APOLLONIA

By Daniel Prince, Photography by Alberto Alcocer September 2015 MUSIC Read in PDF format N8/2015

 

The hypnotic ambience created by these legendary french djs has impressed thousands of clubbers in Ibiza this summer. We catch up with the trio as they prepare to play at the Ushuaïa closing party

You are playing at the closing of one of the biggest clubs on the planet, Ushuaïa. How does that feel?

We’ve had a lot of feedback from people about the closing party last summer and everyone said it was amazing. We actually passed through ANTS last year and the vibe and music definitely got us pretty hyped about playing there. It’s our first time playing at Ushuaïa for the closing. It’s a lot bigger than the other clubs we play on the island – in fact that’s the main difference and we’re really looking forward to it. The stage at Ushuaïa is incredible.

What makes Ushuaïa such a unique venue to play?

Well, it looks very similar to a festival with that huge stage and such a vast amount of people in front of you. On top of that, Ushuaia is a daytime party, which is always nice to be involved with. Daytime, festival vibes, a big stage… it’s that perfect combination between a club and a festival. What are your thoughts on the Ibiza underground scene in 2015? The underground scene in Ibiza is stronger today than it was a few years ago without a shadow of a doubt. The success of Cocoon, Marco Carola’s Music On, Richie Hawtin with Enter, Jamie Jones with Paradise or even Solomun with his + 1 event – not forgetting DC-10 with its massive line-ups every single week. Zoo Project, Sankeys…We wouldn’t be surprised if a new underground party pops up at Ushuaïa in the next few years. There is a really good balance between underground and commercial stuff in Ibiza, and globally really, and it’s this balance that makes our industry very stable.

Tell us about your summer in Ibiza, how has it been? You have been killing it at DC-10…

The summer has been really busy! We started at the end of May with the opening of Circoloco and Amnesia. We played Amnesia’s Opening last year for the first time and it was great, it was super intense, an amazing feeling for us and it’s an absolute honor to come back again this year. Of course, we’re maintaining our residency at our favorite club DC-10, a place which is like a second home for us. We’ve been playing DC-10 for a long time now, many years and whenever we go back there it’s always with the same pleasure. We also play for Marco Carola’s Music On party at Amnesia. It’s one of the busiest parties on the island. We played a four-hour set and it was one of our best shows. Our little guilty pleasure is also to play private parties in villas, which always go off . After-parties often result in extended sets, sometimes back-to-back with friends and other friends hanging out with us too - usually in amazing locations. We are based in Ibiza all summer so this happens quite a lot. Even if we are really busy outside the island with touring, we couldn’t imagine our summer without the island in our lives. Friends, clubbers living the music… We are children of the island.

Your label Apollonia Music loves to bring new talent through; what do the next few months bring us release-wise?

The latest release was a killer heads-down release from Makcim & Levi out of Holland. The end of the year is going to be real busy with few new heads joining the label, starting with Alci, then Federico Molinari and Ivan Iacobucci. Dan is also releasing an EP alongside one of Paris’ finest, Chris Carrier. DJing is about improvisation at times. How often does one of you stick a record on and one of the others will think ‘Nooooo! I was going to play that!’? It’s actually more of a good feeling because it cements that feeling that we are connected to one another. Cheesy as that may sound, it’s true! And this is exactly what we are looking for. Our style of mixing is to tell a story and when this connection happens, the story is beautiful. There is a definite hypnotic vibe about what you do when you play together.

Do you ever discuss how you envisaged the set working beforehand?

We never prepare our DJ sets; we collect a lot of music and at the end of the day we go with the flow. But it’s important to have a certain discipline to make this work – that’s why we play one record each and in the same order. Because of this discipline, the time between each record played is the same and it permits us to create this hypnotic atmosphere, with us and the people we’re playing to.

Do you think that your long friendship has made i t easier to work in that one record style?

Dyed and Shonky were big fans of Dan at the end of the ’90s. We loved his music. We started to play music together at after-parties and spent a lot of time hanging out and going to the record store together. We quickly realized that what we were looking for in the music is the quality. Whatever the music is – house, deep house or techno – the most important aspect of what we do is to find that good piece of wax, a slice of black magic in the best possible sense. We also exchange a lot of music together, send each other cool new bits, or old gems. Playing together as a unit was a natural extension of all of this. Our friendship is based on music.

