Okay, I don't think they'll mind. It only says what I've posted though.
As always, believe NOTHING that you hear, or read, concerning Ibiza’s club and related nightlife scene, until it all seriously kicks off in June. However, in the meantime, digest some of the following, THEN make your own mind up.
THE IBIZA ‘OPENING PARTY’ is a simple enough term, one that is widely recognised and acknowledged… Yet will anyone be free to actually CALL anything an ‘OPENING PARTY’ in Spain in future?
STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED – Many will recall the bizarre Ibiza ‘NAME GAME’ of the 2000 season, where an island-based organisation succeeded in legally registering a number of leading UK club brand names for use in Spain - undermining ‘real’ brand owners like GODS KITCHEN, GATECRASHER and CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Events went ahead under unfamiliar names like GC Sound System and Orange Summer Of Love… to considerably reduced impact.
AND THE POINT? Well, an island-based organisation reportedly snapped up the term ‘CLOSING PARTY’ last September, a move that caused widespread panic amongst (rival) venues and promoters, some ignoring the threat, others opting for a more cautious approach by selecting alternate terminology for their FINAL EVENTS. Logic suggests that having purloined ‘Closing Party’ the equally inviting OPENING PARTY would have been registered too. Now I’m NOT saying it has… but welcome back to the WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WORLD OF IBIZA.
NATURALLY, the most important OPENINGS are the MAJOR VENUE ones, with ES PARADIS first out of the blocks on Friday 21st of May, quickly followed by EL DIVINO a week later on Friday 28th May. Next up is the BIG ONE on Sunday May 30th - traditionally SPACE is seen as the launch pad for the whole Ibiza clubbing season, with the international club industry flying in for the weekend. The following morning – Monday 31st – sees DC10 power up, EDEN joins in the fun on Friday June 4th, then the two giant inland venues – PRIVILEGE and AMNESIA - go head-to-head on Saturday 12th of June. PACHA is open all year round of course.
A SECONDARY SERIES of OPENING PARTIES are subsequently held for every individual PROMOTION at each venue, with IN EXCESS of 60 taking place, primarily throughout June - an average of around two per night, so shortage of options isn’t a likelihood whenever you visit. Then it all goes into reverse, with a corresponding 60+ Closing Parties spread liberally throughout September. And actually, come to think of it, the nights in between can be pretty hot stuff too!
KEY OPENINGS include JUDGEMENT SUNDAY at Eden on 6th of June, PURE PACHA at Pacha on 11th of June, GARLANDS at Eden are on 15th of June, LA TROYA at Amnesia and SUBLIMINAL at Pacha are both on 16th of June, DEFECTED at El Divino on 18th of June, HELTER SKELTER meets INNOVATION at Es Paradis 20th of June,WE LOVE Sundays at Space on 20th of June, CREAM at Amnesia on 24th of June, MISS MONEYPENNY’S at El Divino on 29th of June, GOOD FRIDAYS at Space on 2nd of July and CARL COX at Space on 20th of July.
WHAT ARE LIKELY to be the BIG happenings of 2004? For many it could be RENAISSANCE bringing SASHA to Pacha four times, others will prefer CREAM’S superstar DJ-laden stint at Amnesia. WE LOVE at Space is always extremely popular too, especially for the Terrace experience, with CARL COX’S nights in the interior of Space similarly acclaimed. As a one-off MANUMISSION’S special 10th Birthday Party at the start of RADIO ONE IBIZA WEEKEND on August 6th is surely a shoe-in, as will be their 11th season on the island, if confirmed… Then again, the simple truth is that virtually EVERY NIGHT of EVERY SUMMER WEEK in Ibiza is a genuine bona fide highlight.
Talking of BIG HAPPENINGS…. UP Hospitality is reporting a surge of villa bookings this summer – Those girls are constantly replenishing the diminishing stocks of fabulous places to spend your hols and it has been acknowledged that the villa market is well on it’s way to being booked up – Especially in August! Get hold of your own villa before it’s too late, or indeed hotel accommodation, flights, boat hire, transfers and club tickets on firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE MOST COMPETITIVE NIGHT sees at least FIVE rival Opening Parties take place on Monday June 21st alone. These include Sven Vath’s COCOON at Amnesia, ROGER SANCHEZ RELEASE YOURSELF at Pacha, ESSENTIAL GROOVES at Es Paradis, KINKY MALINKY at El Divino, and MANUMISSION pencilled in at Privilege (if peace is declared in time).
CREAM will have TIESTO at eleven parties, VAN DYK at six, plus TALL PAUL, ADAM SHERIDEN, GARETH WYN, ANDY PRICE and ANDY CARROLL as regulars. PAUL OAKENFOLD makes THREE EXCLUSIVE appearances in August. The GARDEN TERRACE (as big as the main room) offers SEB FONTAINE with TYPE regulars, plus MYNC PROJECT, NIC FANCIULLI, JO MILLS (tbc) and some major surprises.
