Posts Tagged ‘imsibiza’

Ibiza International Music Summit, May 24, 2013 – Day 3

May 25th, 2013

It’s the morning of Day 3 of IMS, and after thoroughly enjoying the amazing interviews from yesterday and the wonderful party in Dalt Vila afterwards, I’m not only feeling tired, but I also have to finish writing up about Day 2.

The first session at 11.00am was music legend Jean Michel Jarre. I have to confess to not being there to see him, deciding to stay at home and complete my review of Day 2 and download the precious photos and videos I had taken off my camera. However, one of the team was, and he recorded part of the session, the raw audio is here:

      jean michel jarre at ims 2013

When I arrive at the Gran Hotel, it’s clear that the schedule is also taking its toll on other delegates, and there are noticeably less people about than there have been on other days.

The Question Time session was illuminating, with an interesting mix of people on the panel to answer pre-determined topics to debate and questions from the audience. Moderated by Gary Smith (Billboard), with Brett Robinson (Future Entertainment), Danny Whittle (IBZ Entertainment), Matthew Adell (Beatport), Rob Star (Mulletover), Sasha (Artist) and Terry Weerasinghe (Native Instruments).

There were some pertinent comments about overcrowding in clubs, a hot topic at the moment given some of the recent fatal incidents in Madrid and Brazil. Danny said we need to find a balance between letting people in and providing a safe environment for people, and club owners have to take responsibility for this. Rob commented on it from the clubber’s perspective, saying it’s not nice for punters to be in a packed venue where you can’t dance. Brett said that you’ve got to deliver a good experience for people and if they can’t access the facilities they want (dancefloor, toilets, bar etc.), then you’re not providing that.

The discussion then moved on to Social Media Wars. Sasha said he always treats twitter as a bit of a laugh – not just as a promo tool – he tries to post things that are funny and reach out to people. He was asked how do you deal with haters? Sasha replied saying that the great thing about Twittter is the block button, and that now with Twitter and FaceBook we’ve moved on from forums which were full of trolls saying nasty things which we couldn’t do much about. Now we can block and report easily. Brett told us how they get instant feedback via social networking sites from punters, e.g. if the queues for the toilets or bar are too long, and that for them it’s a great resource (he didn’t say however how or if they act on those kind of issues that are reported though).

They were just getting their teeth into the issue of VIP areas in clubs and their increasing presence, but were cut short as they ran out of time. I’d have been interested to see the views of some of the other panelist’s who organise events outside of Ibiza on this topic.

Next was the IMS vote, where the audience is given electronic response systems to cast their vote on a number of questions. This is always a humorous session, but the feedback is used to inform IMS of delegate’s views, and to help shape the direction of their next events.

The summit closed with a keynote interview from German DJ/Producer Sven Väth. Interviewed by Ben Turner, this proved to be a very entertaining and refreshing end to the summit. Sven told us about the many facets of his career, and how he first came to Ibiza as a teenager in 1980, sleeping on a stolen sunbed in the forest for three months, and becoming inspired by the Spanish DJs such as Alredo, playing in what were then, open air clubs. He became a raver, got into DJing, became a big popstar and then went back to DJing and producing.

What was refreshing was his self-confessed ‘hippy’ approach to life and work, shying away (eventually) from manipulative big companies and business, preferring to be in control and do things his way, harking back to the more simplistic days of the 80s and 90s. He told us about how he only owns and DJs from vinyl records, and refuses to download music. When he DJs he uses turntables and a mixing desk, and he got a round of applause from the audience when he said this, going on to say, “I mean synch button – come on – I have goosebumps when I’m mixing”.

His approach to DJing is to respond to the music and how he feels, and how the crowd in front of him is responding, saying, “improvisation is my biggest artform”. He went on to talk about how with Cocoon he was trying to bring back the feeling he had when he first came to Ibiza. He also hit out at the current trends of VIP culture in Ibiza clubs and DJs charging for after parties.

Sven’s interview was thoroughly inspiring and refreshing, and left me full of anticipation of seeing him perform at the Grand Finale in Dalt Vila in a few hours time. So it was with full of hope that we left the Gran Hotel and IMS 2013, our home for the last three days, and headed up to Dalt Vila again. When we got there, Tensnake were onstage, just as the sun was beginning to set behind the hills in the distance. There had been rumours that Nile Rodgers (who has been working with them recently) might perform with them onstage. We spotted him on the side of the stage taking photos and videos of the crowd and watching Tensnake perform, but unfortunately for us, this was all we witnessed.

