It started, as usual in DC10. It was of course an awsome party but many were mumbling and grumbling about the music being 'flat' and 'same-y'. I had to agree it wasn't always easy to tell when one Dj finished and another started. It's the greatest crowd though! no question.
Danny Tenaglia was surrounded by people asking the same question, "are you going to play tonight Danny?" I counted 4 times just while I was ear-wigging. More of him later. We were all waiting for one thing, the nastydirtysexmusic posse of Smokin' Jo, Tim Sheridan and Ibiza co-promoter Joe Upton.
How many superstar Djs like Smokin Jo personally give out free passes to their gig!? None it seems as DC10 finished and they were no-where to be seen. I counted about 20 people looking for them when I asked around. We left DC10 a bit dejected, but Hosanna! at the exit was trusty Joe Upton, the most cheerful promoter on the planet.. He has a lot to be cheerful about. Tim Sheridan liked his villa parties last year and got him on board and now he has the smile of a man who knows behind him is some of the best music you're likely to hear this year. I remember (very vaguely!) hearing Electro-house, Breaks and dirty, dirty House mixed with incredibly well chosen stuff from the vaults. I remember thinking "I get it! it's different styles but it's all nastydirtysexmusic...cool". I was hoping for at least the same, but what I got was a flyer with a map (simple, black and white again) and the promise that "they've really moved on, their new shit is so dope". Two other venues advertised Jo and Tim and Danny Tenaglia were playing at their places. I guess you've made it when people copy you. I hoped nastydirty could live up to this hype...
The map took us not to a field or a barn or a warehouse...not even a villa. No, it was established San Rafel restaurant "El Ayoun". I was I have to confess a little disappointed. It was easy to spot, it was the place with about 100 people outside and 3 worried looking El Ayoun staff trying to stem the rush. This is the place then. Danny Tenaglia breezed past with a who's-who of international Djs in tow. I pulled the Press scam and slipped into an Arabian fantasy. Like before I had an epiphany and suddenly "got it". Nice. This time they've made it nice. I understand.....
It was beautifull decorated and full of the right people. I guess the right people in Ibiza are a combo of industry, DC10 ravers and freaks. it was one of those parties you knew people would talk about because the type of people who get talked about were the crowd. I saw a beautiful antique arabian fountain in front of the entrance to the charming garden. I wondered if the posh owners of El Ayoun realised that these kind of 'beautiful people' aren't so beautiful when the party gets going. I noted it's positon and wondered how many would end up wet. I didn't have to wait long. Sometimes the best place to hang in a club is in front of the speakers, sometimes in front of the ladies toilets (only in my case perhaps?) sometimes by the bar. Sometimes it's by a fountain that screams DANGER! I do love a good tumble .
The sound system drew me in deeper to the dim candlelight. At jury-rigged raves the systems can be pretty poor but at the first party Tim Sheridan explained to me they had searched the island for the right sound. They'd found it again courtesy of Joe Upton, from the same handy German chap who'd done it before. 4 (count 'em) lovely warm-sounding speakers in each corner connected to El Ayoun's slightly harsher bar system lent a lot of the nights quality to the music. As Tim said "I'll tell you a secret mate, it's just a great system and great records, nothing more, shhh, don't tell anyone". Sorry Tim, now they do. All over the world.
London's DJ Demi was playing and he lived up to the recommendation to the industry from Danny Tenaglia, bumping, mighty House with the ocasional cheeky thrown in a nastydirtystyle. I detected Prince's "Kiss" somewhere deep down in the funk? could be! Demi produced the first cheers of the night and had everyone, including all the Djs, dancing and whooping. I got on one for the first time that night (I just didn't feel it in DC10) and got down.
