
EG: The album has very nice remixes including ones by Eagles & Butterflies and Tensnake. Are you happy with the different interpretations?
Claptone: Yes, I am. As I remix a lot myself I have always been open to club interpretations of my more vocal centered musical output, but it’s a weird one as I shift point of view and become what to me Gorillaz, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys or soon to be released Aurora and Florence & The Machine have been: The object that is being remixed. Knowing a lot about remixes and being remixed at the same time means you need to find a balance between good feedback to the remixers first layout but don’t be too critical, keep their musical vision alive; after all it’s a remix and not your own rework or your very own song. But with the remixers you mentioned plus MK, Mihalis Safras, Catz’n Dogz, David Penn, Lee Foss and soon to come Henrik Schwarz, Superflu, Patrice Bäumel and some more I dare to say I picked remixers that know what they are doing.
EG: You have quite a hectic schedule. Can you mention three things you can’t live without when touring?
Claptone: Coffee, Music, Laptop.
EG: Here are some short questions…
The best part of what I do is…That the parts of my work complement each other, and it never gets boring
I am obsessed about/with… Music
Music is… My life
My favorite time of day is… Night
I love it when…. I play
The most important human trait one should embody is… Empathy
I am… Claptone
Claptone will be playing at RESISTANCE on October 6th (Paraguay) and October 13th (Ecuador).