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Solomun: + Spotlight

Solomun gets a grilling about the rise of Neon Nights, going it alone at Pacha, and how those magic music moments still give him goose bumps.

From IMS at the beautiful Dalt Vila officially kicking off the 2013 season, to the grand opening of Destino Pacha Resort after 500 days of developments, to being part of the Sankeys Success Story and Pacha's more underground image, there's not really much doubt about it: this Ibiza season has well and truly belonged to Solomun.

His Diynamic Neon Nights parties at Sankeys every Tuesday have been constantly rammed and have been part of a calendar of nights that has seen the club really forging its way and solidifying its identity as part of the island's underground scene. Furthermore, his new party for Pacha this summer has seen him inviting various artists to join him in the glamorous hacienda-style haven every Sunday for ‘Solomun + 1', a night which has simultaneously shown him stand alone as an artist and also support and share the limelight with various highly regarded DJs and producers from around the globe.

Aside from being a strong and influential artist, producer and label head, essentially he's really a family man, constantly supporting both new and solid members of the Diynamic unit. It's not often that you don't see him fist-pumping, Diynamic tote bag in hand behind the booth for his Neon Nights artists or dancing along to his Pacha ‘Plus Ones'.

This time I was the lucky plus one, as I chatted to the Hamburg house head about his summer, his residencies and what he's got in store for us...

How have you found this season in comparison to last year?

"For me it was very different to last year because I had two residencies; Diynamic Neon Nights at Sankeys and my new own night Solomun+1 at Pacha. I felt more pressure this year. Not only because of my own night at Pacha, but also because of the question if Sankeys will still work. Fortunately it all worked out pretty well – and of course I learned to love the Island even more this year."

You've had two parties this season; Diynamic Neon Nights at Sankeys and Solomun + 1 at Pacha. How have you managed to juggle the two? Do completely separate teams work on both?

"No, my team is so good that they can take care of both events! The challenge was to find some space and time for recovering. That's why I had 2 weekends off in August and September, so I could relax a bit and go to the beach."

The ethos of the Diynamic parties is centred on a family, communal vibe. This is obviously present at the Pacha parties between you and the crowd, why did you feel this year was the time to work on a solo project out with the label ‘showcases'? To highlight Solomun as an individual artist?

"I don't think that I would have had the idea for a Solomun residency on my own, but I had so many requests after last summer. I love taking challenges, and after my amazing last year I had the strong feeling that besides the Diynamic Neon Nights I should try my own night. I also felt that every Sunday at Pacha there was a family vibe, it's really cool that you felt the same. This family vibe was very important to me from the very beginning, which is one reason why I moved the DJ booth: to be closer to the people."

You are known to have a very dedicated following, how have you found the crowd and vibe differs between these two nights? Do the Sankeys faithful follow you to Pacha?

"I don't really think the people who go to Pacha are the same as those who go to Sankeys. But they have one thing in common: They both love music and want to party! And the vibe... it is always difficult to compare different clubs, but this is also the fun part of my Ibiza season: to have two different clubs every week."

What was the inspiration behind the ‘+1' concept?

"An important part of the concept is to share the attention with my very special +1-artist. I always play from 2-4, then my guest from 4-6 and after this we go back-to-back, so the whole night is pretty much fifty-fifty, which was very important for me when I came up with the concept."

It's the only party at Pacha where the DJ booth is moved into the middle of the room, giving it a more intimate feel, which I believe was your own decision. Do you think it is important for party promoters to really stamp their own identity on the venue?

"I wanted my own night at Pacha to look different. For me, moving the DJ booth was one of the most important things to “Solomun+1” because [it has] more of a warehouse feeling. It was also important that part of my contract was that only I can use the moved booth to have the difference to the other nights."

You've played a huge amount all over the island this summer, playing IMS and Destino too. How do you ensure that your sound and your sets stay fresh? You must have quite an influx of demos and exposure to new music; do you still go crate-digging?

"Because of my really heavy touring this year and two residencies in Ibiza, I've never checked so many promos like I have this summer to stay fresh and always have new tracks on board. I have someone who helps me, does a pre-check and takes out all the tracks that would absolutely not work for me, like EDM-style, progressive or trance. People would never imagine how many promos from all thinkable styles I constantly get."

My favourite ‘Solomun moment' of the season was taking part in a sit down to your remix of Kraak & Smaak Let's Go Back at Diynamic on the 6th August. The video gives me goose bumps! Why do you think such a ‘cult' exists around you and your work – do you have any stand out memorable moments of the season you'd like to share?

"This is a tough question, I couldn't tell you why! But I always get goose bumps too, when those things happen. It's a gift and I am more than thankful for this. But for me no party, no sit-down, no mass hysteria can be better than our Diynamic family BBQs that we have every Tuesday at my villa. Having H.O.S.H. and me at the grill with lots of hungry mouths to feed, good chats and lots of laughing... These were always my favourite moments."

Both parties have been a great success this season. How do you plan to develop your parties, both on Ibiza and around the world? Individually and as a label head, what are your plans for the near future?

"First we finish this season, which has been a really a great one. After closings we will get back to work and will develop the two nights for the next year. Individually my plan is to do some big tours in South-America, USA, Australia and Asia, then have the first 3 months next year off to have some holiday, and hopefully find time to make some new music."

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