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Renaissance man Geoff Oakes speaks of Moments of Ibiza

We chat to Mr Renaissance about its return to Ibiza and preview the three upcoming shows at Eden.

Legendary label and global party organiser Renaissance returns to Ibiza, taking over three exclusive dates at Eden as part of Moments Of Ibiza. We put together the details of its takeovers and got the lowdown from founder Geoff Oakes.

Renaissance boss Geoff Oakes is known to rarely mince his words. After reacquiring his beloved Renaissance back in 2011, Geoff put plans in motion to bring back the glory days to his most famous labour of love.

Renaissance's past achievements are well-decorated. It was one of the first entities in dance music to harness the power of the mix compilation and helped established the careers of a certain Sasha and Digweed.

The road until now hasn't been always easy. As Geoff explains, "In the mid-to-late 90s, Ibiza was all about the major club brands: Renaissance, Cream, Ministry of Sound and We Love. Now the island is more competitive than ever."

Although it may not seem so at first, given the party's origins, Eden was the way to go. In his words, "A lot of people might question Renaissance being at Eden, as they may recall Ibiza Town being our home. But I'm really excited about the idea of throwing these shows into the San Antonio mix."

The ethos of the event and label, after all, has always been about quality: "Renaissance has always been about delivering the best possible environment for our audience and Eden's sound system is probably the best on the island. With the focus on the music, the quality of sound was a high priority for us.

Older and wiser, Renaissance has learned many lessons from the past and is now ready to embark on an exciting new chapter.

Let's take a look at all three shows in a little more detail.


Renaissance's 2018 Ibiza campaign kicks off this coming Monday 16 July with the salivating prospect of the Ibiza debut of 3D: Danny Howells, Darren Emerson and Dave Seaman.

The three-scene veterans have seen progressive house fall in and out of favour whilst remaining true to themselves. All three artists rode out the EDM explosion that unfairly tainted the genre through misappropriation, long enough to see a resurgence in its fortunes.

Now combining as a back-to-back-to-back tandem in the booth, as well as a studio outfit, marks an exciting new chapter in their history.

This latest project underlines their unwavering relevance and unflagging enthusiasm

We expect to hear some beautiful melodic sounds, harking back to euphoria of Renaissance's early years. Naturally, there will be plenty of music showcased from the trio's own labels Selador, Dig Deeper and Detone.

Plus we'd take a wager on hearing material from the likes Knee Deep In Sound, Sudbeat, Natura Sonoris, Lost & Found, Balance Music and Renaissance itself. Audiojack and Jaydee are also on hand.


The second date on 20 August features Detroit techno originator Kevin Saunderson, Frankfurt-based house and techno thoroughbred Nick Curly and rising dub tech star Lauren Lo Sung along with Prymate.

As one of the Belleville Three, Kevin Saunderson's indelible mark on electronic music can never be too overstated. He has remained at techno's forefront for three decades now. Today, his legacy continues in son and protege Dantiez, but he's still churning out hits himself.

Having grown up in his homeland's techno heartland, it was perhaps inevitable that German DJ Nick Curly would one day be flying the flag for the genre.

Incredibly versatile, Curly masterfully bridges the gap between house and techno.

Liverpudlian Lauren Lo Sung represents the future. On Ibiza, she rose to prominence as part of the last wave of burgeoning talent showcased at Carl Cox's Space residency.

Having made her name as a DJ first and foremost, Lauren's productions are also growing in stature with each new release.


Finally, Renaissance once again takes over Moments Of Ibiza on 3 September. This time Canadian live sensation Mathew Jonson, Matt Tolfrey and Marino Canal support a live set from Get Physical's prolific Booka Shade.

The duo is likely to perform music taken from their recent studio album Cut the Strings as well as 2017's Galvany Street.

Mathew Jonson continues to be a tour de force both in the studio and on stage as part of his mesmerising live act.

Matt Tolfrey has operated on the fringes of UK underground scene for the past decade. Having threatened to blow up for most of that tenure, it now feels like he is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

Like us, we're sure you will agree that these are three very different but incredibly attractive dates, featuring a diverse mix of established legends and fresh talent.

In the words of the big boss, "I really wanted to program three shows where the quality of the music was the primary ingredient. Moments of Ibiza were really receptive to this idea."

With promoters Cutting Edge and Yoshitoshi sharing the other Monday dates, there's certainly something different from one week to the next.

He continues, "The diversity of the line-ups is a massive plus for me because it shows the brand is not pigeonholed to one particular sound. I think that's important for Renaissance, both as a party and record label."

the sound of the label

Coinciding with three stand-out events is the much-anticipated third release on the label - a Maceo Plex rework of Vangelis' seminal Blade Runner score. The dance floor bomb is set to land on 13 July.

"The relaunch of the label needed a series of high-profile releases. As it marked Renaissance's 25th Anniversary, we chose to go in the direction of a limited-edition series of remixes by some of today's biggest producers."

Last year Solomun put his distinct touch on Age Of Love's stonewall classic, the remix becoming a huge part of his Sunday parties at Pacha. This summer, its been the turn of Tale Of Us, who have reworked Energy 52's massive Café del Mar. Already it's one of the hits of the summer.

"Each one is an iconic 90s track that impacted on Renaissance and me in some way. It has introduced these classics to a whole new audience. The vinyl format also carries the original on the B side."

"Instead of the original versions being played occasionally as a novelty at the end of a DJs set, these remixes are peak-time bombs being played by every major DJ in every major club and festival around the world."

"It was a deliberate strategy and has given the label a lot of exposure. Once this series of six releases is complete, it'll remain a great platform to release new music."

With the label already claiming two Beatport No.1s and two Pete Tong Essential New Tunes, the upcoming Maceo Plex remix is destined to do the same.

"I'm getting sent so much new music now, purely because of the profile these releases has given us. I'm ready to start releasing new music and working with fresh, talented producers moving forward."

the challenge ahead

"Because the island is so competitive, it's beneficial Renaissance has three dates rather than a full season. Inevitably 12+ weeks of line-ups wouldn't always be as strong week to week. Doing a handful of dates creates more impact."

Judging by Geoff's ambitions - as evidenced by his line-up curations - an impact is certainly on cards.

In many ways, the island may have changed considerably since the 90s. Yet the one constant has been its reputation for pushing boundary-pushing music that pays its dues to the past. That is an ethos shared by Renaissance.

Geoff's may be the only familiar face from its last island incarnation, but Renaissance is perfectly primed to captivate 2018 audiences in much the same way as it did back in the day.

See below for more details and tickets.

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