Interview: Danny Rampling

Danny Rampling, pioneer of Ibiza house music

Danny Rampling at Aura

Renowned for introducing the Balearic vibe to the UK after a fateful holiday to Ibiza in the early ‘90s, DJ Danny Rampling is one of the founding fathers of the Ibiza clubbing scene and subsequent acid house culture. But rather than focus on the past, he has his sights set firmly on the future, having released an E-book, ‘Everything you need to know about DJing and success’, long before the birth of the iPad (available as hard copy soon), swapped his vinyl for laptop DJing software Traktor and holding a new weekly residency at Aura every Wednesday. We caught up to talk about the magic of present-day Ibiza…
19 years since you first came to Ibiza, what keeps you coming back each year?
It’s a sweet addiction isn’t it? I fell in love with Ibiza the very first time I came. That period was unique in time, but it’s brilliant here now. It’s a wonderful island and always continues to inspire me. When I come to Ibiza my creative energy is at peak state and I go away with such good ideas. I think for many people it inspires on a level of creativity like nowhere else. It’s the energy of the place and how you’re relaxed here. The past has been fantastic but I really focus on the now. I’ll never stop coming to Ibiza, never ever, until the day I die.

What kind of changes have you seen take place over the years?
In the last five years, the whole infrastructure has really upgraded – the service, restaurants, bars, beaches, clubs – everything has changed dramatically and I think it’s for the better. It has become a lot more upmarket, if you want that, and you’re accustomed to it. A couple of years ago, there wasn’t an abundance of upmarket hotels; the same could be said of restaurants. It’s all changed and is influencing businesses on the island to improve their standards, which can only be good for the island as a whole and long-term tourism. But you can still find those basic places, which is so special about Ibiza, you don’t have to go high end all the time – there’s something for everyone on this island.

Where are your favourite places on the island?
I love to eat out – the restaurant at Aura is fantastic, and they’ve really made a great improvement with the new garden restaurant. I like Amante, I think it’s brilliant – (owner) David Piccioni is a great entrepreneur. I love Es Torrent – I’ve been going for about 12 years, long before it became a destination where you can’t even get a table! I like B.For for sushi, and then basic places like Es Caliu, which is just a simple grill restaurant owned by a Spanish family. I like La Raspa, La Paloma, El Chiringuito on Es Cavallet… There’s so many, the list is endless.

Wednesday nights at Aura is your first weekly Ibiza residency since Miss Moneypenney’s in 2001, how did that come about?
(Aura musical director) Antz is a very good friend of mine – I introduced him to DJing when I used to run Milk Bar back in London. I’ve played at Aura a few times over the past four years, and in the winter we had a meeting about all the changes being made. He asked how I’d feel about doing a weekly residency and I was absolutely delighted! I’m really happy to be here, coming out to Ibiza every week.

How can you describe the music policy for your night?
Upfront house. Uplifting house music, music with soul, whether it be electronic, funky house, tech house or tribal, it’s music with feeling and energy. That’s what I play.

Do you still go to check out the other club nights in Ibiza?
I want to, there are some great club nights, and particularly this season. I want to check out Luciano’s night and I’d like to check out the Swedish House Mafia. I love Sven Vath’s music but I’ve never been to Cocoon, maybe this year I should check it out… I’ll be spending all of August here so why not?

This story was published on August 10, 2010

Danny Rampling, pioneer of Ibiza house music