What a way to end 3 brilliant days of this years International Music Summit. We weren’t Mark Ronson’s biggest fans before yesterday but after his interview and fantastic set at the finale gig we are very happy to change our mind. At one point he went from La Roux – In For The Kill to The Strokes, Tears For Fears and then Jackson 5 (i think it was) – it worked – the new Boom Boom track opener and the final one with Boy George on vocals were great. Sasha then smashed it.
Archive for May, 2010
The first iteration of the IMS in 2008 had, as its highlight, a historic meeting when the club owners all sat around the summit table with representatives of the island government for the first time. It was a lively meeting with little quarter given by either side of the perceived divide between the powers that be and the powerful clubs.
Two years on and the new political administration has got used to the exercise of power. The clubs and the government now talk to each other…
This second summit meeting might have been a re-match, but the government wasn’t represented. Neither were Amnesia, nor the combative Coco Loco or Andy McKay of Ibiza Rocks, whose comments inspired raucous applause as he set up a third front to the discussion – ‘live rock ‘n roll’.
Nonetheless, despite the absence of these two admirable adversaries, the club combine addressed both issues by confirming that all were now including live acts as part of their programmes, and that relations with the government had softened somewhat in the interim.
The subject of the clubs vs. government has a long history and those members who might best be described as ‘long in the tooth’ clearly still have an axe to grind for days gone by. Pepe Rossello of Space was the worst hit by the ‘after party’ ban as Space has been globally famous for its daytime terrace parties for several decades. His point was that many unlicensed and uncontrolled venues now operate in Space’s daytime absence. He didn’t mention villa parties, but he did recite an ancient text by an earlier visitor to the island – Plato 400 years before the birth of Christ.
The text pointed out that the island was magical, its people were magical and the way that they expressed it was through music. In other words, the island has always been a place that revolves around music. Every ancient fiesta or ceremony of any sort featured music and dance, even back then. The club owners of the last half a century simply recognized and facilitated that island characteristic – then the rest of the world noticed what was going on and the rest is part of the history of modern music…
On the subject of reminiscing, Hugo Urgell of Pachá bemoaned the gradual erosion of the freedom that has made Ibiza so unique and attractive since the beatnik days. His eyes glazed over as he recalled the days before the clubs had roofs when every night out was a fancy dress party with no end in sight.
Paquita Cardona of Eden reminded us that her entire family were born and have lived in San Antonio all of their lives. Her grandmother remembers the way that everybody worshipped the first tourists when they arrived seventy years ago, because they brought money to the island and all sorts of things that the people of Ibiza had never seen before.
The people of Ibiza would do anything within their power to keep these valuable visitors happy and to encourage them to return. Their descendants, however, seem to have lost that enthusiasm for their summer visitors, and indeed their numbers are now declining. Meanwhile the island government has been persecuting the clubs, who are one of the main reasons so many youngsters first find Ibiza, then to return many more times later in life.
That attitude now appears to be softening with projects like the Ibiza Music Cluster being actively encouraged and promoted by the authorities but, as Pepe Rossello pointed out, the government needs to stand up for itself and grasp control of its promotional budget from Mallorca. He cited a recent World Travel Market dominated by Mallorca on behalf of the Balearic archipelago at which the huge nightclubs of Ibiza were never even mentioned, never mind acknowledged as one of the major wonders of the musical world…
First off, many thanks to Mark Jones for the Wall of Sound party at Grial last night which kept everyone up all night, in a really friendly atmosphere with excellent music.
The quote of the day, “Women are the best. They are superior and the sooner we admit it, the better off we’ll be” comes from French super DJ and producer David Guetta. Ben Turner’s interview with Guetta at lunchtime was the popular event of the morning. His weekly summer residency, Fuck Me I’m Famous opens tonight at Pacha and we know that it was completely sold out well in advance. Despite this, Guetta remains grounded and realistic about the future. “I know I have like two good years as a top producer before the next new hot sound comes along.” That said, he’s been ahead of the game for several years, although he is not complacent about his superstardom. “It’s going so fast that we have to readapt every two months.”