DJ Maya Jane Coles was on next, and I was wondering how tonight’s show was going to top the previous night’s spectacle, but as the night wore on, it was clear that IMS had some tricks up their sleeve. The visuals and lighting effects improved, and with each DJ that took the stage, Solomun followed by Sven Väth, the pace of the music and the show stepped up a gear. When it all ended at midnight, no-one wanted it to stop – it was a magnificent finale to a great, inspirational three days.

For more info see the website:
Follow the summit on Twitter: #IMSIbiza

Full photo gallery of the 3 days to follow .

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Ibiza International Music Summit, May 23, 2013 – Day 2

May 24th, 2013

One of the problems of being at the Summit is that schedule is so interesting and jam packed that it becomes difficult to find the time to write up about what you’ve encountered. This is exacerbated on Day 2 because of the first of the grand finale parties in the evening, held in Dalt Vila, underneath the cathedral, which simply can’t be missed. And then there’s the photos and videos to download and process which takes time, so unless you stay up all night to do it, it becomes impossible to keep up. If you stay up all night, you’re in danger of missing the events on Day 3. So, what follows here is an overview of what happened on Day 2, which will be followed up by a full report with photos and videos which capture the spirit of the event.

Day 2 saw some really special interviews. Starting in the morning with Pete Tong interviewing Nile Rodgers. Nile had his guitar with him, and talked openly about his recent collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii and Chase and Status. He told us about his songwriting process, picking up his guitar and giving us examples as he talked about it.

Nile Rodgers describing his songwriting process

He also talked openly about some of the other people he met and worked with over his career, including David Bowie, Miles Davis and Madonna, giving us many anecdotes in the process. And touched on his reaction to being diagnosed with cancer and how he has dealt with it. He’s an incredibly entertaining and humorous speaker, and had the audience enthralled and laughing for about an hour and half.

The highlight of the session for me however was watching him learn to play ‘Get Lucky’ on his guitar over the record, which he said he hadn’t played since he worked on it. It took him about 30 seconds to find the key and remember the parts, but once he got into it, it was pure magic to experience what must have been his first live performance of this.

After that session, it was hard to believe that anything could be more captivating, but I was wrong, and interesting sessions followed one after another. Paul Van Dyk talked about his approach to his work and the educational projects he was supporting in India and Berlin and then joined a panel session on Social Responsibility in Electronic Music.

Nile Rodgers playing along to Daft Punk’s Get Lucky

Then Nile Rodgers returned to the stage to present the IMS Anthem that he had written, along with Eats Everything who had produced a remix of it. In the session moderated by Luke Hopper, Nile told us about his approach to writing and recording the anthem before it was played to us, and I have to say, it was another Nile Rodgers gem. Then Eats Everything briefly introduced his remix before playing it, and then outlining his approach and what he had done to produce it. It was an interesting insight into the creative process of producing and remixing tracks from the perspective of both parties.

Nile Rodgers talking about composing the IMS anthem

Later on there was a keynote interview with Idris Elba, who fascinated us with stories about his early encounters with DJing from his uncle, growing up in East London, moving to the US, and how his career as a DJ and actor took off.

As if that wasn’t enough, for the last keynote interview and session of the day, Rob Da Bank interviewed Fatboy Slim. This quickly turned into another enthralling session, where Fatboy talked openly about the many facets of his career, from being a punk rocker, to being in bands and the crossover to becoming a huge commercial DJ and producer. Again, we heard many interesting and amusing stories and anecdotes – it was a great way to end the day.

After getting some much needed food, it was then time to head up the first grand finale party in Dalt Vila. Getting there just as the sun had gone down, we watched the lights come up around Ibiza town and in the marina below, and partied to sets from Idris Elba, Pete Tong and Fatboy Slim. A wonderful setting for a party, and an opportunity to see some big name DJs performing out in the open. Fatboy Slim ended the night in true style by finishing with a mix of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ with Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’, which for me was a perfect way to end a long and great day.

IMS continues until Friday May 24. For more info see the website:
Follow the summit on Twitter: #IMSIbiza

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Ibiza International Music Summit, May 22, 2013 – Day 1

May 23rd, 2013

So here I am at the 6th edition of The International Music Summit in Ibiza, in the sumptuous surroundings of The Gran Hotel. The IMS as it’s known, is described in the manual that comes in our delegate pack as “Electronic music’s equivalent to TED – a hub for the world’s leading professionals in dance music”. This year’s theme is ‘Beyond the Boom Boom’ recognising that electronic dance music, or EDM as it’s known in the business is now big business. Maybe as a reflection of this, we’re told by Pete Tong in the introductory welcome that the summit has sold out for the first time this year.

