Judge Jules Diary Report | 14th April 2014

I wanted to start this instalment with a tribute to one of the most influential individuals in the history of electonic music, Frankie Knuckles. During my formative years it was the music that Frankie made/showcased that helped to inspire me and a generation of music fanatics to carve their own DJ careers. His remix of the Nightwriters ‘Let the music use you’ remains my favourite record of all time. I was fortunate enough to know Frankie; he was a truly wonderful kind, humble and engaging guy and will be sorely missed… RIP legend.

 

Onwards to a run-down of my gigging. 1st Feb 2014 was a blustery day to be flying into Belfast City Airport, with its extremely short runway and steep approach gradient. As a seasoned traveller, I’ve had my fair share of bumpy landings, but this was pretty hairy. After a safe, yet stomach-jerking touch down, I was collected by the promoter to head half an hour to the seaside town of Bangor as I was set to play ‘Status’ later that night. For convenience, at European gigs I usually opt to stay in an airport hotel, but the club owners owned a rather grand hotel on the quay in Bangor. Had it not been blowing an F8 storm, exploring the vicinity of the hotel might have been more of an option. The gig was fantastic as usual, with Status having become one of the strongest places in Northern Ireland to play and a staple of my touring schedule. Following the gig, I attempted to get as much sleep as time permitted, although the hotel windows were taking a battering from mother nature.  That, combined with a 7am return flight, supplied my body with a bit of unwanted destruction.

 

The next outing was on Saturday 15th Feb, on this occasion to Corby in the Midlands. Paul Morrell has been one of the longest standing and most successful promoters in the area over the years, with particular emphasis on Coventry. My friend Jules Marshall kindly agreed to drive me up north for the occasion. It’s always a winner to visit a town where promoters aren’t fighting each other for the scraps with too may events and flyers vying for the available clientele.  Corby is fresh territory and Paul has prospered as a consequence. The gig was busy, and the venue was my favourite type –where the crowd is so close to the DJ that you can high five people on the dance floor from the booth.  My palms were ringing by the end of the night.

 

The following week (Sat 22nd) I headed up to Inverness in Scotland for a show promoted by dance music legend Si Paul AKA Lost Witness. Due to a lack of conveniently timed direct flights, I was forced to fly up to Aberdeen then drive the two hours north to Inverness. It was a great opportunity to catch up with Si, who kindly drove down to collect me. He gave me the lowdown on his venture ‘Acapella Heaven’, which provides pre-written topline songs for producers’ existing electronic music instrumentals. Many DJs are great music producers but lack the same degree of ability as songwriters, so it’s a marriage that works. Look up Acapella Heaven when you get a moment.

 

I played ‘Home’ Nightclub, which was packed and extremely loud. The Scottish love to chant from the dancefloor, which gives rise to nights with a standard-setting atmosphere. The next morning, for the second consecutive week, I had a horrible departure time back to London, 7am to LGW. On arrival, I met up with my family and we headed down to my in-laws who live on the South Coast. Over the years my mother in law has grown used to me turning up, acting like a vegetable and falling asleep on the sofa, and this visit was no exception. Suffice to say I’m not the most exciting company on Sundays.

 

On Saturday 8th March I played for the mighty Cream at Regal in Southampton. With the combination of the Cream brand and a student city awash with clubbers, I expected it’d be a good one and it certainly proved to be.  Before heading onto the decks, the promoter took me into the Green Room (the pre-gig backstage area where artists hang out). It seems to be the norm for promoters to apologise for the state of the green room prior to entry. I pointed out the same thing I always do – it’s the quality of the beverages and not the soft furnishings that counts.  Most green rooms are windowless and furnished with very old looking sofas, with walls that have been signed and generally scrawled-upon by every visiting artist. Rock’n’roll baby!

 

On Thursday 13th March I headed to one of my favorite countries to tour, Australia (my 33rd visit to Oz). I flew with Emirates via Dubai, mostly focusing on my lawyerly commitments en-route, with the required work leaving little time for sleep. Working at 38,000 feet is very productive, with no phone ringing etc, although the first flight (an Airbus A380 from London to Dubai) did have (rather slow) inflight internet connection.  After nearly 24 hours travelling I landed into Perth, checked into the hotel and should have collapsed immediately for some sleep like a sane person, but who needs normality? I literally threw my bags down and hit the shops. With two careers to juggle, just about the only time I get to do any clothes shopping is when I’m away on my own on a long-haul trip.