We missed the bickering that took place on the superclub panel as we were busy interviewing various folks on camera around the hotel and capturing live footage of all sorts of interminglers, including the learned Dan Tait educating Busy P., Cassius and Luke Pompey on the latest Pioneer technology, launched exclusively at the IMS. Given that these French guys are at the pinnacle of electronic production, it was warming to see them so hooked by Tait’s gear.
This afternoon’s panel which consisted of Busy P. (Pedro Winter), Skream, Annie Mac, Heidi, Arthur Velasquez and Toddla T. was a free for all that quickly became performance art, due in very large part to both the caning of an entire bottle of Hierbas by the panelists, and the stratospheric personality of Busy P. “Why am I talking into a flower?” he asked in reference to the paper muffler or whatever had been placed over his mike. Business, he said is “all about putting your balls, and your life on the line”. The former manager of Daft Punk and owner of Ed Banger Records bantered enthusiastically with the other panelists who were spread across several genres and whose borders were acknowledged to be increasingly overlapping all across Europe. Now also the manager of Justice, Busy P. emphasised how important it is to him to give his artists complete freedom. Arthur Velasquez, who refused to be called a manager and accepted the tag ‘babysitter’ suggested for him by Heidi, was equally democratic “I work with people, not for them.” He said it was important for artists to go out and make their own mistakes in order to learn the ropes, whereas artists reliant on managers could potentially miss out on the intimacy between them and their audiences.
Later, Ted Cohen led an informal and very useful session in which he managed to confidently and comfortably bring the whole audience together for feedback on issues covered so far at this year’s summit.
Following an interview by Jason Bentley with Chop Shop’s Alexandra Patsavas on synchronisation and visualisation, the Ibiza Music Cluster was presented by the Consell Insular and featured award-winning Kirsty Keatch, a local singer songwriter; and an engaging talk by resident DJ Lenny Ibizarre.
Tonight’s entertainment comes in the form of a German Label Showcase at Grial, featuring Heidi, Jesse Rose and Sascha Dive; an Ibiza resident DJ night at Keeper with DJ Pippi, DJ Oliver, Java, Jose The End and Dave Storm; and of course the grand opening of…
Images – Hierbas Ibicencas, David Guetta and Ben Turner, Dan Tait/Luke Pompey/Philippe Zdar (Cassius)/Busy P., afternoon panel, Skream and Toddla T, Skream and Annie Mac, Fuck Me I’m Famous as the lights went on tonight. By Frank Fabian and Helen Donlon
Pete and Erick
With the temperatures noticeably higher than in the last two years, and attendance up by what looked like double, our IMS 2010 started some two hours later than planned which worked out perfectly as everyone there appeared to be working to the same schedule. Thankfully this meant we arrived just as Pete Tong began his talk with Erick Morillo for the first in the series of the BIG DOG DJ: FUCK YOU WE’RE FAMOUS interviews. This immediately set the tone for the day, as Morillo was on fire with optimism about the current state of dance music, and notably its present popularity in the US club scene.
“I feel like a little kid. I’m so excited about this industry again” he told the audience. “I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world.” Having previously gone on record as saying he would definitely be retiring by the age of 35, Morillo, now about to turn 40, couldn’t have looked less retiring. “I’m really addicted to rocking the crowd. I don’t see me stopping this rhythm any time soon.” About to embark on a new residency in Las Vegas, Morillo continues work with his labels Subliminal and the more underground Sondos, which he described as “darker, more 6am music.”
During a mellow lunchtime set from Phil Mison, we managed to catch up with Emma B for an on-camera chat. Emma now lives here fulltime and was busy interviewing for Sonica at the Summit.
With a prominent and exciting French presence at the IMS this year (not to mention this friday’s CLUB 75 party at Pacha), the next panel featured Cassius presenting this year’s IMS anthem. In typical fashion, they kept us waiting for the presentation while they tinkered around on their sequencing software in their hotel room upstairs, finally emerging with something resembling a nearly finished banger. One of the wonderful things about this year’s summit were the visuals accompanying every panel. In this one we got to see not just the recorded footage from their brainstorming recording session at the Paris studio, but also we watched on screen as they tweaked a few levels and soloed individual parts right before our eyes.
