Claptone transfixes in newly released Dirtybird Campout East set [Stream]

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A new Dirtybird Campout East set has arrived, and it comes ‘straight outta’ the St. Cloud sonic archive.

As the Dirtybird collective sets its sights on the 2018 edition of its flagship event — the San Francisco-based West Coast Campout —organizers of the newly bi-coastal festival released Claptone’s Campout East set, spun live from The Birdhouse.

An enthralling outing that meshes Claptone’s soulful, noir groove with the distinct funk of the Dirtybird brand, Claptone’s set from the inaugural East Coast edition is a transfixing look back at East Coast Campout, and a glimpse towards the tones that can be expected on Claptone’s sophomore album, FANTAST, due out on June 8.

Read Dancing Astronaut’s exclusive pre-album release interview with Claptone, here.

Photo Credit:Andreas Waldschütz

Transcending imagination: Claptone talks forthcoming album & being a ‘Fantast’ [Interview]

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Life is lived consistently in “mask on” mode for this modern house revivalist.

The ever-enigmatic persona by the name of Claptone proved himself a musical magic maker on Charmer, the producer’s debut album released in 2015. An LP comprised of sultry, sophisticated house selections and the dark pulsating beats that keep dancers moving on dimly lit dance floors, Charmer exerted a warmth that permeated today’s house circles and has smoldered ever since.

His sophomore album  Fantast — due for a June 8 release on Different Recordings and [PIAS] — is a sonic exploration of self. It will arrive to listeners as an invitation to venture further into the world of Claptone, and to better acquaint themselves with the mystique surrounding his talent. A clear sense of one’s nature preludes the knowledge of one’s identity, and this character certainly knows himself to be a “Fantast (French translation: Ghost).” Dancing Astronaut caught up with coveted performer to talk the album’s release, recent singles “In The Night,” and “Stay The Night,” and how the producer embodies his identity as a “Fantast” in his music.

Your sophomore album Fantast will drop on June 8. You’ve released two singles off of the album so far, in your words the “uplifting” “In The Night,” and the darker “Stay The Night.” Can you talk a little about what listeners can expect in terms of the tone of the album—will the album be more “In The Night,” “Stay The Night,” maybe a little bit of both? 

[Editor’s Note: Claptone has since released the third single off of the album, “Under the Moon“]

My new album, Fantast, pairs quite well with my first LP, Charmer: both bleed with unmasked personality, briefs looks behind my golden mask.

How has your approach in the production of Fantast differed from that of your debut album, Charmer, if at all?  

When it comes to writing music, I tend to let myself be guided by the winds of creativity. This time I was dragged out of closed environments into the great outdoors. Not sure if it was the moon pulling a trick on me or what exactly happened. On the quest to find myself through music I was guided deeper into nature in my dreams and in reality. I have never been so much in tone with the elements than on Fantast and this made me feel my animalistic side even more. Do I know who I am now? Rather not, but what I did find out is that I’m a Fantast.

Your songs “In The Night” and “Stay The Night” both have an association with nighttime, and this seems only to further contribute to your mystique. When “Stay The Night” dropped, you noted the tonal difference between both tracks, and said that you need your listeners to “experience the other side of my night.” How would you describe what your “night” is, since you’ve indicated that it’s a multifaceted concept.

A transitive experience, where dimensions shift, memories are made and reality melds into fantasy. It’s far more vague than daytime where putative truths make living for me almost unbearable. The night allows a far more emotive spectrum far less defined by science, work ethics and capitalism far more open to pain and joy, yearning and happiness.

You’ve stated that you “are and have always been a ‘Fantast.’” What does being a “Fantast” mean to you? 

All the answers that you may seek are within the music itself. But I’ll spoil you with one of my many truths: My mind is inventive to a stage that tends to transcend some peoples’ imagination.