 

It was two shows on the first night, as part of the “Lost Tour 2014”. The first gig was on a boat along Perth’s Swan River, and boat parties are always different and fun. Unlike a normal gig, where one can turn up 30-60 minutes before a set, on a boat party one is there for the duration. Roughly two hours elapsed between the boat setting off onto the river and my set starting, and by the time I played my first track I reckon I’d spoken to and posed for pictures with the majority of the people on board.  No DJs’ backstage green rooms in this environment.

 

Following the boat gig I headed back to the hotel for an attempted (and failed) hour’s before a further night time club show in Perth. The venue had high ceilings and a great sound system. It’s an interesting and unspoken rule that, regardless of how loud and distorted the DJ’s tunes are sounding, the venue’s sound engineer never touches and turns down the mixer without first informing the DJ. However, the sound engineer in Perth appeared out of nowhere and knocked down the volume very unsubtly without a hint of prior warning. It was frustrating, because it’s better done gradually and gently, to avoid affecting the atmosphere on the dancefloor. Despite a relatively late set it was still a very enjoyable experience, packed with loads of Irish for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s crazy how many Irish folk have upped ships to Australia to escape the economic crisis – I overheard so many Irish accents on my last Aussie visit in February 2013, and this time round it was even more noticeable.

 

It seems like a recurring theme in this instalment, but the next morning I had an unpleasantly early (7am) domestic flight from Perth to Darwin. It’s only when you take a flight across Australia, that you realise how vast the country is. We flew for 4 hours without passing any discernable signs of life down below. During the final 45 minutes we overflew the most beautiful untouched and unoccupied beaches. Even as we approached the city of Darwin the beaches remained deserted. Australia has some of the world’s deadliest creatures: salt water crocodiles, sharks, lethal jelly fish etc, hence the lack of beach action.  I wouldn’t fancy a swim either.

 

On arrival into Darwin the first thing that hit me was the climate difference. Perth had been dry and Mediterranean-like, whereas Darwin is tropical with stifling humidity. Although I should have gone straight to sleep, with less than 24 hours remaining in Australia I hit some more shops. I barely arrived on time – strangely, all Darwin stores close at 3:30pm on Saturdays. In most major global cities this is the single busiest time for shopping, so why they’d shut so early in Darwin is anyone’s guess.

 

The last outing on this mini Australian visit was at the Darwin Entertainments Centre, once again as part of the “Lost 2014 Tour”. The gig was a sold out event, with so many in attendance it was impossible to calculate the numbers. I’ve just finished a new track called ‘Naked’, which I tested on the steaming dancefloor. It’s an absolute banger, with a preview coming on my Sound Cloud very shortly. On that note, a HUGE thank you to everybody who bought my latest release ‘Monte Carlo’ on Vandit. If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, CLICK HERE!

 

The next day it was time to head home to London, unfortunately in the shape of 4 flights: Darwin – Alice Springs (where I was attacked by flies leaving the plane) – Perth – Dubai – London. 30 hours of travelling and then straight into lawyer mode in my London office at Sheridans for a full day’s work, directly from the airport.

 

I’ve now running up to my two year anniversary of dividing time between being a media and entertainment lawyer during the week and a DJ at weekends.  My legal client base and workload has built up steadily during this period. It would require too much space in this column to supply a comprehensive summary of my legal work to date, but recent highlights include recording agreements, DJ and band management and agency contracts, brand and trade mark protection, various Ibiza-based projects, TV sponsorship and endorsement deals, TV and film scriptwriter agreements, radio presenter agreements and music publishing deals. I’ve found the perfect balance between both roles, and they cross-pollenate one another excellently.

 

Before signing off this instalment, more words of thanks are in order – over 650,000 of you around the world have now subscribed to my Global Warm Up podcast, consistently making it one of the top ranked music podcasts in the world on iTunes. Big love to one and all.

