Transcending imagination: Claptone talks forthcoming album & being a ‘Fantast’ [Interview]

Life is lived consistently in “mask on” mode for this modern house revivalist.

The ever-enigmatic persona by the name of Claptone proved himself a musical magic maker on Charmer, the producer’s debut album released in 2015. An LP comprised of sultry, sophisticated house selections and the dark pulsating beats that keep dancers moving on dimly lit dance floors, Charmer exerted a warmth that permeated today’s house circles and has smoldered ever since.

His sophomore album  Fantast — due for a June 8 release on Different Recordings and [PIAS] — is a sonic exploration of self. It will arrive to listeners as an invitation to venture further into the world of Claptone, and to better acquaint themselves with the mystique that surrounds his talent. A clear sense of one’s nature preludes the knowledge of one’s identity, and this character certainly knows himself to be a “Fantast (French translation: Ghost).” Dancing Astronaut caught up with the coveted performer to talk the album’s release, recent singles “In The Night,” and “Stay The Night,” and how the producer embodies his identity as a “Fantast” in his music.

Your sophomore album Fantast will drop on June 8. You’ve released two singles off of the album so far, in your words the “uplifting” “In The Night,” and the darker “Stay The Night.” Can you talk a little about what listeners can expect in terms of the tone of the album—will the album be more “In The Night,” “Stay The Night,” maybe a little bit of both? 

[Editor’s Note: Claptone has since released the third single off of the album, “Under the Moon“]

My new album, Fantast, pairs quite well with my first LP, Charmer: both bleed with unmasked personality, briefs looks behind my golden mask.

How has your approach in the production of Fantast differed from that of your debut album, Charmer, if at all?  

When it comes to writing music, I tend to let myself be guided by the winds of creativity. This time I was dragged out of closed environments into the great outdoors. Not sure if it was the moon pulling a trick on me or what exactly happened. On the quest to find myself through music I was guided deeper into nature in my dreams and in reality. I have never been so much in tone with the elements than on Fantast and this made me feel my animalistic side even more. Do I know who I am now? Rather not, but what I did find out is that I’m a Fantast.

Your songs “In The Night” and “Stay The Night” both have an association with nighttime, and this seems only to further contribute to your mystique. When “Stay The Night” dropped, you noted the tonal difference between both tracks, and said that you need your listeners to “experience the other side of my night.” How would you describe what your “night” is, since you’ve indicated that it’s a multifaceted concept.

A transitive experience, where dimensions shift, memories are made and reality melds into fantasy. It’s far more vague than daytime where putative truths make living for me almost unbearable. The night allows a far more emotive spectrum far less defined by science, work ethics and capitalism, far more open to pain and joy, yearning and happiness.

You’ve stated that you “are and have always been a ‘Fantast.’” What does being a “Fantast” mean to you? 

All the answers that you may seek are within the music itself. But I’ll spoil you with one of my many truths: My mind is inventive to a stage that tends to transcend some peoples’ imagination.

Photo Credit: Andreas Waldschütz

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