Exclusive: Claptone chronicles first Ibiza residency, soundtracks the season [Interview/Playlist]

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Exclusive: Claptone chronicles first Ibiza residency, soundtracks the season [Interview/Playlist]Claptone

In an auditory age when an artist’s popularity is largely predicated on clicks, likes, and oversharing, secrecy is sexy—now more than ever. And who on the house music hierarchy has remained more surreptitious than Claptone?

Little is known about the man behind the beak who averages an improbable upwards of 260 performances per year, often traversing multiple continents for performances across a single weekend. Soaked in soul and powered by four-on-the-floor club grooves that range from pumped-up to plaintive, Claptone’s production has been tapped for official remixes from a litany of likeminded counterparts: from the Pet Shop Boys to—most recently—Mark Ronson (a forthcoming release). Despite the explosive success the plague doctor-themed project has secured since its 2012 inception, the Berlin-based Claptone camp solidified a fiercely coveted milestone, even among bluechip modern electronic acts, in 2019: an extended summertime tenure in the White Isle. Claptone’s first Ibiza residency touched down at one of the island’s quintessential after-dark playgrounds, Pacha. The perpetually poised puppet master attracted an auspicious flock to his Monday Masquerades, which spanned this past May-September and included the likes of Diplo, Duke Dumont, Eli & Fur, Shiba San, and Bob Moses (to name only a few).

While he’s lauded for laying low, Dancing Astronaut caught up with Claptone to get a closer look at the man who’s made his mark with myth.

Along with a stylized playlist to score the summer residency, Claptone shared insights on the bygone summer season, some fond moments at Pacha, and a bit about what’s hiding in his aural incubator. He also reflected on the longwinded lore breathing life into his immaterial persona. Claptone’s face may remain never to be seen, but one facet of the DJ’s smoke and mirrors act is certain—there’s substance behind the subterfuge.

Did Pacha live up to your expectations for your first Ibiza residency? Why or why not?

It was my first season and I didn’t have any clear vision of how it might be really. I only knew it’d be a great party cause I know my fans and the international popularity of Claptone. I knew they’d come and enjoy this experience and they did. To be honest for the first season it surpassed my wildest expectations. So many amazing people that appreciated all the quite various line ups I had been programming. The greatest compliment surely was that so many of these great DJs whom I booked like Todd Terry, Kerri Chandler, MK as well as DJs whom I couldn’t have on the bill like Solardo, CamelPhat, Paul Oakenfold, Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, Martin Solveig came in private on some Mondays to just enjoy the party and the great vibe of the night. That for me says it all.

Tell me about the stylistic approach you took to your summer residency in the White Isle…

I made a huge effort in growing the regular stage setup of my The Masquerade parties—the huge golden mask above the booth and the smaller masks with the LED-lit eyes hanging from the ceiling, to match Pacha and come up with interior design ideas to go along with that. Same with the dancer and performer costumes. I had tailors from Pacha as well as tailors from Torture Garden in London work out details on costumes and designs I came up with. That’s why in the end there are about 30 amazing characters from futuristic Venetian carnival to cinematic Eyes Wide Shut from classic Circus to Dia de los Muertos dancing, wandering or even flying through the club. 

Can you tell me about a particularly impactful moment or night from this past season’s performances? 

It’s hard to pick just one or two moments when you just had 19 weeks of mayhem on a Monday at Pacha Ibiza at your very own night with your very own concept The Masquerade. The pure fact that I was able to program the line up, invite and play with Armand van Helden, Andhim, Audiojack, Basement Jaxx, Bob Moses, Catz ‘n Dogz, Chus & Ceballos, Danny Howard, Danny Tenaglia, David Penn, Dennis Cruz, Dennis Ferrer, Diplo, Duke Dumont, Eli & Fur, Faithless, Felix da Housecat, Hannah Wants, Heidi, Illyus & Barrientos, Jon Hopkins, Kerri Chandler, Lars Moston, Maya Jane Coles, Mat.Joe, MK, Nhan Solo, Nora En Pure, Pirupa, Purple Disco Machine, Riva Starr, Route 94, Shiba San, Shir Khan, Sidney Charles, SG Lewis, Sonny Fodera, Tensnake, Todd Terry, Tube & Berger, and Weiss was such a game changer for me.