It’s my second visit to the summit, and I know that after the experience of last year, that this conference can be somewhat of a marathon. It takes place over three days with back to back sessions, no breaks for lunch or coffee, and then there’s the multitude of night time parties happening at various venues around the island. In view of this grueling schedule, I’m being selective about the sessions that I attend so that I can schedule in breaks and not suffer from conference overload! So I’m only going to report on the sessions that I go to.

The session’s all take place in one room, which is dangerously located to one side of the courtyard and the swimming pool. And the rain and cold winds that have been with us for the last few days have finally gone, and the Ibizan sun is out in full force. It’s dangerous in the sense that once you leave the room, it can be hard to make the decision to go back in.

The first session is The IMS Business Report, given by market researcher Kevin Watson. He presents us with an impressive array of stats, showing the recent growth and activity in the industry. The US dance market grew 36% in 2011-12 and it is also still growing in the UK. Dance festivals have also grown considerably in the US. The largest EDM clubs in Las Vegas collectively make over 600 million dollars per annum. Globally, the EDM industry annually is estimated to be 4.5 billion dollars annually. So it’s definitely big business!

Next, Patrick Moxey, the Electronic Music President at Sony Music/Ultra Records gave us some insights from his perspective. Before the boom there were lots of barriers to establishing dance music in the music industry, but things have now changed. As an example, Daft Punk’s single ‘Get lucky’ is currently no. 1 in 65 countries.

Marc Geiger (William Morris Endeavor), gave a slightly different perspective. He sees it as being about change at the moment. And for him the big question is can this industry change and keep its market position? He talked about how in the last 10 years the power has changed to Twitter, YouTube, Spotify etc. Consumer habits have also changed, from owning physical products to downloading and streaming. He sees a consolidation of companies and brands taking place. Moreover, he things that the boom boom starts now if we grow up and pro up (i.e. become more professional), and he believes that 4.5 billion dollars is a conservative estimate of what can be made, and that the figure is more like 10 billion. However, there’s a need to build for the long term, invest, think globally and work with the experts. He sees one of the current problems as needing to find a better way of making the large volume of an artist’s output accessible. Content needs curation, and there’s a need to clean up the metadata. He also wants to see the DJ turn into a David Bowie kind of figure, to keep us interested. What’s more is that we need 100 of them – we need more stars. He concluded with the message that everything is changing around us and we’ve got to keep up.

Meanwhile in the courtyard, two artists, Fin DAC and Inkie, were creating paintings for tonight’s auction, providing a visual diversion from hearing people talking, and a chance to stand in the sunshine for a while and observe the canvases take shape.

As a resident of the island, something of great interest to me was the panel session ‘The Changing Face of Ibiza’. On the panel chaired by Grego O’Halloran (Resident Advisor) were representatives from several Ibiza clubs: Shane Murray (Ibiza Rocks), Guy Gerber (DJ with a new residency at Pacha), Mark Netto (IBZ Entertainment/Bomba), Yann Pisseman (Ushuaia), David Vincent (Sankeys) and Steve Hulme (Pacha). Whilst a lot of the session allowed the panelists to talk about what they were doing this season and what had changed, there were a few interesting insights given, and that is what I want to focus on.

Ushuaia with the establishment of its new ‘Tower’ which is about to open, talked about seeing their establishment as an ‘amusement park’ for adults, in which they will be able to eat, drink, party and sleep. Mark Netto of new club Bomba talked briefly about the administrative, logistical and political problems they had experienced in getting the club off the ground. However, he believes that Ibiza needs a new venue, and it will probably open towards the end of June. Dave Vincent from Sankey’s told how they wanted to focus more on the Ibiza club, bring new forward/thinking talents to the island, and promote all the parties themselves, which led to the closure of the original club in Manchester so that they could concentrate on this.

The story from Steve Hulme at Pacha about the recent changes at the club was also that the family wanted to take more control, and wanted to freshen things up and look forward to the next 10 years. Guy Gerber talked about the concept for his new residency at Pacha ‘The wisdom of the glove’, which I didn’t quite get, or maybe he just didn’t explain it very well. Shane from Ibiza Rocks told how for 8 years they have been kicking against everything else on the island, wanting to create the feel of festivals and live music. Whilst music is at the heart of what they do, they’ve been looking more at their audience and started We Are Rockstars (W.A.R.) to reflect that they are also into the club scene.

There were some messages coming through from the panel that the big clubs were not at war with each other, but given that the club scene is big business in Ibiza, there is clearly competition between them, which can only be healthy and raise the bar (and probably the prices). There was a view that the increase of VIP tables was as a result of clubbers who have grown up and acquired more money to spend on their entertainment.

