It’s that time of the year. The sun is out (we’ve been having a lovely mini heatwave in England this last couple of weeks or so) and at this time of year, for everyone who is a house music fan the mind turns to that mystical island. Eivissa (the original Catalan name for it) or Ibiza is the place to be for a house music fan in the summer. Regardless of if you intend to actually visit Ibiza or not, we all turn our attention to the island. What is big going into the beginning of the season, what are going to be the big dubs that are circulating, what are your favourite DJ’s and those you look to for inspiration playing regularly? And more importantly, which records will come back from the island and be huge when they get back. These are all the questions for a house fan (and certainly for a DJ although we tend to do this all year around with more than just Ibiza).
The ones that stand out last year for me:
Oliver $ & Jimi Jules – Pushing On
Ten Walls – Walking With Elephants
FCL – It’s You (Secondcity’s back to 1990 mix)
Harry Romero – Tania (Riva Starr Remix)
And they are the ones that just instantly come to mind!
Ibiza seems to have this magical power over music. When you trace back to the UK’s beginning of Ibiza culture, (I’m sure you all know this story) a group of young men travelled to Ibiza in 1987 for a birthday week away. Some of the members of that group were Paul Oakenfold, Nicky Holloway, Danny Rampling and Johnny Walker. Once they attended the clubs and saw what the DJ’s (most notably Ibiza legend DJ Alfredo) were playing and likely experimented with the “wilder side” of what the island has to offer they were hooked. They returned to England and tried to recreate the amazing times they had had. Up popped Shoom, Spectrum, Trip and many other nights that were set up to recreate that Balearic vibe.
I’m not really telling you anything you don’t already know there though. It started the second summer of love and a number of other related youth and club cultured phenomena. Most people who are old enough to remember those beginnings say it was about unity and freedom. A lot of nightclubs had previously been about on one side, free-enterprise yuppies, perms and shoulder pads or on the other side prone to football related violence. The Ibiza culture and the associated drugs that came with it very much put a stop to that in those beginning parties in the earlier days.
Most people who have either been to Ibiza or who are into club culture speak of Ibiza with great warmth. It’s always been billed as being a magical place, a place unified by music, where anyone can go to enjoy the parties. Club kids, socialites, hippies, drag queens and any other mix of everyday people, regardless of their age, beliefs or background or sexual orientation are all accepted on the island and in the clubs. Some people even speak of it as a place that is almost like a church of people coming together in acceptance. I’ll leave the metaphor and similes to you on this one.
Ibiza has had its fair share of negative press and detractors over the years as well, for me most notably in the late 90’s with Sky 1’s “Ibiza Uncovered” documentary series. Whilst it was a hugely successful series and no doubt will have increased tourism to the island, it was heavily focused on the slightly sensationalised side of sex and drugs rather than showing an entirely balanced view of the island. For as many people that do go for things like that, there are as many who go to enjoy the islands beauty, amazing beaches and sunsets and the brilliance of the promoters and DJ’s without feeling the need to get involved in so much debauchery.
At the time of writing this, MTV announced that they were to start making “Ibiza Shore.” It made me cringe. If you are unfamiliar with MTV’s shore’s series, it is usually a very extreme view of people that party very excessively, live their lives surrounded by drama and have the morals of sewer rats. I suspect a lot of it is faked for sensationalism and ratings, but the few times I have seen bits of it, it’s made for pretty ugly viewing particularly as these are supposed to be the beautiful people! Thankfully, Ibiza’s tourist board seem to agree with me and are fighting back! They are attempting to block the filming of this programme and the inevitable dim view this will cast over Ibiza (and the backlash that will come with it as well). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be sanctimonious here, we’ve all had an excessive night out, been too drunk, acted the fool when we have been drunk, danced all night, seen the sun come up and spent the following day regretting and revering it with equal measure. And those nights are the ones we remember the best, but the shores are a whole different level. And don’t even get me started on the late teens that are watching these programmes and thinking it’s an acceptable way to behave when out partying! I personally feel some of these programmes are responsible for breeding the current darker side of club culture where it is okay to go to a club and sexually harass someone (usually by inappropriate grabbing etc.) but that is a whole different discussion.
Ibiza seems to be going through a little bit of a growing period and getting back to its roots. I’m sure the DJ’s of original parties in Ibiza in the 80’s (Alfredo et. all) would be very excited to see nights such as Defected’s Glitterbox popping up. Now in its second year, Simon Dunmore has created a party in Ibiza where it’s very acceptable to play some great original records again. Original disco cuts, soul and funk and house music all live together under one roof. Some of the world’s finest and most eclectic DJ’s such as Todd Terry, Joey Negro, Roger Sanchez, Norman Jay, Julio Bashmore and not forgetting Simon Dunmore himself are descending on Space in Ibiza for some amazing Friday night parties. I very much suspect there will be very little “shuffling” or “bro-culture” going on a Glitterbox. Just big parties based on great music. The way Ibiza started and will hopefully continue.
