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

Illegal rave in Ibiza leads to arrest of 73, 13 injured

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Illegal rave in Ibiza leads to arrest of 73, 13 injuredIllegal Rave

Ibiza police arrested 73 ravers this past weekend, on August 23, while shutting down an illegal rave transpiring in government-protected woods near the Spanish island’s Cala Conta beach .

The irreverent party, which attracted an approximate 1,000 total attendees, swiftly turned into an aggressive affront once authorities arrived on the scene. When 40 some odd police officers attempted to break up the event, around 200 party-goers negated the evacuation and reportedly began attacking officials with iron bars and rocks, according to Civil Guard chief, Enrique Gómez .

“When officers arrived to tell [attendees that] they had to leave and stop the music because it was an illegal party in a protected area, they refused to do so, provoking police and even assaulting them and injuring several,” Gomez said.

The crowd’s antagonistic behavior led one police officer to fire his gun into the air. 11 officers sustained “non-serious” injuries that medical personnel attended to on-site, with 13 injuries in total. Two of the assailants were meanwhile transported to the hospital for injuries, including a broken bone. The 73 who were detained at the scene were held for a litany of transgressions, including resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, and civil disobedience.

h/t: DIARIO de IBIZA

Photo: Delfina Forstmann

Ibiza’s Caló d’en Serral beach closes in wake of E. Coli contamination

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Ibiza’s Caló d’en Serral beach closes in wake of E. Coli contaminationIbiza

Health officials have temporarily closed Ibiza’s Caló d’en Serral beach following reports of biological contamination. The San Antonio Bay beach’s closure comes shortly after the Ministry of Health of the Balearic Government found elevated levels of E. Coli in the Caló d’en Serral water during their performance of routine water quality tests. They hypothesize that the toxic presence of aqueous E. Coli arose on behalf of passing ships’ offloading human excrement into the ocean.

The Sant Josep local council affirmed that Caló d’en Serral will “re-open as soon as the tests confirm that normality has been restored” in a statement addressing the momentary suspension of Caló d’en Serral access. It’s unclear when exactly the beach is expected to reopen. In the midst of the Spanish nightclub mecca’s hungriest touring season, The White Isle’s extensive and international inhabitants should certainly watch where they’re swimming in coming days.

Photo Credit: Xescu Prats

In the name of collaboration: Absolut and elrow on the magic of partnership and creativity

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In the name of collaboration: Absolut and elrow on the magic of partnership and creativityThe Gardenarium 31st July 2019 By Luke Dyson IMG 0763

Photos courtesy of Luke Dyson

The word “partnership” bears many interpretations according to the context in which it’s used. In a romantic setting, for example, a partnership could be an emotional and physical interconnection between two (or more) individuals who care for one another so deeply that compromises are made in order to sustain a healthy, lasting relationship. Business partnerships, on the other hand, are typically an arrangement between two or more parties that collaborate to achieve their mutual interests.

For Jo Vidler, elrow’s Creative Director and Georgia McDonnell-Adams, Absolut’s Senior Global Experience Manager, collaboration, compromise and trust are key. Magic is an added bonus.

“Magic,” Jo emphatically replies when asked what “partnership” means to her. “Partnerships to me are definitely collaboration. They are opportunities for human on human to get super creative. It doesn’t even have to be in decorations and things like that; you can be creative in finance and all sorts of things. It’s a really amazing way of creating a magical experience, a product or whatever it is.”

In the name of collaboration: Absolut and elrow on the magic of partnership and creativityThe Gardenarium 31st July 2019 By Luke Dyson IMG 0737
Photographer: www.lukedyson.com

In Georgia’s eyes, partnership is also about being humble and having the emotional intelligence to communicate in ways that resonate with one another. “There’s an element of being vulnerable too because if you think about it, in a partnership, if I put something on the table and you don’t necessarily think it’s the right thing, I have to be vulnerable to allow you to criticize that [idea] or vice versa. So I think being brave and vulnerable is definitely a part of that.”

While it might seem that a leading vodka brand and a whimsical event production company are a natural fit, there’s much more that takes place behind the scenes than a consumer might think. “From a brand perspective, we’re always looking after very specific components when it comes to sponsorships,” Georgia says. “Where is our logo on this, where does our bottle sit here? What’s the hierarchy of messaging; where do things fit? I think when you’re coming from promoter world, maybe those things aren’t as important as selling tickets to the consumer and the consumer journey that they see. So from our side, it’s about moving that gold post to be a little more flexible on things that are important in a more traditional sponsorship and we’re adamant on having. We need to compromise on things like that because the end result is a collaboration of two things coming together.”

In the name of collaboration: Absolut and elrow on the magic of partnership and creativityThe Gardenarium 31st July 2019 By Luke Dyson IMG 0833
Photographer: www.lukedyson.com

It’s not always smooth sailing, but one of the major prerequisites of a successful partnership is being open to growing and learning together. “It can be challenging when you’re doing things one way all the time and then you’re trying to explain to someone else, who’s coming from a completely different world, ‘It’s okay, it’s meant to be like this’ or ‘No, it’s meant to be like this,’” Jo explains. “It’s been a really interesting journey to see how both parties deal with that because you have to be able to have compromises and just let things go. The biggest thing is that you need to be able to trust each other. Over the last year, we’ve been working really hard on this and making sure that we trust each other to create what we’ve committed to.”

