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Season preview | Sitting with the boys from Amnesia Presents

What to expect on Mondays at Amnesia.

Every summer, old parties go and new parties arrive. It's part of the constant cycle that makes Ibiza such a varied clubbing destination from year to year. For as long as we can remember, Mondays at Amnesia has always meant Techno. 2022, no longer.

After two full summers away and with a new generation of clubbers waiting to discover Ibiza's spoils, the San Rafael club has gone in a different direction.

Sonny Fodera, Gorgon City and Danny Howard have combined forces under the umbrella of Amnesia Presents.

Featuring fresh faces and talent associated with their respective labels, as well as producers commonly heard on their radio shows, Amnesia Presents looks to plug the gap of what's been missing on Ibiza.

A super-sized party with widespread appeal, playing big room House music familiar to all.

Ahead of the huge opening party, we were invited down to the Night Tales hosted Amnesia rooftop to speak to Sonny, Danny and Matt from Gorgon City, and get the low-down on Amnesia Presents.

Formulating the party

From the beginning of their careers to now, the boys have come a long way to get where they are. Blood, sweat and tears go into curating your own party and after months and months of preparation and years of hard graft, it was a moment to savour.

Meeting them a few hours before their very first Ibiza residency commenced, despite having flown in from various different timezones, we could sense a tangible level of excitement.

When did the idea of doing a party together first get mooted?

DH: "I think it was a week after new year. Neil who does the bookings here, gave me a call. I thought it was a wind up at first. Like, do you want to do Monday nights with Gorgon City and Sonny Fodera?"

MRS: "It was at that point when some nights were getting announced at Hï Ibiza, Ushuaïa and DC10. Then this came about and it felt right for us. Amnesia is our home. We haven't done that much else in Ibiza.

Over the years, we've done several Ibiza Rocks shows. Then we moved to Eden with Defected for a couple of seasons. Other than that, it's been our spot here. Marty's become a close friend and it felt lovely to come back here. He sent us a message like 'welcome home bro'."

DH: "To me, Amnesia feels like the most authentic club on the island really. Pacha's gone through a few changes, Space became Hï Ibiza. I feel like Amnesia is the most untouched, but in a good way."

SF: "Especially when the sunlight comes through the roof."

Danny, you won Radio 1’s superstar DJ competition back in 2011. Ten years on, you’re not only an integral part of the Radio 1 family, but you’re now here with your own residency in Ibiza. Did you imagine all those years ago this is where you’d end up?

DH: "No, of course not. I think having an Ibiza residency is something as a DJ you think is going to be the peak. It definitely feels like that and I feel proud that we're going to be doing it all summer. Ibiza is the centre of dance music and everyone comes to see the best DJs.

Obviously all the best clubs are here on the island. Myself, Sonny and Gorgon City are very excited to be involved. I don't want to say the cliched 'dream come true', but to have a residency here feels like a massive accomplishment.

My first Ibiza trip was to Amnesia, so the fact that we're going to be here every week for 16 weeks is surreal. Let's hope we make it out alive!"

Sonny, you’ve previously held residency previously for Cuckoo Land at Ibiza Rocks, which is obviously a day party. Does moving to a nighttime residency represent a different type of challenge for you?

SF: "Well it's a lot louder here! I would say it's a massive step up really, just in general. This is such a legendary venue, it's one of the first places I ever came to in Ibiza. I've done two seasons here, lived here and this was the first club I went to."

Would how you approach tonight differ from how you'd play at a day party?

SF: "I play a lot of my own tunes in my sets, like I'd say 70 percent. As a music producer, that's what I do. But of course I'm going to bang it out a little bit more here, especially on The Terrace as well. You know it's got that kind of vibe where you can play dark, moody stuff."

What are your goals for this summer?

SF: "I think just smash it out and have fun."

DH: "Just give everyone a super fun experience. You know on a Monday, you've got Circoloco as well. I think it felt like it was time for a new big night and this feels like it hopefully."

SF: "We've got a group chat and we all just post on it about how excited we are."