I was deeply in the groove, forced into a corner by the mass of bodies. Not an inch of El Ayoun was visible for the heaving mass. It wasn't uncomfortable, the atmosphere was too electric. I felt the mood change before the music did. I was loving Demi but a ripple went through the crowd when you know something's changed. Tim and Jo are quite unassuming for Djs of thier stature. They never put their names on the flyers. It's quite possible (as someone I know has) to go to nastydirtysexmusic and have no idea who are the 'stars' behind it. You want to find out though by the end of the night! Usually when that ripple, say when the resident goes off and the big star comes on, is all buzz and energy. This one was different. Muted. More like the crowd were wondering what was going to be played. You never can tell at nastydirty. I couldn't see the 'booth' (two steel kitchen tables!) but suddenly it was clear things were different. The room exploded. The music became spiky, new, WRONG somehow.... were those distorted guitars? Had to be Tim Sheridan. Even without the aid of vision you can tell the difference. Jo is a historical pillar of House. Her stuff blows the room apart, all sexy and cool energy. Tim is pure oddball, mad-scientist genius tunes from outer space. Together they are murder!
I speculated to Tim that they work so well together because Jo stops Tim going 'over the edge' while he pushes her towards it. He replied I should get out more and it's because the people who make the records are a genius group of artists! He's right on that count for sure. But I learned some of the tunes are his, and Jo's, so I guess he's not so humble.
The whole place went up several notches then and people crowded into a huddled mass-groove. Sometimes Jo and Tim took it minimal, techy-spastic grooves that held you for an hour. Then Gill Scott-Heron's deep baritone blares out on top.."the revolution will not be televised"...never predictable at nastydirty that's for sure. Tim's version on "sexy mother fucker" by Prince unintentionally grinds the earlier Prince moment to dust, Demi cheers with the rest of us! Good man. He knows....
Then Smokin Jo would slide over to the controls and lift the roof off, giving us a massive slap across our collective chops. WHACK! Tim would follow her lead for a while with something that kept up her energy but grasped the vibe and twists it with brute force into wierder shapes like a demented blacksmith. I suddenly get a wierd feeling I've felt this before and I have FLASH!! London, 5 years ago. A Soho basement. It's a pure Drum and Bass night and there is a strong connection with the atmosphere because here always there is that BASS. The unifying force that unites all the music tonight. Great-big-rolling-juicy-thundering beasts. Sometimes pure funk. Sometimes great Electro Bass landscapes but always merging into the deep atmosphere of sleaze they create with naughty acapellas and filthy noise. It seems so approprite that they have taken the bored, souless but incredibly fashionable London sound and stripped almost precisely the only Electro records that have funk or soul out of that scene and actually married it to an Ibiza party atmosphere using sex-glue! good job.
Tonight answered another question I've been meaning to ask. Did Ministry of Sound and playing weekly at 'We Love..." kill nastydirty's originality? Well, not at all and Joe Upton was right...they are even better. As if they are refining their own concept as they go. Anything goes, as long as it's nasty and dirty and talks explicitly sex-talk ...it's nastydirtysexmusic. I have to say I do this for a living son.....and I'm out of shape...but this was the best party I've ever been to of many in Ibiza. It qualifies as going in my top ten ever somewhere, but I won't place it yet, you never know what'll happen at the next one I go to.....
The Police came, as if on cue as they tend do to it seems at every nastydirtyparty.. and promptly busted us. Just as Danny Tenaglia (more of him later I said) was unlocking his box to play back to back with the Two Heroes. Maybe next time. Nobody booed, nobody cried. We'd just had 6 hours of the best. Even Jo and Tim seemed nonplussed. Although I guess they know all the coppers personally by now. "Morning Juanito, Morning Miquel, come to arrest us again...?" surely only the best parties end up in Jail?
oh, yes. I said more Danny Tenaglia? I plucked up the courage and approached the Legend. I told him:
I 'm a journalist not a wierdo (I'm both but he was kind enough not to mention it) and..... 'are you playing tonight Danny....?' D'OH, I can't believe I said that! It must've been everyone asking it in DC10, yeah that's it! However, he didn't give the usual stock reply, he gave me a different answer to the hundreds if not thousands who ask EXACTLY the same question everytime he walks in a club....his answer?
"Are you kidding?! I was gonna but I just wanna DANCE to this!"
Having seen Pete Tong dance for the first time in The Red Box the night before to Jo and Tim I wasn't surprised... nastydirtysexmusic, so good Danny Tenaglia would rather dance.
(oh yes, and the fountain was reduced to rubble by a speeding mong)