Ibiza To Me
I’ll always remember as I was growing up, I’d get excited by this time of the year (and I still do now) and I get ready for the big albums to drop. For me, it was mostly about the brand Ministry of Sound. In those days, they didn’t release 20 albums a week as they do now, and all of them featured the words “Mixed By” which is still one of my favourite things to see on an album of that nature. It meant to me then, and still does now that I am getting a selection of music from a person’s perspective, they will play songs they love, maybe some underground and maybe some mainstream but they may play a different remix of the mainstream tracks than what you are used to so you get a very personal feel to the mix.
I remember having some great memories to those albums. The very first Ibiza Annual is still brilliant to this day. Some of the Clubber’s Guide to Ibiza albums are as well. Dance Nation 4 I fell in love with following hearing Fire Island’s “White Powder Dreams” for the first time. I have A LOT to thank Pete Tong, Boy George and Judge Jules for when growing up! I still get the same feelings now from the Defected albums as well.
Those moments are the ones I chase as a DJ, that same feeling of euphoria I had when I heard those tracks, that is what I want to give other people. It’s a thing of beauty in my opinion, to give someone a feeling they will all remember, hopefully for a long time. That’s what keeps me trawling the internet, all those different sites, bootlegs, record shops, promo’s, other DJ’s mixes and in fact any source where there will be good music, so I can get that feeling and hopefully pass it to you.
This weekend just gone, in the UK we have also had the pleasure of listening to BBC Radio 1’s 20 years of Ibiza celebrations and that has also been great listening!
With all of that in mind, at FunkySexyMusic we have an Ibiza vibe going on and we are putting out FunkySexyMusic presents Eivissa.
FunkySexyMusic presents Eivissa is a project that is essentially just full of tracks that remind me of the Ibiza and Ibiza culture that I was exposed to through those albums (and others) over the years. Some of the tracks will be mainstream and stuff you would expect to find on a generic “XX presents Ibiza XX“ album (some of these records are classics, they can’t get it wrong all the time!) and others are ones that I picked up when listening to those mixes that remind me of an association with Ibiza or with the sunshine. I have tried to shy away from too much recent stuff on this mix as you will have heard a lot of the big recent Ibiza classics on the FunkySexyCoolDeep mixes over the last two years.
Having looked back over the mix, I find it interesting to see that for me, the side of the music that I associate with Ibiza seems to be influenced mainly by the UK and the US. The name I did notice crop up a lot on the tracklist was Full Intention. The British based duo clearly influenced my Ibiza education as I grew up. Also the remix team Dronez cropped up twice. If you don’t know who Dronez are, that is Erick Morillo, Harry Romero and Jose Nunez all together! Quite the house pedigree there! We also have huge offerings from Todd Terry, Roger Sanchez, Masters At Work and Joey Negro as well. You can certainly see my leaning towards funky and disco influenced house and U.S. garage in this mix, and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed mixing it and reminiscing on my past!
The tracklist as follows:
FCL – It’s You (Secondcity’s Back to 1990 Mix)
Eclipse – Makes Me Love You (Morning Starr Remix)
Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley Pres. Voices Of Life – Say The Word (The Word Is Love)
Jose Burgos Feat Kenny Bobien – Everyday
South Street Player – Who Keeps Changing Your Mind (Chocolate Puma Remix)
First Choice – Armed and Dangerous (Full Intention Remix)
Debbie Pender- Movin’ On (Paramore Bossa)
The Don – The Horn Song
John Cutler – It’s Yours
Byron Stingily – Get Up Everybody (Loft Mix)
Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You
DJ Dado Feat Michelle Weeks – Give Me Love (Full Intention Remix)
Barbara Tucker – Stop Playing With My Mind (Full Intention Remix)
Todd Terry All Stars – Get Down
Madison Avenue – Don’t Call Me Baby (The Dronez Remix)
Afro Medusa – Pasidila
Danny J Lewis – Spend The Night
Roger Sanchez Feat The Far East Movement – Together (Antionne Clamaran Remix)
Pete Heller – Big Love (The Dronez Remix)
Paul Johnson – Get Get Down
Joey Negro – Must Be The Music
Cevin Fisher’s Big Freak – The Freaks Come Out (Sharp’s 2000 Mix)
Gat Decor – Passion (Do You Want It Right Now Mix)
Masters At Work Feat India – I Can’t Get No Sleep
We’d love to know what you think to the mix, so please feel free to leave us feedback and maybe even some of your own suggestions of Ibiza classics or stories of the white isle!
Ian "Skev" Hardy developed a love for music at a very young age and set his goals around two simple tasks, collecting great music and playing great music. Ian established FunkySexyMusic in 2013. “I needed a brand to create my vision of how things needed to be, something that when you heard it mentioned meant quality, great music, fun, how house used to be.” FunkySexyMusic is about music that is of the highest quality, "it’s about the fact I spend ages looking for that tune, the new one, the one you haven’t heard before, the perfect one that makes your heart smile and your feet dance when you hear it. It’s about unity, it’s about family and ultimately, it’s about freedom, freedom for you on the dance floor and freedom for me behind the decks." It’s about the fact when you hear Ian Hardy or FunkySexyMusic mentioned, you know what to expect and you should never accept less. Finally, it’s about the love, not the money. Ian was overjoyed to be welcomed into the Dirty Disco Radio family in early 2015 and is aiming to bring you sets and editorial pieces that are to the same high standard that you have always come to expect from Kono and the rest of the Dirty Dsico radio family.