Written by: Jack Wynne
Claptone has become a major player in the global house scene, taking his world-renowned Masquerade parties all over the planet and playing major festivals throughout Europe, North America and beyond. This summer the German artist is back at one of the most iconic nightclubs on the planet, Pacha, taking over the venue for a gargantuan stint of 23 weeks.
We caught up with Claptone to talk about his spell-binding residency at one of the White Isle’s greatest treasures, the new record he has out on Defected Records and more.
The masked DJ is enthralled to be back in Ibiza with his magical residency - The Masquerade - which started in May and runs right through until the start of October. The events are held every Saturday at the legendary Pacha, which is situated just 15 minutes away from Ibiza airport:
“I’ve been so looking forward to it" he gushed. “It was kind of terrible the last two seasons to see that there was no season and you’re missing out on your own residency which is one of the best parts of the year. I’m super happy to be back.”
When asked about the length of the residency Claptone admitted he felt very privileged to be presented with such a fantastic opportunity: “It’s an honour of course to be hosting the Masquerade on the Saturday at such a reputable club,” he added. "It’s amazing that it’s such a packed season and it was busy from day one. I really can’t complain how well the season is going so far and there are some weeks left which is good.”
The last few years have been horrific for artists and ravers alike with the COVID-19 pandemic completely decimating the nightlife industry across the globe. Since things have seemed to be returning to normality, people have quickly flocked in their droves to dance the night away - and Ibiza is no exception.
Claptone admitted that it was clear to see just how much people had missed enjoying themselves in nightclubs with the levels of attendance being extraordinarily high for each of his Masquerade events: “I think everyone is trying to make up for lost time. I think also the clubs are trying to make up for lost time as they are open earlier and there are much more options. People want to go out more also and make this one count so it is very vivid. I think it’s going to stay busy all season.”
At the start of last month Claptone played an all-night long set which was a prime opportunity for people to see an extended version of the German artist’s masterful selections on the decks. He explained how happy he was to play a show where he was really able to take fans on a journey: “I did it in the first season of the Masquerade when it was on Mondays and it felt great,” he added. "I rarely do all-night sets. I have done them at Fabric in London and Output in New York.”
If you want to witness an all-night long set from Claptone you will only be able to see it at a handful of venues as the German DJ and producer is very selective when taking to the decks for that length of time. Whilst he also enjoys playing shorter sets at festivals all across the world, it is always a real highlight when he is given the chance to express himself more vividly in the form of an all-night set.
“I would not commit to an all-night set in a club that I’ve never been to before,” he said. “You need to experience it first on the shorter set. If you see the potential and you really like the vibe. There are certain clubs which just have this ambience and the crowd gives you the freedom to do whatever you want over seven hours. For me it starts from 90 minutes where you can really get an idea of what the DJ wants to achieve and even how his style is. A two-hour set length is a solid set.”
Claptone takes his Masquerade parties all around the world but admitted Ibiza will always be seen as the “mothership” in his eyes: “This is my residency, this is where the Masquerade is at home. The production is more on point in Ibiza because we can do costume designs for the whole season, we can do the interior design for the whole season whereas if you go into a stadium in Argentina you do it just for one night.”
He's been busy in the studio of late, unveiling a new record ‘Calabria’ which is out on the mighty Defected Records, a major label he's thrilled to work with and imprint he has enormous respect for: “I’ve always been a huge fan of Defected. I’ve worked with them on the Masquerade compilation some years back. It was a conscious decision to go to them after I put out an album again last year. The album is pretty vocal-heavy. This next single is basically a return to the clubs, to the festivals and to the summer.”
Click here for all of the upcoming festivals and events where you can see Claptone perform.