If any place can lay claim to being the dance music capital of the world, it’s got to be Ibiza. The island’s history is inescapably linked to the growth of electronic dance music, since its early days in the eighties, giving rise to many of the globe’s best known DJs. It even hosts the International DJ Awards every year at Pacha, showcasing the crème de la crème of disc-spinning talent worldwide.
The role-call of mixmasters who’ve earned their stripes on the White Island is way too long to list, but to round off our Ibiza month, here are a few DJs who achieved international acclaim by dominating the decks in the Balearics.
The Gallic gourmand of the glitterball first came to major prominence in 2009 after this work with the Black Eyed Peas on their breakout hit I Got A Feeling, but that only came after six years of running his super successful F*** Me I’m Famous party at Pacha, which has also spawned a long running series of hit albums and made him one of the biggest DJs in Ibiza.
Mr Norman Cook established his Big Beat Boutique on the pebbly shores of his native Brighton in the mid-90s but soon swapped out that view for the sunset vistas of Ibiza. Last year he was honoured at the International Music Summit on Ibiza, which gave him the chance to add the fort of the Dalt Vila World Heritage Site, officially the island’s highest clubbing zenith, to the list of unique venues he’s played, which include the Great Wall of China and the House of Commons.
The Perfecto labelmeister and author of the Big Brother theme tune was one of a band of brothers from Blighty who first ventured to the island in 1987 and was quick to notice the winning combo of sun, sea, eclectic set lists and al fresco clubbing. The life-changing experience inspired him to create the London club Spectrum at Heaven, which exploded acid house, massively re-energising British dance music culture in the process.
Fashions come and go, but one name who’s enjoyed an especially long stint amongst the DJs in Ibiza is Jonathan Ulysses. He’s been a resident at Space for nearly twenty years now, thanks to an immersive mixing style and presence that demands to be watched. On the back of this, Jonathan’s built an international career taking in collaborations with the likes of The Clash, Armand Van Helden, Sister Bliss, Chris Lake and Erick Morillo.
Another veteran of deep, slinky progressive house who owes his career to the white island is Steve Lawler, who’s earned the moniker of ‘the King of Space’ thanks to his epic sets at the super club. Lawler first came to prominence following a spell at Café Mambo in 1995, after which he was promptly snapped up for a long running residency at Cream. Back home he replicated this success with a seven year stint at Mr C’s legendary techno club The End.
Which DJs are you looking forward to catching on the Ibiza scene this year? Share your top acts and best set memories in the comments below!