What are your thoughts on this year’s craze of festivals going down the B2B route putting huge DJs together that just don’t mix? Is it just another way of selling tickets?

There is always a period with a hype. Years ago it was the laptop live act, today is the B2B. Sometimes it fi ts, other times it doesn’t - but like every hype thing, when it doesn’t work it can be a disaster. To do a great B2B you need to be connected. The worst thing is when two big egos are competing. A famous quote from you: “We don’t fall out over anything except in the studio, when sometimes it’ll be two people versus one to agree on a track or on the right percussion or something.” So, who is usually the one who gets ganged up on?! We of course sometimes have some little debates. We can’t always agree on everything. Each one of us can be ganged up on at one point or another, but the rule is that the three of us need to agree on everything we do.

What are the best parties of the summer months?

Sziget Festival in Budapest, one of the biggest and best festivals in Europe. Weather Festival in Paris. Paris is burning! It’s such a great, great pleasure to play in our hometown. And it would be silly to talk about the best parties without mentioning the ones in Ibiza, but there are too many to name! The last pieces of vinyl you bought? Symbol 001 – there is no artist name, no title. We have no idea where the guy is coming from. XDB / Even Drones - MITOS & ENPII (vinyl only): an amazing trippy record from a producer we really like.

Have there been any up-andcoming DJs/producers who have impressed you this year?

John Dimas from Greece and Djebali from France put in a really impressive B2B. Speaking about B2Bs, they’re a really good example of how good it can be when you have that connection. Also Nicolas Lutz, who just joined our agency Lola ED. He is an example of someone who likes to mix the genres really well. He’s an amazing digger.

If you weren’t involved in music, what jobs do you think each of you would have done?

Shonky studied economics and statistics, so perhaps he would’ve been working in that kind of area (“But thank god I found my way into the music,” he says). Dyed was really into basketball. He actually won some competitions, like Adidas Street Ball. But his first step into clubbing quickly put an end to that. Perhaps if he wasn’t DJing he would still be into it. Dan has no clue what he wanted to do. Music saved his life!

What is coming next from you studio-wise? We hear a rumour of a remix package of your debut album Tour Á Tour in the form of three EPs swinging our way soon?

Yep, that’s true. A package is coming at the end of the year. The list of the artists turning in remixes is still secret – ssshhhh! What is each other’s most annoying habit? Dyed is always on his phone, while Dan is late. A lot. And at the same time Shonky gets stressed about missing the plane.

When was the last time one of you played a record and the other two literally stopped in their tracks in disbelief that one of you was playing something you’d forgotten about that blew you away?

Chocolate Girl from Julien Jabre. Dan played that track at one of the best afterparties of the season in Ibiza.

You mentioned Paris earlier – so where is rocking at the moment?

The legendary Rex Club never fails – so many of our friends play there, plus a whole bag of international stars. The clientele is switched-on, full of energy and there are locals and tourists alike rocking that space on a weekly basis. We also have to mention Concrete, which is another killer space. There are lots more… Make sure you visit Paris when you have the chance, it’s really on fi re right now.

A question for Dan Ghenacia – you love your swimming, would you consider swimming the Channel for charity?

Oh man, yes I love to swim and of course to do something for charity like that would be incredible. I guess I would need to fi nd time to do some serious training, but yes. Maybe, if the time is right!

Here we go, The ÏU Mag True or False Round… A clubber once asked you to play Rihanna?

Haha! Well many DJs get strange requests like this, especially regarding commercial stars like Rihanna. So yes. We always try to be polite and carry on with the back-to-back, real underground vibes though.

Your collective favourite record ever is Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis Presley?

False. It’s a great song, but no. We have other much better favourites.

You once held a block party in a taco shop?

True! It was during BPM Festival in January, we threw a pop-up party in a street of Playa del Carmen.

Good Mexican food and great music – what more do you need?!

A truly unique moment Merci beaucoup, a pleasure speaking with you. See you at the closing party!

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