Dan Ghenacia and DC10 have enjoyed a special bond, it’s the dancefloor he used to take his wife Sofia back when he was a clubber and, after an invitation to play one summer, he turned up on the island and never left for four months! Dan has been a DC10 resident for as long as he can remember, witnessing the club go from 400 clubbers on a Monday to filling the extended venue on a weekly basis. As the profile of DC10 has grown inextricably in the last few years so too has Dan’s profile, seeing him release music on various credible labels and entertain discerning dancefloors all over the world. More recently, he has launched Apollonia, a label and club project that sees him play back to back to back with co-owners and long time collaborators Shonky and Dyed Soundorom.
Essentialibiza caught up with Dan in one of his favourite Ibiza restaurants, Shardana in Playa d’en Bossa. It’s Friday night, which means Aperitiv In Music, some of the finest DJs on the island play to a stunning crowd while the restaurant offers a delicious Italian buffet. It’s a party that continues throughout the winter and always attracts a cool crowd. The restaurant is full, the lounge has already started dancing and the garden area is packed with European clubbers, chatting, smoking and enjoying some cool beats. Dan organises a table to be set up next to the old fountain for our chat, for the first in our ‘Ibiza People’ series, catching up with the men and women who make a significant contribution to the island every summer…
Does Ibiza still surprise you?
Yes, of course. Every season is different. You never know what each month will bring. Except for August, we all know how crazy August is! It’s a love-hate relationship of business versus the excitement of the intensity.
How did your love affair with DC10 start?
Back in Paris I was the resident at the Kwality afterhours party at the Batofar from 1998-2002. We made a compilation and DC10 heard it and contacted me to play. I used to love to go clubbing there and dance with my wife Sofia. We could dance there for 12 hours, it was the only place with decent music in Ibiza at that time, everywhere else was very commercial. They asked me to play at the end of August and then booked me for the closing party and told me that when I was on the island, I play only for them. I didn’t really know what that meant, but I took the risk and brought enough luggage for four months, telling them, okay, I’m here for four months and you told me I play for only you when I am her, so I am a resident.
Are you surprised at how much DC10 has evolved in the time you have played there?
Not really, we could see back then that it was something special. The music was different to the rest of the island and we could see a difference week after week. One week there would be 400 people, the next 600 and it was growing all the time. I knew that DC10 would help my global career. Basically I am a deep house DJ and I realised that the only way to bring deep house to a big crowd that was going to listen to it and love it, was to have the right club to do it in, especially with Tania Vulcano, she was perfect. I am really happy with my own evolution within the club, I have played a lot in the main room, both early and late, I have done everything in this club.
You’ve played a lot of back to back sets this summer, do you have to prepare differently for that kind of performance?
I never prepare for a gig, I always go with the vibe in the room and take it from there. I did a lot of back2backs with Dyed Soundorom over the past two years, plus now I also have the opportunity to do it under the new moniker Apollonia, which is a back2back2back with Dyed and Shonky. There’s a real energy between the three of us, very often we are working like one. We are competitive but not for our ego, we constantly try and surprise each other with a new record or an old record that we may have forgotten about, we try to build a session. There is a point when we have played together after three or four hours when you no longer feel the time and we could play for 12 or 15 hours, it’s almost meditation. And three or four times during the set, whether it’s Dyed or Shonky after me, we are ready to play the same record! We have some common records and I will be ready to play it and he will have it already prepared to play so that means that we are living in the same trip. It’s to be like one DJ at the end and on top of this it is a lot of fun. You know, when you are travelling I think the worst enemy of a DJ is first to be tired and next to be alone. To arrive and immediately be with your friends, you meet at the airport or at the hotel and we laugh so much about everything. I think the crowd can feel it, the promoter can feel it and it’s a good party at the end.
Are you still passionate about buying music?
Yes, for sure, I love going to the record store to buy vinyl. It’s not just about playing vinyl… it’s great of course, but it’s also how you make your selection. Just going online to buy music, you are distracted by too much information. You do your music on your computer, you check your emails on your computer, and you buy your music on your computer… to actually go to the record store and make this effort, for me it’s second nature because I used to own a record store. I like to go to my local record store because the record dealer will give me 25 records and I know I’m going to buy 10 or 15, I’m not listening to 200 promos and maybe buying the best one of them. Which doesn’t necessarily mean it is that good but just because I have listened to so many shit things that I will pick it up… it’s no good for your brain. Once in a while I will go on Beatport and because I am so fresh going on there, I am happy to do it and can find the good music! Just like MacDonald’s, I can enjoy it once in a while!
All three of you are prolific in the studio, will Apollonia be a vehicle only for your own productions or can we expect to see other artists on there?
We are signing other artists to the label as well. The first release was an EP of Shonky’s, the second a collab between myself and Shonky with a remix from The Mole. Then next up it’s my solo EP ‘Trax On Da Road.’ Early 2013 we have Chris Carrier and Hector Moralez’s album ‘Lotus Seven’, there’s everything on there: house, hip hop, jazz, techno, acid… Plus we’ll be working with some of our favourite producers like Kerri Chandler, on repressing personal classics with new remixes.
How does Ibiza change for you in the winter?
In the summer you are in night mode and you can play three or four parties a week and never get tired. Last night, for example, I played at a villa party after the beach party and tonight we are having a late interview and I am sharp, even though I have not had a lot of sleep. During the winter you have to try and get into normal work mode, you have to go into work on Monday. I have an apartment in Ibiza that I keep all year round so I will visit five or six times during the winter. Playa d’en Bossa is like a ghost town, the whole island is very different. The only people that you see in Playa d’en Bossa are out exercising, the beaches are empty. I have set up more or less the same studio in Ibiza that I have in Paris so very often I will start a project in Paris and then come to Ibiza to finish it off. The island can be very inspirational.
Look out for Dan’s new EP Trax On Da Road, forthcoming on Apollonia December 4, 2012