Though it’s been about a year since elrow and Absolut officially entered their three-year partnership, The Gardenarium is the pair’s largest and most important creative collaboration yet. The day-into-night festival, which debuted at Ibiza’s Cova Santa on July 31, brings to life both brands’ beliefs that we are all human, and everybody is welcome on the dancefloor.

This, then, leads to the next question: “What does success look like?” Georgia’s response is twofold: “One, there’s a line at the door to get into our event and that’s a very easy, tangible piece of success. But the other side of success that not everyone sees is a really good working relationship. I don’t think that’s easy and that comes back to your first question, like, ‘What is partnership, how does that work and what can you compromise on and learn from each other?’ It’s been a journey; we come from two very different worlds even though on paper it looks like you fit really well. But once you dig deeper, we’re different worlds structurally and how we work and do things.”

Jo, on the other hand, views the relationship between elrow and Absolut as a romantic affair. The two are happily engaged.

In the name of collaboration: Absolut and elrow on the magic of partnership and creativityThe Gardenarium 31st July 2019 By Luke Dyson IMG 0803
Photographer: www.lukedyson.com

Perhaps most intriguing about The Gardenarium is that it’s its own institution. The festival sprinkles in bits of magic that one would expect from a typical elrow party, merging theater, music and art. Yet The Gardenarium team took things five steps further to give fans an even more wholesomely absurd, larger-than-life experience, which began at the Imagination Concierge, hosted by London-based performance collective Shotgun Carousel. Guests also had the chance to attend SUCO Sessions on the roof, live drawing sessions with Dolly Gorman, and a sacred cacao ceremony – hosted by Cosmic Pineapple – deep inside Cova Santa’s cave.

It’s an interesting turn considering The Gardenarium is elrow and Absolut’s first deep dive into the wellness space. Together, the duo strive to show partygoers the importance of showing up for themselves, being present and noticing their health on the dance floor and beyond.

In the name of collaboration: Absolut and elrow on the magic of partnership and creativityThe Gardenarium 31st July 2019 By Luke Dyson IMG 0882
Photographer: www.lukedyson.com

“For both of us, being well, keeping your head in a good place and being in the now is important,” Jo says. “People forget how important social gathering is and how actually that makes us really happy and changes things in our lives. There will be people here who have never tried a cacao ceremony. Having that opportunity to try things that you might see at another event – but that other event is a little bit untouchable to you – is powerful.”

Georgia’s hope is to demonstrate that wellness is easier to attain than one might think. “Wellness can sometimes be misconstrued as having to do yoga every morning or running a marathon, where actually wellness can be looking after yourself by coming to events like this and being social and experiencing cacao. It’s also an enabler for us. Being able to leave your shoes at the door and having a night where you let go is important for wellness as well.”

And as far as the music itself goes, The Gardenarium’s roster distances itself from elrow’s usual suspects like De La Swing, Kölsch and Patrick Topping. This time around, we’re seeing Seth Troxler, Gideön, Heidi, Horse Meat Disco and Hot Chip, among others.

In the name of collaboration: Absolut and elrow on the magic of partnership and creativityThe Gardenarium 31st July 2019 By Luke Dyson IMG 0927
Photographer: www.lukedyson.com

“In our festivals, we diversify our music more and The Gardenarium gives us a platform to be able to work with other artists and create a unique creative space,” Jo tells me in The Den, which has yet to open its doors to the public. “Seth has been playing for us for a long time. But Hot Chip and people like that? No – they’re not people we’d usually book. And for elrow, this is amazing because we want to diversify anyway. We are diversifying. And this is a really good platform to test the grounds and give to people that perhaps don’t want to go to elrow, another opportunity to experience our party but with different genres of music.”

Laddering back to the notion of compromise, Absolut and elrow were challenged to book talent that would appeal to both brands. “For [Absolut], we came to the table being like, ‘Alright guys, this is the kind of world we live in when it comes to music for our brand. It’s a little different to what you guys have for yours. How can we meet in the middle?’” This is what middle ground looks like, and it’s a pretty good place to be.

As is the case with most brands doing something spectacular, Absolut and elrow have quietly entertained the ideas of expansion and world domination. They’ve hinted that down the road, fans can expect to participate in the sheer fun, lightheartedness and comicality that is The Gardenarium across 30 additional experiences in 11 markets, such as the US and other European countries. Absolut will also host Pink Cathedral experiences at elrow Town in London (August 17) and Amsterdam (September 7). 

Jamie Jones and Darius Syrossian bring house heater, ‘Rushing’ to Defected Records

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Jamie Jones and Darius Syrossian bring house heater, ‘Rushing’ to Defected RecordsJamie Jones We Are Fstvl Credit Carolina Faruolo

Hot Creations head honcho Jamie Jones teams up with Darius Syrossian, a techno tastemaker in his own right, for “Rushing,” an infectiously bouncy house track that highlights the pairing’s collective penchant for the true funk that can withstand the test of time.