AN EXTRA CREAM one-off is being held on SATURDAY August 7th for BBC RADIO ONE WEEKEND, broadcast live from Amnesia across the network. DJs include PAUL OAKENFOLD, ARMIN VAN BURREN, FERGIE, SEB FONTAINE, EDDIE HALLIWELL, JON CARTER and a whole bunch of other major Radio One DJs. Also, Cream’s incredibly popular PRE-PARTIES – featuring much of their DJ talent – will take place at both COASTLINE and BAR M this summer.
FOR THOSE IN THE UK, Cream are also holding a UK-IBIZA LAUNCH PARTY at NATION - their original Liverpool home. It’s taking place on Saturday May 29th, the late May Bank Holiday weekend, with PAUL VAN DYK, PAUL KERSHAW, GARETH WYN, plus NU-NRG (playing live) in the Courtyard. The Main Room offers TALL PAUL, MONTANA, ABOVE & BEYOND, plus RILEY & DURRANT, while the Annexe is hosted by AZTEC, with AUDIO BULLYS, MYNC PROJECT, STEVE PARRY, LEE ELLIS and ANTHONY PROBYN.
ON AUGUST 28th the 40,000 capacity 7th CREAMFIELDS UK takes place at Old Liverpool Airfield, Speke, Merseyside. This one always attracts a lot of Ibiza-based people BACK to the UK for the late summer Bank Holiday Weekend. Just about every DJ of note is playing over the 15-hour festival, plus live outdoor stage performances by THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS, GOLDFRAPP, THE SCRATCH PERVERTS and DYNAMITE MC. Seven other covered areas include Ibiza-connected events such as UNDERWATER vs CIRCUS, the ESSENTIAL MIX ARENA with Pete Tong, the SUBLIMINAL ARENA and the MAIN ARENA with PAUL OAKENFOLD, GOODGREEF, PAUL VAN DYK, ARMIN VAN BURREN and JUDGE JULES.
TIESTO – Cream Ibiza resident – has a new album out for summer called ‘JUST BE’ on Black Hole, which features the hit ‘TRAFFIC’ single from last year, plus his current BT collaboration. It’s expected to be one of the big DJ-producer albums of the coming months. Meanwhile fellow Cream Ibiza resident PAUL VAN DYK is releasing his first ever Ibiza compilation CD on Vandit.
ARMIN VAN BURREN is fronting a brand new promotion at AMNESIA called ARMADA on Tuesdays, a night that hasn’t adequately been filled since Gods Kitchen departed after the 2001 season.
GOOD FRIDAYS is a fresh-though-not-entirely-new promotion at Space on, erm… FRIDAYS strangely enough! The Opening takes place on 2nd of July.. The daytime event has become a quality House party that will run from 11am in the morning right through until 7pm at night and expect to feature DJs of the calibre of DANNY RAMPLING, SEB FONTAINE, TALL PAUL, DAVE SEAMAN, JOHN KELLY, SONIQUE, BENNY BENASSI, NORMAN JAY (MBE), BRANDON BLOCK & ALEX P, REBEKAH, TOMCRAFT, as well as using the local talent of Island DJs of JON ULYSSES, DJ GEE, TRISTAN INGRAM. With lots more major House names yet to be confirmed, plus a number of ‘secret surprises’ - ie: DJs who are supposedly ‘exclusive’ to rival events, but fancy a moonlighting stint on the Terrace (can you ‘moonlight’ in the daytime?) The promotion has additionally been lined up as the centre-piece Saturday night arena at THE BIG REUNION in Skegness, UK, in November – with RAMPLING, DJ DISCIPLE, NORMAN JAY, SMOKIN JO, MYNC PROJECT and REBEKAH confirmed for that one. www.thebigreunion.com
TONIC DO APPEAR to be maintaining a slight presence on the island, with four Tuesday parties being held at the start of the season in EL DIVINO, starting on June 1st.
ANOTHER NAME CHANGE sees the successful DÉJÀ VU at Es Paradis (Sundays) alter its name to HELTER SKELTER MEETS INNOVATION. Helter Skelter has teamed with Drum and Base legends Innovation to bring you Ibiza’s only Old School and Drum and Bass gathering.
Room 1: T will bring all the of the premier DJ’s in the Old Skool/Drum and Bass portfolio including RATPACK, MICKY FINN, SLIPMATT, DARREN JAY, GROOVERIDER, NICKY BLACKMARKET, ALTERN8, KENNNY KEN, VIBES, SHADES OF RHYTHM and FRENZIC playing all the classic Old Skool/Drum and Bass tunes to help you remember the memories of over 10 years ago. Room 2 ‘ THE FUNKY ACID LOUNGE will hosted by Plastik. Plastik will take over the back room of Es Paradis taking you on a journey of Funky Grooves, Club Classics and acid house with resident DJs, EDDIE LOCK, TRISTAN INGRAM & DERMOT C.
KINKY MALINKY are yet another fresh face to the island scene, having promoted at Pacha London and Ministry Of Sound for years they are boasting of a glamorous night for their debut Ibiza season at El Divino on Mondays (Opening June 21st). They’re clearly a new team on the block, bounding with youthful enthusiasm judging by press releases which refer to El Div as “ultra exclusive”. I mean, it’s a lovely venue, granted, but ‘ultra-ex’ suggests hard-to-get-into-and-fussy, whereas no promotion or venue would actually turn away any cash-money people. Still, Kinky are acknowledging their comparative island innocence by employing BOBBY & STEVE as DJ residents for the season, to ensure local musical knowledge. The Zoo gang will play it funky and soulful, with House at the rhythmic core. Apparently El Divino are planning to open from 1am (an hour or so later than usual) on the night, closing at 7am.
