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…