Other recent changes are that most clubs now offer parties 7 days a week, and that clubs no longer can dictate that DJs have to remain exclusive to them. The artists have more power, there are more slots to fill, but there was also a feeling from some that the punters were ultimately in control, as they buy the tickets.

The final and most controversial presenter of the day was Bob Lefsetz, an American music industry analyst and critic. As hard as Pete Tong tried to structure the interview, what resulted was more of a random stream of consciousness highlighting Bob’s unique views about the music industry, EDM, use social media and the like. There’s no way I’m going to attempt to give the gist of the whole interview and what was discussed, so I’m going to provide some snippets of some of the things that I found interesting and/or amusing.

Probably the first comment that hit home referred to the previous panel session, saying “that guy from Pacha, I’d like to lock him in a room and find out the truth”, which was probably what we were all thinking at the time.

On Daft Punk’s ‘Get lucky’, “It is a good disco song, but it sounds like it was from 30 years ago. But it’s good ear candy.” Continuing to talk about the band he said that “The hardest thing to do is recreate success, and the longer you leave it the harder it is.”

On curation: “The problem with curation is that it doesn’t scale, and it doesn’t generate money.”

On social media: “Facebook is passé.” “All these companies (like Twitter, FaceBook etc.) are only concerned about making money – they don’t care about you.” “Deadmou5’s social media is better than his music.”

Some of the things he said were contentious, some thought-provoking, and some things we already knew deep down inside, but it was an interesting session to end the day.

IMS continues until Friday May 24. For more info see the website:
Follow the summit on Twitter: #IMSIbiza

(Ed: photos to follow :) )

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Tommie Sunshine interview at the Ibiza International Music Summit 2010

June 14th, 2010

Amongst all the Americans here this week, our two favourite characters are probably Jason Bentley and Tommie Sunshine. Bentley hosts Morning Becomes Eclectic on California’s KCRW (acknowledged as the best dance music programme in the US), and was the music superviser on the Matrix films. He’s also recently finished working with Daft Punk on the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy. Pete Tong engaged him in a fascinating discussion about working with the duo. Later Bentley moderated a panel discussion of the recent and long overdue surge of interest in dance music in the US. One of his panelists was the super cool Tommie Sunshine. Afterwards in the press room he filled us in about what’s happening in New York, the importance of authenticity and his love for the Australian party scene.

First off, let me say this. Ibiza is absolutely the heart and soul of dance music. It’s clear this island lives and breathes electronic music.

I started in ’86 and I’ve been making music for a decade now. The first big thing that I worked on was I co write Silver Screen with Felix da Housecat which went on to be quite a seminal track, and from that started getting into my own production. I’ve done well over 100 remixes in my career and I have a new single that’s just now breaking in Australia on Nova which is one of the biggest national stations.

Here’s what I love about New York. When I get home on Sunday I’m going to David Mancuso’s loft party which he’s been doing since the early 70s. He does something that’s completely out of this world in that he doesn’t mix. He puts on a record and plays it all the way to the end, and everybody claps, and he puts on another record. He plays records in their entirety and pretty much mainly plays disco, real proper ten minute long crazy disco from the ’70s. But then he’ll play a DFA remix of M.I.A. It’s from 4.30 in the afternoon to midnight, and he’s got little kids running around as well as people in their 70s. Then there’s the deep and dingy warehouse parties in Brooklyn. So there’s all of this going on at the same time and it’s all connected. It’s a pretty legitimate history in New York. There is a community there, but it’s not as big as you would hope, or as big as the mythology would lead you to believe. As I said in the panel, NY and the way it’s perceived is a myth. People think it’s this amazing place for dance music and it’s not. I mean you can go see the DFA guys throw a party and there’ll be only 200 people there. Derrick Carter can’t get 50 people in a room in Chicago!

We’re living in a very tricky time. I think one of the biggest problems in America right now is that you’ve got an entire cast of characters, especially on the major labels, who are old and probably do too much cocaine, and they’re trying to make decisions about music that’s completely divorced from all of that attitude. How can you have progress when these are the people pulling the strings. And these are the guys who fucked the whole business up in the first place. We still haven’t even progressed to figuring out how the industry got ruined in the first place, and now they’re doing it exactly the same way and only just now plugging dance music into the equation. But you know the biggest problem I think in America is that the radio doesn’t support this music. You can count on one hand I think the commercial radio stations in America that are dance music stations. One of the only real radio stations is Jason Bentley’s, because otherwise it’s all Clear Channel and controlled by inane corporate shit. When 9/11 happened they sent out a list of songs you couldn’t play any more. You couldn’t play Burnin’ Down The House, Edwin Starr’s War…all these songs came off the playlist because of what was going on.