KINKY COULD BENEFIT from a surprising lack of MONDAY NIGHT COMPETITION during their debut season… because ASTONISHINGLY, with just a few short weeks to go before the Opening Party is/was due to launch their 11th season (and celebrate a 10th birthday on the island) the MANUMISSION ‘WILL-THEY WON’T-THEY’ SAGA lurches agonisingly on unresolved. TO RECAP ONCE MORE; opposing forces (venue owners vs Manu promoters) have locked horns over the rights of ownership to the Manumission name, which currently appears to reside with the venue, though in spirit with the Mike/Clare/Andy/Dawn team.
CONTINGENCY PLANS are being made – no doubt by both parties – with the Mike/Clare/Andy/Dawn faction naturally having mapped out their major league concept months ago. If Manumission ‘proper’ does go ahead, as usual, in Privilege then it is believed that they can open a week later than usual, towards the end of June, and still put on the FULL 15 PARTY SERIES through until the end of September. If not, well, there are a few possible outcomes - either there will be a huge gaping hole in the perception of Ibiza as glamorous world clubbing capital – or an adventurous major new event called Club M, or something, in some strange new setting, rivalling some downsized event still called Manumission, at Privilege… The jury is STILL out.
FATBOY SLIM – who played at the Opening Party for DARREN EMERSON’S UNDERWATER at PACHA last season - returns again this summer on TUESDAY AUGUST 17th – which is FERRAGOSTA, the big Italian ‘Day Of The Dead’ holiday celebration. ALEX NERI will also join Fatboy (aka Norman Cook) and Emerson, in the main room. This year’s Underwater Opening is on June 22nd with TIM DELUXE and LAYO & BUSHWACKA! Other season regulars include WALLY LOPEZ and MUTINY, plus appearances by GROOVE ARMADA, LOTTIE, PAUL JACKSON and DJ SNEAK (hosting a couple of SNEAK BEAT parties). Two CIRCUS vs CHIBUKU events take place in August. As previously reported, the GLOBAL ROOM is hosted weekly by Radio One DJ TREVOR NELSON with his RHYTHM NATION concept, playing proper R&B and Hip Hop in an eclectic blend of old and new skool classics. Separate San Antonio pre-parties take place - Underwater at Café Mambo, Rhythm Nation at nearby Savannah.
ON 16th OF JUNE the Subliminal launch offers ERICK MORILLO, HARRY ‘CHOO-CHOO’ ROMERO and JOSH WINK – all exclusive for Ibiza (except that Erick is doing Space Opening of course).
THE DARK WINTER GLOOM that caused RUMOUR of total closedown at Eden for the season has completely evaporated. It’s now ALL SYSTEMS GO at the huge San An venue. Long-time manager ISAAC has re-emerged from the shadows to take proceedings in hand and oversee a considerable overhaul of the weekly roster - to potentially very positive effect. NATHAN of Renaissance has also apparently joined the management team, and after a season or two in gradual decline, EDEN suddenly appears to be in very good shape.
EDEN HAS A NEW RESIDENT DJ too, now that DES MITCHELL has opted to return to Mallorca in order to run a new clubbing bar in glamorous Portals Nous and play regularly at BCM. ALEX ELLENGER is the new Eden FUNKY ROOM resident. Long the popular Trance-oriented DJ at Nightlife (now STAR CLUB) ín the West End, Alex is also one of the partners at the stylish PLASTIK internet café/bar/record shop. Alex explains that most of his energies will be concentrated upon making the FUNKY ROOM even more popular, with star guest DJs largely taking care of Main Room action (though he will work there from time-to-time). The Funky Room has a new sound system too.
THE MAJOR EDEN SHOCK is that MINISTRY OF SOUND have landed at the venue on Wednesdays. There HAD been rumours of The Min turning up at SPACE on Fridays, following their departure from Pacha after so many successful years, but the move to San Antonio and its predominantly British clientele – whilst startling - actually makes a lot of sense for both parties. After all, Ministry ARE highly popular with the broad UK crowd, whilst for Eden it possibly signals a new positioning, with more soulful and House-vibed nights, rather than exclusively concrete bunker-type hammerings.
REST OF THE EDEN WEEK… MONDAY is a new night called FLOOR FILLERS with KISS, based on the UK radio show and CD compilation concept. Opening Party is on JUNE 14th and resident DJs are PEZ TELLET, MARK FREEJACK, ALEX PEPPER, STEVE SMART and WAYNE, with major live club artists like Ultrabeat, Kelly Llorena, Special D, UD Project, LMC, Gladiator etc playing live.
