I was allured when I first laid eyes on Claptone’s shrouded figure in 2015. In the middle of the dance floor at Verboten (R.I.P.) in Brooklyn, I moved my hips to the producer’s dreamy, pop-influenced electro sounds. It was the year that his remix of Gregory Porter’s “Liquid Spirit” became a Beatport bestseller, igniting a flame for the avian character. Claptone later released his debut album, Charmer, a refreshing turn from the transformed-trap tracks that dominated that year’s electronic charts. The German artist’s first major musical offering proved to be a success; to date, Charmer has garnered 60 million Spotify streams.
It’s all adding up to the anticipation for Claptone’s sophomore effort, Fantast. The album will further explore the depths of his labyrinthine sound, and he’s brought along a crew of collaborators to help tell his story: Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Blaenavon, Tender, Jones, Zola Blood, Austra’s Katie Stelmanis, The Boxer Rebellion’s Nathan Nicholson, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Joan as a Policewoman, and Matt Simons are all featured guests.
Much of the last two years has seen Claptone on the road, tirelessly appearing at festivals and nightclubs alike. Working on Fantast became a form of escape within his packed schedule. “Over the last two years it has been a great pleasure to work on this album as a counterpoint to the hectic world of travelling as a DJ — to lose myself when making music, to dive into and create my very own realm of beauty,” he expresses. “I admit it’s a dreamy, a heartfelt, [and] at times a naive and surely escapist album, but what to do if one — on the quest for his soul — develops a strong desire to go back to his roots, back to nature? Did I find myself on that journey? Rather not. But I found some beautiful moments in the green, out in the woods, out in the fields, under the moon and in the night, moments, which I want to share with you. And there is one thing I learned and now it can be told, I am and have always been a Fantast.”
The leading single off Fantast, “In The Night (feat. Ben Duffy),” illustrates Claptone’s exploration into a deeper songwriting style. The lyrical, radio-ready track is upbeat, melodious, and another sure hit for the masked musician. Check out the single below, and keep an eye out for Fantast, releasing soon.
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