Programming the line-up

Alongside the three acts themselves, they're joined by an array of talent from their own labels as well as Danny's Radio 1 show. From the notorious DJ EZ to newcomers such as Saffron Stone and Dom Dolla, the way they have programmed their opening party line-up had a lot of thought behind it.

Over the course of the summer, they have hand-picked some powerful industry names to join them in the megaclub including the likes of Adelphi Music Factory, Paul Woolford, Ashibah, Dusky, Oden & Fatzo and many more.

Danny, you're hosting The Club Room. Your line-ups in there are very reflective of the artists whose records you play on your radio show. How important was it for you to programme the lineups in this way, so that you're not only showcasing big names but introducing new talent to Ibiza?

DH: "I'm glad you noticed that, because that was the whole remit.

The radio show is about playing big names and big tunes, though it's also equally important, potentially more important, to bring new artists and be diverse in what you play and that's exactly what we've tried to do with the line up in the Club Room.

It's actually more new artists than it is established. I think timing is key actually because I think this period where we haven't been in Ibiza for nearly three years.

Through that time, so many new artists have broken through and we're giving debuts to a lot of these artists to play in Ibiza on this night, so that feels really special. So really excited to hear their sets."

Image by Elliot Young

Sonny, let's talk a bit about some of the talent you have from your label Solotoko playing this summer. You have Saffron Stone tonight, then Dom Dolla and Biscits later in summer.

SF: "Yes they've both released on the label. John Summit too. Danny, you have as well!"

DH: "I have. We did a couple of collaborations."

SF: "Gorgon City have released on there as well."

MRS: "Yeah, we did a remix of Dom Dolla's tune. We've all done stuff together."

DH: "I think this is why the night feels so special, because we've known each other for years. When the idea came around, it felt right.

Doing a residency with the biggest names, even then it's a massive risk. It doesn't really matter how big you are in Ibiza. If you get it wrong, it's disastrous, so when it feels right then hopefully it's going to be successful."

SF: "We're actually working together on something at the moment, aren't we…"

What would you say they bring to the table in your eyes?

SF: "Biscits is one of the top ten producers on Beatport at the moment. Dom is just huge, he's an amazing producer, so I think that they've all got their own sound and I think it's all going to come together really well."

DH: "I think what you guys do as well, is that you give opportunity to these new producers who are just about to breakthrough and give them that platform. You look at Dom Dolla and John Summit, they're two of the most in demand DJs right now."

Matt, Kye isn't here, but you guys obviously used to play at Defected here, as did you Sonny, which is a different vibe to what you guys are doing now tonight. What kind of personal touches are you bringing?

MRS: "I think similar to what Sonny said, bringing the label to the table. The last time we did a residency, REALM didn't exist. It's a relatively new label. We've only really been doing it for around two or three years.

Like Danny was saying about everything being shut for so long, there's all these new artists that need to be shown to the rest of the world. That's the kind of artists that were bringing to the residency. We're just really excited about having them come and play."

Image by Elliot Young

"It's amazing to finally invite them to our own party. It's a dream come true in a way, having that opportunity to sit down and be like, 'right who are we going to try and get?' We had a massive excel sheet. Sonny sent all his kind of favourite acts at the moment."

SF: "Some of the names overlapped and there were about 15 or 20 that weren't on each other's lists."

MRS: "Kye did his, I did mine, so we kind of had this massive list and we just chipped away at it."

For those that dont know it, are there any names on REALM we might be familiar with?

MRS: "It's quite a diverse label, we've got lots of up and coming people. These guys called Trutopia. Kyle Kinch is an up and coming American DJ. We're trying to develop acts to get them from here to there and we've done that pretty well.

But at the same time, there's also established people, like Paul Woolford and Ben Kim, whose track Danny helped happen - a bootleg of Somebody To Love which he played every week on Radio 1. It had a moment and went off. Everyone was playing it from Diplo to Jamie Jones.

There's so many different parts and elements to the label. My favourite thing about REALM is developing artists from the ground up. It's something we're really invested in."

So Sonny and Gorgon City, you guys are sharing The Terrace. Are you guys going to alternate between who closes each week?

SF: "We should do a little back-to-back though?"

