DJ style: House
Best known for: “The Masquerade.”
It’s been a decade since German producer and DJ Claptone announced his arrival, via his debut release ‘No Eyes’ on Exploited, and his true identity still remains obscured behind his trademark mask. Now three albums deep, with 2015's ‘Charmer’, 2018’s ‘Fantast’ and 2021’s ‘Closer’, he’s built a global fanbase that keeps growing, drawn together by his Spotify- and club-friendly take on house music.
This year saw him team up with Alison Goldfrapp for ‘Digging Deeper’, a disco-infused anthem, put out ‘Big Easy’, a club roller sampling Lew Stone & the Monseigneur Band’s classic ‘My Woman’, and provide some giant remixes, such as his uplifting Afro-house take on Zakes Bantwini's ‘Osama’. Along the way he launched his own label Golden Recordings with the epic ‘Euphoria’, while also teaming up with New York legend Man Parrish for the ‘Boogie Down (Bronx)’ inspired ‘Flashdance’.
Claptone had the honour of opening Tomorrowland’s new main stage over the summer, while also hitting other big festivals such as We Are FSTVL and Exit. But the main focus was his own The Masquerade party at Pacha in Ibiza. Featuring a huge cast of the biggest stars, such as Fatboy Slim, Faithless, Moodymann and 2ManyDJs, alongside a raft of celebrated house DJs, it all constellated around his own enduring sound.
Hero of 2023: “We need more heroes.”
Fave tune of 2023: “Cassimm ‘Love Desire’.”
Best DJ set you’ve seen in 2023: “Fatboy Slim at The Masquerade, Pacha, Ibiza.”
What was the most exciting tech development of 2023? “The Pioneer A9 Mixer, which was long overdue.”
Rising star DJ/producer of 2023: “Dombresky.”
What gives you hope for 2024? “Music.”