This year’s International Music Summit started off with a 1 day conference under the BURN Residency Sessions name, a short conference we can call a quick start guide on how to build a strong base for your DJ career: from how to master your productions to how you can improve your image and let your voice be heard in the digital jungle we call internet.
Both an IMS founder as well as the BURN Residency ambassador this year, Pete Tong was among the speakers so this was an excellent opportunity to throw a bunch of questions about his career, Ibiza from his point of view and, of course, his opinion about the infamous romanian underground electronic culture. After all, we grew up with Pete’s voice and his radio shows that shaped our taste for electronic music for more than 20 years!
In your opininion, what is the main thing that made the radio withstand the test of time in this digital era?
Radio is a local voice, this is really important, and there has always been audience for that. As much as it is interesting to plug into the matrix and hear what’s going on in New York, Buenos Aires or LA, there’s always been a need to hear local stories. That’s why local radio is still popular, certainly in the UK and America: talking about local issues, more about things that are more tangible and believable by the listener. Set a music service on top of that and you can make it.
If you were put to choose between your radio career and DJing, what would you choose?
The best way to answer this question is that I still have this thing in my head: the only reason I’m on the radio is because of what I do in the club even tho I’ve become more known around the world for being on the radio, in my mind it’s because I’m a DJ first and I’m on the radio for sharing what I know, so if it wasn’t the clubs I feel like a bit of a fraud on the radio :)
The Essential Mixes you would choose to store on your ipod for a holiday away from radio and internet.
The Adriatique mix from this year, my favourite from this year so far, an Armin mix from about 10 years ago that I’ve never stopped playing, really predicted the begginning of a whole new sound, the Goa Mix by Paul Oakenfold, where he brought film soundtracks in for the first time and of course the David Holmes one: he went to become the music supervisor for films like Ocean’s 11 because of that Essential Mix.
For all the summers you spent in Ibiza, can we define a golden age for the island?
For me, 2003 until 2007. It was my first residency at Pacha, it was when the island king of changed gear, it was the first period when the international crowd started to come, from St Tropez and other parts of the Mediteranean. The cooler end of that crowd suddenly decided they wanted good music and came to the island. It was that mix of clubkids, celebrities… it was glamorous, it was edgy, the only reason for the international stars to come here was because of the clubheads, they wanted to be close to this realness. Pacha was like a Roman amphitheater: the pure musicheads on the dance floor and with this crazy VIP around them.
How does Romania’s house & techno underground look like from the BBC studios?
Need to know more about it, need to be hearing more from it, from my perspective. There always been a niche with Romania, going back to the progressive house days, Romania was into the more darker and deeper sounds… always an amazing place to play. And it sustained, even after the peak of progressive house, there were DJs like Sasha, John Digweed, Nick Warren or Dave Seaman that are still heroes. Now they embraced the modern underground as well, a place where Sven Vath and all the techno heroes go so, yes, Romania’s scene is going strong.