Win Hed Kandi : Beach House albums! Plus an exclusive interview with the main man in Ibiza
Hed Kandi: Beach House is an essential selection of sun kissed, summer house grooves mixed by Hed Kandi Ibiza resident DJ Ben Santiago. The release coincides with the opening party for Hed Kandi Ibiza 10 Years celebratory events at Es Paradis, Ibiza. This year Hed Kandi will host a 17 week season of parties to herald their 10 years in residence on the island, where each Saturday night Hed Kandi will present lavish live shows, world class DJs, exquisite dancers, mindboggling aerial artists and acrobats.
Here DMCWORLD speaks exclusively to the man in control all summer long. Well someone has to do it!!
Ben, welcome to DMC towers. A beautiful sun kissed summer mix you have brought us with the new Hed Kandi: Beach House compilation. The release last year was nominated for Best Compilation at the 2011 IDM Awards, a tough act to follow. Can you talk us through the mix, what are some of your highlights track wise…
"The tracks I'm mostly fond of are Ninetynine - August Kiss, Moodtrap - Out Of Time, Pirupa - Trust and my favourite track off the whole album is Subb-An - What I Do (Burnski's Tulum Remix), which is beautiful!"
The release coincides with the opening of the Hed Kandi Ibiza 10 Year anniversary at Es Paradis. What are the main qualities of your night in the Balearics that have set it apart so well from other house nights in Ibiza?
"I can honestly say that week in, week out, it is an amazing party. Everywhere you look, all you can see are smiles, hands in the air and people thoroughly enjoying themselves. The atmosphere is electric and in short, it is everything you could ever want a party to be. I think the team behind it mainly strive to give the punters the times of their lives and they really do deliver. Yet again, this year's production will surpass last year's and hopefully people will leave having had an unforgettable night in Ibiza."
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
The Shack - One & Only (The Shack Dub Mix)
Tabor Experiment Disco Experience - Disco Moog (Fabrizio Mammerella Remix)
Tony Warden - Darlings On Charlie
Paper Crows - Homebound (Kidnap Kid Remix)
Alex Hentze - Stars In Your Eyes
Brioski - Last Day Here (Sportloto Juno Revenge Mix)
Justin Martin - Hood Rich (DJ Version)
Azari & III - Reckless (With Your Love) (Original Mix)
Sav Manganaro - Disco Piatto (Original Mix)
Battles - Wall Street (Gui Boratto Remix)
Any idea of some of the big HK anthems this summer?
"Hard to say as there's so many. Apart from all the obvious contenders, one that I think deserves to do well is Darryl Green ft. Shena - The Tears In My Eyes (Crazibiza Remix)."
A great quote from you concerning your first trip to Ibiza…"Then one summer, I booked a holiday to Ibiza and discovered a totally different approach to music. At risk of sounding over dramatic, I also found another me." Tell us about that first venture to the white isle...
"Quite simply, it was love at first site and that love is still very much alive and kicking haha. When I got here, I instantly recognised what all the fuss is all about and it totally felt like home to me. I just had to move here and so I did the following year. Since then, the island has been really kind to me in so many ways and I am extremely grateful for this."
You have played at some of the finest nights on the island - Cream, Manumission and Judgement Sundays to name but a few, what have been some of the greatest nights spinning in Ibiza?
"Cream is incredible. When you're playing on the Amnesia terrace and that ice cannon goes off, it's something you'll never forget. Playing the sunset is also an honour. I remember last year, just as the sun had set, I dropped 'All You Need Is Love' by The Beatles and it's moments like this that are just pure magic."
Ibiza has had another winter of change, some new bars, a lot of night's moving venues…why is Ibiza still the party capital of the world?
"I guess it's the spirit of Ibiza that keeps bringing people back here. Many other places have tried to compete with Ibiza in being the party capital of the world, but the island's spirit is something that cannot be replicated. Here we are almost twenty-five later and Ibiza is only going from strength to strength. That's quite something..."
What is the latest studio wise between yourself and Laura Fowles aka The Lovely Laura…
"Laura has just finished a track with the acclaimed producer, Robin Millar. They have sent me over the parts and I am working on a remix this week. Watch this space!"
What was the best night you had DJing winter time away from Ibiza?
"New York was incredible, but I think I'd have to say El Divino in Belfast tops the bill. For me, it's the crowd that makes the party and the Belfast crowd are among the best in the world."
What is your idea of a perfect Sunday in Ibiza?
"Chilling out after the madness from the night before!"
What is the finest record you have ever played to a dancefloor?
"It's too difficult to single one out, but Frankie Knuckles - 'Your Love' is definitely up there in my top five."
What is your definition of the Balearic sound?
"Classic tracks such as The Art of Noise - Moments In Love, Mr Fingers - Can You Feel It and Pacific 808 etc all help define the Balearic sound. However, the Almighty Alfredo - who single handedly invented & created the Balearic sound - would throw in all sorts of unexpected gems back then and they would all fit. For me, this quintessential eclecticism truly defines the Balearic sound."
You learnt your disco stripes dancing in fields like the rest of us at illegal raves such as Sunrise - what can you remember about those hazy nights, the tunes, the DJs, the characters…?
"Nothing haha! No, I remember there was a far greater sense of unity and togetherness at those parties. There certainly wasn't any vip tables or any of that nonsense. The first rave I went to completely blew me away, but it was everything about it - the music, the people, the sense of freedom and love amongst everyone. Am a starting to sound like an ageing hippy yet?!"
Where is your favourite beach and restaurant in Ibiza?
"My favourite restaurant is Sa Soca. It's a family run restaurant which ticks all the right boxes - great food, service and prices. I love Cala Salada for chilling out but Salinas is also a must see if you prefer things a bit more livelier."
And finally…what sort of music do The Santiagos listen to back at theirs' chilling?
"Pink Floyd, Pink Floyd and sometimes, the occassional bit of Pink Floyd."