Ever wondered what your favourite Ibiza DJ residents get up to in the winter? Contrary to popular opinion, the guys and girls that offer some of the best floor filling performances during the summer, either as headliners or getting the room ready for an international star, do not get boxed up and locked in a closet for the winter. They can be found out and about around the world, flying the flag for the quality of the clubbing capital. Two island favourites, Andy Baxter and Ken Fan, invited us to be a fly on the wall as they set of for a five-week tour that took them through Asia to Australia, what could possibly go wrong…
Between them, Andy and Ken have played at most of the island’s cooler parties and venues – from six hour back to back sessions at Carl Cox’s Music Is Revolution party in Space Ibiza to Pacha and Ibiza Underground. Their experience is not limited to rocking the world famous Ibiza clubs however, they are equally at home creating a chilled beach vibe in BEACHOUSE or El Chiringuito and getting the party started at two famous Ibiza Café’s – Mambo and Del Mar. Andy can also be heard on his weekly Saturday Dubmetrix radio show for OpenLab. The duo has a wealth of island experience, one of the reasons they are in big demand around the world when the shutters come down on the summer season in Ibiza.
Vietnam was the first port of call and Saigon’s Blanchys Tash, owned by Andre Arias, a regular Ibiza visitor and one of the first places in the country to regularly book and support international guests. The crowd was a local one with a few tourists but it is one that has been fed a staple diet of quality house music over the years and is more than aware of its underground tunes. It’s a vibrant start to the tour as the duo destroyed the main room floor with a selection of chunky house beats and grooves. Next stop was a debut visit to Australia, first stop Melbourne for ‘Pawn & Co’, run by Gaz Kempster, an Ibiza regular that works for Space during the summer season. Melbourne is famed for its club crowd and this did nothing but enhance that reputation as the capacity crowd threatened to take the roof off the quirky club space.
After a whirlwind visit to the cosmopolitan city, it was time to clock up more air miles, next stop Sydney, where fellow Ibiza spinner Mo Funk was waiting and a first gig in Barrio Cellar (previously Spice Bar). Sydney nightlife is in the news for all the wrong reasons just now with the lockout laws really impacting on what was previously one of the most vibrant club scenes in the world. Weather played a part, resulting in the cancellation of the gig on Cockatoo island but the after party in Slyfox offered a dark space, low ceiling and the chance for the boys to indulge their deeper side, much to the delight of the packed club. The Sydney leg of the tour finished on a high at Home, one of the cities premier clubs and where Andy and Ken delivered a four-hour musical master class, with a sea of smiling faces lapping it up and rocking throughout.
With jet lag finally subsiding and the bodies getting used to the change in climate, it was time to leave Oz and start making the way back to Ibiza, but not before a stopover in Thailand where another Ibiza DJ, Marco Loco, was waiting in Koh Pha Ngan. Before the Balearic reunion however, there was a drop in to Koh Samui and the Cha Cha Moon beach club. The venue had played host to Sven Väth and Catz N Dogz previously so it was no surprise that the crowd was more than happy to hear the latest underground sounds from the clubbing capital. A short ferry ride followed before Jungle Experience in Ko Pha Nan, where Marco Loco currently resides, looking after the bookings and delivering his own unique flavor to 5000 people in the Thai jungle! It was every bit as crazy as it sounds, with a tropical atmosphere, huge palm trees and smiling faces offering the most unusual of dancing spaces. A few days rest and recuperation followed, some drinking, some beach action and moped adventures around the island.
The Ibiza version of the Amazing race was over – after over 20 flights, numerous boats and ferries, buses, taxis and tuk tuk journeys, several memorable parties and a lifetime of memories, it was time to head back to Ibiza, where it promises to be another huge season on the island. Andy and Ken will continue their numerous residencies, Andy is back in the OpenLab studio and has a series of gigs around Europe before the summer kicks off in earnest and Ken is locked in the studio working on new productions as well as programming the Café Del Mar season. One thing that was apparent after the marathon tour, Ibiza still plays a huge, influential role in clubbing around the world.