GARLANDS on TUESDAYS at EDEN is hardly a surprise, the wild Liverpool party promoters moving into the Main Room (from the Funky Room) following their success at a couple of end of season farewell events last September. Whether they will continue with their legendary early evening free-bees at KANYA, as pre-parties, remains to be seen. Over the past three years this has very much been the San Antonio ‘workers favourite’, a mantle wrestled from RETRO back in 2001 when Garlands started off in the Funky Room at Paul Taylor’s popular night. (then were acrimoniously ousted from the role mid-season, after accusations of punter pinching, from the main room!). Opening Party is JUNE 15th.
RETRO return for a 5th EDEN season on June 10th. The popular (a phenomenon in the North of England) nostalgia-vibed promotion arrived in Ibiza in 2000 on Tuesday nights, moved over to Wednesdays in 2002, then on to Saturdays last summer, and are now preparing to settle into the old Tonic THURSDAY night slot for 2004. (In addition Retro are also putting on a night at BANANAS in MAGALUF, MALLORCA each Wednesday). The return to midweek in Ibiza allows PAUL TAYLOR (proud to be a professional DJ for 30 years already) to be present at every gig once more, since his heavy British Retro commitments were placing great demand on his weekend availability last year.
SLINKY Presents DAVE PEARCE combines two formerly rival promotions as one on Fridays, replacing DAVE PEARCE’S EUPHORIA (Slinky were at Privilege in 2003, having previously been as Es Paradis in 2002). Presumably it’s a re-branding concept that will work much as before, with Dave continuing to pump out his successful DANCE ANTHEMS concept. Ex-Eden resident RAY DAVIES is likely to once again act as main support DJ.
URBAN FLAVAS on Saturday nights – is another new EDEN development, bringing an R&B concept to the venue. DJs include SHORTEE BLITZ, RAZ KWAME and STEVE SUTHERLAND… which suggests a bit of a crossover with TWICE AS NICE who have been working at adjacent Es Paradis on Thursdays for some years. The growth of the R&B sound in recent years suggests that there’s certainly room for at least two big nights in San An.
JUDGE JULES naturally returns with JUDGEMENT SUNDAY, which apparently rules the San An roost as the town’s ‘busiest night’ - though who knows, maybe Garlands and Ministry could yet challenge it this time around. The Eden roster is certainly a much more rounded, varied and exciting package than any previous season.
URBAN FLAVAS development at Eden is yet more evidence that the UK / London URBAN CROWD are heading to the island as their destination of choice this year. As previously pointed out, this could lead to a serious shortage of quality BOAT CHARTERS, PHAT MONSTER JEEPS and supplies of CRISTAL. And yes, the friendly UP HOSPITALITY people (part of UP Trips), are directly linked to the wild world of luxury and leisure on the island, so go check them out on www.uphospitality.com
IT’S A CASE of almost-as-you-were at ES PARADIS, where most events return for 2004. A slight change is the moving of one of the two FIESTA DEL AGUA parties back to SATURDAY night (from Friday, where it was shuffled last season). This realignment will certainly please local island club kids, who’ve long enjoyed flocking to the islands wettest - and most joyful - event at around 5am on a Sunday morning. Not that it’s their ONLY bath day of the week!
THAT FIESTA DEL AGUA move has replaced the entertaining CAN CAN on the Saturday, with Friday becoming BOOGIE PIMPS & THE TUNE BROTHERS (opening June 25th). From the name we can only (pretty safely) assume that it’s a retro-70s funky-gangster-pimpmobile-disco type thang, with multicoloured synthetic Afro wigs, trampy girls, wide flares, platform boots and other garishly kitsch fashions of the era.
DJ SAMMY will once again host the OTHER midweek Water Party, with much the same hyper-populist musical formula that so pleased the masses last summer. Can the Pop DJ Messiah match his incredible Ibiza success of 2003, when the night proved to be one of THE major San An hits? Sammy’s Opening Party is on 22nd June.
OTHER ES PARADIS Opening Parties so far confirmed are TWICE AS NICE (June 17th), HELTER SKELTER/INNOVATION (June 20th) and ESSENTIAL GROOVES (June 21st).
THAT MOVE allows CLOCKWORK ORANGE to return to their original Ibiza home, though only for four early season ‘specials’. SUNDAY’S ARE ORANGE from MAY 23rd, running through until June 13th – basically getting in before any rival major nights kick off. Andy Manston’s Clockwork were formed in 1993, a year later arriving at Es Paradis as a true UK-Ibiza pioneer, intending to promote an uplifting party vibe. Their core sound has naturally evolved over the years, though nevertheless remains true to that original spirit – with a twisted, uplifting, chunky-funky House style. Their early Opening will be the main event on the island at that point in time (Space opens a week later, then Judgement at neighbouring Eden follows on the 6th), so expect everyone to attend.
ONE QUALITY EVENT that rivals WON’T have to concern themselves with on Sundays this season is DEFECTED, because the cool, funky House promotion has slipped over to FRIDAYS at EL DIVINO. The resident DJ roster includes JUNIOR JACK & KID CRÈME, plus SANDY RIVERA. Defected see Friday as a better position, though as a consequence of the move face the daunting task of going directly up against PETE TONG at PURE PACHA, just around the corner.