With kicks as swollen as they are deep, “Rushing” definitely thumps, but what makes the Defected Records single such a glistening club option is also how it slaps. Layers of tribal and hand drums set the stage before the Strictly Rhythm samples lead listeners into clap-driven rhythmic bliss. Ultimately, “Rushing” represents two vets with a stronghold on their genre who remain at the apex of their respective games.

I think to make sure I keep releasing music that I’m proud of releasing and that I can sit back in ten years and listen to it all again and still feel it not just in a nostalgic sense but in a way that it’s still music that I would play then as well. – Darius Syrossian in an interview with Dancing Astronaut.

With Jones’ weekly Paradise party thriving in its 8th year at Ibiza’s DC-10 and Syrossian’s Do Not Sleep partnering with Amnesia, just across town, “Rushing” is quickly poised to be one of the dance capital’s top summer selects.

Apple Music takes listeners on a guiltless getaway with launch of new Ibiza playlist series

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Apple Music takes listeners on a guiltless getaway with launch of new Ibiza playlist seriesApple Music Interface

Want the ambiance of Ibiza without the expense that a trip to the White Isle would entail? Apple Music figured as much, and has accordingly unveiled an exclusive new series of Ibiza themed playlists designed to evoke Balearic bliss, no matter the listener’s location. A myriad of musical curators came together to craft the playlists: streamers will find options from Anjunabeats, Ministry of Sound, Defected, Ushuaïa, Hï Ibiza, and more.

Apple Music describes its newly launched Ibiza playlist category as “a celebration of Ibiza and its role in bringing dance music to the masses.” Now, the platform plays a distributive role akin to the island itself, as Apple Music too brings dance music tailored with Balearic flair to millions of users via the debut of its newest playlist series. Peruse the Ibiza playlist section, here.

Voyeurism at Ushuaïa: couple caught in outdoor romp during David Guetta set

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Voyeurism at Ushuaïa: couple caught in outdoor romp during David Guetta setUshuaia Ibiza

David Guetta is apparently a sonic aphrodisiac to some. During a pool party gig at Ibiza superclub Ushuaïa, clubbers merely had to look up to spot a couple getting it on on an overlooking hotel balcony. Witnesses described a string of various sex acts performed in the open air and broad daylight, “without a care in the world.” Some of what appears to be a round of fellatio was caught on camera, while a cheeky bystander hoped “they practised safe sax on his woodwind instrument.”

Ushuaïa hosts daily pool parties in addition to their night programming, touting their ranking of “the #1 open air club” on the island. David Guetta currently has a residency at the day club each Monday of the season.

Voyeurism at Ushuaïa: couple caught in outdoor romp during David Guetta setDavid Guetta Se Ushuaia
Voyeurism at Ushuaïa: couple caught in outdoor romp during David Guetta setDavid Guetta Se Ushuaia2

H/T: Scottish Sun

Avicii’s Father Speaks out About Mental Health & Tim Bergling Foundation

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Over a year later, the dance music community still mourns the loss of one of its figureheads. Avicii was know the world over for his innovative ideas, incredible work ethic and creative genius. The day he died, speculation abounded as to the cause, but we all learned over time that it was ultimately suicide cause

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Marco Carola rejects accusations of breaking Ibiza contracts in court

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Marco Carola rejects accusations of breaking Ibiza contracts in courtMarco Carola Music On Press Cr Iwo Gospodinov 2016 Billboard 1548

Marco Carola paid a brief visit to an Ibiza court on May 22 to deny recent accusations made against him by Amnesia Ibiza and It’s All About The Music SL of contract breach. The drama surfaced about a week prior to his meeting with judges, when the two entities joined in suing him for setting a residency up at rival club Pacha. His current contracts with the superclub and the promoter forbid him from performing anywhere else on the island aside from Amnesia, and had been backed by court orders earlier.

This case is particularly problematic, because Carola has over two dozen shows planned on the island throughout the season. Each time he plays outside his contractual confines, he risks fines upwards of €2.4 million. It’s All About The Music requested full seizure of Carola’s assets while the case goes to court, but the defendant’s lawyers have been able to block the motion thus far on account of him not qualifying for such drastic measures. At the low end of the monestary spectrum, should Marco lose the case, he’d owe at least €6.6 million in damages to both Amnesia and It’s All About The Music.

Both the plaintiffs and defendants have either denied or not returned media requests for further comment.

H/T: Resident Advisor

Photo credit: Iwo Gospodino

Tiesto and Calvin Harris are Making Less Money Than Ever Before

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Taking place in Ibiza, The annual International Music Summit (IMS) Business Report for 2019 has just been released, showcasing a variety of different trends in the Dance Music Community. While many are positive, the prevailing notion is that club attendance, and consequently, DJ pay, has gone down year-to-date. This is reflected in the biggest clubbing destination the

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