They made a point of emphasising the importance of collaboration, not only with each other but also between the digital and analog realms in music production. This friday’s CLUB 75 party at Pacha is one such collaboration between themselves, Justice, DJ Mehdi and other labelmates from Ed Banger records. The evening carries the motto “Backstage Onstage”, i.e. they’ll all be in the DJ box together.
Still with French talent on the agenda, next up was renowned music supervisor Jason Bentley in conversation with Pete Tong. Known for his incredible work on The Matrix, Jason is currently working on the forthcoming feature TRON for which he has called in the genius of Daft Punk. “Daft Punk are game changers”, he told us, “and they really nailed it.” The duo moved to Hollywood and utterly committed themselves to the two year project. Their involvement with the soundtrack commanded such a level of respect that they would actually play music on set during production. Bentley became very involved with them. “Their studio is wild”, he told us, and he clearly enjoyed working with them. He regaled us with tales of searching for the perfect organ sound all over America. Eventually, after rejecting even Disneyland’s finest organ, the sound they were looking for was found right here in Europe.
The next panel, largely focusing on brands, threw up some interesting facts. Like the Germans apparently can’t access official music videos on youtube, due to the stringent efficiency of the deutsche PRS (or whatever the equivalent is). The highlight of this panel for some though was the meta-event that occurred during a conversation about the benefits and risks of viral marketing, and instant feedback good or bad. As if on cue, a tweet appeared on the enormous screen that was streaming live IMS tweets with a message to the effect of “I am really bored here at the IMS, and sitting in the 2nd row with a red cap.” Instant waves of suppressed laughter permeated the room, much to the bewilderment of the panel who sat with their backs to the screen, oblivious to the perfect irony of the situation.
The final panel of the day saw Ibiza heroes Steve Lawler and Andrea Pelino responding to questions from a curiously benighted chap from Resident Advisor. With years of phenomenal Ibiza party moments to both their names, Andrea and Steve were there to answer the question “how to conquer Ibiza and remain credible”, although the idea of “conquering” seemed oddly misplaced here on the island. Furthermore the two icons’ remarkably humble and sincere responses only served to underscore their impeccable reputations as bona fide pioneers of the Ibiza music scene.
More tomorrow, including our evening interview with Mike Pickering. We’re off now to check out the Wall of Sound party at Grial.
Coverage: Helen Donlon/Frank Fabian
The Ibiza International Music Summit is upon us for the third year and the excitement is tangible. An animated queue of delegates arriving just in time for the Opening Welcome by the island’s Government representatives have delayed proceedings by half an hour, because their delegate badges have to be printed once they reach the front of the formidable queue.
However, this is possibly commendable as the badge is bar coded to enable later analysis of who went to which seminar, thus enabling better future event structuring.
It’s possible that the scanners broke down, but by lunchtime it would appear that the initiative had foundered as we all wandered in to listen to the Google representative’s talk on Augmented Reality unscanned.
Nonetheless, the sun is shining…
Suggestion to the organisers: get a faster printer (or two), or send confirmed delegates an email in the same way that Ryanair do with the qr code thats on the badge – print it and upon entry a simple quick scan and “here’s your goodie bag”.
On the plus side: the wifi’s working better than last year. In addition, and emphasising how technology has changed in the last year, last year’s pinnacle achievement was live blogging. This year a live Twitter feed is being displayed all around the auditorium – the hashtag is #IMSIbiza.
IMS exclusive – Calvin Harris becomes an A & R man!
Mike Pickering of Deconstruction Records was the early star of the first morning when he explained how his boss at Sony asked him to resurrect Deconstruction under the Sony umbrella as he had recognized that the younger generation are nowadays totally tuned in to dance music and that DJs were pulling in significantly larger crowds to their gigs than live bands. He cited a couple of examples, Tiesto and Deadmau5, who regularly play to half a million people at live gigs within a fortnight all around the globe.