 

More next time…


Judge Jules Diary Report | 15th December 2013

Firstly, I’d like to briefly touch on the recent passing of Nelson Madela. During my various DJing  visits to South Africa I went to Robben Island and visited the tiny cell that held Mandela for so many harsh years, also taking a tour of Soweto, amongst other points of South African historical interest. When someone passes at a ripe old 95 years it’s only really possible to celebrate their life, rather than mourn their passing. And what an important life. RIP Nelson Mandela.

Moving on, or back in time, as it were.  This instalment kicks off with the annual Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) in late October, the undisputed number one global conference for the electronic music industry. This time round I was predominantly heading there wearing my lawyer hat (not literally), travelling with one of my Sheridans colleagues Neil. It’s all well and good spreading the word that I’m now a DJ who’s also a lawyer (or vice versa), but getting out there and talking the talk with folk from the industry is what really sends out the message. The trip was extremely productive on the client front, and we also went and checked out plenty of ADE club events. These included Paul Oakenfold, Armin van Buuren, Pete Tong and Defected. In previous years I’ve deejayed and/or spoken on panels at ADE. Doing things from a different perspective this time round was a wholly new and rewarding challenge.

On Friday October 18th I headed straight from ADE Amsterdam to San Diego, California via LHR. The relatively new direct BA flight from Heathrow to San Diego saves a lot of travel time. In the past one would have to connect via LA or Chicago, which added many hours. The one thing to bear in mind when travelling through small US ports of entry is the limited immigration processing area, meaning that if you’re last off the plane, you can write off a couple of hours from your life. Luckily I raced through first. Partner in crime Tristan D moved to San Diego just over a year ago, a move that plenty of other British DJs have made during recent months. San Diego is considered by many to be California’s little secret, a dreamy city 100 miles south of Los Angeles. I was picked up from the airport and headed to the hotel for a disco nap ahead of that evenings show at Stingaree, a special event which Tristan and his “ZDM” crew put together. My hotel was literally opposite the open-air venue, which made for fairly difficult pre-gig napping conditions, as I could hear every record Tristan was dropping. Most DJs will agree that there’s nothing better than spinning in the open-air, and even better on the roof terrace of a tall building. The show was packed, with just under 1000 in attendance under the stars, amongst the downtown skyscrapers of San Diego. After a very enjoyable set, I stumbled back to my stone’s throw hotel room at the Solomar. After 15 hours of travelling and 2 hours of DJing, I was out like a power cut.

The next day, we drove up to the rather fancy La Jolla district of San Diego. Tristan’s fiancé Nicole’s parents live up in the hills there, with a fantastic panoramic view of the whole of San Diego, pretty much stretching all the way down to Mexico. We enjoyed a few afternoon drinks in the sun before hitting the road to Los Angeles. Shortly afterwards, we stopped at a cool little Mexican restaurant for some “on the road” munch. With Mexico just over the horizon, as you’d imagine, there’s no shortage of mouth watering Mexican food in SOCAL. On the drive up we listened to plenty of new music, planning out our sets for the mighty Avalon in Hollywood later that evening.

On arrival into LA, we met up for dinner with one of dance music’s most respected individuals, co-club owner/promoter of the mighty Avalon and “Giant” events, Dave Dean. Dave’s legacy stretches back over 25 years, starting his career in London, opening up one of the most legendary clubs in the late 80s called Limelight. I’ve known Dave for many years, he’s one of the nicest guys in the industry and I hold a lot of respect for him. After a huge table-congesting sushi dinner on the corner of Hollywood & Vine (boy do Americans do sushi well), I headed for some much needed rest, with my body clock rooted in a time zone 8 hours ahead. It’s been a while since I last played Avalon, which holds 2500 people in an old 1920s theatre – its mystique and ambience is truly majestic. Playing alongside Leon Bolier and Tristan D, the club was very busy. I’m already excited for my next visit to Hollywood in 2014. Check out the pictures via the Gallery section when you get a moment…

Having gone to bed at 3am shortly after my set, I had the unpleasant task of waking a few hours later at 6am on Sunday 19th Oct. In store was a 9am flight to Chicago so that I could then connect on to London. In case you’re asking “Why didn’t you just fly direct from LAX to London”, I needed to be in the Sheridans offices in London in lawyer capacity at 9am on Monday morning. There are no direct flights from LA to London allowing one to do this – they all arrive too late in the day. Thankfully, everything went like clockwork – Chicago to London allowed for just enough sleep in business class and I felt relatively refreshed upon landing into LHR and onwards to the office. It was a great trip Stateside and I’ll be back over there in Jan 2014.

