Thursday, 10 July 2014

My ( Ibiza ) Sunset: Chris Coco

Ibiza Sunsets: Chris Coco

Every Monday i tune in to the latest installment in Quality Ambient, Electronica and Balearic beats in a show simply called Melodica. It is named after the label melodica recordings and your host is their head honcho Chris Coco. Chris isn't shy in sharing his love for the white isle and Balearic sunset's. Why should he, for many years now he has played guest sets at the world famous Cafe Del Mar and over the water on the neighboring Formentera Island ( Gecko beach club ). He produces stunning and beautiful pieces of music including lush productions like My Desire, Drifting, Summer Sun and for me the perfect sunset soundtrack tune, listening to this you can almost feel the last rays of the sun as it dips over the horizon on the Mediterranean sea: My Sunset

I recently asked Chris if he would share some of his Ibiza memories, favorite tunes etc, he kindly obliged:

1. For you, Ibiza in one tune?

This changes all the time, but currently, Nick & Samantha - On The Beach

2. Your first Ibiza experience, holiday or work? Where did you stay, what club nights did you go to, remember who blew you away D.J in? 

I was editing DJ mag at the time so it was a work/holiday combo somewhere in the early 90s. We stayed somewhere near Pacha and went there on the first night. The DJ who blew me away was Pippi, he was resident at the time, working the deep house tunes on three Technics decks. I loved the bohemian atmosphere and the uplifting music.

3. Remember your first Ibiza sunset experience, where and who played?

I was lucky on this one, it was the classic, Jose Padilla at Cafe Del Mar, that changed the way I thought about DJing. At this point I was totally immersed in house music culture. Jose played, as you would expect, all over the place, proper Balearic, and of course, he wasn't playing to a crowd, but reacting to the sun, the world turning. It felt beautiful and elemental, I sat there thinking, this is the way forward for me, this is a way to be creative DJing, to open up and play all sorts of different styles of music.

4. It's a tough one but what chillout/classical and electronic pieces still find their way in to your sets?

I play a lot of different stuff, house sets at festivals and parties, as well as more Balearic sets and proper sunset chillout so I always carry a big selection of stuff, including a folder labelled sunset. I'm really into Olafur Arnalds at the moment, his minimal take on modern classical is really beautiful and emotional; Sacha Puttnam, a composer I work with a lot, is an inspiration too; for something really out there I am enjoying Sun Ra at the moment, I saw his band at Glastonbury and that was a really magic moment; then there is my latest project - Coco Steel & Lovebomb - The Chillout Album which is a long ambient / atmospheric piece. I have been playing sets with a lot of this material in recently too.

5.What Electronic artists/producers inspired you from a early age?

Early British synth experimental stuff - Cabaret Voltaire, Human League - that was exciting because the instruments were new and nobody knew how to use them properly, it was a leap beyond new wave guitar music, a new frontier. Brian Eno's ambient stuff, Discreet Music and Music For Airports, that was a big influence too, the idea of making music that you were not really supposed to listen to appealed to me.

6. Most precious and prized piece of Vinyl?

Phuture - Acid Tracks - Trax Records 1987. Still sounds amazing.

7. If you could be swept away and find yourself on Ibiza in all the  island's history (parties/sets) which year and who would you want to see?

Somewhere in the mid 80s, anywhere that Alfredo was playing would be nice; Ku, the night that Grace Jones played; the night that Bob Marley and the Wailers played on the island; or walking on a beach in the 60s with Marianne Faithful or Mick Jagger.

8. favorite place on the Island for the sunrise and sunset?

Sunset is probably still Cafe Del Mar, though the Sunset Ashram is pretty cool too. Sunrise, somewhere very quiet in the north of the island.

9. Hierbas or sangria?

Oh, Hierbas every time, that stuff is the real taste of the island, it has to be the real thing though, with all the herbs still in the bottle.

10. Finally, your Ibiza plans this year?

Already been, Formentera for the release of my mix for Gecko Beach, Formentera and a really lovely gig at Cafe Del Mar. Back in September for a Secret Life party at Pikes. ( Pete Gooding's Party )

Check out Chris in action at Cafe Del Mar here: 

I really love the 90's Ibiza chill out sound of  A Man Called Adam. They knew how to create blissful Balearic tunes, check out their mix of Yachts by Coco Steel and Lovebomb ( A Man Called Adam Remix)

One time keyboard player for the band Simon Grainger. A successful Synth pop songwriter and producer.