This, he partly explained, was because almost all of the major artists recording today are overlaying their vocal on a house/dance based backing track. Madonna’s ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’ being an early example (2005).
He then went on to point out that, since there is so little profit in the sale of music now that the market has become internet based, future profits lie in clever 21st century merchandising. His own young son sports Deadmau5 headphones and decks while his wardrobe features several DJ t-shirts, and these are not t-shirts you throw away after one wash. They might be made by Lacoste, or any of the other forward thinking icons of the fashion industry.
This merchandising of itself proves to be viral in that the kids buying it are style icons to their own peers for their musical taste. Consequently the subject DJ’s gigs are rammed…
The real profits are in touring and merchandise nowadays. The music itself is no more than an advertisement … (cf: EMI music merchandise putting their name on the free ims t-shirts being given out to everyone)
Depressing news you might think for the audience of musicians, producers and A & R men, not so bad for the entrepreneurs in their midst?
The other part of the message, that all present overlook at their peril, was that dance music, remixing and DJs in general had a shot at another golden age as their global audience was extrapolating daily as ever faster access to the internet rolls out around the planet.
Tip: As an aside Mike announced that he’d today appointed Calvin Harris as his latest and most promising A & R man. Calvin spends a lot of his time travelling around the planet and knows a bit about music…
Coincidentally, Calvin is being supported by ‘Diagram of the Heart’, who are also signed to Deconstruction, at Ibiza Rocks on July 6th and they’re well worth a listen. This A & R man could go far…
What will Google do next?
Our next ‘must see’ was Nick Heller, the man in charge of New Business Development at Google in Switzerland. He might otherwise be referred to as Mr. Android – a man with a vision, sent to convert us all into disciples of the World according to Google…
The vision is impressive and was supported by a set of stunning graphs that all but convinced all present that the tide has turned on computers. From now on the majority of people will use their smartphone to surf the web – hooray, the days of taking the laptop to bed are officially over!
However, that wasn’t the point that he wanted to make. “How many of you know what Augmented Reality means?” he asked, and a couple of the assembled four hundred raised their hands querulously. “That’s not enough” said Nick – clearly a man who doesn’t tolerate fools, before going on to elucidate.
He began by explaining that what we used to call a ‘mobile telephone’ is now our best mate, and by far the most useful and intelligent mate we’ll ever have. Remember what it feels like when you lose your phone and the phone numbers of all your mates, who can’t contact you either!
Nowadays this pocket tool is so much more. It has a camera, which acts as its eyes. This enables you to take a photograph and, from Goggle’s mindboggling database of global imagery, it will tell you what it is that you just took a photograph of. This is because it knows where you are, through its internal GPS chip, and it knows which way you’re facing because it has an inbuilt compass!
It accesses all of this information over the internet in the time that it takes you to take a couple of deep breaths. Extrapolating this concept to include all of the information available on the internet, and in a music industry context, if you were at a concert and heard that killer tune that you had to have, your phone would identify where you were, who was performing at that venue at that moment in time, display their set list for the gig, highlight the track currently being played and offer you the option to make a spontaneous purchase at that moment. Marketeers, you should have been here?
Mindboggling stuff indeed from the mobile phone you once just used to ring your mates?
He left the stage to thunderous applause and much head scratching…
A really good strong day of interesting panels – more to follow
This years Ibiza International Music Summit has got together with Pioneer DJ to give away a top spec DJ set-up:
2 X CDJ-900 CD DECKS
1 X DJM-800 MIXER
1 X HDJ-2000 HEADPHONES
The competition opens Thursday May 20th and closes Friday June 18th. To enter, go to the International Music Summit MySpace profile and fill in the competition entry form.
Some photos from yesterdays IMS and Ibiza Music Cluster press conference at Cafe Del Mar
Pete Doherty will be playing an acoustic set for the opening party of the revamped Ibiza Rocks Bar in San Antonio on June 1st. We had a wander down there today to see how the old Bar M was shaping up and it’s looking good.
The upstairs terrace has been re-done with new stairs going up from now both sides of the bar and a “pink neon dancefloor” going in.