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Ibiza's hardest working disc jockey

Eden's Alex Ellenger on drinking habits and the digital revolution.

San Antonio, Ibiza

San Antonio, Ibiza

In 2000 the club scene in San Antonio, the sunset-blessed resort on the White Isle's west coast, was a complacent, fat, cash cow. Then Eden arrived. Shiny, ambitious and omnivorous, they nicked the apple logo from their closest neighbour, Es Paradis, and this year have pinched one of their rival club's most well known parties, Thursday night urban institution Twice As Nice.

Also on the bill for 2007 is Dusted who have shifted their operation to Monday nights, last year's comeback king Gatecrasher on Tuesdays, the Garlands circus on Wednesdays (now minus ringmaster Hugh Harry), new arrivals Koolwaters and Mondo Loco on Fridays and Saturdays, the rulin' Judgement Sundays, and various one offs like the M8 Dance Awards.

Peruse line ups and buy tickets from our party calendar here

"Director of music" Alex Ellenger will spend more time in and around Eden's dj booths than at his own house. This summer he'll play around a hundred gigs at the San An waterfront venue.

Alex Ellenger @ Eden

Alex Ellenger @ Eden

"The only day I'm not playing is Thursday," he told us when we rang him yesterday. "But I'll still be there. It's part of my job to take care of the djs, the sound system, make sure everybody's happy."

He's quite possibly the hardest working dj in Ibiza, tho he modestly declines the accolade.

"I don't know about that. I do work seven days a week but there's lots of other guys who do the same hours. You do what you have to do to survive."

His duties include conspiring with club managing director Isaac Hidalgo "to get the best line up possible. My directorship is to suggest djs that I think will work right for the club. This year I've also been helping design a new lay out for the dj booth, working on new sound systems for all the rooms, stuff that takes a long time to do because it's Spain."

This kind of schedule obviously requires a constant flow of new music, something much easier to obtain in the internet age. Alex says about three years ago recorded music stopped being transported as a physical object and tracks are now usually computer files.

"Most of my music is from Beatport and Traxsource. I also get sent in the region of 300 and 500 downloadable tracks every summer. At least that. That's good stuff I can play. It's a so much easier way to deal with music, rather than someone posting you a promo. We only had one dj who used the decks on a regular basis last year - Dave Pearce."

Alex EllengerContributing to this volume of tuneage is Alex himself (right), who has his own studio.

Were you drunk and sunburned and grooving with thousands of others when Pete Tong kicked off Radio 1's dangerously large Mambo beach gig with the Wham! remix 'Dub Tropicana' in 2001? That was one of Alex's, done with production partner Colin Butts.

The Ibiza resident says he gets his ideas from an eclectic range of non-dance music sources.

"I pick up all sorts that might work in a house track. I've done a lot of bootleggy stuff in the past but I like to do less of that now."

Alex is currently working on a "rolling, beaty, chunky house track" with Judge Jules, a collaboration the BBC dj writes about in his March blog entry. In the same piece the self confessed windbag ends up "more tipsy than I would have preferred" in Stockholm.

What does Julius drink at Eden, we asked Alex, who'd know.

"Vodka and champagne but not a lot of champagne. He's more of a vodka and diet coke man."

Spotlight: And your tipple?

Alex: Obviously hierbas, that goes without saying being a dj in Ibiza. But usually vodka and diet coke, and cider. Magners cider is the way forward. It's a drink blokes can drink with ice and it doesn't look poofy."

Spotlight: Do you drink and dj or wait till after you finish?

"I've always drunk and djed but I'm a bit older now and I've put myself on a rule of no long drinks before 4.30am," says the experienced 38-year-old.

Spotlight: What advice would you give to a young, up and coming dj about avoiding the occupational hazards of the nightclub industry?

Alex: Spend some money on decent ear plugs. One of the main attributes is being nocturnal obviously so avoid early mornings.

Spotlight: How would you describe your dj style?

Alex: I'd like to say house in capital letters. I don't like to pigeonhole myself as a commercial dj or an underground dj. I play a wide selection of music to entertain everybody and anybody, which I think is the true spirit of Ibiza. I've been djng since the 70s, my brothers had a mobile dj business. I've come from the era before it was cool to be a dj. When it was playing it was all about the right records at the right time. And it still is. But I don't play slow sections any more. But I wouldn't rule it out.

Check the forums for the latest info on Eden's Playa d'en Bossa purchase, Glam (previously Love)

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