ADE 2023: “Dance artists shouldn’t make albums” in this day and age, says Claptone
“You’re forced to just produce one mix for Beatport that then makes the charts because if you do three different mixes they’ll cannibalise sales.”
Claptone speaking at ADE 2023 | Credit: StephenVBFotografie
Dance producer and DJ Claptone has strongly advised dance artists not to release their music as albums as they don’t perform as well.
Speaking live for the first time ever at an exclusive event, Claptone’s First Ever Live Interview and Experience, at Amsterdam Dance Event 2023 on Thursday 19 October, the mysterious, mask-clad musician called the album format “unnecessary” for dance musicians and producers. He also talked about his identity and artistry, remixing the likes of Elton John, label ownership and DJing.
“No, completely unnecessary,” responded Claptone when host Danny Howard asked if he thinks the album format is still a fruitful format for dance artists to release their music.
“If you are getting into this as a dance artist, you shouldn’t make albums. If you get into this from the heart because you see yourself as an artist that also wants to write a ballad, a downtempo tune or an instrumental, make an album,” he says through voice changer.
“But even then, you have to release half of the album beforehand with singles and tracks and it’s not the same as when I was younger and I went to the store and bought an album and it was listening to the whole thing through maybe turned it around to listen to the B-side… those days are gone.”
“How does that make you feel?” Howard asked.
“Terrible,” he responded. “Well, I’m a vinyl collector so it just breaks my heart, you know? No B-sides, no albums anymore. Not even real 45s (45” records) anymore, you know. You’re forced to just produce one mix for Beatport that then makes the charts because if you do three different mixes they’ll cannibalise sales and you need to push that one into the charts.”
Also in the interview, the German artist is asked by an audience member about the difficulties of clearing samples. Getting samples cleared by record labels and artists can often be a burden to artists, who might end up simply removing samples form their tracks completely or respectfully recreating them. As an artist who has revamped lots of dance classics, such as //Calabria// by Enur, Claptone has had much experience in this.
He told the fan, first of all, that he doesn’t like to “get around” using samples by recreating them, but always contacts the artist or label directly to get permission to use it. He goes on to say that it doesn’t help when artists, deceased artist’s estates or labels don’t help with the process by asking for vast amounts of money or flip-flopping on decisions.
“The ways that people give you a hard time about nothing is so weird,” he says. “So much ego plays into it, or if an artist’s died and it’s just their estate giving you the sample, how much they can ask for a sample or how difficult they can make it for you…. it’s a very difficult, delicate process. It can vary from being super easy to being complicated and delaying your release for over two years. It’s crazy.”
We recently spoke to Claptone – albeit briefly – about how he uses his studio. In the interview, he talked about his Masquerade events in Ibiza, the label Golden Recordings which he owns, and the importance of maintaining a passion for making music.
Keep an eye on Amsterdam Dance Event for more content from this year’s edition.
Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.Subscribe