We Love…Ibiza

Mark Broadbent discusses Pete Tong, SHM, DJ Sneak and Americans in Ibiza

“I really can’t see ‘hordes’ of Americans coming to Ibiza myself. I do hope a good few thousand come but come on, the ‘hordes’ you’re suggesting don’t even have passports, mate.”

Chatting to Skruff this week about the upcoming season of Sunday night parties at Space in Ibiza, We Love main-man Mark Broadbent is on typically feisty form, when quizzed attracting American EDM fans flocking to the island for the first time.

“I don’t have any problem with Americans and in fact I even like a few of the ones I’ve met,” he jokes.
“There you go, Jonty, that’s how I’m going to target them. Let them know they are welcome at our party,” he laughs.

With We Love’s 2012 lineups involving the return of regulars such as Paul Woolford, Carl Craig, Derrick May and James Zabiela alongside relatively new faces including Scuba, Oxia, and Appleblim, more than a few fresh American clubbers are likely to flock to the club, though any expecting EDM will be in for a let down. Firstly, because as Mark points out ‘it’s not what we really do’ and secondly though he claims ‘not to have too much of an opinion on it to be honest’, his next sentence suggests otherwise.

“I don’t like ‘pop dance’,” he explains, “and I fucking hate the term EDM.”
“I also think people who jump on bandwagons for cash and do things they don’t really believe in by booking ill placed and badly programmed acts should take a long look at themselves and ask why they are doing this,” he suggests.
“Dumbing down audiences and pandering to the masses has no place on Ibiza in my opinion. It has taken the people who care on this island a long time to change perspectives about what the island is really like and booking ‘pop’ acts puts us back years and potentially shortens our shelf life as a serious music brand.”

Launching We Love at Space 14 years ago, he’s helped build the Sunday night weekly into the Ibiza’s most credible brand, attracting thousands of clubbers each week to dance to DJs spinning- broadly speaking- underground house and techno. Highlighting We Love’s strength on the island, the party will be celebrating Space’s official 23rd birthday celebrations on Sunday August 12, headlined by Chemical Brothers, Simian Mobile Disco and Joris Voorn. Though he’s deadly serious in his warning of commercial house threatening the island’s longer term night life future, he’s hilariously indiscreet when asked whether he agrees with Pete Tong’s recent assessment that ‘big business’ threatening ‘the scene’. (Music Week: http://bit.ly/HNHaTW)

“Well he would know, right?” Mark laughs again.
“I didn’t hear what he said specifically and in what context but Pete is ‘big business’ in my opinion,” he asserts.
“He is a director of big businesses within our scene, plays a part in the biggest agency – WME (William Morris Entertainent) – in the world right now and DJs on our oldest national radio station – the BBC – so what is/was he saying? Did he sound threatening?”

Another year; another new season; what are the key changes We Love have planned for this year?

“There are never any key changes at We Love…I think that one of the secrets to our success is that things have evolved rather than changed drastically over the last fourteen years. With ears and eyes closely focused on the street we take direction from what feels right to us, what we think will translate well on Ibiza and with this in mind we have introduced some really great new blood to the family this summer, acts we are excited about ourselves.”

I read on Ibiza-voice recently :’refurbishments could take place at Space too, with the club’s worst kept secret, the vehemently underground red box, possibly making way for – you guessed it – another VIP area.’ (http://bit.ly/wpirVx ): has that happened?

“Space always make full use of the winter months to fully refurbish the venue so that returning customers are always welcomed with new ideas and themes. The sound and lighting systems are replaced with the latest innovations and a huge amount of time is spent on the general decor to ensure the customer feels like he/she has entered somewhere very special. This year Space have decided to return the area where the Redbox was back to how it was a few years ago. People who have been coming to Space for some time will remember the open terrace above the main-room (discoteca) with it’s decidedly dark corners and even darker seating. I am told by the management that this will not be VIP but will be open to anybody who wants to enter on most nights with the possibility of table service for a fortunate few.”

Also on Ibiza-voice, I read your recent comment on their latest Berlin feature; ‘it’s  all about grozny now anyway so who cares?”  what prompted that? What’s your view of Berlin’s club scene- I guess pretty negative?

“I absolutely loved clubbing in Berlin but am so bored of reading about it. Come on, move on, find a new city to fuck up.”

DJ Sneak has been criticizing Swedish House Mafia widely on twitter in recent weeks- blasting them for being fake (‘for the record, they do not play house music’): how much do you consider their music to be ‘house’? under what circumstances would you book SHM? and/ or Tiesto?

“I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that I have never knowingly listened to “the Swedes” but years ago I was offered them for our sunset terrace. The agent suggested to me that we could have all three of them for a very, very low price as they really wanted to play for us and the agent thought it was the perfect fit for their first Ibiza residency. I didn’t like the name or the implications that they were some kind of house music gangsters, I mean, what can you expect if you invite that kind of person into your life? Anyway, we didn’t book them and three years later they are the biggest act on Ibiza, making Pacha a fortune. Ah well, never mind, right!  I still wouldn’t book them for Space, but not due for the same reasons Sneak is talking about, after all, we have booked acts in the past who have since turned out to be pretty “fake” but for us it’s important to be able to get along with the people we work with and I just don’t think we would get along very well with those guys. Acts like this are best booked when you can keep them at arm’s length, for a festival, for example. When you need to sell a shit load of tickets and it’s a broad demographic of people being targeted then you need acts like the Swedes and Tiesto for the most part and we have booked this type of act in the past to do just that at our festivals. We call this “the big swinging dick effect”: get a few bookings like this and the rest of the line up comes together easily. Having said that, I don’t know, there seems to be enough room for everybody to do what they want right now. Why is DJ Sneak even bothered by what they do? What does he want them to do? Lose the word “house” I suppose? But then the Italians might have problems with them right? The poor guys can’t win. ‘The Swedes’ just doesn’t sound right, does it? It makes you think of greengrocers not nightclubs and disc jockeys. I don’t suppose they give a shit about what he has to say anyway.”

We Love Space 2012 Opening Party – June 10th 2012
Featuring : 69 (Carl Craig) live, Derrick May, Henrik Schwarz, Dixon, Ame, Tensnake (live), Jaymo & Andy George, Paul Woolford v’s Ben UFO, Luca C & Brigante, Alfredo, Mr Doris presents “After Dark”, El Harvo & Cristophe, Ryan O Gorman, Jason Bye, Jem Haynes, Ian Blevins, Ian C


Check out Jonty Skruff’s radio show via mixcloud at http://www.mixcloud.com/jontyskrufff/

Berlin DJs Fidelity Kastrow and Jonty Skrufff present and produce ‘Germany Calling’ – a weekly hour long radio show, showcasing cutting-edge upfront house, electro and techno tracks alongside classics and rarities from the vaults of electronic music. http://skrufff.com