Friday November 1st was a semi-local outing, heading up the M1 to Milton Keynes, situated around 40 miles from my North London home. Joined on the road by my IT wizard friend Jules Marshall, we discussed the ins and outs of the technical world for the semi-short drive North. The club, “Wonderchild”, was a venue I hadn’t played before, the perfect dancefloor capacity with a wacky dressed-up atmosphere, a Halloween celebration with fancy dress all round.  Where did the UK’s no holds barred celebration of Halloween come from all of a sudden?  I’m well aware of its enormity in the United States, but in the blink of an eye the UK has caught up. Promoted by Jamesie, a promoter/friend I’ve worked with on many occasions before, it was smiles all round.

The next day (November 2nd) I headed to Scotland to play Coast Club in Arbroath. Flying into Edinburgh, the club was around 80 miles from the airport. I’m 6’2” tall with an occasional bad back from the stooping posture of DJing, and in clubs that have the decks and mixer relatively low I sometimes have to remove my shoes to lower my height. On this occasion it was a big mistake, as there was broken glass all over the floor of the DJ booth. I had to tread gingerly between huge shards of glass throughout my set, worried that my socks would have picked up small bits of glass if I put my shoes back on, making mattes worse. That aside, I had a great gig, and then headed back to my airport hotel, where I was in the airport terminal 5 minutes after rolling out of bed the following morning.

The next gig outing was on Friday November 8th for the Naughty Reunion at Butlins in Skegness. Around this time of year I play a series of reunion events for affiliates that we work with in Ibiza during the summer with Judgement. On this occasion I took the train up to Skeggy, staying in a modern Chalet on-site. It housed 3, but it was just me (sans mates) rattling around in there. I never experienced the joys of Butlins as a child, so I’m making up for it now, although the British coastal weather is unlikely to make the Mediterranean resorts quake in their boots. I performed straight after a live set from JLS, a somewhat incongruous support act, although they would probably say the same about me in return. I was joined on stage during my set by Harrison who recently sang the track with David Guetta and Glow in the dark called “Ain’t A Party” –  he performed it live, receiving an awesome reaction. You can check his song out here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv809IhklRA

On Saturday 16th November I headed to Wales, once again on the train. Firstly, I caught a Virgin service to Birmingham, which took just over an hour from London – very fast indeed. Personally I’m skeptical about the need for the HS2. Instead, the British government should be improving our creaking current network and re-opening some of the bulldozed branch lines of the 1960s. At Birmingham I boarded the slowest, smallest train on a 3-hour journey into mid Wales. It was only two carriages in size and rammed to almost Indian train-like proportions with Welsh rugby and football supporters. Arriving in the dark, I checked into my hotel ahead of the gig at “The Venue” in Barmouth, playing my set about half an hour later. The next morning I woke up, drew the curtains and caught my first daylight view of my location. I was on the edge of Snowdonia and it absolutely breathtaking. I felt like a small boy on holiday again.

I’ve been working hard on new music recently, including two forthcoming singles on Vandit, “The March” and “Modulation”. I’ve also got a new record on Junskter coming out this week called “Meteor” under my alias “Megadrone”, this includes an awesome remix from Garry Heaney. I’ve got loads planned on the production front for 2014. But, if you’re looking for a good Christmas present, check out the VONYC Sessions | Best Of 2013 mixed by Paul van Dyk, it features 4 tracks by yours truly. CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Saturday November 23rd contained an extremely local gig in Kingston Upon-Thames. Before hitting the gig, Amanda and I went to a Sheridans colleague’s birthday party near to Shoreditch. It’s been a while since I’ve checked out this cool, charismatic area of London.  Although Shoreditch is no mystery to any Londoner, my DJ travels elsewhere mean that I’ve rarely been there on a Saturday night to witness just how rammed and vibrant the place is. The bottom of Kingsland Road has a 200m stretch dedicated to Vietnamese restaurants, and Amanda and I are slowly working our way through all of them.  Amanda drove me – what a pleasure to be chauffeured to my gig by the hottest driver in clubland.