It’s tough to put that into words and even harder to pick a favorite moment. But the back to back with Diplo was certainly a highlight for me as this was my very first and to date my last back to back ever, [considering] it was Diplo playing house music in front of a super excited crowd. 

Any new music in the works you can speak to?

You know I love secrets, but, well, I’ll make an exception. I just finished some remixes that went to mastering the other day. You are more than welcome to look forward to what I did to Mark Ronson as well as Charlie Puth and Michael Kiwanuka. Fasten your seatbelt. 

Describe the significance of the golden-beaked mask and white gloves…

This mask is part of my personality, one of my many faces. Its origins lie in the old Italian city of Venezia and for me hints at the rich history and culture we all share and of course at the masquerade balls [we’ve held for] 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 presenting their tail feathers. 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. The mask was casted out of titan’s gold. Gold for me reflects the treasure that I found in music. It simultaneously ridicules the greed and materialism of your average rock star or Hip-Hop hero. Last but not least, wearing a mask is liberating and it’s shielding your privacy, extending your personal freedom. This, together with reflecting on the mechanisms of media and popular music, empowers me to be in charge of my image and perform my artistic identity much more consciously. The gloves I just wear to not get my hands dirty.

A great deal of secrecy ensconces the Claptone masthead, specifically in reference to your identity(s). Can you speak to this? 

Claptone declined to comment.

Photo Credit: Jackmode

îleSoniq commemorates sixth anniversary on Montréal’s île Sainte-Helene – photos by Susan Moss, Pat Beaudry, Pierre Bourgault

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îleSoniq commemorates sixth anniversary on Montréal’s île Sainte-Helene – photos by Susan Moss, Pat Beaudry, Pierre BourgaultKSHMR ByPatBeaudry 003 Resize

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 94

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 94Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Listen in playlist format here.


One week ago, Madnap and Yetep revealed an absolutely show-stopping collaboration with Miranda Glory. “It’s Just You” is an emotive journey through Glory’s shimmering vocals, interspersed with dramatic breakdowns and heavy synthwork. The powerful instrumentals were what first hooked me on this tune, but as I’ve listened to it over and over again, I’ve come to truly appreciate the harmonious contrast of Glory’s soothing vocals and the forceful production.

Kramder continues to thrill with a steady stream of infectious house releases. For his latest, he’s taken to Uprise Music for some disco-infused production. “No Time To Be” is a steady-rocking funk tune that uses choppy vocals and a grooving beat to lure the listener in. In his latest release, the French producer has developed a fun, retro edge to his style, helping pave the way for the reemergence of disco elements in today’s house music.

For her new remix package, MARINA has tapped celebrated producer Claptone for a sultry house spin. This dark and moody rendition of “Orange Trees” deviates from the summery atmosphere of the original, which MARINA created to pay homage to the island she grew up on in Greece. Claptone dives to the depths of the nearby ocean on his remake, creating an almost somber backdrop with a deep bassline and shadowy synth melodies.

After six years, Camo & Krooked have made their return to Hospital Records with “Loa.” According to UKF, this new single was “inspired by Haitian voodoo rituals” and Haitian instruments, making for a drum ‘n’ bass song that’s in a league of its own. The introduction is complex and compelling, leaving the listener wondering what’s in store and what the drop will be like. With a unique and addictive drop, fans will find themselves racing through the jungle as the duo paints a vivid sonic picture with their impeccable production.

Dancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artist of 2018 continues to inspire us with an impressive showing so far in 2019. He follows up his debut LP, Irene, and February’s “Mr. Skitters” with a gorgeous remix of Local Natives’ “When Am I Gonna Lose You.” Medasin’s dreamy style fits in perfectly with the nostalgic feel of Local Natives’ music. Medasin’s subtle trap beat paired with falsetto and pensive harmonies are a match made in heaven.

