A big residency in Ibiza is the ultimate career goal for many DJs in dance music. It’s also a risky move and plenty of DJs have burned themselves by jumping too soon. For Hot Since 82, taking on his own night, Labyrinth at Pacha, was a seismic moment in his career, and one that proved a nervy as well as life affirming challenge.
Ibiza Voice: What was different about Labyrinth from the rest of Ibiza's clubs this season?
Hot Since 82: I wanted to deliver a party truly inspired by colour, fun and great music. The goal was to reintroduce what Friday nights in Ibiza should be all about.
It was an opportunity for me to showcase some of my wider tastes by hosting a variety of artists that I knew would contribute perfectly to the overall vibe and energy each week. From DJ Harvey and Goldie to Adam Beyer and Dubfire by way of Derrick Carter and Maya Jane-Coles.
And why the name?
The idea for the decor came first. The vision of a dancefloor lost in a jungle was so clear. We did a lot of research into ancient tribes and lost kingdoms from the Mayans to the Ankawat. We got so lost in the magical world that ‘Labyrinth’ seemed like the obvious choice. It’s also quite fitting that Pacha itself is a bit of a maze, I’ve done 21 dates this summer and [still] have to leave a trail of breadcrumbs!
Who has been your favourite guest for the party so far and why?
I’d have to say DJ Harvey. His music selection was brilliant and he smashed his set on the night.
Tell us about your opening night? It must be a nerve racking experience opening your first residency night for a big club like Pacha?
It’s true, I was nervous! You spend so much time working on a project like this, so to be opening the doors after months of preparation was a little crazy. It’s every DJ’s dream to host a residency in Ibiza, and whilst I was excited, I also had to pinch myself a couple times. It was the Friday of IMS so the entire industry came out and we had a full house and a lot of fun. It just meant a lot to me that I had several of my friends from back home, my whole team and a packed dancefloor on the first night. There was no way I was going to disappoint any of them!
A night in Ibiza is a big step up and a big gamble for any DJ on the island. What's been the biggest challenge?
Playing every week is a big test mentally. It’s important to keep the sets fresh and entertaining for the regulars whilst also pleasing the tourists. You also need to look after your health and get sleep where you can. I’m not saying I’ve perfected that by any stretch of the imagination but I’m figuring it out.
Did you get any advice from your mentors for doing so?
Yes both Pete Tong and Solomon gave me some great advice. Pete hosted Fridays at Pacha for years and gave me some great insight into how the club flows on a Friday night. It was an honour for me to have him play this Summer. Solomun also gave me some survival tips. He and his team have been very supportive throughout. What they’ve achieved on Sundays over the past five years is incredible and it’s great to have their support.
You have two very different experiences of Ibiza over your 16 years coming to the island. The first as a raver and the second as a DJ. Let's start with the first and coming to Ibiza as a raver. Did you go home a changed man?
I did come here as a raver yes, 17 years ago this year. I came out here with a group of a friends from my hometown. I think there was about eight of us. We stayed in San Antonio with a lot of the British crowd and just had a wicked time. It’s like landing in paradise when you get there for the first time. I always say the first experience in Ibiza is the best. I was 17 at the time, and it was the first time I had been on a holiday alone without parents. I guess I just had the time of my life, trying to explore every little bit that I could on the island.
It was amazing, probably the best holiday ever. We went to as many clubs as we could, including Pacha, which is what made this residency extra special for me. I was indeed rolling with my crew of friends from back home, who I still hang out with!
At the time I wouldn’t say I came back a changed man, but looking back now, I do think that it was a defining moment in my life. Ibiza has become a huge part of who I am and it all started with that first holiday with friends.
Have you ever worked a season?
I was a Cream resident years ago under my real name 'Daley Padley', look me up, there are some hilarious photos. I’m not sure what I was thinking with some of my outfits!
These were pretty wild days no doubt.
Back then, trance was really big — people like Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Judge Jules. I used to really like trance music. Hard house was really good back then as well – people like Lisa Lashes and the whole Tidy Trax label were huge back then.
More on the house side of things, I went to see Roger Sanchez. He did a four or five hour set at El Divino in Ibiza town. That was the set that really made me realise what I wanted to do. I just remember being so impressed by everything that I never wanted to go back to the apartment, every set was so inspiring to me and it really made me fall in love with electronic music.
Tell us about the moment you first saw your name on a billboard on the island? It must have felt like a big moment?
The billboards are very synonymous with Ibiza’s clubbing scene, on the one hand you could argue they’re a little vulgar, but on the other, when you land for the first time in Ibiza and you’re a fan of dance music, to see all your heroes on huge billboards blows you away. Nowhere else in the world really has that, it’s unique. The first one I had was during my first mini residency at Pacha. It was an amazing feeling I must admit and something I’ll always be grateful for.
Are you still always rolling with your entourage of mates from home?
Of course. My friends from back home always come first. They’ve all been out at some point this season and needless to say we’ve had a lot of fun, maybe too much!
And what's life like for you now on the island. Were you living here all Summer?
I’ve been flying in Thursdays mostly and then out on Saturdays for other gigs and then back to my home town near Leeds during the week. It’s been a rollercoaster but most definitely worth it. I rented an apartment on the island really close to Pacha where I’ve been staying, it’s been nice to have my own place and not have to check in and out of hotel rooms every other day. I even set the decks up in the kitchen.
Do you still have your rowdy moments in Ibiza or have you gone all serious on us?
Now and again, but mostly I’m in and out so those days are a little behind me now. I need to pick my battles nowadays. I could stay up all night drinking and partying but if I know I need to be on a plane in a few hours to catch a gig it puts a dampner on the night. I have to carefully select the nights where I let loose a little.
What have been your biggest records this season?
Everything But The Girl 'Wrong' (Todd Terry Remix). This one has been the perfect end of night track on numerous occasions this summer! I’ve also been playing Trivial by Ki Creighton & Makanan a lot over the summer. It always does the trick!