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Review: International Music Summit 2014, Day Three

A raging success... so what have we learnt?

The third and final day of IMS kicked off with a gem of a panel dedicated to the 20th anniversairy of indie UK record label Wall of Sound. Centre stage was of course founder of the label, Mark Jones, a man with enough personality and character to match even fellow panelist Boy George - facepaint and all - which I think we can safely say is a pretty impressive feat. They all reminisced about the good ole' days in Ibiza, all apart from Mark, who didn't seem to remember much at all (sign of a good night out, no?). I'm afraid by all accounts it made Ibiza nowadays sound very vanilla, but I'm sure we can try and turn that around this year. Boy George insisted Ibiza nowadays is far more corporate than before, pointing out that "everyone in the room used to be having a party, now there are just people standing around filming some overpaid DJ with their iPhones", though he admitted he may have become a little jaded with age. Note to self: leave phone at home next time...

Next on the agenda we had some tricks of the trade for creating a successful electronic music channel on YouTube. Big wigs from both YouTube itself and the Association for Electronic Music talked us through the 'Top Strategies' guide they've just created - definitely worth a look for any budding artist or blogger. YouTube Partner Manager Keiran Doyle broke it down so even we novices could follow - think of your channel page as your shop front, with your banner like the sign enticing people in, the welcome video your ad, all the way down to the rows of playlists like your arrangment of products on your shelves. Clever.

We heard from a panel dubbed The Spanish Underground Movement - including two members of the legendary Arnau family - the creators of Monegros Desert Festival, elrow and Ker Club, to name just a few. Juan Arnau Duran told the story of how over five generations his family have come to create these iconic events and venues. It had all the makings of a great novel - love, death, war, you name it - but was maybe a bit of an ask to get the poor man to rush through in fifteen minutes in a conference room full of busy music professionals.

PHOTO | Clockwise from top: Seth Troxler puts the hard questions to Team Avicii, Ben Turner's unimpressed at the SNL Davinci skit, George Clinton shares his funk stories and the Native Instruments Maschine creators reveal a new project.

Michael Fiebach, from digital marketing company Fame House, then gave a talk on the digital revolution which, whilst very insightful, was delivered as if he had somewhere else to be (cue frantic note taking all round). However saying that his speech read like a journalists dream with a string of perfect soundbites, giving the live twitter feed up on the screen some action as everyone got busy tweeting and retweeting. A couple of the more popular choices were "do you think it's a coincidence that electronic music exploded to the next levels alongside social media?", and "social media is no longer just Facebook and Twitter, it is all media because media is social", both very poignant I'm sure you'd agree. He also made an interesting reference to a David Bowie quote, "music will be like water", arguing that this has already happened, that the media is now like a waterfall or a bursting fire hydrant. We've moved from owning a tangible form of media, to downloading, and now on to streaming.

An outburst from Seth Troxler livened up what had been quite a dry talk from team Avicii, who clearly weren't up for giving much away. Troxler stood up and demanded to know who actually produced the music, and what it even stands for in the scope of dance music in general. Ash Pournouri, founder and manager of Avicii, attempted to take back the floor, insisting that yes, Tim Bergling is the main producer but that no, their aim is not to get everyone to sound just like them. But for all their carefully worded spiel about brand Avicii beforehand, no prizes for guessing what stuck in everyones minds from that.

We then saw members from the Association of Electronic Music take to the stage once again, this time to stress the importance of educating the next generation of the music business. Various industry figures dissected and analysed how and why to encourage people to get involved which, as you can imagine, began to get a little heavy for a Friday afternoon. Luckily DJ Shadow Child managed to round things off and summed it up perfectly, "we're sitting in a conference room talking like were doctors or surgeons or something and all it really just comes down to is love and fun". Hear hear. Next up came the IMS vote, where keypads were handed out so we could all vote on the important issues of the future of electronic music - yes, important issues like "is it right for DJs to use the c-word when talking about other DJs in public?", naming no names... Interestingly the result was 50/50, so we're now safe in the knowledge that at least half of this industry was brought up with proper manners.

PHOTO | Clockwise from top left: Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler play back-to-back at Dalt Vila, a modern flower child jumps on shoulders, Ibiza Town from above and Anabel Englund in action.

The day ended with a great interview with US singer/songwriter George Clinton, lord of the extra terrestrial funk movement Parliament Funkadellic, who when asked if he would ever consider collaborating with Miley Cyrus, gave possibly the best answer of the week, "sure, I would funk her up". He also spoke in depth about some of the incredible collaborations he's already got under his belt as well as ones in the pipeline, with everyone from Boy George to Kendrick Lamar. The interview ended with a sample of a couple of songs from his forthcoming album, which were received with a standing ovation.

With the conference complete for another year, all that was left to do was go and pick where we left off last night at Dalt Vila. As ever the bass sounded unreal at the World Heritage Site, echoing off the castle walls with crystal clear quality. Eats Everything smashed it as dusk fell, and Anabel Englund followed with a live hour set, ending with crowd pleaser Reverse Skydiving. At one point a ten foot, lit up bird was carried into the middle of the crowd for no apparent reason apart from, well, this is Ibiza after all. Highlight of the night had to be Seth Troxler and Jamie Jones scrapping the planned timings and coming on together, giving us a two hour back-to-back set. The visuals behind them were pretty incredible too, with images of planets and galaxies swimming about on the screen against the night sky - see what they did there.

All in all a raging success for the Ibiza International Music Summit 2014. So what have we learnt? That despite the state of the economy and the music business in general - dance music isn't doing all that badly at all, that people working in the music industry can do a great job of looking alive after a heavy night at Sankeys, and that Seth Troxler definitely needs to be top of the guest list at next years event. See you then Ibiza.

WORDS | Joanna Wright PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

IMS Ibiza International Music Summit Dalt Vila listings - 2022

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