On October 19th, the Amsterdam Dance Event will host the first live interview with the mysterious Claptone to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the hit single No Eyes.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard will ask the questions and provide a rare insight into the defining moments that shaped the man behind the golden mask.
This one-off event is set to be unique, delving into the captivating world of Claptone’s illustrious career. The conference room will be completely transformed into a truly immersive Claptone experience, transporting the audience into a captivating atmosphere that perfectly complements the artist’s enigmatic personality.
Attendees will get a rare glimpse into the milestones and defining moments that shaped Claptone’s meteoric rise to fame. Featuring an exclusive selection of behind-the-scenes footage, live and archival footage, and highlights of Claptone’s most notable achievements, this experience promises to enlighten everyone.
Danny Howard will also be at Claptone’s The Masquerade party at the Afas Live venue in Amsterdam on October 20th, playing alongside the Man in the Mask and his other special guests Sonny Fedora, WADE and Nora En Pure. CLICK HERE for tickets.
We caught up with Claptone and he put together a playlist for us that he says “provides a deep insight into the mind of a DJ when selecting music for a Claptone setlist.”
Listen to Claptone’s selection and read what the enigmatic hitmaker has to say about the music below.
Claptone – The Big Easy
“Let’s start my deep dive into the mindset of a DJ and producer with a track of my own. I called it “The Big Easy” because the sample and added horn section remind me of easy listening pieces and the underlying ska feel was smuggled in with the house beats. But this one has too much bounce to be easy. I love working with samples and turning them into something you wouldn’t expect at all. As a listener you know the element, but I annoy you with the way I slice and dice it, I build it, I break it down and the way I improvise over it.
VNSSA – One pill
“Yes, I listen to promos myself. The sheer amount of club music being produced today is insane. But every now and then you think you’ve found a gem. I would say 200 tracks and you will find a track that you want to edit a piece in your DJ sets. I always make edits to sharpen the arrangement and sometimes even to swap vocals, add or subtract other elements. The next step is to test this makeshift gem in the club and 30% of the time I realize I was wrong and the track isn’t as good as I thought. After the first test run last weekend, I feel confident enough to say One Pill is a winner. VNSSA focuses on the trippy guitar and vocals of “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane and cleverly sets this over killer beats and bassline.
Zakes Bantwini – Osama (Claptone Remix)
“When someone asked me to remix this great track a while ago, I immediately accepted. But that happened almost two years ago and my ‘Osama’ remix was only officially released a few days ago. I’ll spare you the details of why.” When you make a remix, sometimes it takes forever to get released, or it doesn’t get released at all. The average music lover doesn’t know this, but it happens. As a remixer you can’t do anything, your hands are tied. This is a great song and remix, regardless of the time that has passed, it has already stood the test of time. I know this because I played it exclusively in my sets for two years and still play it, but I wish it had been released sooner.
Yolanda Be Cool – Segunda ft. Jonjon
“A lot of tracks being released right now are fast by my standards in house music, having a tempo of 128 BPM, 130 BPM or even faster. This one is no exception. If you do it quickly, you increase the performance of the track and increase your inherent tension when you listen to the track. But very often the groove suffers and for me the funk of a groove is what makes you dance. “Segunda” is one of those faster tracks that wouldn’t quite fit my definition of groovy house music, but here, as in some other cases, the track works very well in pitch and on rare occasions – like this one – the radio comes back through the back door.”
Afromento – Human Wave (DJ Fudge Remix)
“I love classic, sunny and funky house, but there aren’t many tracks that can compete with the more digital, lively tracks that dominate today. Most house productions with the human, disco and analogue touch don’t fit well into my repertoire.” plays today. The fact that this is the case makes it a rare gem. ‘Human Wave (DJ Fudge Remix)’ just came out, but I know I’ll be playing it a lot.”
Avillo, Basura Boyz – Backseat
“As a DJ and deeply immersed in this music, it may sound strange, but I had never heard of Avillo or Basura Boyz before this release. On the other hand, that’s the beauty of the flood of dance music, you can discover interesting new acts.” Every day. The week I received this promo I played a gig with Fatboy Slim and loved how they used a sample he used on Mighty Dub Katz’s “Magic Carpet Ride” in the ’90s. It’s only a millisecond long sample, but it triggers so many precious memories for me. I’ve since made my own version and combined it with a spooky hook from another record, which I do a lot to make my sets even more unique.
Smalltown DJs, Joanna Magik – Energy ft. Techno Tupac
“The Smalltown DJs may be unknown to the world, but I have known these guys for almost 20 years. It’s safe to say that I always want to play what they release, but over the years I’ve never really played their productions in DJ sets. Geez The point is that in the end it’s not so much about how much you like or dislike the people producing the music, but about the music itself and whether the music works for you and on your dance floors. Now with “Energy” Smalltown DJs are delivering something that both I and my audience simply love.”
Tim Hidgem – Din Daa Daa
“Sometimes you find a classic that you want to rework, like I did with ‘Din Daa Daa’ a few years ago. You produce a demo, play it out and then try to delete the sample, which normally takes forever, but with George Kranz.” That wasn’t the case. He just wanted to have dinner and talk and if he liked you he would find a deal that would allow you to release your version. I doubt Tim Hidgem did that, but then again, what do I know. My point There is only one other way to release your version and that is where you just do it and see if your track gets big enough for someone to notice and start complaining. If that happens, it’s already a minor hit and you may have to give up all your income from royalties, but at least you can advance your career as an aspiring artist. Path three leads straight to hell: you use a sample, don’t release it and the rights holder sues you, but we won’t let that happen. Tim Hidgem just released a great version of ‘Din Daa Daa’ with a lot of punch, I love it.”
Dombresky – Too soon
“Dombresky has been on my radar since his ‘Soul Sacrifice’ and it’s safe to say he’s stayed true to his soul, disco and funk roots with his latest release. Claptone comes from the sound you make when you clap your hands, and that’s what I did.” has always been an advocate of organic-sounding house music with deep roots in the aforementioned styles. Today, I like it best when producers can combine that old-school feel with the digital power of new technologies. “Too Soon” is a great example.”
Read more on the Irish Sun
The Director – Undercranking
“Every now and then you find music that you know won’t make it big in the club charts, but you appreciate the fresh and radical approach of a newcomer. “You hear references that you haven’t heard in dance music for a long time.” and I feel inspired. ‘Undercranking’ does this for me with its nod to French house and big beat, even blog house, while also being a step-cousin to LF System’s ‘Afraid to Feel’.”