THE TONG-FRONTED PACHA EVENT has quickly established itself as Ibiza Town’s most spectacular party night, with the Opening coming early – on 11th of June, running on right into OCTOBER. CARL COX appears on the first night. Tong will once again be broadcasting his ESSENTIAL SELECTION on Radio One each Friday direct from his PRE-PARTY at Café Mambo in San Antonio.
TONG-RELATED (though only in name) is the IT’S ALL GONE PETE TONG movie that was extensively filmed on the island last summer by Vertigo Films (the London production company behind THE FOOTBALL FACTORY, plus past big-screen club-related classics like HUMAN TRAFFIC and SW9). A fly-on-the-wall film style appears to have been used, so expect a SPINAL TAP vs THE OFFICE-esque type mockumentary. It focuses upon a fictional superstar DJ called FRANKIE WILDE (played by PAUL KAYE, aka celebrity-baiting nerd DENNIS PENNIS), a famous-but-failing, totally out-of-control DJ who’s been largely dismissed by his record label, manager, wife and so-called friends. And who’s gone DEAF. One typical sequence, filmed at MANUMISSION, had the actor swinging Tarzan-like, from a rope, across the main Privilege pool and dancefloor, skimming the heads of the crowd and past a giant flaming M. ‘Tong’ is slated for UK release in late summer.
DOG DAY AFTERNOON - You may recall the previous newsletter making reference to a movie premier party that is to take place in Ibiza, for a London-based Gangster film called DOG: THE MOVIE. Well, forget it. No, not the premier party, that’s STILL TAKING PLACE, just forget the name, because ‘The Movie’ has now been re-titled ONE MAN AND HIS DOG.
CIAO ROSINA on TALAMANCA beach has emerged as a very un-hyped, yet extremely cool and ‘in’ place over recent months, especially as a sort of pre-Pacha meeting place on Saturdays for the older Ibiza ‘faces’ (ie: resident club scene movers and shakers). Long established island DJ’s like Jon Sa Trinxa have been involved and now TIM SHERIDAN (of Manumission Music Box / Dope Smugglaz / Saville Row fame) and SMOKIN JO are to do a free party called NASTYDIRTYSEXYMUSIC there on Monday evenings, from 9pm until 4am - kind of post-Circo Loco, pre-Manu - for those casualties who never ever want a break in the achingly cool or achingly exhausting action. ie: holidayclubbers.
LA DIOSA – the huge new out-of-town club (and restaurant) situated at SANTA GERTRUDIS, returns for a second season. Their biggest and BEST event featured island promotion stalwarts ZENITH on Sunday nights, though other serious promotions began to build in presence as the debut season progressed. Now further muscle (in terms of line-ups) is being lining up - Wednesday for example looks to have a big event in preparation. That said, it’s also reported that the inhabitants of Santa Gertrudis organised a winter committee against LA DIOSA growing into another major island club venue, with attempts to have it shut down completely.
ROB DA BANK of SUNDAY BEST, and BBC Radio One’s chillout show The Blue Room, informs me that his series of monthly beach parties will again take place this summer, though this time at more ‘traditional’ venues, in order to avoid the problems suffered with the authorities last year. Those semi-secretive 2003 events took place at far-flung locations, with distinct ‘in-crowd’ and ‘chosen few’ tendencies, so 2004 should prove less exclusive and open to the masses – people like you and me!
THE PROPOSED NEW SPACE-RELATED venue next to Burger King at the side of the port in Ibiza Town is apparently planning to launch in summer 2005, and not this season as previously suggested.
ALSO IN THE PORT - EL CHUPITO has been on the move. The cosmopolitan clubbers bar – formerly situated along Ibiza Town’s port - has slightly shuffled along the waterfront to occupy the important Zoo bar location at the other end of the central strip.
THE SAME EL CHUPITO people are behind the popular and clubber-friendly TANTRA bar in Playa D’en Bossa, which is so ideally positioned between Space and Bora Bora. Tantra is distinctly Italian-esque, a place at which Ibiza’s football-loving Italians will gather during the Euro 2004 finals in June. The island businesses get into a major panic every two years as each major international football championship final arrives, due to a tourist tendency to delay holidays for the duration. Why is this? Surely there’s no better place to be during a football finals than a holiday island. Most bars show the matches on huge screens, large good-spirited crowds gather - the atmosphere is fabulous. If you’re not actually in PORTUGAL Ibiza is the BEST place to be; who can ever forget the sight of hundreds of happy English fans using the main West End slope as a vast WATER SLIDE during the torrential rainstorm which immediately followed Germany 1, England 5. Bliss!
FROM THE SUBLIME to the ridiculous… Bora Bora’s DJ GEE (who has spent the past six months living in Hollywood, and got work as a FILM EXTRA as a sideline) makes his fleeting appearance in the FINAL episode of FRIENDS on the 28th of MAY to Sky satellite viewers on E4, with CHANNEL 4 broadcasting the show on UK terrestrial TV the following day at 9pm.
