Two decades after the second summer of love, and what a strange old place Ibiza is in 2008. All credit to the first generation of acid house hippie Balearicos, who are still clinging on grimly in the face of mass package-deal club tourism. Occasionally you get a glimpse of what Ibiza must have been like before Easyjet and Judge Jules: moments after I took the above picture in the shed round the back of Pacha where they keep all the cherries, a statuesque woman, looking EXACTLY like the model on the poster except with cropped, peroxide hair and wearing a shimmering olive dress, appeared from nowhere and wandered into the recesses of the empty club, swinging her expensive handbag. I fumbled for the shutter, but she’d gone. In that moment, Pacha almost felt as exotic as it once must have been, but the truth is that now, it looks a lot sexier empty than it does when it’s crammed full of sunburned Brits and average house music.
Of course, everyone will tell you that if you want to see some genuine Balearic glamour then you need to get yourself invited to the exclusive villa parties that take place in the North of the island, away from the airport shuttles and the full English breakfasts. But I didn’t have time for all that, and anyway, I liked spotting the first-generation Ibiza casualties among the crowd, with their leathery tans, open shirts and expensive flip-flops.
I was there to interview Fedde Le Grand aka Mr “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit” and Will.I.Am, who are making a track together. Neither of them seemed 100 percent comfortable in Ibiza, or with each other, but they were good sports. Fedde seemed mildly amused and somewhat relieved that, despite having made the biggest Ibiza tune of the last few years, he was barely recognised. Perhaps it’s because he looks disarmingly like a small boy. Will was definitely into the “island of clubs” and confidently predicted that Snoop’s next album would be a house record because American rappers are bored of slow, sizzurpy beats. We’ll see.
Anyway, Fedde has made a Basement Jaxx-style eclecto-house album that, while pretty corny in places, does contain at least one renegade pop gem in the form of this track with Luciana, who’s carved a pretty cool niche for herself after gracing other recent guilty pleasures by Bodyrox and Super Mal.
Fedde le Grand f. Luciana, "Electric Dreams"
At the end of the day, though, Fedde’s Pacha set didn’t quite make me want to lose my tiny mind. Maybe it was just the freaky Adonis geezer in a cut-away leotard striking bored poses on the podium opposite that distracted me. Or paying €12 for a bottle of beer. The next day I got stung by a jellyfish in the Med: you can insert your own joke here.