 Last summer he sound tracked my holiday with his E.P Silent Universe. I especially loved the hypnotic and the gorgeous mix from Saint Etienne of his balearic inspired tune

I got a chat with Simon on his memories from the white isle with A Man Called Adam 

1. First experience on the white isle, as a tourist and with A Man Called Adam?
I was lucky with this one, as my first visit to Ibiza was part of a big promotional trip with A Man Called Adam. Obviously having Sally and Steve as my tour guide was unbelievable, as every place I visited was tried and tested!During that first trip I got to visit some of the best beaches Benirras, Cala d’Hort. Clubs Pacha, Space, El Divino, Bars Kumharas, Las Dalias and restaurants (too many to mention). It was a bit of a whirlwind summer,as the band were promoting their ‘Duende’ album. As part of the promotion that year we got to gig at Pacha Playa, filmed ‘The Dogs Balearics’ for Channel 4 at Savannah Bar and headlined Renaissance Live at Privilege (on the bill with Moloko, Leftfield, All Saints and Kylie!) in front of about 7,000 Clubbers, which was a mightily scary but unbelievable experience.

Dogs Balearic's at Savannah

Cafe Del Mar 20th Anniversary party 
2. What was Cafe Del mar like back in the day?
My first visit was in the late 90’s so it was just becoming more popular after the first 3 Café Del Mar compilations. It sounds clichéd but it was a very spiritual experience. It’s hard to put into words the feeling of watching a DJ play a Sunset. I don’t think I've ever felt more relaxed.
That moment, when the final beats or notes of the set finish, just as the Sun dips behind the ocean, there really is nothing like it.
3. Remember your first sunset and who was playing the decks, any memories of tunes being dropped as the sun was going down?
I think Bruno Lepretre was resident on my first visit. I don’t really remember any one particular tune, in fact most of the time I didn't know what was being played. I think that was the beauty of those Balearic sets though. I love the ‘anything goes’ spirit. As long as it conjures up that unique mood, just about any style of music can feature. We were lucky enough to be asked to headline the Café Del Mar 20th Anniversary Celebrations in the early 00’s, which was a very special evening.
4. If you could pick one sunset tune to play at Cafe Del mar?
I think this is perhaps my favorite Sunset tune. It still brings a tear to my eye.
Jephté Guillaume - The Prayer (Acroostic Version)
This track went on to feature on one of the Real Ibiza albums that Chris, Sally and Steve and Bruno Lepretre compiled for React Music. They were brilliant collections which beautifully captured the mood of the White Island. They are definitely worth hunting down.
5. Favorite part of the Island?
Obviously Ibiza Town is wonderful, but these days I tend to base myself on the edge of Santa Eulalia, which is on the East Coast, away from the madness. It’s a great chilled location and easy to access the rest of the island. If you don’t feel like driving out, you can walk up the coast and discover some stunning hidden beaches, secluded coves, beach bars and restaurants. A certain curator of this blog introduced me to ‘Babylon Beach Bar’ last year which I fell in love with. Restaurant find of last year was Sa Carboneria. Both of these are in Santa Eulalia.
6. Favorite A Man called Adam tune and Chris Coco mix?
I think out of all of their collaborations, the AMCA Mixes of Coco, Steel & Lovebomb’s ‘Great Ocean Road’ are my favorite. Chris’s ‘New World’ and ‘Sun Set’ albums on Other Records are gorgeous.

Favorite AMCA tune has to Barefoot In The Head. 

You can follow Simon here:

Well i hope this blog has encouraged you to pull out the flexible friend and book that flight to Ibiza. Hopefully I've convinced all that there is more to the white isle than over rated D.J's and expensive clubs. The island is a favorite of myself and each year i am drawn back to experience something new and exciting, discover new places and beaches. Also hear all kinds of amazing music and the sunset's for me are some of the best in the world. A sunset experience on the strip is a must do on anyone's list. Be warned , once seen, you'll have to go back. 

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