GEE EXPLAINED the reality of HOLLYWOOD life recently (hope it’s OK to directly quote you Gee): “It’s bizarre, everywhere you turn there are ‘famous’ peeps… In front of one of the studios live Wendy & Lisa from Prince & The Revolution. Then at the back of the house where we stayed was the spoilt girl from ‘Little House On The Prairie’. James (Guntner) from Friends is a very good musician and keeps in contact with his new productions. Then recently we were sharing a table with Keifer Sutherland of ‘24’. It may all sound like ‘name dropping’, but it’s just the normal reality… so it isn’t such a surprise anymore when you realise that the man you’re talking to in a bar was once a star in ‘Fame’, or appearing in some current Hollywood blockbuster. It's been a great experience but I’ll be happy to get back home to Ibiza and find some sort of - dare I say – NORMALITY!”
NORMALITY IN IBIZA for Gee is a pretty hectic affair however: As well as daily BORA BORA appearances, plus numerous foreign gigs and festivals, he will additionally play for SALVACION at EL DIVINO and GOOD FRIDAYS at Space. DEFECTED have booked him for Opening and Closing parties too. Record release-wise Gee’s gone off on a few tangents, compiling a CD for ELECTRIC LINGERIE - “a super-sexy underwear company” - plus another for the JORDON F1 motor racing team (which includes an extra DVD disc for race fans). “It's not a dance album, more a montage of ‘driving’ tracks for speed enthusiasts” Gee explains. Then there’s the obligatory sound track for a new Hollywood movie, as yet unnamed.
ON THE PRODUCTION FRONT, Italy’s MEDIA RECORDS are dedicating a new label solely to material by GEE & SLAM DUNK FUNK following the success of their first single across Europe. Gee has personally sung the vocals on the next two G&SDF singles, which are a cocktail of Tribal, Electro and Asian grooves, plus hook lines and musical influences drawn from late 70s/early 80s, though restyled for the noughties in classic Bora-style.
GEE’S own BORA BORA MUSIC label are releasing ‘ELECTROGEE’, a driving, very Bora-vibed big b-line track co-written with David & Pedro of Weekend Records, while his other new single, ‘WANNA SAY IT’ - made with GORDON EDGE - is a very funky, almost gospel House-style track.
INCIDENTALLY Gordon (aka TRUMPETMAN, who also runs the long established Edge label) has developed a highly distinctive DJ set, spinning the discs AND accompanying himself on live trumpet (it’s horny, horny, horny). Thousands will be able to judge his abilities for themselves, since Gordon is performing on SPACE TERRACE at the Opening Party alongside CARL COX, JOHN DIGWEED, ERICK MORILLO, TOM NOVY and SAEED & PALASH.
FINAL GEE PLUG: The new BORA BORA DVD - out in June – planned one week before shooting began - basically reflects the manic daily action at Ibiza’s most famed and acclaimed daytime dancing beach bar. Gee: “There's a part where DANNY TENAGLIA comes onto the terrace with a pint-sized Spiderman on his shoulders! He’d just cancelled his flight home in order to be at Bora Bora for the Closing Party.”
DC10 are constructing a see-through MARQUEE over the Terrace. This retains the outdoor ‘feeling’, yet encloses the space enough so that extra speakers can be added, plus extra fans to keep it reasonably cool in that raging dance hothouse. CIRCO LOCO’S Monday madness will as usual feature resident DJs JO MILLS, TANIA VULKANO and CIRILLO, though the venue itself intends to develop other major events, with the TIMO MAAS Wednesday NIGHT residency starting on June 30th.
OVER IN SAN ANTONIO - the WEST END still isn’t quite sure what to think of the fact that there will be NO MORE ORGANISED BAR CRAWLS, following the local authorities OUTLAWING the practice. In theory this should mean that those bars and clubs which offer the best and most attractive entertainment will benefit, with the remaining businesses forced to improve their quality and outlook in order to remain in the game. Cool and connected bars - like the stylish PLASTIK, sexy SOUL CITY, expansive PLAY 2 etc - should gain from this more enlightened ‘freedom to choose’ approach.
ANGELZ WEST END SHOWCASE (the offshoot of all-girl DJ event CHARLYS ANGELZ) is to run at PLAY 2 each Saturday from June 19th through until September 11th. Resident VICKY DEVINE will be joined by numerous top female DJ guests and Trance sounds will predominate. The CHARLYS brand concept has been on a bit of a role over winter – with UK and international tours, including New Zealand, Australia...
ANOTHER WEST END-related snippet is that STAR CLUB resident DJ GRAHAM S has a record primed for release at the start of the new season. As FUNKY AZZURRA featuring JAYNE WILD. He’s produced a funky House track entitled ‘TAKE ME HIGHER’. Incidentally Jayne Wild was the vocalist on Amen UK’s 'Passion' hit a few years back.
