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DJ Pippi On Rekindling Ibiza's Magic: Less Guest DJs, More Mixing

Author: Angie Ng
Saturday, August 31, 2002
"I'd like to see the clubs working with less guest DJs, and promoting the local DJs more instead, because many people come to Ibiza for this special vibe. If you go to Pacha or Amnesia or Space it's like being in London or any city in Europe. I think people are realizing that the clubs are losing that original spirit."

As a firm believer in Ibiza's fabled magical qualities and one of Ibiza's most international recognized local DJs, DJ Pippi is well qualified to discuss the island's health. Although originally from Italy, the long term Pacha resident and owner of Ibiza shop M15 has seen the island develop from its 80s Balearic heyday into the global superstar DJ destination it's become today and it's a change he's less than crazy about.

"When I started playing at Pacha we used to have one guest DJ, say one day David Morales, another day, Little Louie Vega, then Frankie Knuckles, alongside local DJs, but year after year the guest DJs get more territory, they want more big name DJs and now we are really upset because we don't have so much space for the residency creativity. And now it's difficult to see local talents in Ibiza because there are so many guest DJs everywhere."

That Pippi was chatting to Skrufff's Angie Ng in Kuala Lumpur in the middle of August, a month when he'd never have left the island in the 90s, is further evidence of the pressure facing Ibiza. Initially, reticent, he soon opened up about his concerns.

Skrufff: It's currently the middle of Ibiza's summer season, why are you here in Malaysia instead of there-

DJ Pippi: "Normally I don't tour between June and September but in the last two years I've also started DJing in countries like Greece and Portugal and I really like to travel more than I used to. So I wanted to come to Asia in the middle of July, because for me it's something genuinely new. Normally I tour in winter but now I'm happy to travel in summer time also. There are such great venues and new scenes in these places, which are so fresh. It's also always very nice to discover new places and people who really love my sound or my message."

Skrufff: Are you still playing regularly in Pacha-

DJ Pippi: "I still have my residency every Tuesday, on Paul Oakenfold's night, but I play in the small funky room, where I play soulful stuff. We also do a couple of parties during the week in smaller locations, outside the bigger clubs, because the big clubs are so commercial now, they've all got lots of promoters. I still want to provide the real Ibiza vibe and you can only give that in a small place with a few people. You have to attract all the best people to bring along to these small parties, to give the real spirit of Ibiza."

Skrufff: How much is over-commercialisation diminishing this spirit on the island-

DJ Pippi: "I think it is and that's why I look for small venues in Ibiza, to do small parties for the right people. Otherwise…(shaking his head head sadly…) I love the island and I would love to save this spirit of the island, which so many people go there looking for."

Skrufff: Do you think Ibiza will continue to get better-

DJ Pippi: No, the island needs a break. Actually, you might hear that Ibiza is full this season but it's not, which is a sign of some sort of crisis happening all over Europe. All the club owners and bar owners are asking 'What's happened, why hasn't the season started yet-' Of course, there are lots of people there but for some reason there's not so much money and some club owners are saying there are 35-40% less people than in previous years. BUT maybe that's very good because we need this break and maybe the crisis will end for next year.

There are so many promoters who are going to lose money because they have to pay for the big DJs but don't have enough people on the island to fill all the clubs and parties. Ibiza is also expensive and people have less money and I think that's one of the reasons why it's been so quiet this year. Maybe by the