Thursday November 28th was the next outing, heading back up to Edinburgh, immediately after finishing my day in the office. The LHR – EDI route in an extremely popular business commuter route, proved on this occasion by BA putting a wide-body B767 on the service. The Sheridans office in central London is particularly well-positioned for rapid access on public transport to all of London’s five airports, so I don’t have a preference, other than choosing Heathrow and BA because of my frequent flyer status. I played Castle Club, which was a predominantly student-based event and very rocking. The loud, excited and enthusiastic Scottish crowd always pumps me with energy and sends me on my merry way post-set with a silly grin plastered on my face. I stayed in the EDI airport hotel, which matches its total lack of glamour with extreme convenience, flying home early the next morning so as to be in the office at 9am.

The next evening I took the train from London Paddington to Hereford for the mighty “Play Nightclub”. The train defied the laws of geography, taking 3.5 hours to cover 150 miles’ distance. It was an old “125 high Speed” diesel train from the 1970s – smokey, cold, rattling around and generally getting from A to B with a sense of grim despair. Precisely my point about where government money should be invested.  I had a great gig in Hereford, although somebody managed to drunkenly stumble over, knock my USB stick and rip the casing off the very sturdy Pioneer CDJ2000. Luckily they have a linking system, meaning I could happily switch “master” devices.  The night rocked on nicely.

The final gig covered in this bloggy instalment, was up to Birmingham for a Cream Classics event at the HMV Institute. Seb Fontaine preceded me on the decks and the club was rammed. Pete and I arrived slightly early, so as to catch up with plenty of mates who were in attendance. The Saturday DJing night norm is to turn up early, do the social thing pre-set, spin my tunes and shoot off straight afterwards.  Stumbling out of the club when it’s light outside looking ugly and tired can only end in tears…

It’s a rarity for me to play a classics event, and my aim was to keep it unexpected and with a modern bootleggy flavour. Even at a night focused on classics, a modern twist helps to sell electronic music to the next generation.

That’s about it for this instalment. I wish you a very enjoyable Holiday Season, wherever you are in the world. Remember, music has no boundaries… Feel free to get in touch on any subject that takes your fancy via jules@judgejules.net . I reply to each and every one received.

More next time! Jx


Judge Jules Diary Report | 26th August 2013

Firstly, I hope you’re having a wonderful summer. For those of you who don’t already know, let me furnish you with the news that I’ll be returning to my long time stomping ground of the BBC Radio 1 studios for one night only, taking the helm of the mighty Essential Mix. Be sure to tune in on Friday 7th September, for a musical journey through my current sound intertwined with a few delicate musical memories. Let me know what you think…

We commence this instalment at the beginning of the Ibiza season, which for my Judgement night was slightly later than we usually open. As I explained last time round, Eden recently changed hands; meaning that major (and amazing) renovations took place just before summer 2013. The building works ran right up to the end of June. The reinvented Eden, and its mighty new Void sound system, has set an awesome standard for San Antonio. I’m pleased to say that Judgement Fridays has continued the hugely successful track record of its predecessor Judgement Sundays. We opened on Friday July 5th, and I was joined by Orjan Nilsen, Danny Howard, and Solis & Sean Truby. As part of the 2013 remodeling of Eden, they created a “Boom Box” style DJ booth, literally wrapping the DJ in LED. The atmosphere was fantastic, and I thank every one of you who came along and made it so special… I’ll talk more about Judgement later, but I’d like to backtrack slightly, if that’s okay with you.  Who needs chronological order anyway?

