JAMIE JONES: PARADISE FOUND
JAMIE JONES: PARADISE FOUND
Interview by Matthew Bennett THUMP UK
For 16 consecutive summers now, Jamie Jones has been soaking up the sounds and spirit of Ibiza. It’s clearly had an effect. In 2011 he was voted the world’s best DJ. In 2012 he launched his own kaleidoscopic Ibiza DC10 residency called ‘Paradise’. Three summers later and his techno wonderland has just hosted the likes of Marco Carola, Maya Jane Coles, Cajmere and Disclosure to mesmeric effect. As we approach the closing party for Paradise Jamie reveals, in his own intimate words, the secret to what makes his sizzling empire tick.
“Living in Ibiza is crucial to understanding the scene. You need to hit the after-parties to play your most weird or intimate music to the ‘heads’ that are there week in, week out. It will make you feel like you are part of the island and after that you can take that sense of belonging and bring it to your own party. People will connect with the love and the passion that you have for the music.
I’d always envisaged playing a very eclectic party with good sound, good music, and good people creating a good vibe. In other words I wanted to make my party just like (New York’s) Paradise Garage was like back in the day. Hence the name of our night: ‘Paradise’.
Choosing DC10 was easy. It is the club that I’ve probably spent the most time in throughout my life. I’ve been going to Ibiza every summer for 16 years and have been going to DC10 every Monday, come rain or shine. And whilst there is a lot of shine there is occasionally rain!
14 years ago you entered DC10 by the road. You went through a big bit of cloth straight into the main room. It was rough; it had patches of water all over the floor. It smelt of mould. The first time we went, thanks to our very intoxicated state it took us a few hours before we realised that the door of light opening and closing actually led to the terrace. That night, Tania Vulcano was playing on makeshift milk-crate tables and we were there till the Guardia closed it down at 2pm. DC10 was always incredible.
14 years later we’re still trying to do things differently at Paradise. For instance we are really into connecting the night with the fashion world. It is not just a techno night. It’s not just a sweaty room; it’s very colourful and a little bit edgy.
We make sure that we always choose residents who are versatile and eclectic. Richy Ahmed, Mark Jenkyns, Robert James and Luca C of Infinity Ink have been DJing for a long time, so they are thinking on their feet: able to change it up in order to adapt to the crowd or react to a vibe. However, others have been added to the Paradise family on account of how prolific they are on the label. Look at Patrick Topping and wAFF – two whizz-kids who are constantly pumping out music.
But regardless of their journey, all our residents really need is passion. Being a DJ has to be your life. You have to wake up everyday and want to make some music or find a lot of new tunes. Marco Carola will say he listens to about 2000 songs every week, and I know that I listen to at least that many to make sure that my sets stay fresh every week.
I think that if there is one and person and track that really epitomises Paradise, it’s Cajmere (aka Green Velvet) – “Genedefekt”. He has been perhaps the biggest influence on me and a great supporter and guest DJ at Paradise. ‘Genedefekt’ was a big record. His lyrics talk about how the pharmaceutical industry was really fucking him up and keeping him hooked on these drugs. Thanks to social media people are now aware of how corrupt these massive drugs companies are but back then he was so ahead of his time and effective at spreading his message.
I am really sensitive to energy, which is probably why I am where I am. And the DC10 terrace is one of the most legendary terraces in all of house and techno. It is so intense that if the energy drops for even one second everyone notices. Whenever I walk around our club and there isn’t an electric energy then I feel responsible.
Ibiza remains a weird place; it has a unique energy that people come to explore. People attribute this energy to the magnetic fields from Es Vedra (a massive and mysterious rock in the sea) – but whatever it is, it is certainly unique and for me DC10 is the club that captures that energy the most. DJing is about playing with this energy in the crowd to take things in a specific direction. Once you have this you’ll leave people with some sort of special feeling or memory.
Recently, just as the sun finished coming up and near the end of a set I dropped Joe Smooth’s ‘Promised Land’. It had such a profound effect. This was a track I found on my second trip to Ibiza at the end of a Danny Rampling mix CD. We weren’t cool enough to go to after parties, nor could we afford it. We could just about afford to go to one club, buy one E and buy one jar of hot dogs to live on for a week. But we’d always listen to that when we got back every morning. I played it at the end of my set at Burning Man this year, which may just be my favourite moment as a DJ in all my 16 years on the job – everyone was singing every word, something I rarely see these days.
I love to leave people in an emotional place rather than an energetic state. Playing longer sets at Paradise allows you to take people to a place where they haven’t been before. And that normally happens with the songs that have an unusual melody or breakdown in them. We are all looking for that moment where we get goose bumps; that is the ultimate goal. That is the magic moment all DJs are building towards.”
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