NMF Roundup: A-Trak remixes The Magician, Lost Kings unveil new original + more

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NMF Roundup: A-Trak remixes The Magician, Lost Kings unveil new original + moreA Trak

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

A-Trak brings the heat this Friday with a tantalizing remix of The Magician’s “Ready To Love,” and Lost Kings tap Anna Clendening for their new original, “Too Far Gone.” Habstrakt makes his Monstercat debut with “Infinite,” and Claptone takes on MARINA’s “Orange Trees” in a spicy new remix. Space Laces reveals a remix package for Overdrive, featuring tunes like Gammer’s remix of “Torque,” and GTA release a formidable trap number, “FK IT.” Maduk has remixed Fox Stevenson’s “Take You Down,” and Afrojack bursts into June with “It Goes Like.” CloudNone, Direct, and Matt Van team up for “Lost and Found,” and R3HAB remixes NOTD’s “I Miss Myself.” Kaivon has put a new spin on Alison Wonderland’s “Peace,” and Duke & Jones flex their remix skills on Yellow Claw’s “Break of Dawn.” Julian Jordan keeps things grooving on “To The Wire,” and tyDi and Matt Fax have collaborated on “It’s Always Now.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Shane O’Neal

NMF Roundup: LSD release debut album, Oliver Heldens teams up with Devin and Nile Rodgers + more

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NMF Roundup: LSD release debut album, Oliver Heldens teams up with Devin and Nile Rodgers + moreLSD Photo Credit JUCO Dancing Astro

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Sia, Diplo, and Labrinth have unleashed their debut album as LSD, featuring infectious tracks like “Angel in Your Eyes.” Oliver Heldens teams up with Devin and Nile Rodgers for the breezy “Summer Lover,” and Gareth Emery and Ashley Wallbridge an emotive new collaboration, “Amber Sun.” Avicii fans rejoiced a few days ago with the release of a posthumous song, “SOS,” with Aloe Blacc (and there may be more on the way!) Claptone thrills with a grooving remix of Purple Disco Machine‘s “Body Funk,” and Adventure Club, Krewella, and Crankdat deliver the powerful “Next Life.” Fox Stevenson follows February’s “Out My Head” with “Go Like,” and Galantis reveal a summer-primed remix of Kygo and Valerie Broussard‘s “Think About You.” Tame Impala leads us into the weekend with a smooth new single, “Borderline,” and Matrix & Futurebound reveal their first LP in 12 years with tracks like “Spellbound.” Cassian has released a take on RÜFÜS DU SOL‘s iconic “Treat You Better,” and Armin van Buuren kicks off Trilogy with Shapov with “La Résistance De L’amour.” Robotaki debuts a new EP, featuring songs like “Beaches,” and The Chemical Brothers kick off their latest album with tunes like title track “No Geography.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: JUCO

îleSoniq reveals phase one lineup for Aug. 9-10 takeover: Above & Beyond, Marshmello, Kaskade, and more

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îleSoniq reveals phase one lineup for Aug. 9-10 takeover: Above & Beyond, Marshmello, Kaskade, and more062 Ile Soniq Day 1 Photo Susan Moss

îleSoniq has commemorated their sixth anniversary with the anticipated reveal of their phase one lineup, giving festival-goers an idea of the explosion of artists in store. As previous years have found success in fusing the hip-hop and electronic music spheres together, the 2019 edition returns to parc Jean-Drapeau over Aug. 9-10 for the return of the annual event. 

Headliners Above & Beyond and Marshmello are scheduled to close out festivities throughout the weekend, and will be accompanied by main stage selects Alesso and Kaskade to light up the weekend, in addition to by sets from fan-favorites across the electronic spectrum. For the first time in îleSoniq history, attendees can expect to be immersed with the sounds of its inaugural underground house and techno stage, complete with sets by Nicole Moudaber, Lane 8, Yotto and Claptone.

In addition to the influx of house and techno artists, bass fans will witness the return of head-banging dignitary Excision, along with the likes of Mastadon, Peekaboo, Midnight T, G. Jones and Montréal native, Snails amidst the weekend.

Two-day festival passes available for purchase here.

îleSoniq reveals phase one lineup for Aug. 9-10 takeover: Above & Beyond, Marshmello, Kaskade, and moreUnnamed 1 1

Photo credit: Susan Moss

Claptone re-envisions select ‘Fantast’ album cuts on ‘Fantast Remixes, Pt. 3’

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Claptone re-envisions select ‘Fantast’ album cuts on ‘Fantast Remixes, Pt. 3’CLAPTONE 2018 0928 234951 4311 ALIVECOVERAGE JCM

Claptone‘s Fantast train chugs ahead, as the masked house haven follows the second installment of album remixes with Fantast Remixes, Pt. 3. The three-track collection of Fantast revamps sees Katie Stelmanis and Patrice Bäumel step up to submit their take of “La Esperanza.” Joan As Police Woman and Simion follow suit with a reboot of “Good Sense.” Joan As Police Woman also provides an extended, solo version of the “Good Sense” remix, to round out the re-imaginative project.

