Saturday, 9 July 2016

Ibiza Sunsets: Cafe Del Mar

If your lucky enough to find yourself on the beautiful island of Ibiza this summer, then a trip to the sunset strip of San Antonio is a must. Now it's easy to head straight for the most popular to witness the sunset at say Cafe Mambo but can i urge you to get there early, take time out for yourself, order a cocktail or chilled glass of wine at Cafe Del Mar ( the original ) Have a wander around inside and experience the artistic decor; while the sunset specialist D.J's hypnotize you with a soundtrack of beautiful classical and film score, as the orange glow slowly descends over the horizon of the Mediterranean sea.

Cafe Del Mar recently celebrated it's 36th year and first came to life in the summer of 1980 after a idea for a sunset cafe, which first came from three Spaniards ( from the Canary Islands ) who were enticed by the nightlife of San An ( which had been attracting party goers since the 70's )

( I had to, it would have been rude not too )

During my recent visit to Ibiza i headed over to Cafe Del Mar and while enjoying the kind hospitality from the long standing bar manager and his staff, decided to take a good look inside. I was instantly entranced by it's beauty; The interior is the work of the emblematic architect Luis Guell, who was inspired by what he witnessed on the horizon: the ever changing colors from the heavens to the sky to the sea. Looking around i see blue and pink clouds, erotic figurines, arms reaching out with candy stick coated sleeves, intricate detailed paint work picked out on the pillars and doors. What i'm most impressed by is the center brass fittings; a face, a helmet, whats looks like two eyes? Who knows, but i like it. The decor has never been changed and i heard the manager touches up the paint work once a year.

Cafe Del Mar is also famous for it's mix tapes and compilations which have reached global sales. During the early 90's one of the resident D.J's Jose Padilla decided ( to make extra money ) to sell his mix tapes at the local hippie markets. Jose became famous for what we now call the Balearic spirit, which flowed through his mixing style incorporating: flamenco, Bossa Nova, eccentric singer songwriters like John Martyn, blissful chill out pieces, classical and of course emotive film score. I do own most of the Cafe Del Mar mixes on C.D and looking back on the Volumen Uno tracklist, it was a eclectic selection: William Orbit, Sabres Of Paradise, Leftfield, Underworld and A Man called Adam. The Volumen Uno mix begins with one of Jose's own stunning pieces: Agua 

One piece included in Volumen Uno; which became a Balearic anthem is from the classical trained English Collective Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Music For A Found Harmonium

I've interviewed Melodica Label owner and Sunset Specialist Chris Coco about his memories from his first visit to Cafe Del Mar and you will find Penguin Cafe orchestra in his Sunset playlist. I'll let Chris explain ' I was lucky with this one: It was the classic Jose Padilla. That changed the way i thought about D.J in. At this point i was immersed in the House music culture. Jose played, as you would expect, all over the place, proper Balearic and of course he wasn't playing to the crowd, he was 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 D.J in, to open up and play all sorts of different styles of music '

You can check out Chris Coco's sunset mix from Cafe Del Mar here on Mixcloud:

Being a fan of old skool Trance, i  always find a place to fit in my own mixes: the classic Trance anthem Cafe Del Mar by Energy 52. Check out the original video from the mid 90's which showed how desolate the Sunset Strip was. A different experience to the bustling summers they have now.

One chill out D.J and Sunset specialist i have witnessed at Cafe Del Mar was Tim Angrave, who played a season there a few years back. I asked him to share a favorite memory ' The best memory is of a women who overcame Cancer and had a survival list ( to witness a sunset from Cafe Del Mar ) She called the next day to find out what i had played at the Sunset, it was: Brian Eno - An Ending , which was apt after the ending of her suffering '

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