JONATHAN ULYSSES – the SPACE resident DJ (who originally began his illustrious career at Simple in the West End) – has sent his top ten favourite club-play tracks, which read… 1). MAX LINEN ‘Flashback’ (Phonetic) - Original Mix. 2). MARTIN SOVEIG ‘Rocking Music’ (Defected) - Joey Negro Mix. 3). SEAMUS HAJI ‘Freaky’ (One Phat Deeva) - Dub Mix. 4). HOOL vs BRUCKHEIMER ‘In The Beginning’ (Toolroom Trax) - Mark Knight Mix. 5). DEEP INFLUENCE ‘Cuero Na Na’ (De Vice) – Club Mix. 6). SKYKE N SUGARSTARR ‘Release Your Mind’ (Swing City) – Original Mix. 7). SIVERSONIC ‘Electric Disco Tease’ (Azuli Black) – Neville Mix. 8). CERAMIX ‘Can U Dance’ (Phonetic) – Club Mix. 9). JOE SAMBA ‘I’ll Make It Happen’ (Afro Vision) – Joe Samba Mix. 10). AQUA CULTURE ‘Panic Stations’ (White) – Club Mix. You can keep up-to-date with Jon on www.jonathanulysses.com
SEEING JON’S CHART reminded of a recent meeting with ROB ‘Midas touch’ ROAR, of independent dance label PHONETIC, whose MAX LINEN ‘FLASHBACK’ and CERAMIX ‘CAN U DANCE’ feature high on the chart. Rob has enjoyed huge success with his Ibiza-connected releases, having licensed/released the NUMBER ONE island hit in each of the past three years (eg: KUJAY DADA ‘Young Hearts’ was last summers big one). Here’s a run-down of his onslaught on THIS SEASON’S POTENTIAL PHONETIC NUMBER ONE…
MAX LINEN (aka Rob Roar and production partner Leiam Sullivan) have crafted a genuine club anthem in ‘FLASHBACK’. The lyrics and soulful garage-y production style are influenced by a real occurrence – as talky-vocalist KEATON CARTER relates the true experience of he and his wife wandering around the legendary WAREHOUSE club in Chicago back in the mid-80s - hearing Frankie Knuckles for the very first time. The sounds appear to meander in and out of the club, with closing doors, muffled sound stretches and incredible House atmospherics, creating an atmosphere that’s every bit as exciting as any 80s House party actually was… The bubbling sounds occasionally drop and re-build, before ultimately hyping up the dramatic impact and delivering full blast!
CERAMIX is just out – pre-Ibiza – and they’ve very effectively reinvented an 80s Chicago House classic by Kenny Jammin’ Jason on ‘Can U Dance’, sampling some of the raw original keyboard riffs and hooks, plus a bit of Electro-fied vocal, then slicking everything up for the noughties with a huge b-line and loads of dramatic drops and builds. Contemporary ears might want to think along ‘Knights Of The Jaguar’ lines.
‘EVERYTHING’ – is KUJAY DADA’S follow up to ‘Young Hearts’ and the Ibiza-based resident DJ quartet have crafted an 80’s influenced soulful Houser featuring a dramatic, powerful, gospel-dripped vocal delivery which comes across like James Brown meets Daryl Pandy meets Bobby Womack (it’s actually Keaton Carter again). Immaculate string arrangements, child-like backing choir and effective breakdowns complete, with a Subliminal-ish driving dub mix stripping it all back down. As reported in an earlier newsletter, Kujay’s DANNY GRAHAM has opened a new DJ-friendly vinyl shop called SOLO RECORDS in Calle San Antonio, in the West End.
OTHER RELEASES which Phonetic will initially plug big time through Ibiza clubs and DJs include KID LEKTRIC ‘Nothing Can Stop Us’ – which is a dirty, grinding, f***ed-up, electro-vibed House pounder that might well have a ska-ish/Terry Hall/Specials kinda vocal mix by the time you read this. Then BLACK ROCK ‘Tiger’ is a big stringy idea, with real summer feel-good atmospheres. AMBA ‘Play Your Favourite Song’ is a Bob Marley song turned into a bouncy, rubbery Houser, with a reflective melancholic feel that suggests a last record-of-the-nighter. Finally DUSK ‘Music Is The Answer’ uses the Danny Tenaglia lyric, with screaming female vocal over a powerful and infectious electro-fied grinding groove. That’s enough Phonetic!
BAR M’s kitchen has been enlarged so that their NANDO’S franchise can offer the full UK restaurant menu range. WILLIE – co-owner with Manumission of BAR M – is additionally opening a separate new restaurant elsewhere for this season, called BASIL THAI. Back at Bar M the DJ box has moved out of its dark interior recesses and there are plans to deliver much more of a daytime entertainment ‘thang’, plus fresh musical directions – Rock, Funk, Dance. To this end THE DIRTY ROTTEN DJs have been installed as additional residents, with the energised Privilege ‘female toilet’ DJ duo also continuing to partaaay at Manumission ‘proper’ (if it actually happens).
IF FOLLOWING hyper UK-based Australasian and South African Hard Dance people around the island is your idea of a great time, then keep an eye on the 10-day HeatUK TOUR OF IBIZA in mid-June. The Hard Dance promotion are taking a 300+ crowd of good-natured, mad-for-it party enthusiasts – including around 20 DJs – on a non-stop ten-day rave around Ibiza hotspots, with mass gatherings so far including Thurs 17th & Weds 23rd in LA GALERIA at ES PARADIS, Sun 20th at SUMMUM, Thurs 24th at BORA BORA day, plus CREAM PRE-PARTY at KANYA eve. Friday 25th will be spent at DC10 and - if Manumission goes ahead – they’ll also be found in the COCO LOCO at Privilege and at SPACE interior for CARRY ON.