MRS: "Yeah, we'll switch it up as the season goes on and we wanted to do a label special somehow."

SF: "Yeah, like showcase each other's labels."

MRS: "Maybe to a Solotoko special, then a REALM special, then a back-to-back. Maybe one time we could even all do a back-to-back-to-back?"

SF: "I wanna play in the Club Room. I've never played in there."

DH: "I've always played The Terrace… until tonight!"

MRS: "It's like a different club in there. A completely different atmosphere."

SF: "I've seen Sven Väth play in there for Cocoon."

That leads me to my next question. You’re taking over Mondays, so you’ve got some big boots to fill.

MRS: "We're the first night here on a Monday that isn't Techno."

Image by Elliot Young

Opening party business

Buzzing for the night ahead, the boys were ecstatic to finally be sat on the rooftop of Amnesia, knowing that what they had worked so hard for, was finally just a few hours away. Adrenaline is the word that springs to mind.

Let's talk about tonight, your opening party. You've got a legend in DJ EZ, as well as newcomers.

SF: "It's hard to go on after him. How do you follow that? He's probably one of my favourite DJs. Unreal. But to play after him is definitely hard work. I'm gonna let it sit for a little bit and then I'll come on."

Was it a conscious decision to programme him alongside fresher talent?

SF: "I feel like we have this association with him here, from our days at Together."

MRS: "Yeah, we always end up playing with EZ."

DH: "He's playing on The Terrace at the opening, but in the Club Room with me at the closing and he plays big tunes."

MRS: "Yeah, he's a legend and he's a massive pull for all the British people on the island. He rocks it."

Image by Elliot Young

Does he complement your sound?

SF: "He actually plays House under an alias, Elvin Zedo, so he plays our records."

DH: "Yeah, but he'll play them with like a Garage twist. He'll spin it back, drop a House tune then spin it back again. He's very quick and keeps you on your toes as a raver. When I was a kid, he was untouchable. The guy is a living legend.

With it being our own party, it's amazing to say we've been able to book DJ EZ for it."

MRS: "I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone else's sets. Tonight I'm coming for the whole night. I'm not playing until 04:00 in the morning.

I'm gonna be in and out of all the rooms. I'm gonna see Danny, I'm gonna see Sonny. I'm gonna try and run away from my own set for ten minutes and see Ben Hemsley. I'm gonna be like 'I'm just going to the toilet' but really I'm going to see Ben!

I love him, he's wicked. He's got a mad energy."

We're on the rooftop right now, what is Night Tales going to bring to the night?

MRS: "I'm really excited about this. This club doesn't often have this area open to the public. It's a new chill place to come and have a cocktail. There's not many venues in Ibiza that can do that in the club.

You can go out to a restaurant and do that, sure. But this is bringing the cocktail culture to a super-club, which is rare. It's an amazing addition to the club and will attract a slightly different clientele who might not want to come for a massive all night long dance. They might prefer to spend half the night having cocktails and then dip in and see their favourite DJs?"

SF: "Night Tales is such a good club in Hackney, London. It's such a good vibe. We threw a Solotoko party on the terrace there. They do incredible drinks there like giant piña coladas that are half a metre high."

MRS: "It's got a signature cocktail list. It's a good brand and everything it does is solid. Night Tales is for our night specifically. You won't find it here on any other night of the week."

Image by Elliot Young

Later on, the opening party delivered, surpassing our expectations. The club was super-packed, but filled with good energy, as a young, energetic crowd muscled to see their heroes. Most new residencies take their time to bed in and find their feet. Amnesia Presents hit the ground running.

There's something incredibly satisfying about hearing DJ EZ drop Cypress Hill or Dead Prez and have a CO2 cannon hit you square in the face! An authentic Amnesia experience, but with a nice little twist. More of that please.

Tickets for the remaining 14 parties are on sale now and available below, including those balcony-upgrade and Night Tales rooftop access tickets. You can also see confirmed line-ups until the end of summer.

PHOTOGRAPHY | by Peter Young and Elliot Young

ADDITIONAL WORDS | by Stephen Hunt

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