Ibiza music: DJ Awards 2016 – The winners!

Monday night saw the annual DJ Awards ceremony take over the hallowed halls of Pacha Ibiza, a night that celebrated the who’s who of dance music in 2016 with trophies in the form of fluoro green Kryptonite being given to the winners of each category.

It must have been a tough challenge for the organisers of the DJ Awards to throw a ceremony and party the day after the mammoth Space Closing Fiesta but they certainly rose to the occasion in their 19th year. After all, just because an award nominee has RSVP’d yes to the event doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll roll out of bed in time for the 10pm roll call, let alone the midnight ceremony should they need to accept an award. But props to the DJ Awards team, because it was a fab turnout and perhaps the slightly altered and hungover state of many guests (even Carl Cox himself admitted to not sleeping!) actually made for a more fun, light-hearted event!

As always, the event was hosted by Des Paul and Lucy Horobin, and the night kicked off with an hour of champagne and canapés as the famous Pacha dancers stood incredibly still on stage like a living art installation (interestingly, none of them were smiling, except the one who was fortunate enough to have been posed on a chair – perhaps it was a sly smug grin she was sporting). Then the ceremony kicked off with a bang and the 21 awards were given out in rapid succession. And the results went a little something like this…

As voted for by a panel of industry insiders.

International Festival – Awakenings
Amsterdam’s mega Awakenings Festival scored this highly coveted award, supported by Pioneer DJ Radio. Organiser Rocco made the most of his five minute speech time, recalling his first time seeing Carl Cox and Joseph Capriati play in Ibiza among others, and giving a huge nod to techno superstars Sven Väth, Marco Carola, Dave Clarke and Adam Beyer for inspiring him and embracing techno.

Cutting Edge – Funktion-One
Continuing to break new ground year after year, these pioneers of sound were awarded for their constant dedication to moving forward in the field of dance music. Funktion-One boss Tony Andrews was on hand to accept the award, after providing the epic sound systems that gave over 20,000 people so much musical joy at the Space Closing Fiesta.

Producer – Emanuele Satie
The German tech house DJ impressed judges with releases on Saved Records, Knee Deep In Sound, Suara and Get Physical among others, and after accepting the award with much grace, he went on to perform at the DJ Awards party after the ceremony, giving revellers a taste of his award-winning style.

Ibiza Night – WooMoon
If you asked anyone from Ibiza before the event, there’s no doubt most would have predicted this result. WooMoon was a runaway success this season, bringing back the authentic creative community spirit of the island, and they continued their wacky, weird and wonderful ways as they ascended the stage to the sound of playa tech dreamy music in costume with a sign that said ‘Togather is better’ [sic] in place of a speech. The big question now is – where will WooMoon reside next year now Cova Santa has lost its license to hold parties? Read more about WooMoon by White Ibiza blogger Miss W here.

Ibiza DJ – Mr Doris
Long-term island resident DJ Mr Doris was recognised for his eclectic skills behind the decks – dubbed ‘music without borders – which have seen him score residencies in some of the island’s most amazing venues over the past 20 years, including Space Ibiza, Pacha, Sankeys Ibiza, BEACHOUSE Ibiza and El Chiringuito among others. Read more about Mr Doris in the White Ibiza 24 hours in Ibiza interview here.

Record Label of the Year – Suara
“It’s all about music and cats,” said producer Des Paul before announcing Barcelona-based Coyu’s Suara label as the winner. It’s true – he does it all for the kitties and gave an emotional thank you speech that of course, ended up mentioning cats. But really – he’s not a crazy cat man (well…)… it’s also very much about the music!

Ibiza Music Event – Mosaic by Maceo Plex 10 Key Spots in Ibiza
This was the event that turned Maceo Plex’s Tuesday night event at Pacha from a slightly misunderstood concept into the coolest new kid on the block. Always humble, Maceo took to the stage to accept his Kryptonite, explaining the cool ‘24 hours in Ibiza’ party he put on in 10 different locations across the island as just a simple concept to explore the island and show people a different side to Ibiza via places they may ever experienced. But we know it was certainly not a simple thing to pull off!

Electronic Music Pioneer – John Acquaviva
Known for his work with Richie Hawtin and as the founder of Beatport.com, the Canadian native came across as such a nice guy as he accepted this well-deserved award for his services to music over the years. Down-to-earth, funny and clearly in it for all the right reasons – RESPECT! Partygoers were given a treat later in the evening as he played in Pacha at the after party.

