Ibiza Music - Spanish Holiday Islands Mediterranean

By now Ibiza's music is its own genre, usually referred to as the Balearic Beat, after the Balearic island group to which Ibiza belongs. The Balearic Beat is characterised by uplifting anthems and an electronic sound (though far removed from techno), and tends not to be as hardcore or predictable as the music played in many of London's clubs. Essentially, the Balearic Beat is a mixture of styles and influences, but generally involves a rousing theme to which people can jump around.

Ibiza is also well known for its chillout grooves, epitomised by the sunset session at Café del Mar in San Antonio. Chillout music is ambient, often influenced by Indian and African beats, or a Latino vibe, and can be euphoric in a much slower and calmer way. It is absolutely ideal for sunset. Groove Armada's 'By the River' is a perfect example of this style of music, as are some of the best known tunes by Moby and Fatboy Slim.

Ibiza's spiritual heritage makes chillout music particularly well suited to the island, although the hippie scene of the 1960s and 1970s also gave rise to the trance scene. This is still in existence today but the legendary trance parties hosted every now and then have so often been broken up by the police that legal, non-secret venues are beginning to commercialise the scene somewhat. In the past, however, there have been attempts at clandestine parties in forests, coves and even tiny, uninhabited islands off the coast.

The post-hippie musical history of Ibiza is by now very well documented: four London lads went there for a party in the summer of 1987 - among them Paul Oakenfold and Danny Rampling - discovered drugs and DJs, loved what they saw, and brought it back to the UK, where US-influenced house music was just taking off. Thus began the rise of the superstar DJ, and nowadays it is the DJs more than the venues themselves that draw in the crowds. Oakenfold and Rampling are still two of the major players who return to Ibiza every summer.

The anthems that drive the crowds wild in Ibiza end up being the big European musical successes of the summer. You definitely hear it there first, and only later does the summer's defining song make it to the UK and around the world. A particularly excellent year for Balearic anthems was 1999, with ATB's '9pm (Till I Come)' and Alice DJ's 'Better Off Alone' just two of the resounding hits. Since then, notable Ibiza tunes have included Modjo's 'Lady' and Spiller's 'Groovejet'.

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