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Catching up with Patrick Topping on Ibiza

In conversation with a DJ at the peak of his Paradise career

Patrick Topping has blossomed into one of the most respected DJs on the Paradise spectrum, and is now a regular face at a slew of Ibiza's top clubs. He's recently released his ground-breaking track, 'Taking Libz', exposing a darker side to producing than in the past, and this Sunday (7 August) he'll be in action alongside Annie Mac for her Amp x The Jackathon takeover at Sundays at Space. I caught up with the gutsy Geordie here on the island to talk Hot Creations, unreleased tracks, and a somewhat surprising admiration for David Guetta.

You've become an integral part of Paradise, what's it like being part of such a close-knit crew?

“It's great! It's one of the biggest nights on the island now, so to be part of that feels really special. All the people involved - Jamie Jones, his assistant, Dion, Richy Ahmed and Kim who does the artwork - they've all been mates for ages, as well as workers in Ibiza, so for them even more so than me, it's really something special. For me to join them has been a big honour - this is my fourth year playing and third as a resident!”

Is DC-10 a club you've always wanted to play at?

“Yeah definitely! Maybe I'm being biassed here but it's my favourite club anywhere in the world. I love Revolver in Melbourne too, but DC-10 is my favourite. It's somewhere everyone dreams of playing.”

What was your first Ibiza experience?

“I came as a clubber in 2008 when I was 19. I was with my girlfriend and we went to see David Guetta at Pacha - I've seen him about eight times! Around then, that's what we were into. I also went to see Sebastian Ingrosso on the Terrace of Amnesia for Cream, and The Zoo Project I think. That trip made me want to be a DJ, and after that holiday I started really searching for music and got some decks. Since then I've been back every year. We used to do lads' holiday every year, until I started playing, now if I'm here I just join them when they're over!”

You've played at most of the clubs here - is there anywhere left on your island bucket list?

“Aye, The Zoo Project! I really, really want to play in the Seal Pit. When we used to go it was absolutely amazing. It's quite hard to fit in because of my commitments to Paradise and other promoters, but hopefully it's something we can work on. The Zoo Project is actually quite underground, I don't know if I'm underground enough to play there to be honest!”

I've seen that you're big into your techno and the likes of Sven Väth, what big three tracks would you play if you were at Cocoon this season?

"You've put me on the spot there haven't you! I actually just played Cocoon in England for Cocoon in the Park, and that's a gig I'd been thinking about ever since I got told about it six months ago - I was putting stuff away in preparation! If it was Ibiza it would be slightly different. I also played Cocoon Ibiza last summer, and I didn't want to play any of those big Cocoon tracks that stand out from my memory as a clubber, you know what I mean? I didn't want to try and play like Villalobos or Sven Väth. I didn't want to try and re-create the memories I have from Cocoon, so I wanted to play something like my style - something new. It wouldn't really be right for me to drop Cocoon classics.”

You've worked with a spate of respected DJs, is there anyone else you'd like to work with in the future?

“There're loads - I really want to do a track with Jamie. We actually did start something but I'm not sure where it's going - I think it will be started again soon. We're doing a remix together at the minute, that's something I really want to come out. Away from that, I'd love to release on Cocoon - it's hard because I don't really make that style of music so it's a bit of wishful thinking but that would be ideal.”

Can you talk us through your new EP, Taking Libz?

“The name stands for ‘taking liberties' - I don't know if it's a Geordie phrase or not but it means taking the piss! The track was made at the end of last year. I wanted to make something kind of dark - it's got quite a menacing feel to it - I'm quite happy with that. I didn't make that track and think 'I want it to be like this', because I don't have preconceived ideas about my music - then it's too hard to actually get what I want that way. I knew I wanted to make a darker tune and then it just happened, so that was that! Then it ended up being signed and it's definitely one of my favourites I've made. I've got over 100 tracks and most of them haven't come out! So I'm glad this one got picked up because it's the exact sound I've been looking for."

"I don't have preconceived ideas about my music - then it's too hard to actually get what I want."

So what do you plan on doing with all these tracks that haven't been released yet?

“Some will probably never come out. Some I made for over five years, so a few of them I don't like now, or at least, not enough to release them - maybe I don't like that style anymore, or maybe I just got bored of it. Most of them I'm not too mad about anymore so they will never come out! I may just give loads away, which is something I've been thinking about doing, but if it's not something to release, do I really want it out there? I'm quite torn about it, but it seems a bit of a waste. I have given one track away called ‘Sussed', but at the minute I've got quite a constant release schedule, so there's no need to give away tracks that I'm not fully keen on.”

So how would you say your style has changed, has it got darker?

No not really - I've always made stuff like that as well as the happier stuff. Certain tracks get picked up and that's beyond my control - it's just what labels want - but I'm really happy that at this point they've decided to take Taking Libz. I've got a few EPs that I want to come out after summer, and a few of those are also quite dark. I'm not that good of a producer that I can think of an exact sound or track, then I just make it like that - what happens, happens. It's a case of messing around, trail and error.”

Are there any up and coming DJs around at the moment you like the sound of?

Denis Sulta, who's from Glasgow, is really good, I've played three of his songs that have been released over the past year, and they're all anthems - really, really big tracks! He's taking off a bit. Elliot Adamson from Newcastle is a guy I've become mates with. He's a little bit younger than me but he's really talented and he makes so many tracks. He's another one who's music I've been playing over the last year and he's about to have his first release with Eats Everything on Edible Records, so I'm really happy for him - he deserves it."

Any plans to start your own record label?

“Maybe in the future sometime. I actually had discussed the idea with my management but now's not the time to be doing that really. I'm releasing regularly and Hot Creations is the biggest label around at the minute, so I'm more than happy to be part of that.”

And finally, do you party as hard as you work?

“I have the best job in the world so if you party too much you kind of lose focus of that. You feel like an absolute clip turning up at airports because you've taken the piss and you've stayed up for too long! I'm still kind of enjoying it and making the most of it but eventually, I want to get to the point where I'm tee total and I'm just enjoying it for what it is!”

WORDS | Ruby Munslow

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