Iconic Club Award – Space Ibiza
This was a new category this year, and it was only fitting that it went to the club of the moment – a truly iconic venue that means so much to so many. The club we’d all said goodbye to not that many hours before the ceremony kicked off! Just after Carl Cox accepted the award for Best International DJ, he stayed on stage to present this award to his long-time friend and colleague, Pepe Rosello with an impassioned speech, as the club owner came on stage to the sounds of ‘Celebrate’. Pepe gave his speech in both English and Spanish, dedicating it to the staff of Space, the music, the artists and the people of Ibiza.

As voted by dance music loving members of the public from around the world.

Bass – Amine Edge & Dance
With a groundbreaking sound and famously high energy shows, the DJ duo from the south of France scooped the Best bass DJ award as much-loved favourites of the Together and Cream scene in Ibiza 2016.

Big Room House – Hardwell
Ushuaia’s golden child beat massive names in the category, including Tiesto, David Guetta, Avicii, Axwell & Ingrosso and Afrojack among others, a testament to his popularity with EDM lovers this year.

Breakthrough – Anna
The Brazilian ‘it’ girl of the moment has certainly been the name on many insiders lips over the past year, so to be recognised by the public means her DJing and production talents are truly shining through.

Deep House – Black Coffee
All-round nice guy Black Coffee stood out from the crowd in a category that can be quite hard to define for an artist – winning the award over Catz’n Dogz, Dixon, Blond:ish and others.

Electronica – Jamie XX
This must be a hard category for voters, as the genre is so broad. But Jamie XX was the clear winner, over standout artists such as Bonobo, Caribou, Four Tet and more.

Electronic Live Performer – Matador
Dublin’s Gavin Lynch, aka the awesome Matador was a well-deserving winner of this category, his natural talents shining through over big names like Rudimental. It was nice to see a winner make the effort to thank the voters, in addition to their family, friends and colleagues. Good old fashioned Irish manners, through and through.

House – Claptone
Claptone and the DJ Awards seem to go hand in hand, so it was no surprise voters chose him again to win best House DJ. Coming it at number one over legendary performers such as Kenny Dope, Louie Vega and Todd Terry is no mean feat but the masked man accepting the Kryptonite seemed quite lost for words before his pre-recorded speech was played over the sound system… after all, it is a bit tricky to speak through a beak!

International – Carl Cox
In this epic final year of his residency, Carl Cox has also been jetting around the world between his Tuesday night gigs at Space playing at clubs and festivals in all corners of the globe. For a man who thought he might retire at 50, a few years down the line he’s showing no signs of slowing down. The clear winner was miles ahead of the many EDM nominees (just recently a quarter of a million people tuned into his closing set at The Revolution at Space) – perhaps some could say, this award is a marathon not a sprint. All hail King Carl! That includes the hosts, who stopped the tear-jerking acceptance speech for a selfie!

Newcomer – Mihalis Safras
The vinyl only purist won the hearts of voters to score this prize in association with Decoded Magazine. The night was also his birthday, so a double celebration was in order and he joked the Kryptonite would make a great gift for his newborn son. He also played the closing set at the after party at Pacha.

Tech House – The Martinez Brothers
Tech house pretty much sums up many of Ibiza’s biggest and best DJs and club nights, so this category was hotly contended. The competition was fierce – presenter Lucy Horobin admitted this category always gets the most votes – and it was a pure pleasure to see the Bronx boys and DC-10 residents bound up on stage to accept their award in their signature baseball caps. Having been on the scene since they were skinny little teens, it’s a very well-deserved accolade for the now grown-up guys.

Trance – Armin Van Buuren
The man can do no wrong in the trance world! Having won a whopping 12 awards already, and been nominated every year since 2004, Armin Van Buuren once again retained the crown of Best Trance DJ, proving all is right with the world!

Techno – Carl Cox
Oh yes, oh yes! Beating techno luminaries such as Adam Beyer, Carl Craig, Dubfire, Richie Hawtin and Sven Vath to the punch, clearly there could really only be one winner in 2016 and it had to be the big man, in his final year of his residency at Space. We loved the little jig he did as he accepted his award, plus his clearly croaky voice from the emotional closing and after party of Space!

Photography by Andrei Oprescu and Julius Joost for Diginights – courtesy of the DJ Awards.

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