Stelmanis and Baumel’s showing is a simmering revisioning of the upbeat, harmony-centric original, that luxuriates in the tantalizing drama of a prolonged build. Joan As Police Woman and Simion’s collaboration materializes as a percussive-driven remix, as does Joan As Police Woman’s separate extended effort. Despite their tonal and technical differences, each of the tracks find common ground in their collective rinsing of the Fantast originals in industrial aesthetics. A formidable followup to the second wave of Fantast takes, Fantast Remixes, Pt. 3 is proof that “good things come in threes.”

Photo credit: Julian Cassady Photography

Tomorrowland releases second wave of artists, featuring Martin Garrix, CamelPhat, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano + more

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Tomorrowland releases second wave of artists, featuring Martin Garrix, CamelPhat, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano + moreDimitri Vegas Like Mike Tomorrowland 2018 EP

Less than a day after releasing their first wave of artists, Tomorrowland has released its second wave of artists for the 2019 iteration of the powerhouse festival. The Tomorrowland organizers are planning on releasing sporadic waves of artists throughout the week, so for those who are either attending or considering attending the event, the festival’s social channels are the best way to keep up with the various artist drops throughout the week.

As usual, the festival retains its usual mystique, captioning their second artist wave on Instagram with, “Welcome to these wonderful artists, ready to guide you through a magnificent new tale: The Book of Wisdom – The Return.” The next wave of artists include AAA acts including Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, and more. The first wave included acts such as The Chainsmokers, Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren, and more.

Tomorrowland Second Wave

  • Aly & Fila
  • Armand Van Helden
  • CamelPhat
  • Claptone
  • Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
  • Flux Pavilion
  • Lost Frequencies
  • Martin Garrix
  • Nervo
  • Oscar and the Wolf
  • Radical Redemption
  • Robin Schulz
  • Solomun
  • Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano
  • Tale of Us
View this post on Instagram

 

Welcome to these wonderful artists, ready to guide you through a magnificent new tale: The Book of Wisdom – The Return

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Photo credit: @boythecollector/Instagram

Good Morning Mix: Go underground with Claptone’s house-inflected Halloween mix

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Good Morning Mix: Go underground with Claptone’s house-inflected Halloween mixCLAPTONE 2018 0928 234951 4311 ALIVECOVERAGE JCM

Claptone introduced a different connotation of “haunted house” in his Halloween mix, originally released in 2017. With the month of October at its peak, Claptone’s Halloween effort warrants revisitation, and it is accordingly with an enticing wave of his white gloves that Claptone invites listeners to delve into two hours of sumptuous, soulful house selects. A sleek underground spin on the traditionally trap and bass-laden Halloween sound, the mix is a collection of mid to downtempo tracks that fluidly unfurls with each second. Claptone subtly imbibes the spirit of the Halloween season in the production through deliberate song choice — Ordonez’s “The Spell,” for instance, occupies a mellifluous several minutes of the mix. A dark take on Talking Heads’ “Pyscho Killer” only further underscores Claptone’s attention to the inclusion of the spookiest sonic subject matter.

Eerie synths that stab on occasion, and thrillers of spoken vocal parts augment the mix’s hair-raising quality. In the titular fashion of Claptone’s sophomore album, the modern house revivalist’s sensation building Halloween mix should bring out the “fantast” in each listener this Halloween season.

Photo credit: Julian Cassady Photography

Seismic Dance Event announces house-heavy inaugural lineup

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Seismic Dance Event announces house-heavy inaugural lineupAnna Lunoe Live 1

Seismic Dance Event is a new festival hosted by local Austin, Texas promoter RealMusic Events. Known for their house-oriented electronic lineups, Seismic Dance Event seems to the pinnacle of their love for hard beats and dirty grooves.

The lineup features house music heavyweights and newcomers, with big name talent like Anna Lunoe, Green Velvet, and Duke Dumont alongside some smaller, but still reputable names such as Amtrac, Hotel Garuda, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and more. Hosted at the scenic Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, this lineup and location pairing makes Seismic Dance Event one of fall’s most intriguing festivals.

Seismic Dance Event announces house-heavy inaugural lineupSeismic

 

Featured image sourced from Anna Lunoe’s Facebook