THE BLOG

Cafe Mambo 20 years of Ibiza Chillout

11/06/2014 12:01 BST | Updated 10/08/2014 10:59 BST

I started as the main resident DJ at Cafe Mambo 18 years ago back in 1996 and it was set up very differently to how it is now. I used to play the whole night, every night, all summer. Sets ranged from 7 hours to up to nine hours long from before the sunset until the bar closed. I was hugely influenced by my early trips to Ibiza in the late 80's and early 90's by listening to people like Jose Padilla and Alfredo. Their eclectic approach to music was hugely inspirational and I used this throughout my sets to take the audience of Café Mambo through a musical journey.

 

For me there are only two types of music, good and bad so I just do my best to play good music from all genres spanning many decades from old classical pieces from people like Gustav Mahler and Samuel Barber. Movie soundtracks from film composers like Ennio Morricone and Thomas Newman. Then Jazz and Latin Jazz from Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Gilberto Gil. From the mid 90's, there were great Chill Out tracks from producers like Afterlife, Massive Attack, Air, Bent, Ballistic Brothers, Chicane, D Note, Gotan Project, Groove Armada, Jamiroquai, Jazzanova, Lamb, Moby,  Morcheeba, Nightmares On Wax, Royksopp, Trentemoller, Thievery Corporation, Kruder & Dorfmeister and Zero 7, this became a huge part of the bar's playlist and still is today. Playing beautifully atmospheric Deep House has always been one of the highlights for me, especially when the sun has gone down and the sky is painted with beautiful colours. Later in the evening we would have a big guest, usually the headliner from Pacha, then after that I would play more current tracks then towards the end of the night play some classic Disco, Jazz Funk, hip hop, soul and house.

 

To describe how I construct a sunset DJ set is simple. We have an amazing view at Cafe Mambom so it's like putting music to a film. At the start on my set, its around 6pm or 7pm, the sun is high in the sky and it still feels like day time so I play mid-tempo and down-tempo chilled tracks taking in genres like: Chill Out, Acid Jazz, Balearic Disco. Then the sun starts to drop towards the sea, the shadows get longer and everything starts to look more atmospheric, so the music follows suite. For 30 minutes before the sun sets I'll play movie soundtracks, classical tracks and then ideally I will time my last track, so that the split second it naturally ends, is the exact point the sun sinks below the horizon. The crowd applaud and I change the mood with a more upbeat recognisable, classic track, which almost lifts them out of a trance as the night begins.

 

Choosing the tracks for the 20th anniversary CD was a lot of fun. I have played nearly 2000 sunsets since I started at the bar, so it was a case of going through thousands and thousands of records and picking out the tracks that give an honest representation of what music I have played. I always select a mixture of genres from different decades when I play at Mambo and this approach is represented on the compilation with the tracks are spanning decades of great music. There is a decent amount of brand new music from consistent producers from the more chilled, Balearic genres like: Afterlife, No Logo, Greg Wilson, London Grammar, Todd Terje, Tensnake, T-Polar, Mark Barratt and Bambook. I hope everyone enjoys the new album.