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Do Not Sleep: roaming in Ibiza

Looking back on the debut of the party that popped up here, there, and everywhere this season

Slumber Sundays were turned into a myth this season when Do Not Sleep set up camp at Privilege's Vista Club - its selling point being the inescapable back-to-back format, taken one step further with a B2B2B session between Darius Syrossian, Santé and Sidney Charles.

An offspring of promoters Electric Ibiza, the night had been in the pipeline since late last year. It wasn't until a turn of events altered Syrossian's relationship with previous Ibiza home, Sankeys, that the connection was initiated. This shuffling of nights in Ibiza pre-season saw his previous fellow residents Santé and Sidney Charles join him on this new venture. In need for a new home to spin, they embarked on a 15-week Road To Ibiza tour.

Since initially kicking off in May the night has proved popular with both holidaymakers and workers, capturing the imagination of those hungry for wild bass. Curious as to where the three artists - who've made a name for themselves individually - will take them, and open to whichever destination that is. Punters come trekking off the main highway into the dark and up the winding drive towards Privilege. Buried amongst a leafy residential area is Vista Club, adjacent to Privilege's aircraft hanger Main Room. The Vista room gives off warehouse feelings, running stronger as half-blinding white light is pelted onto the crammed bustling floor.

The final night-turned-morning there finished with working up a right sweat under the sunbeams, toasting us wide-awake lot into utter mayhem, encouraged with a helpful dosage of part disco jams, part tech monsters, with the occasional melodic peak. Not one departure of someone seeking a bed taking away from the energy. Going for it full steam ahead into the final moments, each DJ stepping down to the floor themselves, Santé making sure to plant himself middle ground closest to the booth, gazing up, in sentiment to the team behind dancing on tabletops.

This wasn't quite the last of them in Ibiza though, the three joined in on HYTE Amnesia last minute, before one final party in Space on September 24th. Throwing a final shindig is something they had plans to do before the initial closing party, but as options with Vista couldn't quite fit timing wise, the club to help make it happen was an easy choice. Electric Ibiza having already formed a relationship with Space during a separate event over the summer. All coming full circle, in fact, as the trio had played the opening fiesta for Space.

On the night in question at Space, moonlight shines through the net that covers the Sunset Terrace as Darius plays one of his few solo sets of the summer. Later in the terrace, Richy Ahmed is on yawn patrol, and had just rumbled the bassline to Makam's Loleatta through us when the three take the reigns. Rotating deck duties in turn, they bounce off each other to marry tracks together in a smooth and casual manner mostly, with some definite jump cuts there too.

A constant stream of people flow in and out as Sidney Charles sends out his latest release on Defected, Power Of The Underground, annihilating any wishes to resist dancing. It's followed up with the belting vocal on Underground Goodies mix of Cajmere ft. Dajae Brighter days, a noted favourite from their sets. The party is stripped back from showiness to the bare essentials, letting the tunes do the talking.

Since winning us over with their B2B2B recipe, as well as playing at ADE, they've just been added to Yousef's Circus event in Liverpool next month. Plans for 2016 in Ibiza are going to stay in the drawing board for a while as one of the heads behind Electric Ibiza, Neil Evans, explains. “In terms of Ibiza 2016, well we are barely over the hangover of the Season Finale at Space – it's time to have some sleep first.”

Looking back on the first season of Do Not Sleep, Neil Evans and Darius Syrossian detail in on getting people over to Vista Club and the triple brainpower that attracts them, before they catch up on all that snoozing missed. They may not have plans in place for Ibiza 2016 just yet, but some general intentions, at least, can be inferred.

What made you guys want to B2B2B as a collective all the way through?

Darius Syrossian: "Well we agreed that a good DJ is about taking people on a journey. Sometimes these days I think promoters feel the need to pile on the biggest line-up with as many DJs possible, to make it look appealing to the punters, but I think this ruins the night. Playing a good set is an art form, if DJs only have an hour, it's like the journey has started and has to stop. Another DJ comes and it starts again. This ruins the night, so we decided we have to play as one unit. Take the crowd on a journey TOGETHER, all three of us. This is not as easy as it sounds, but with doing the whole Road To Ibiza tour before, by the time we got to Ibiza for the summer we perfected this. We would discuss the whole time during the set where we are taking it, watching the crowd, reading the crowd, making sure the music is spot on and that the b2b2b set is a proper journey for people. It's so great to see so many people tweeting and messaging saying it was one of their favourite nights over the summer."

