Claptone 'The Masquerade' review

Joseph Dexter pens his thoughts on the latest mix from the Berlin DJ.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 26th Oct 2016.
Originally published: 24th Oct 2016

Image: Claptone

There’s always been an element of mystery surrounding Claptone. As he hides behind his iconic mask, there are very few things we actually know about the Berlin based DJ. One thing we can be sure of is his impressive ability to perfect any sub-genre of house he pleases, something The Masquerade showcases perfectly.

Split into the classic concept of Day and a Night mix, Claptone provides the perfect music for any occasion with tracks provided by some of the biggest names in dance music, alongside his own remixes and edits.

The Day Mix is vintage Claptone, with funky, upbeat textures ranging from tropical flavours to deeper house without delving into anything too hard-hitting. Tracks from Asadinho, COEO and Cassius help keep things light whilst remaining consistently up-tempo and smooth.

Opening with TRUCCY’s 'Step Forward' (listen above), which has often reared its head at Claptone’s sets, the day mix begins on a relaxing note that eases you into the tropical drums of 'Shadows' courtesy of Atjazz's remix of Langenberg ft. Blakkat.

The mix continues to follow suit until Asadinho’s track 'Jaslemere' (listen below) providing a hint of techno, allowing for a slightly more intense change of pace but still remaining very much in the confines of the concept.

As it rounds off with his own remix of Julien Jabre’s synth infused 'War', you cannot help but be amazed by The Masked One’s skill to perfectly capture a mood with his music.

The Night mix, however, is where Claptone really comes into his element, blending multiple genres in a way that only he could master. The horns on Purple Disco Machine’s 'Drumatic' set the tone for this mix, fuelled by energetic drums and innovative rhythms.

The German DJ also samples classics with 'I Need You' utilising Mousse T’s classic ‘Horny’ and KlanKuenstler 'Jam Master Jack' which riffs brilliantly off Run DMC 'It's Like that', those iconic striking chords bolstered by the presence of the immortal 'Renegade Master from Wildchild. The hip-house connection is reflected with the rhythmic piano keys in 'Body Move' as well as in 'Raider/Wrong'. The latter includes a nod to none other than Dr Dre with one of the most iconic riffs in history.

As he begins to round up the mix, Latmun’s track 'Def' helps to bring a touch of EDM to proceedings with punching horns blaring over clapping hi-hats. The album then moves into uncharted territory as Claptone delves into the realm of tech house with Mat.Joe’ 'Weego'.

The two-part album allows Claptone to showcase his diversity, creating a calming daytime mix followed by a darker night mix where EDM, techno and deep house are combined so seamlessly. Claptone will always be shrouded in mystery but one thing that’s very clear to see is his eye for detail and his second-to-none mixing ability.

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Claptone brings The Masquerade to London's Electric Brixton on Friday 2nd December, tickets are available from the box below

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