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Azuli @ El Divino slays Sunday night idols

Nine down, two to go for the bigger-than-you'd-think David Piccioni.

Nine down, two to go for the bigger-than-you'd-think David Piccioni.

Robbie RiveraLong-running UK-based record label Azuli were among the last to confirm their Ibiza dates this year, but they're the first to announce an extended season. The juicy Robbie Rivera (right) was there for the opening on July 10, and is back for the bonus gig on September 18.

In between then and now of course the men responsible for more than a few septic hangovers and other rave injuries, Faith's Stuart Patterson and Terry Farley, will join Nick Crombie and Jo Mills this Sunday (September 11) for what might be her final White Isle gig before jetting off to a residency in sweltering Singapore.

Azuli line up for this Sunday (September 11, 2005)

Hold on – isn't Sunday a graveyard for new arrivals, who typically get zapped the hype rays emitted by We Love Space? Azuli though refused to go gently into the good night.

The line up featuring Walter Mazoom; CJ Mackintosh; Chicken Lips; the, er, Pasta Boys; lazy dog Ben Watt; Paulette; Dennis Ferrer; Seamus Haji; Rap Saunders; Joe T Vannelli; Mickey Guy; Pablo Martinni and friends pulled a highly respectable average of around a thousand each week at the pocket-sized (by Ibiza standards) El Divino.

David Pitch-oh-knee plays Circo Loco @ Dc10The poster campaign was slick, the promotional staff driven hard, and David Piccioni (left) is a dangerously hospitable man, as those whose hinges were loosened at his impromptu villa parties know.

But putting to one side the obvious lifestyle advantages, why did Azuli come to Ibiza in the first place?

"For the past ten years we've been coming out with big singles, but nobody seems to know it's us," the sprightly dj/businessman told us earlier this week.

"We never really wanted to do events before and we made a decision to start pushing the boat out a bit for Azuli. And our albums sell well but we felt we needed a bit more profile."

In 2005 they've unleashed ‘Sun Rising Up' by Deux, soundly thrashed all over the island, which followed the club-juddering ‘He Not In' by Chicken Lips, the annoyingly omni-present (at the time) ‘Needin' U' by David Morales and about 197 others.

But what we want to know of course is how to say his name.

David Piccioni: Pitch-oh-knee, the double c is like in fettuccine.

What is an Azuli?

A deity from the Yoruba religion in Nigeria. If you were to pronounce it properly it would be "Er Zuli". So there you go.

What made you do Sundays at El Divino?

Because it was the only one that was offered to us.

What djs have gone down well so far?

It also depends on how many people we have in on the night, but Dennis Ferrer went down very well, and Jo Mills, and Joe T Vanelli.

What kind of crowd are you getting?

It was very mixed between the Italians and the Brits with a sprinkling of Spanish.

What kind of numbers?

Anything between seven hundred and twelve and a half. In competition with Space which is open all night, that's not bad at all.

Is El Divino due for demolition because the local government needs the land to expand the port?

If it happens it happens. I've heard so many rumours over the past few years I don't know what to believe. El Divino insist they're not going to close but I don't know. We'll be back next year.

What parties have you enjoyed in Ibiza this year?

My favourite party was the Sa Trinxa fifth birthday last week on the beach which was great. Maybe that's because there was no-one under 30. And the fact that there were people with no clothes which I always think is pretty cool. Respect to ‘em. I dunno where to put my chewing gum.

What parties were shit?

I couldn't tell you that. You know what is good is the last two hours of La Troya. I always I enjoy that.

We've got you down as playing for Def Mix on Saturday (September 7), is that right?

I booked a few gigs before the El Divino thing came through. I'm very closely related to the Def Mix family, they're always quite happy for me to play there.

What's playing at Pacha like?

I just wish the dj booth was where it used to be, in the middle of the dance floor. Now it feels like you're djing to the stairs. But it's a great club, great sound system.

How was your Made In Italy gig on July 15?

Fine, it's always a good one.

How Italian do you consider yourself?

I feel half and half. I love the music scene out there, it's always very positive. It's less cynical than England I think. My father was Italian. My mum was from South Africa, and I was born in England. When people ask ‘Where are you from?' I don't know. Maybe that's why I came to Ibiza, the land of lost people.

What's your Italian like?

Parlo molto bene italiano, si. My Italian's not bad. But my father never taught me so I had to teach myself.

There's been a lot of debate on our forums about the merits or otherwise of the Italian presence in Ibiza. How many is too many Italians, you think?

I would never enter into a debate like that, because you're always going to have more of one or the other. It's always nice to have the perfect mix, but it's never gonna happen. One time it's gonna be more Brits, one time more Germans. It's really not worth talking about.

What's your approach re: compilations? How do you choose the tracks?

I try to dissolve my ego and choose what fits for the album I'm doing. For example for Space I'll try and choose what represents the club as a whole. I've been doing it for 20 years now, I tend to try and not pick tracks which will be popular for about five minutes.

What was the philosophy behind the Late Night Tales series?

We were all getting older and a bit more jaded with dancing and we wanted to broaden things down a bit. It's branched out more into the rock field. We're about to embark on worldwide events which will have not only these people djing, people like Fila Brazilia and Groove Armada, we'll have spoken word in there, performance art and vjs using digital images so it will be interesting.

What was the hit that really made you?

Maybe 'Needin' U' by David Morales was the big one that really put us on the map

How's Black Market Records in Soho, London doing in this age of downloads and widespread copyright infringement?

I think people over estimate how much downloading goes on. Definitely in the future there will be a lot more but right now there's a lot of people buying vinyl.

What genres are selling best?

Black Market is 40% drum'n'bass, and that's definitely vinyl. Drum'n'bass people don't download, I don't know why. And the general house category.

How many people work in the store?

Full time and part time on the books there's about 20, but at any one day there's about seven or eight. We have two or three on the internet and we've two floors of shop.

What would be the best way of getting a job there?

You have to have knowledge of music and you have to be involved in the scene in some way, either going out or djing. And the third important factor is be reliable and turn up on time. To get the three things together is actually remarkably difficult.

Is working in a record store still the best way to begin a dj career?

It is if you're smart and you use your contacts well. If you come in and look like you've been dragged out of bed by the scruff of your neck and stand their looking miserable all day then things ain't going to happen for you. But there's people in the shop who've used it to their advantage and I'm very happy for them to do that.

Like Nicky, he calls himself Nicky Black Market doesn't he?

Yeah, he does. We call him many other things.

Is being a dj everything you expected it to be?

I never wanted to be a dj, I never planned it. I started doing parties for fun. And even in New York I was djing and never considered myself a dj. So I did it and made a lot of money doing it but never thought of myself as a dj until four or five years ago.

How old are you?

I'm quite old. I've been djing for 20 years now. That'll do ya.

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