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Wax Da Jam on unearthing the spirit of Ibiza

With Seth Troxler billed for round two, here's our lowdown on what to expect from Wax Da Jam.

If we're to begin waxing lyrical about Wax Da Jam, we'll go with quoting your host, Nightmares On Wax, and tell you that this is a “love gig.”

The British-born veteran DJ and producer, who has inhabited the island since 2008, gave us that nutshell description in an interview with Ibiza Spotlight two summers ago. And as the residency kicked off its eighth season run on Thursday with us in attendance, we're here to tell what you can expect from this alternative music gig – if you don't know already - and why love is right at the heart of it.


A season of charitable giving

We all know how easy it is for us to spend our money here. Whether you're sweeping in as a tourist, here for the season, or living here permanently, emptying those wallets and purses can be a constant temptation – especially on nights out. Treating yourselves is all well and good, but with this year's Wax Da Jam, as well as indulging ourselves we're also giving a little to a good cause under its motto ´season of giving. ´

George Evelyn (a.k.a Nightmares On Wax) is an ambassador for Last Night A DJ Saved My Life - a charitable organisation that creates opportunities for the dance music industry to make a positive impact on children in crisis. Evelyn will involve the foundation more this season, with a portion of sales going toward this cause. So, go on, get involved and indulge, because you'll also find market stalls out to tempt you. This year's opening included a vinyl stall, complete with record players to road test that vintage wax before adding it to the collection. We're excited to see what else is up for grabs.


Social club atmosphere

For a residency to have longevity, it really needs to have a solid ethos, and when that comes from a deeply personal place, the night is felt to have its own distinct, tangible personality. With Wax Da Jam, Evelyn understands that it's important to have some sense of a community spirit.

His driving goal was to throw down a party which would introduce you to the foundations of the things he grew up with at the base of his musical roots. And that is to have a soundsystem, an MC, DJ, percussion and some drums. He sees that the crowd come together with the musicians once they start jamming, and to him, the inside of the Club room is a model of the youth clubs and social clubs he started out in. You too feel this, as it's dimly lit and a little bit grimy, which gives it that feeling of being lived in.

Social clubs are designed to be spaces where, funnily enough, you roam with friends and strangers alike. Club room aside, you've got multiple bars, an outdoor dancing spot, a restaurant and food trucks – choose your spot and find your people.

Las Dalias is one of the island's oldest nightclubs, so you can imagine just how many humans have become intertwined in this adult playground.


Alternative music

This section could easily ram 1,000 words down your throat on Evelyn's music-led escapades, considering that he's been cutting it in the industry for over three decades.

To keep it simple, Evelyn's tastes cannot be put into one box, so forget about aligning Wax Da Jam with one single genre. Hip hop and breakdancing culture in his teens, he was heavily involved in the illegal rave movement that swept Britain in the late ´80s and early ´90s, funk and reggae influence him, he's recorded with a 52-piece orchestra, and he had his first taste of Balearic beat back in 1988 on this very island.

Needless to say, he's mixed in some seriously influential circles, and is in an ample position to curate some interesting line-ups. Previous guests have included Massive Attack's founding member Daddy G, Shovell the Drum Warrior, Defected label boss Simon Dunmore and beatboxer. This year's opener had in seven-piece New Zealand band Fat Freddy's Drop feat. LSK and Negghead (one half of Acid Mondays). Guests to roll in over the following three dates include Circoloco regular Seth Troxler, music mogul Adam Regan, house legend Kenny Dope, musical lyricist Harley Maxwell and German jazz drummer Wolfgang Haffner. Variety? Here's where it's at.


An alternative crowd

Las Dalias' location is, in part, what draws in a different crowd. Ibiza's superclubs are either bang in the centre of San Antonio or Playa d'en Bossa, or a short stalk away from the bus stop. Las Dalias, however, could be described as being in the sticks.

A 40-minute taxi ride away from San Antonio can put off some punters, but once there, you appreciate that it's snuggled in an unspoilt area of Ibiza. What we're saying here is that the crowd hasn't merely stumbled upon it after sinking a few elsewhere, they've gone out their way to hunt this haunt down. To weigh in on that point, at the opening instalment I met a Californian who'd travelled two days to be at this party.

Wax Da Jam opens its door to anyone over the age of 16, and so you have a fantastic mixed bag of ages in there. You'll find the locals – whether that be Ibicencos, or those who've settled on the island – season workers, and more tourists are making the trip than ever.

There is no budget for the big billboards and mega advertising, but what it does have is one of the most powerful tools in the book – word of mouth. Wax Da Jam has built its foundations on purely spreading the word, and you can really get behind that. There's nothing better than someone gushing about a party that needs to be experienced, and you later finding yourself there thinking, “yeah, this is the place.”


Reasonable drink prices and delicious bites

In the superclubs, most would be struggling to get a round in every hour. Whereas at Las Dalias, your money stretches out that big bit further. A small beer on draft will cost you 3.50€, with a large priced at 4.50€ and bottles being charged at 5.50€. Water can be bought for just 3€ and a spirit mixer comes in at 10€. All very reasonable.

As well as the restaurant, you had the food truck which had punters reaching for the mini burgers (2€ for 1, or 5€ for 3) and if you're a sucker for oriental flavours, you'd be right in there for the sumptuous pork bao. Your peckish needs will be met and satisfied, trust me.


PHOTOGRAPHY l Peter Young, Elliot Walsh and La Skimal

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