The most perplexing part of all this I think is that in America things are the most fucking insane that they’ve ever been. We have a better president now, but nothing is fixed. We’re still in a really bad place. You would think now would be the time we’d have PE or Rage Against The Machine, all the people that were pissed, but you know what, no artist is gonna be PE because you won’t get your video or airplay tour support. You won’t play in any of the venues that Clear Channel own because they run the radio. The most dangerous person that we have is M.I.A and what is that? That’s a fucking dog and pony show, it’s like a political handjob that’s not real. It’s insincere and that is exactly what I was talking about earlier. This authenticity thing really bothers me. It’s my achilles heel. It’s “business music”, and here’s my motto: Music business, not business music.

What I find so fascinating is at no other point in history could you learn as much as you can learn about this music. You can go online and in an afternoon teach yourself the entire timeline to this music. You can learn about Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder… every single person that mattered in the grand scheme of things and no one’s doing it because they’re too distracted by Facebook and all this other nonsense. They have everybody totally distracted with this shit. The thing that’s really kind of a bummer is I feel like a lot of this stuff is being lost in time, and they would like you to believe that it’s always been this way, like everyone’s always had a computer. Like it’s never been any different. When I came into this we would go to the absolute worst side of Chicago, like where no sane person would ever go, right into the south side of Chicago. As a white kid from the suburbs you would never go there, but we would. Without a cellphone, without real directions. We didn’t Mapquest how to get there, we just figured it. It was dangerous and crazy, and people got their cars stolen at parties and it all was part of it, the element of danger which I feel has been completely removed. Because there is something about having to search these things down and go into situations that maybe weren’t comfortable that actually push you into having a bit more of a comprehensive experience at the end of the day.

Here’s an example of how slowly things are taking off here compared to Europe. I stood in a room and I have never seen anything like this. It was at Terminal Five in New York, two and a half thousand people, Ed Banger’s 7th anniversary and FEADZ was on the decks playing an absolutely perfect sound. There were 25 hundred kids with their feet firmly planted on the ground staring at him as if he was playing a piano. There wasn’t one person dancing, not one. I mean I’m not gonna lie. At the Guetta show at Pacha in New York there were definitely more people taking pictures with their phones than dancing, but at least everyone there was excited. I was just happy because there was a general excitement in the air at that show. Most people in modern times have such poor social skills because of how little human interaction they have on a daily basis. When they go to a nightclub they don’t even know how to act. They don’t even know that it’s ok to dance, like they’re not comfortable enough with themselves to get on a dance floor and act the fool, because they’re too worried about who’s watching, and how it’s going to look on Facebook the next day.

Understand something. In 1986 when I started going out there was no danger of having your photograph taken in a nightclub, and if anybody did take out a camera somebody would rugby tackle them. The minute that you involve a camera everyone changes how they act and the authenticity of the moment goes right down the shitter. I’m hoping the underground will recultivate this authenticity. I hope that there’s a bunch of kids that are throwing parties and booking DJs that I’ve never heard of, playing a genre of music I don’t know about and what’s going on in the underground for teenage kids shouldn’t have anything to do with me anyway.

The craziest place in the world I think for dance music right now is Australia. Absolutely. When you go out in that country it’s as if everyone in the room just got a text message that said that the world is ending in five minutes and that if they don’t fucking party as hard as they can its gonna end sooner. I just got back from Creamfields there where I played right before the Bloody Beetroots who were headlining to ten thousand people and it was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen. The thing about Australia is that you can play anything, as long as you’re playing music from an authentic place and it comes from the heart they will react accordingly. I did an interview for my new single on Nova and the Action Battle Team as they’re called, – the presenters are 19, 20 and 21 years old, so it’s coming totally from a youth perspective. It was hysterical. One of the things they made me do and this just goes to show you the perspective, was a station ID in which I insult them and they record it. So I abused them verbally and they play it on the radio all the time. When you put power into kids’ hands and you let them decide what they’re gonna play and they take the reigns – that’s when things get interesting.

But back to the inauthenticity thing in corporate business music. When it gets like that it gets dirty to me. I feel lke itchy when I hear music like that as it seems totally contrived. It is being made to make money and if you’re going to do that, then do it the KLF way and have your little finger up. I’m all about that. Every single person in the music biz needs to read KLF’s The Manual. To make them more real about the whole thing. It’s all in there and that’s the baby that really tells it like it is….

Interview by Helen Donlon
Pix by Frank Fabian.

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Pete Tong at IMS finale

May 28th, 2010

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David E Sugar at IMS finale

May 28th, 2010

really impressed with david e sugar

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Ims starts

May 26th, 2010

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