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Alfredo – 24 hours in Ibiza

In 2016, legendary acid house and Balearic beat DJ Alfredo celebrates 40 years on Ibiza soil. When he arrived in 1976, seeking a new beginning after fleeing the political repression in Argentina, it was a completely different world. “I didn’t know much about Ibiza,” he says. “I wasn’t expecting much to tell you the truth. But from the moment I stepped foot on the port, I discovered the hippy atmosphere, felt a lot of compassion and real freedom. I loved it.”

The rest, as they say, is history as Alfredo – whose varied job path took him from journalist, house painter and fashion store owner to bartender before he became a DJ, one of the first to ever play in Amnesia – went on to inspire a generation of clubbers and DJs with his eclectic Balearic sounds. “Many people came here for a new beginning,” he reminisces. “The Ibicencos were very welcoming, as long as we respected the island.”

Alfredo’s two children, Jaime, 38, and Lola, nine, have inherited his musical genes, as Jaime is also a DJ – the two play together under the moniker The Heritage Project, something that Alfredo hopes to do more of – and Lola a natural born performer, attending dance school in Ibiza and insisting papa listen to her R&B selections on the iPhone! “She loves what we do,” says Alfredo. “She loves to be beside me and Jaime in the DJ booth, I think she’s proud of us.”

The pride is reciprocal of course. “I am really so proud of both of them,” Alfredo says.

Today, Alfredo is still very much entrenched in the Ibiza culture, playing weekly acid house sets at the underground Sankeys Ibiza party Dance 88/89, which he says attracts a combination of older clubbers enjoying the music a second time around and younger partygoers who may have discovered the music through their parents. He also plays Balearic sunset sets at Savannah, plus gigs at the new San Antonio club Alter in addition to having plans to produce new music this summer with DJ Callum of Messalina records, in between travelling monthly around Europe and across the globe.

As the summer season heats up, Alfredo says he’s most looking forward to family time, hopes the Dance 88/89 party continues to gather momentum and dreams Ibiza and the world will begin to evolve away from the path it is on now. “The darkest hour comes before the dawn, and children now are more awake. They are not easy to convince. And yet they go through this troubled world with a smile,” he says with faith. “The new generation of children here are charged with a new energy, plus a lot of power and resources we didn’t have – who knows what will happen next!”

You travel often – how do you feel when you’re on the plane, flying back into Ibiza?
Release. When the airport is full and the roads are full and traffic is terrible… it’s what we have to deal with, but it is a relief to be home.

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive home?
I relax. The flight times are quite difficult so sometimes I arrive at 7am or even in in the afternoon, without having slept the night before. So sometimes I go straight to bed, and then I have to adjust back into my ‘normal’ life routine. I call my daughter, and my son. In the summer I go to the sea for a swim. But definitely, I relax.

Is it hard to balance your night time DJ life with daytime dad duties?
Sometimes, but only because of the timings. It’s such a release to be with my daughter, nightlife is a very strong thing. People think it’s all happiness, but I do feel drained after I finish working. I can’t just go straight home to bed, you have to unwind, to let the sound of the bass get out of your ears. There’s no business like showbusiness! But I love being with my daughter. Family is so important to me.

What is your favourite part of the island?
The centre, near Santa Gertrudis. The first house I ever lived in was up in the mountains there. I also love Dalt Vila, I lived there for 20 years. It was my barrio. It was very ‘familia’ when I lived there, I knew everyone and the gypsies would take care of Jaime when I went to work, but now they’ve sold all their houses and it’s changed a lot.

What is your best Ibiza memory?
For me personally, when my two children were born here. Everything surrounding the births were amazing. Club wise, it is the first time I saw Amnesia full of people. I’d been playing there for six months to no people, then all of a sudden, one day as I was waiting to get paid, people started to come in from Ku. First there was 100, then 300, then we got to 500 – I couldn’t believe it.

What’s your ultimate Ibiza track?
There are so many in my head! One is Jibaro by Elkin and Nelson. They were Colombians who lived here in the 70s and made the track here, but I found it in Germany. Then it became an anthem in Amnesia and so will always remind me of there. I still play it sometimes now, in my Balearic sets. Octave One’s Blackwater, which has the voice of Martin Luther King. And also DJ Rolando’s Knights of the Jaguar. So many…

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You have 24 hours on the island – tell us your favourite places to…

GO FOR LUNCH

I like going to the fish shack at Sa Punta with my daughter for the sepia – we go quite often. And Can Costa in Ibiza town.

EAT DINNER

We go to Carpe Diem pizzeria in Jesus a lot, and I like Casa Thai in San Antonio – though now I don’t go so much because it’s such a long way from where I live. There’s a new Japanese restaurant called Kodo in Jesus that is very good.

DRINK

I like to go to Sa Penya, to have a drink at Bar 1805 and there’s also a great new bar in the same area called Paradise Lost.

DJ

I would say Sankeys at Dance 88/89, for the sound system. And always Space on the Sunset Terrace, though it’s the last year so that will change… And I like Pikes at Ibiza Rocks House, to Boutique Hostal Salinas and especially Es Raco – they are great places to DJ and I also really like to go there too.

PARTY

For me, it was always the opening and closing parties of Amnesia that were the best. And every Manumission Carry on I played at Space… I played there every week until it finished. More recently, I’ve been going to HEART Ibiza.

BEACH

Salinas. It will always be in my number one places. It’s the beach I used to go to when I arrived, it’s got history, it’s got so many memories for me. The water is clean, it’s always so sunny… it’s changed a lot, and is full of people and loud music, but you can always walk further up the beach, past Sa Trinxa and find a little quiet corner amongst the stones. There are also some nice little bays in the north, like Cala Xuclar… I don’t even know all their names, I just know where they are! Sa Caleta is nice, Cala Saladeta is nice. The kids prefer Playa d’en Bossa, Cala Nova, Cala Llonga and Benirras too for the drumming.

SWIM

I swim most days. It’s very relaxing. I like Sa Punta. It’s very clear water and there are stones to jump off, not sand. Cala Nova is also beautiful – you cross the waves and it’s really nice. And Salinas, though you have to be careful of the jellyfish. I’ve never seen any (fingers crossed) at Sa Punta.

ESCAPE

At this time of year it’s difficult! I like to go out into the countryside, to San Mateo or the surrounds of San Carlos. I go walking or visit friends and my son, Jaime lives in a cool place in the country.

RELAX

I do meditation. Mostly at home, but if I don’t have time I know I can do it anywhere. If it’s possible, I try to meditate every day.

HANG OUT

It’s hard to find times to see friends in summer, because everyone is working, but sometimes we got to the beach with parents of my daughter’s friends, we go for walks… or to the Aguamar with the kids!

Alfredo, Jaime and Lola in the departures lounge at Ibiza Airport

After beach hangout Boutique Hostal Salinas

Alfredo and Lola at her dance performance

The rocky coves of Las Salinas

Iconic party institution Pikes at Ibiza Rocks House

Alfredo plays Dance 88/89 at Sankeys Ibiza weekly throughout summer 2016