Claptone discusses ‘FANTAST’ album in new video series, Track By Track [Watch]

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Claptone’s second long form outing, FANTAST will arrive via Different Recordings and [PIAS] on June 8, but electronic music’s resident ‘Charmer’ will heighten anticipation for the album’s official release through a video series that will chronicle the album’s completion, as the title suggests, “track by track.”

“I decided to create a video about every track on my upcoming album…to tell you more about the background, the collaborators, and what each song means to me,” Claptone wrote in an Instagram post that simultaneously premiered the first song history, that of recent single “Under the Moon.” Claptone did not specify a video release schedule during the series’ debut.

Claptone releases “Under The Moon” featuring Nathan Nicholson

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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. Today, “Under

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Claptone releases magnetic piano driven single off forthcoming ‘FANTAST’ album

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Preceded by the tonally diverse singles “In The Night” and “Stay The Night,” “Under the Moon” extends the evening imagery that has heretofore characterized Claptone’s forthcoming and second long form production, FANTAST.

Enchantingly rhythmic, “Under the Moon” sources its tempo from a piano based melody that duly drives the sirenic number forward, and provides a strong willed foundation for Nathan Nicholson’s soulful vocal contribution. A stirring number with a youthful personality, “Under the Moon” exudes a magnetizing allure not unlike that of Claptone’s own performative persona.

Claptone selects his favorite non-party spots during MMW [Guide]

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Miami Music Week is in full effect, with each day being filled to the brim with a wide array of events to choose from that satisfy any electronic lover’s fancy. However, the choices are so vast, that sometimes making a decision proves an arduous task.

Partying 24/7 is virtually an impossible task, however, and rest is absolutely crucial during any bit of downtime. For most new to the Miami scene or for those who rarely touch down in the city, Dancing Astronaut has enlisted Claptone‘s assistance in picking out spots to check out when craving a bit of relaxation among the chaos. The masked musician has compiled quite the list of places close to his heart, across a broad spectrum of activities.

While perusing the guide, we recommend giving his new single from FANTAST a spin:

Sweat Records

“While on the road, I long for new music. I love to get my fingers dusty, sifting through bins and piles of records, always making sure to bring a spare pair of my signature white gloves.
There happens to be quite a funky spot in Miami, a store called Sweat Records. They’ve got loads of albums and singles, and I always leave with at least one brilliant, new discovery.”

CJ’s Crabshack

“Oh dear! How I love the Crabshack! A family-run and operated eatery with modest design and ambience, serving a variety of crab and seafood dishes, only steps from the beach. How I love to feel the rays of the Miami sun, sitting on the sidewalk terrace. The perfect place for an afternoon with good friends and great food.”

Broken Shaker

“The Broken Shaker is quite the special space. For some reason, every time that I visit, interesting and peculiar things seem to happen. That is all I’ll say.”

Crusing through Biscayne Bay

“Many of you may, or may not know this – but I have sailed the Seven Seas a plenty. I grew up as a mariner, setting sail and attempting to discover lands still uncharted. These days, my nautical ambitions are much more modest. Whenever I am in Miami, I make sure to spend as much time as possible navigating through Biscayne Bay on my humble vessel.”

The Kampong

“This lesser-known, beautiful, flowing garden was designed as a laboratory for the observation and study of tropical plants in Miami. I often find myself wandering through their grounds, with my portable field-recorder in hand, registering the many organic sounds that can be heard, to later incorporate in my original productions. I cloak the call of birds and the rustling of the leaves in mystery, altering their tonality and timbre to the point of being unrecognisable, but still so special to me. The garden of inspiration.”

Guaguanco in Little Havana

“Six years ago, while strolling through Little Havana, I somehow found myself in a Cuban community centre for the arts. It was on this day that I had my first Guanguanco dance lesson with my very kind and astonishingly limber, sixty-seven year-old instructor, Griselda. Although it has been quite some time since my last lesson, I can still feel the rhythm and pulse that makes Cuban music so special. My experiences there led me to incorporate some Spanish-speaking lyrics on my upcoming album, Fantast. The ninth track, entitled La Esperanza, with it’s chorus sung in Spanish, forever reminding me of Griselda’s patience.”

