Claptone speaks: magic house and the sounds of the forest

House | Saturday 4th June 2016 | Cristina

We caught up with Claptone, one of the world’s most unique DJs, ahead of his show tonight at Ministry of Sound, to find out what makes the man behind the mask tick. With a soulful sound rooted in house and disco, the golden-faced selector is halfway through a golden summer tour encompassing major and minor cities the world over. Tune into the Clapcast on iTunes for a regular dose of magic.

What was your first thought this morning?

I slept well.

Tell me about the technology / music hardware you produce with?

In my opinion what you make your music with is not important at all. It's about your ideas and your skills to translate what is in your head into sound.

What you would change about your life?

The beauty of life is that unforseeable things happen all the time, that you are not in charge of your life completely is a very important part of life. I embrace that.

Why a Venetian mask, as opposed to an African mask or Japanese mask?

This mask was given to me I had no choice. Why this mask is what I ask myself why every day. But instead of finding answers I just feel more and more connected with it the more I research about it's history. So why bother. In the end this mask is an integral part of me, it gives my existence meaning. 

Do you think remixing is as important as producing in electronic music?

Is producing electronic music important? I mean for me as a way to find myself, find out who I really am it's a means to an end, but with all the problems in this world I won't consider it to be important. There is a difference between writing my own material and doing remixes though. With remixes you use other people's musical ideas and invite them into your universe, with original material you create your own universe out of thin air. But please think thin air as already filled with countless sounds.

What have you got planned for your show at MOS on June 4?

There are remixes for my recent single Heartbeat by Mat.Joe and Technasia which I might play as well as my upcoming remixes for New Order and Peter Björn and John. And I also produced some new secret weapons for my Golden Summer tour which just started. Really excited to play all this out.

When can people tune into your radio show and what can they expect?

If they go to iTunes they can tune into the Clapcast whenever they feel like doing that. The clapcast gives a sonic overview over the Claptone sound. Funky, soulful, spherical, magic house.

Fave old school DJ?

I am not one to worship any idols. But let me give Kool DJ Herc credit for inventing Hip Hop on the 11th of August 1973 in New York.

What is your favourite word?

It depends on my mood and the situation. Who can survive on one word?

What’s your favourite track from ‘Charmer’?

I produced this album to have people listen to it in one go. One track without the other is not as powerful as the whole album.

Where do they love you most?

On planet earth

What music did you grow up on?

I grew up on the sounds of the forest.

What’s your summer looking like in terms of festivals?

Let me in on all my plans for the Golden Summer Tour: My schedule includes performances at Amnesia, Space, Pacha, Glastonbury, We Are FSTVL, Big Festival, Mysteryland, Spring Awakening, Parookaville, Brunch Electronik. Dreambeach Festival in countries as varied as Japan, China, Canada, USA and across Europe too. 

What’s your proudest moment as Claptone?

Pride is for fools.

Where do you draw the line between Claptone and the man behind the mask?

I wish I knew.