Equally as monumental to me, and the longest standing residency of my career is the gargantuan BCM in Mallorca. It’s a club that’s stood the test of time, and always been a step ahead of the game. I put a lot of this down to the clubs solid and innovative management. We’ve returned with “Judgement Night” to BCM, taking its back-to-back DJ concept to another level, bringing in some of my DJ friends including John O’Callaghan, Ferry Corsten, Aly & Fila, Eddie Haliwell and many more. The atmosphere so far this season has been epic, and I’ll come back to BCM shortly…

In previous summers, my time on home turf has been somewhat limited. This year however, with my new job as an Entertainment Lawyer at Sheridans in London, I’ve been splitting my time between the Balearics and London. At the moment I work three days per week in the London office, which has struck a good balance between clubland, and protecting the legal interests of others. I write this instalment of my blog from Mallorca, where I’m enjoying a family holiday, whilst jetting off for a couple of shows during my time here. Palma Mallorca’s main airport (PMI) is served slightly more generously with routes than IBZ, making connecting onto other destinations worldwide a no brainer.

Back on home turf, on Saturday 13th July I played at Club Amadeus in the UK’s North East. However enjoyable it is to be able to spin in many different locations around the globe, I always appreciate a night out on UK terra firma. Pete and I set off from London around 9pm, with a four-hour drive ahead of us. It’s been one of the nicest, warmest summers the UK has seen for years, and people were certainly dressed accordingly. When it comes to throwing on summer clothes, I find the contrast between the English and the Spanish hilarious.  Until the temperature tips over 25 degrees the Spanish still sport sweaters and overcoats.  In the UK, it can as low as 15 degrees when bikinis, shorts and sunbathing top the agenda.  The club was packed, hot, and scantily clad. After a raucous crowd reaction and a few drinks with the promoter, we hit the road back to London

Conveniently, Easyjet from London Gatwick has a 7:50pm daily flight to Mallorca, which works perfectly with a dash from Sheridans’ offices around 6. The Gatwick Express takes around 30 minutes from London Victoria station, meaning that by the time I’ve caught up on some emails, I’ve arrived at the airport. With a tight window between landing and getting behind the decks, any revitalising disco naps have to be taken at 38,000ft. Tuesday 23rd was another fantastic instalment, as I was joined by John O’Callaghan on the decks. Although BCM isn’t always the most trance orientated crowd, the #trancefamily that night were in the place in full force. When in Mallorca, I stay in a hotel in the capital Palma with a taxi rank right outside, and the following morning I flew back to London at 11am. Back at home, I recorded the Global Warm Up podcast and radio show, and grabbed an early night. On Thursday I was freshly back in the Sheridans office at 8am.

On Friday 19th July I was joined by MaRlO, Danny Howard & Micky Slim at Judgement Fridays in Ibiza. The one thing we’ve had to manage without this year is a backroom, as the renovation window didn’t permit it to be ready for the 2013 season. With only one arena to programme, it’s been important to incorporate the key Judgement “Funky Room” residents, such as Micky, into the main room structure. The club was packed, with that awesome Judgement atmosphere. It’s been a far more immersive experience for everybody, enhancing our visual presence with Eden’s vastly improved screens and lighting. If you’ve not stepped inside yet this summer then I hope you can make a visit before the closing on Sept 20th.

On Saturday 20th I flew from Ibiza to Amsterdam. Ibiza is blessed with a couple of direct daily flights to AMS, allowing me to grab lunch with a few friends on the island before being dropped at IBZ airport. On the agenda was Electronic Family festival, near to Amsterdam Schipol Airport, which included a huge Trance line up. Marlo was also on the bill, however he was on slightly earlier in the evening and had taken a crack-of-dawn flight from Ibiza. Festival production in Holland is always a cut above the rest. Alongside the UK, this is the country where large-scale dance/EDM shows began. The likes of Trance Energy have always set an international standard and Electric Family was truly immense.

Tuesday 23rd July was another day in the Sheridans office, with the usual 7:50pm departure from London Gatwick on Easy Jet at the end of my working day. The myriad of daily flight options from London to either Ibiza or Mallorca are a bit like jumping on the local bus. There’s always somebody who I know to sit and natter with, and before you know it you’ve arrived. However, with full legal days that kick off at 8am or earlier, my 2 hours of shuteye on the plane have become more and more essential. If you see me on an Easy Jet flight snoring, feel free to come and give me a nudge (or maybe don’t, for that matter…)  To state the obvious: BCM was as packed as always. I reckon that if you were to conduct a survey of 20-50 year olds in the UK, over 50% of the British population have visited BCM at least once in their life.  This makes it a genuine ‘institution’ and the most successful nightclub for the British market of all time.

