The Kleptones

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The Kleptones
Origin Brighton, United Kingdom
Genres Experimental, mashup
Years active 2002–present
Members Eric Kleptone

The Kleptones are a one-man English electronic music group fronted by music producer and DJ Eric Kleptone. They are best known for their Internet-exclusive mashup albums. Typically, Eric Kleptone mixes rock/R&B instrumentals with rap and hip-hop vocals in a style that is "fun... and often surprising".[1] Both his name and the group's name are parodies of the famous guitarist, Eric Clapton, and a play on the fact that he is a "klepto of tones" (that is, he "steals" others' music).


The group's first release was a mix of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips with hip-hop/rap vocals and various soundbites from television programs and movies entitled Yoshimi Battles the Hip-Hop Robots.

A Night at the Hip-Hopera was the group's breakthrough and most highly acclaimed album, fusing Queen's rock music with rap vocals and many soundbites from movies and other sources. On 8 November 2004, Waxy, the main site that was mirroring A Night at the Hip-Hopera, received a cease and desist notice from the Walt Disney Company for illegal sampling of songs by Queen, similar to the banning of DJ Danger Mouse's The Grey Album.[2]

From Detroit to J.A. was created originally for the radio program The Rinse on XFM, and was originally broadcast on 23 January 2005. Subsequently, it was released as an internet-only album, which fused R&B instrumentals with pop, rap, and R&B vocals.

In mid-2005, Eric Kleptone was awarded the Webby Award for Artist of the Year by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, who stated he had "taken the art of mash-up to a new level" and become "a global sensation".[3]

In 2006, the group released 24 Hours, a double length album. The release of 24 Hours was preceded by three EP length releases, EP1, EP2 and EP3. Each EP was available for download for a limited time—EP2 replaced EP1, and in turn was replaced by EP3. EP3 itself was removed when 24 Hours was released.

In May 2006, the Creative Commons-licensed film project A Swarm of Angels announced the Kleptones as soundtrack producers.[4]

In late 2006, Eric Kleptone was invited to speak at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, as half of "The Pirate and the Suit", a head-to-head discussion with EMI Music vice-Chairman David Munns.

On 7 December 2006, Eric Kleptone posted a podcast, titled Hectic City on the Kleptones' blog, stating that the intention is to make it a weekly release. The podcast contains mash-ups by the Kleptones, and other artists.

In early 2008 the group released Live'r Than You'll Ever Be - Bestival 2007, a live album containing a recording of their show at Bestival, in the Isle of Wight, on Saturday 8 September 2007.

On 1 January 2010, Uptime / Downtime was released. One preview of the album, the track "Voodoo Sabotage" was released on the Kleptones blog a few weeks prior to release. Later that year, on 9 August 2010, a collection of B-sides and tracks that didn't make it onto an album, Shits & Giggles was released.



Remix albums[edit]

List of albums
Title Album details
Yoshimi Battles the Hip-Hop Robots
A Night at the Hip Hopera
  • Released: 2004
  • Format: Digital download
From Detroit to J.A.
  • Released: 2005
  • Format: Digital download
24 Hours
  • Released: March 2006
  • Format: Digital download
Uptime / Downtime
  • Released: 1 January 2010
  • Format: Digital download
Shits & Giggles
  • Released: 9 August 2010
  • Format: Digital download

Live albums[edit]

List of albums
Title Album details
Live'r Than You'll Ever Be - Bestival 2007
  • Released: December 2007
  • Format: Digital download

Extended plays[edit]

List of extended plays
Title Album details
Never Trust Originality
  • Released: 2003
  • Format: Digital download
  • Released: 2006
  • Format: Digital download
  • Released: 2006
  • Format: Digital download
  • Released: 2006
  • Format: Digital download


List of singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Madonna Is a Breeder" 2002 Non-album singles
"Bling Crosby" 2003
"Bo Rhap" 2004
"Careless or Dead" (Bootie version) 2006 24 Hours
"Jump You Fucker" 2010 Non-album single


  1. ^ "New stuff from The Kleptones". Wired. 25 March 2006. 
  2. ^ Baio, Andy (17 November 2004). "Disney Suppressing the Kleptones". Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Webby Special Achievement Awards
  4. ^ Doctorow, Cory (9 May 2006). "Kleptones join Swarm of Angels film project". Boing Boing. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 

External links[edit]