Claptone casts shadows in second single off forthcoming ‘FANTAST’ album

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The second single to be released from Claptone’s second studio album, FANTAST — slated for a June 8 debut via Different Recordings and [PIAS] —  “Stay The Night” is a tonal deviation from its predecessor, “In The Night.”

A plunge into sonic obscurity, “Stay The Night” couples the low-pitched, gravelly vocals of TENDER’s James Cullen with a pulsating baritone background beat. “Stay The Night” cultivates a drama distinct in its muted sound and its organ-inspired chords and provocative punches of synth work, both of which affect an eeriness that is duly titillating and engrossing.

“‘Stay The Night’ is a very honest song and TENDER tell a story which deeply resonates with me,” Claptone said of the production. “The last track I released was the uplifting ‘In The Night,’ but I need you to experience the other side of my night, and give you a deeper insight into my heart; the shadows that I cast as well as the shadows that haunt me.”

MK delivers an invigorating remix of Claptone’s ‘In The Night’

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MK takes on Claptone’s Ben Duffy-assisted single, “In The Night” for his latest release. The remix evidences MK’s ability to craft a revamp that simultaneously preserves the personality of a Claptone production, while evoking that of an MK offering.

MK’s rework is a rousing re-imaginative effort that that luxuriates in an elongated timeframe. A nearly seven-minute re-imaginative endeavor, MK’s remix makes each minute of the remix count. MK invests the first three minutes of his revamp to the development of a pulsating background beat that slowly mounts, channeling the viscous pace and commanding the stimulating character of a house number played to a dimly lit crowd in a European house club. The remix gradually involves Duffy’s vocals at the four-minute mark, the point at which the chords and soulful brand of jazz funk of Claptone’s original become perceptible. The interplay of a confident piano rhythm and round, gusting synths further amplify the remix’s invigorating quality.

Defected Croatia unveils phase two lineup

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defected croatia 2018

Defected Croatia is shaping up to be one of the year’s supreme thrills. The festival hosted more than 3,000 patrons in 2017 and, if this year’s lineup is any indication, 2018 is set to be another well-attended family affair. Complete with six immersive stages set on the Adriatic Sea from Aug. 9-14, the festival’s communal atmosphere attracts house heads from all across the globe.

With a previously announced lineup featuring Basement Jaxx, Claptone, Derrick Carter and Nightmares on Wax, the festival has now added more than 20 new acts to their bill, including Objektivity founder Dennis Ferrer, South African tribal house duo Black Motion, Soul Clap and Riva Starr, to name only a few.

Get tickets here.

Claptone delivers dulcet ‘Final Credits’ on Pete Tong’s latest BBC Radio 1 broadcast [Stream]

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“Save the best for last” would be an apt expression when related to Pete Tong’s February 16 BBC Radio 1 broadcast. Tong’s episode brought a host of exclusive new releases straight to the speakers of streamers worldwide, spotlighting the latest singles from Dirty South, Sasha, Boys Noize, Offiah, CamelPhat, and more.

While the engrossing quality of Tong’s mix can be attributed to the profusion of new music that Tong masterfully blends to craft a galvanizing brand of house music infused with the energy of the weekend, the vivacity of the broadcast’s verve is also due in part to the broadcast’s special guest, Claptone.

On “Final Credits” duties for the evening, Claptone innervates listeners of Tong’s BBC Radio 1 broadcast in the show’s final minutes, selecting a series of enervating, mellifluous house records to characterize his “Final Credits” feature.

Touting the impending release of his second album, FANTAST, in June, Claptone states “I keep on touring, touring, touring, touring, I will be in your city, I promise” at the show’s end, foreshadowing a lively touring schedule to soon accompany the album’s release.

Pete Tong’s February 16 BBC Radio 1 broadcast can be streamed, here.