On Thursday 25th July I flew directly from Ibiza to Blackpool airport, possibly the only one of the UK’s countless airports that I’ve never touched down at before.  I was collected by DJ, promoter and local legend Fubar, to play two of his events in the town, before flying straight back to Ibiza. It’s rare for me to play a double header in the same town, explained by the fact that the second was an after party for the first. The first gig was “Twisted Disco” at Revolution nightclub, partly as a celebration of local face Alex Huckerby’s birthday. The crowd was extremely up for it, and Alex and his mates seemed to revel in throwing as much drink down me as they could.

The flight back to Ibiza, at 7am from Manchester, was rowdy, to put it mildly.  Flights from the UK to Ibiza seem to have become more and more out of control in recent years.  The low cost airlines are more interested in profiting from booze sales than making the sensible decision to stop serving people when they’re screaming, blocking the aisles, and making other passengers’ journeys a nightmare. The only solution is to bury myself in my headphones and try to escape from the mayhem.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for everything, but on virtually all of my Ibiza flights this year, at least one person has been so drunk that they stand up and clap the minute the plane touches down, whilst the g-force of the brakes is still kicking in.

My flight from Manchester had two hen parties, who must have made up more than a third of the passengers.  Despite returning to Ibiza with no shut-eye, sleep was out of the question as it was so noisy.  The flight sounded like St Trinians gone mad from start to finish, and, despite being a 7am take-off, the bar sold out of alcohol.  The best thing I could do was make some music on my laptop.

On the subject of new productions, my latest release on Vandit “Collide”, is available via THIS LINK. It features the chilling vocals of Christina Novelli, and a remix from UK based Solis & Sean Truby. Additionally, my label “Junkster” just released a banging new track from rising Canadian star Ashe. “Forge” is massively gritty, intense and has a great remix included on the package from Andy Tau.

On Friday 26th July we featured Justin Prime at Judgement for his first Ibiza show at JF. He’s a young producer who’s really going places, and I’ve supported plenty of his material on The Global Warm Up. Marco V & Paul Webster held things up on the Trance front too. Ibiza is a great place to share ideas and stories with fellow DJs, with one or two drinks to kick off the convo, and I chewed the fat after my set with the others on the bill.

With another BCM & Judgement Fridays Ibiza in-between, on 3rd August I headed over to the coastal town of Bangor, Northern Ireland. I love performing in Northern Ireland- there’s always been an awesome club scene and standard-setting atmosphere. I played Status, I venue I visited back in the day under its previous name, the Boom Boom Rooms.  It’s one of those clubs where you can see absolutely everybody in the venue from the vantage point of the booth.  As a DJ, this kind of club design allows one to suck up the atmosphere better than more partially-sighted spaces.  I had a marvellous time.

On Friday August 9th in Ibiza I was joined at Judgement by Showtek, alongside Ruben De Ronde, DJ Ideal& DJ Ange. The club was packed to capacity, which was hardly surprising considering how far Showtek have come in the past year. I hear other DJs playing Showtek productions virtually every time I walk into a gig. In advance of the night at Eden, DJ Ideal accompanied me on the pre-party trek, along with a film crew, to grab some footage of a night in Ibiza in its entirety. It was one of my favorite JF nights this summer, and I stayed at Eden until the cleaning crew hit the floor.

The next day, I flew back to the UK for Berties in Newquay. Pete collected me from the airport, and after heading home for an hour, we hit the long and winding road to Cornwall. I’m very familiar with the drive, as I spent virtually all my childhood holidays down in the South West and have a lot of family in Cornwall. Newquay is the most popular youth resort in the southern half of Britian, so it was no surprise that the club was packed, and it was great to see so many friends in attendance. After a mental weekend, I slept the entire journey back to London.

Before I leave you today, please could I ask you a quick favor? It’s that horrendous time of year again, love it or hate it, DJ Mag’s Top 100 is back. I wont go into too much a tangent about it, but if you get a moment, please could you cast a vote via djmag.com/top100.

Don’t forget to tune into BBC Radio 1 on September 7th for my Essential Mix, if you’re outside the UK, check it out at www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/essentialmix

Until next time, see ya…


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