You must be very familiar with each other's music collection. Do you still manage to surprise each other?

Darius Syrossian: "Yes all the time, haha. It's normally when we have been in the studio on our own and then we drop one of our solo new tracks, and the other two are like, ‘woahhh wtf is this?' It's happened to all three of us several times over the summer; bringing back quality old tracks always seems to do this too. When I dropped Laurent Garnier's Crispy Bacon, I remember the other two giving me a high five. I've also seen Sidney do a few quality curve balls and surprising me, Santé too, it's all part of the fun."

The response and backing has been tremendous for a new party on island, especially from the UK crowd. Did this reaction exceed your expectations and what would you put it down to?

Neil Evans: “When the three boys left their previous Ibiza residency, it became clear very fast that they had a huge following. We already had a line-up in place for summer, but we decided to rip up the plans and start again based around them. The reaction was amazing. It has come as little bit of a surprise in how fast it has grown, though we always knew the guys would bring in the people. The challenge was getting them to Vista although in hindsight I think the venue has been key to the night's success as it's a great room, and it gave people a new place to visit that normally wouldn't go to Privilege.”

Although Darius, Sante & Sidney weren't at the first one. What was the reason for throwing two parties before the ‘official' opening?

Neil Evans: “There was a line-up in place before the boys came onboard and our first DNS showcase was to host the Vista Room at Privilege Opening Fiesta. We had been working with Heidi at Secret Solstice Festival this year where Electric Ibiza hosted three arenas. We really wanted to make the B2B between Cajmere and Heidi work, so we kept the line-up as originally planned and already advertised. The June 14th party came about as we planned to do a beach party with the boys as a pre-season warm up for Do Not Sleep. But the response was massive and we couldn't find a beach venue that was big enough to accommodate us on that particular day. The bosses at Privilege offered to do a one-off so by default with moved it to Vista.”

How have the different DJs on before set the stage differently? Do any guests stick out in really forming the way you carried on?

Darius Syrossian: "For me Sidney and Santé, it doesn't matter who was on before us, we asked all of them to totally do their thing, and they did. So many of them actually said that Do Not Sleep was one of their best ever Ibiza experiences; Breach tweeted saying that. Richy Ahmed said he absolutely loved playing for us and came down another time on his night off to spin and get in the crowd for a dance. Dennis Ferrer said he can't wait to come back, Nathan Barato said too it was one of his favourite ever Ibiza shows because the crowd was so up for it. Marquis Hawkes from Berlin said that the energy of the room reminded him of Berghain. And remember, all these DJs had completely different styles, yet it was totally fine for us and how we wanted to play because the crowd was 99.9% a real music crowd, coming for the music. They know what we do and wanted to hear it, and knew the guests we had because it was a good crowd. Like Sidney, Santé and I have been saying all summer, the reason Do Not Sleep was such a big success is because unlike other clubs that attract tourists who aren't really music heads, we only got people coming for the line-ups and what we do. Nobody else apart from diehard fans would take a risk to go all the way to Privilege for a party they haven't really heard of! The beauty of Do Not Sleep is that only the people that needed to know – knew about it. It made for a very good atmosphere."

Do Not Sleep in Ibiza has finished but you already had a Do Not Sleep show in Manchester last weekend & have one coming up at ADE festival Amsterdam in two weeks. What makes Do Not Sleep a proper Do Not Sleep party?

Darius Syrossian: "Do Not Sleep is the only time people can catch me, Sidney and Santé doing our back-2-back-2-back thing, playing together. Any other time we DJ it is at our own gigs separately. So for a start, that makes Do Not Sleep what it is and so unique wherever it is. All three of us have said we are like nomads, we don't need to have a fixed home for Do Not Sleep to happen, we can be anywhere and we will bring that vibe that we have. At the end of the day the party is about the music, that's what we lay nearly all the emphasis on, so this way, we can make sure wherever we are, whatever club, we can bring that vibe to people. It's about music for us, and not about overdoing it with loads of production, loads of naked dancers, or overdoing the lighting and firing off ice canons to stimulate the crowd. The main priority is the music and DNS is the only time we play together as a trio. Someone referred to us as nomads and it kind of makes sense, we have actually just finished a track together in the studio and we're calling it Nomads."


WORDS | Emma Gillett PHOTOGRAPHY | Marc de Groot

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