BAMBUDDHA GROVE reopened for the summer season on the 7th of April, following owner John Moon’s arrival from a rejuvenating winter break in Bali. Or as John puts it; “some much needed spiritual infusion.” (Whether that refers to something quasi-religious, or simply to do with alcohol, I’m not entirely sure, but judging by his humorously wayward appearances in the Manumission Candy Bar at 6am every Monday morning last year John’s spiritual beliefs are obviously more of the fluid variety!)
NOW FULLY REVIVED John has instigated a NEW club-bar area within the Bambuddha complex known as THE KHAJURAHO LOUNGE (catchy!!!) It is intended as a LATE NIGHT MUSIC TEMPLE, aimed at those who possess what they might like to consider ‘more sophisticated’ musical tastes. The new room is hosted by MARIANA MALACARNE and GARY THOULOUIS, with ANDY WILSON of radio Cadena Cien’s English show, amongst the DJ musical talent. There’s also a Tapas menu for those visitors who fancy a bite, yet aren’t at Bambuddha in order to eat at the main restaurant. “We intend to provide a sultry, provocative environment, with succulent music for those of us who love Ibiza, if not the club scene” says Gary. It’s a fairly compact space, sporting three opium beds and three couches, which can all be reserved. The room is open from 11pm - 4am (closed Mondays) and holds an ‘official’ Opening on May 14th – though it’s already working on some nights.
JUST UP THE San Juan road from Bambuddha is / was CAN FLY, the psychedelic restaurant-bar club venue, popular with the ‘alternative’ and hippy-esque crowd – especially on Saturday nights. As previously mentioned, it closed after the New Years Eve party, put up FOR SALE signs, and is now about to re-launch under new ownership as a LATINO bar-restaurant.
ALSO BLOWING DOWN FROM THE NORTH comes news that LAS DALIAS (just outside San Carlos), which is home to colourful events like NAMASTE, TRIBE OF FROGS and of course the immense ‘genuine’ HIPPIE MARKET on Saturdays, is enjoying a substantial makeover. In part this has been to isolate the sound emanating from the interior venue (location for many of the live band gigs that take place on the island). The ultimate aim is to be able to play music LOUD and long - until 6am – and will make a big difference to the regular Trance-dance events.
LAS DALIAS have additionally taken control of the main front bar at the venue (the part that fronts the road), which until now has retained its ‘traditional Spanish’ feel, despite the outrageous Hippie-dom raging all around it. Now the bar will be infused with a touch more of the colourful vibe seen elsewhere in the ever developing complex.
KM5 opened for their 10th season on April 30th, with DJ SAHARA and SERGI playing the usual funky and fluid underground House in the compact interior, whilst all of the cool people currently on the island mixed and got mangled outside amongst the lush décor, Arabic Bedouin tents and art exhibitions… Happy birthday!
“TONS OF FUN!” is how the typically zestful MTV presenter described ISLE OF MTV – Unfortunately for those hoping that the music channel would announce a ‘return’ to Ibiza after a two-year absence will be gob-smacked to learn that the island has lost out to TOSSA DE MAR on the COSTA BRAVA (about 65kms north of Barcelona, close to Lloret De Mar). What was once known as the MTV IBIZA FESTIVAL departed after the 2001 event, following three years of endless frustration with permits etc. etc. and etc… which culminated in the third ‘outdoor’ festival being forced indoors (it eventually took place inside Privilege). Isle Of MTV has this year become an 11-date pan-European tour, taking in Warsaw (Poland, June 4th), Copenhagen (Denmark, June 11th), Liverpool (UK, June 12th), Rovinj (Croatia, June 19th), Naples (Italy, June 25th), The Hague (Holland, July 9th), Durban (South Africa, July 10th - not in Europe, obviously), Berlin (Germany, July 17th), Biarritz (France, July 22nd), Zurich (Switzerland, July 24th) and of course Tossa De Mar on July 12th. Tossa is THE BIG ONE, the major TELEVISED flagship date (this broadcast goes out to 120 million European homes alone, plus MTV Worldwide, in an oft repeated one-hour highlights package) and takes place at an idyllic beachfront setting on Platja Gran. The crème of the World club scene will appear, DJ’s and live acts including host Shaggy, plus The Black Eyed Peas, Josh Wink, Tim Deluxe, Way Out West (live), Kenny Dope Gonzales/MAW, Boris Dlugosch, Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzy Jeff, Fergie, Ali B, Amp Fiddler, Audio Bullys, Ca$h Money, Ewan Pearson, DJ Gogo, James Zabiela, Mark Farina, Mark Ronson, Mr C, Mutiny, The Pinker Tones, Random Factor, Rob da Bank, Sander Kleinenberg, Scratch Perverts, Stanton Warriors, Todd Terry and Yousef, plus many more. Tickets for the main Spanish event will be on sale from June, and Up Hospitality can help arrange travel, accommodation and entry to this, and indeed most of the other, destinations.