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Max Linen's Rob Roar on Country Houses and the Real Ibiza

Author: Jonty Adderley (
Monday, January 13, 2003
After creating Max Linen with Leiam Sullivan (aka Mr Pink) in 2000, industry player and veteran DJ Rob Roar finds himself in ever greater demand, with the duo's upcoming single Paradise Del Mundo set to take him even higher. Since starting his career in at the dawn of acid house in 1988, he's co-produced with Boy George, A&R'd for both Slip n Slide and Belgium's R&S Records and maintained a high profile DJ career covering all of the UK's best known clubs as well as playing Ibiza every year since 1989.

With his collaboration with Leiam already spawning club hits with The Soulshaker, plus the duo's acclaimed reworking of Joe Smooth's acid house anthem Promised Land, his Max Linen persona (inspired by the top of an iron) is likely to push aside the rest.

"Everyone was always hassling us to release Paradise Del Mundo," Rob told Skrufff's Jonty Adderley this week.

"So we've decided to create some time to work together on more fresh projects."

Leiam also chatted to Skrufff recently and owned up to living in a private estate in the heart of the English countryside.

"Its' a country house in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields, in Lincolnshire. It's not quite a massive mansion," he said.

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): Leiam mentioned he has a country house, just how big is it-

Rob Roar: "Did he tell you it's got nine bedrooms- Not really (chuckling). I haven't actually seen it yet, he recently moved from Docklands (East London) though I know his nearest neighbour is half a mile away and he's become very good friends with some sheep- apparently. We're doing the next Max Linen record this January so I'll be having a good look around shortly."

Skrufff: How did you and Leiam first connect as a duo-

Rob Roar: "I originally met him in Miami through the Lisa Marie Experience guys who I happened to know through DJing. We got introduced and he told me he wanted to do something for the label. When you've worked with somebody before it can be hit-or-miss so we agreed on a spec mix (ie a speculative test mix with no commitment) and he did a version of a track by Solange called Messages. It blew me away, it was different to everything else around and every time it was played, the track blew the roof off, particularly in Ibiza. He did another mix for me on the next release which was great so I then said, 'Have a go on every track we release'."

Skrufff: Why do you prefer to work in England rather than jetting off for a foreign vacation during the England's bleakest month January-

Rob Roar: "Funnily enough I was planning to do some DJing in Australia this January, we've got quite good contacts and friends out there, Jason Bye, for example, is based in Sydney. But the label has recently kicked off and I've got so much work to do, so taking a month off would put me behind again, that's why I've stayed here."

Skrufff: Paradiso Del Mundo was one of the biggest house tracks in Ibiza last season, what did you think of the island last year-

Rob Roar: "Ibiza for me had one of its best years last summer. I've gone there every year since 1989 and played every club on the island since 1995. I've seen all the cycles come and go such as the Ibiza Uncovered (TV) show which really blew everything up and made everything really commercial. I'm not sure if 'commercial' is really the right word but it certainly brought a lot more people to the island who didn't know what Ibiza was about but had watched that programme sat in their bedrooms in the middle of winter. That's fizzled out now. All the main clubs like Space, El Divinos and Manumission were rammed and I think it's gone back to how it was before."

Skrufff: Paradiso Del Mundo first broke at the Miami Winter Conference last year, are you already prepared for this year's event-

Rob Roar: "Yeah, I've got some stuff coming out on Phonetic and hopefully we'll have a new Max Linen track lined up for Miami and Ibiza. I'm also going into<