If you’ve been to We Love Space Sundays over the last five years, chances are you will have witnessed the percussive prowess on Ian C. The talented percussionist has played with many of the world famous DJs that pass through the popular party in every one of Space’s numerous rooms. His percussion is slightly different fro the norm, he has a fully electronic set up, courtesy of Roland and he adds a musical element to the DJ, complimenting the set. Away from the island, his talents are always in demand at clubs and parties around the world as well as in the studio. Essentialibiza caught up with Ian as he gets set for a busy New Year as the latest in our Christmas Crackers series…
How did the hook up with We Love come about?
Five years ago I had a call from a friend who told me he knew of a gig (if I was interested) with a guy called Mr. Doris – it was in El Salon at Space and it was at the We Love opening party. Interested obviously was an understatement. Cris (Mr. Doris) is a great DJ, we hit it off musically and personally and I ended up playing with him every week that summer. That might have been the end to the story, but half way through that season a certain DJ Alfredo sat next to me one evening and at the end of my set asked if I would like to perform the headline set with him on the Sunset Terrace. You could say it went well as we ended up headlining for three years! Alfie has a remarkable knowledge of music that makes him an amazing DJ, I learnt so much from working with him and I’m honoured to say he is now a great friend. All this said, if it wasn’t for the openness and generosity of the promoters of We Love (Mark, Sarah and Darren) this would just be a great anecdote. They have always championed me and for that I am forever grateful.
We Love is famous for its eclectic line up, does the change in DJ throughout the night impact on what you do?
At We Love I only perform with DJs that I know or that have requested me and this is booked and arranged months in advance. It isn’t a case of banging away over peoples sets without due care and attention! What is great about the line ups is that I get to perform with some very talented artists in different rooms and at different times. Over the years this has lead me to perform in all of the rooms at Space with many of the (fantastic) residents as well as people like Jonathan Ulysses, Thomas Gandey and Pier Bucci.
Tell us how it feels to be playing in Space Discoteca when it’s full and going off?
Pretty awesome, playing in a room you have danced in over the years and seeing people lose it is such a buzz. The ‘room of doom’ has one of the most remarkable sound systems I’ve ever heard in any venue. The clarity and power is pure science to me (you can stand in front of the speakers and have your diaphragm shaken whilst having a perfectly audible conversation). Add to that the provenance of the room itself – the biggest names in the world play there and even as a footnote to that list, it is such a great personal achievement.
Percussion is a popular companion to dance music, what makes your set up different?
Many years ago I realised that live percussion accompaniment in a club wasn’t actually as popular as it once was. DJs and clubbers have a much more discerning palette nowadays. I have steered away from the stereotypical ‘bongo guy’ for quite some time now and have embraced the world of electronic equipment. I have an artist agreement with Roland and use a customised set up of kit that allows me to play sounds, melodies and effects that marry with the more tech house and techno sounds of today (and hopefully tomorrow).
What makes a good percussionist?
I endeavour to become another track on the tune, to lock into a groove and to follow the artist I am working with. It’s not a battle; he or she is not the competition but instead, the conductor leading the way. I learnt from the likes of Nightmares On Wax and my good friend and mentor Shovell that less is more – showboating is all well and good, but also knowing when to shut up is vital!
What attracted you to the dance music scene?
I loved the adventure of joining a convoy of cars, hoping someone at the front knew where they were going and ending up in a field, warehouse or even a motorway service station to have the time of my life. We didn’t think we were going to change the world, we forgot all of our worries and the music that we listened to was ours.
What is it about Ibiza that inspires you?
My mother took me to Ibiza when I was eleven, I know nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but a piece of me has been there ever since. Over the years I have lived and worked in Ibiza and at different times it has meant different things to me. I guess that is the point. It is a beautiful island with an amazing history, it is the home to many great friends of mine and it evolves as much as it stays the same. How can I not be inspired?
What does the winter look like for you?
Really good! I am working on a number of projects that are really exciting right now, I can’t wait to push these forward over the coming months. I have a couple of records coming out soon that will (hopefully) surprise a few folk, I am also currently collaborating in the studio with a couple of heroes of mine and I continue to gig around the world.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank We Love, Bench, Roland and everyone that shows me so much love for what I do, there’s plenty more to come!
Ian C Live @ We Love Space Sundays…
IAN C ONLINE: