Golden Sound: Q&A with Producer/DJ Claptone

03_Claptone_Gibson Club_Credit Sabrina Feige
Photo by Sabrina Feige

Masked and anonymous musicians are a dime a dozen but one masquerader catching our attention nowadays is Berlin-based act, Claptone. Coming off performances at this year’s Coachella (both at the Sahara and a surprise performance at the Do LaB stage), Claptone’s deft mix of smooth house grooves, contagious funk, and undeniable pop sensibilities has earned the act a steadily growing following. Ahead of Claptone’s performance this weekend at the much-anticipated house & techno-centric Do LaB production, Woogie Weekend, we catch up with Claptone to talk tour life, the effects of anonymity, and what’s up next.

05_Claptone_Gibson Club_Credit Sabrina Feige
Photo by Sabrina Feige

LA CANVAS: You hail from Berlin, a city more often known for Techno. How did your sound evolve – was it influenced by Berlin at all? 

Berlin is quite diverse and home to many scenes. It’s very inspiring, that’s why I feel at home. My sound evolved over centuries, it does not originate in Berlin but is influenced by the city today. 

LAC: You previously played for Do LaB at Coachella. What was that experience like playing at their stage, and what are you looking forward to about Woogie Weekend?

I enjoyed playing the Do LaB stage at Coachella, loved the vibe and the crowd. And that exactly is what I’m looking forward to at Woogie Weekend. We’ll have a splendid time together.

06_Claptone_Gibson Club_Credit Sabrina Feige
Photo by Sabrina Feige

LAC: You’ve toured extensively. Does that ever take a toll on your creativity or does it add to it?

As touring is very time consuming and I am not the best at working on the road I’d say it slows me down in terms of production. But on the other hand it makes me appreciate my time in the studio much more.

LAC: How has anonymity shaped your performances and your musical output – does it facilitate a different energy?

Wearing a mask helps to put the spotlight on my music and not on me as a person. By doing so it gives me the freedom to celebrate my role as messenger of the Claptone sound.

13_Claptone 2015 by Neda Rajabi
Photo by Neda Rajabi

LAC: Charmer is an incredible album. How has the response been and what else do you have in the works?

Thank you. I just released the Mat.Joe and Technasia remixes of the recent single ‘Heartbeat’ and Claptone remixes of New Order – People On The High Line as well as Peter, Bjorn and John – What You Talking About. I am in the middle of my ‘Golden Summer Tour’ which I started with the opening of Amnesia in Ibiza and which will end with the closing. For that tour including all the festivals and my very own even ‘The Masquerade’, I created two lovely Golden Summer Edits which will see a surprise release next Monday on Beatport. And there’s more to be revealed ….

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Claptone performs on Saturday at Woogie Weekend alongside acts Jon Hopkins (Live), Extrawelt (Live), Oona Dahl, Damian Lazarus, Lauren Ritter, Joeski and more. Woogie Weekend happens July 8-10 at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, CA just outside of Irvine.

Purchase tickets for Woogie Weekend here.

Cover photo by Andreas Waldschütz.

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