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Privilege achieves critical mass

Are those disco lights at the end of the new San Rafael tunnel?

Pic from Britannica.comIn the boxing match that is a competitive Ibiza party season, Privilege in San Rafael is the giant lumbering heavyweight.

Opponents are a bit scared of getting splattered but excessive bulk tends to lessen agility. However the world's largest club has been pretty quick out of their corner in 2007, scheduling their opening party for Saturday June 2. And Privilege have already chinned the world-beating Space.

After one year at the Playa d'en Bossa venue, hip German techno exponents Monza have decamped and are now in their preferred Thursday night slot at Privilege.

Circo Loco, arguably the most successful modern promotion born in Ibiza, repeat their successful afterparty experiment of last year with a big post-opening do on the night of Monday June 4.

"Polysexual" night Silicon and the in house production Homeclub have held onto their respective Saturday and Monday night slots, and two new arrivals, Alma and the titillatingly-titled Slutfunk are assigned tricky Tuesdays and Sundays.

Despite earlier well-publicised spats Manumission have settled into Friday nights for their consistently massive rock'n'sex extravaganza.

You can tell by the name that the Italian tech-trancer Mauro Picotto's Meganite, on Wednesdays, is aiming to emulate the 'Mish's popularity.

"He has reached a critical mass," observes Canadian electronic pioneer John Acquaviva, who took his Acquaviva night to Tuesdays at Privilege in 2006. "Something that would take me years - and tons of work."

Hence John's sensible decision to ring his good friend Mauro and "beg" for a job that didn't involve working sweatshop hours.

Mr Acquaviva is down for six gigs at Meganite this summer, altho he says he'll just be cheering from the sidelines at the opening gig on June 20.

Meganite!

Buy tickets for Meganite here!

There'll be a lot of others doing the same, a reaction coaxed by the super sound in the club. It's the result of the installation of the universally admired Funktion 1 system.

John Acquaviva"That was part of me commiting last year to Privilege," replies John (left) in answer to our emailed queries. "Every club has a cycle and with that sound system Privilege made a solid commitment to take it up a notch. It made for wonderful parties and this year they have added more. They are going to set the standards this year I believe."

According to the Privilege site, Funktion 1 firm Blue Box aim to "envelop the audience in sound so they feel as if they are part of the music".

Obviously in a space as large as the main room at the 10,000 capacity Privilege this not only takes the right hardware but tunes with enough oomph. John says typically he will warm up for Mauro and "rock it to a point".

Spotlight: When did you first come to Ibiza?

John: Can't remember - early 90s? I actually don't recall my first experience so i guess it must have been a good one;) I have always been torn by Ibiza. It can be the best and worst of our world. Very intense very beautiful and inspiring. For people who have not come I describe your first visit as going to Disney World for ravers. Lots of fun if you know what you want and where to go.

Digitally-inclined djs will probably know John founded the indispensable online music store Beatport.com with compatriot and Cocoon regular Richie Hawtin and others. Our interest in the subject of music distribution on the world wide web was piqued by Alex Ellenger so we grilled John on the subject too.

Spotlight: What was the biggest technical challenge in getting Beatport operational?

John: The amount of engineering. Beatport built all its systems from scratch and tried really hard to make it a proper and full experience for the electronic music fan and professional. Then as I say in conferences when asked about business the challenge is coping with big success or outright failure and both can crush people.

Spotlight: What proportion of the retail price goes to the artist?

John: The typical deal if a label goes direct is 60 for the label and 40 for Beatport. The margins are bigger than that of apple for example but it is a pennies business. Most labels go 50/50. I do this with my artists. So on a 2 euro record Beatport takes 80 cents for distribution and the label gets 1.20. Dividing this further, label and artist get 60 cents per download. I have rounded as there are some minute charges for some extra stuff like transaction fees and such. Actually this is much more than you make per track from a vinyl or cd and the price is five times more. This is a very efficient business connection for fans and pros to the music. When they want it as opposed to ordering and waiting.

Spotlight: Do the big record companies hate your guts?

John: No in fact the big companies embraced iTunes. Grudgingly at first, but now with open arms. This was pretty much the case for beatport. Many older more established labels were reluctant in the first year but it was the new generation of artists and labels that understood and said they wanted to be apart of the future and to help shape it.

Spotlight: How does it feel to know tracks available on Beatport are probably also available on illegal download sites?

John: It is a pity that tracks are on illegal sites as most of the people in our scene to it as a passion and try to make a living. I can understand some people not wanting to wait or pay 10 euros for a track, but why would you not pay a couple of euros and support our scene?

Spotlight: Which tracks are really working for you at the moment?

John: Too many. I listen to thousands of songs a month, keep hundreds and barely have a chance to play but a few tracks overall. But a lot of my definitive artists are starting to come into their own - Robot Needs Oil, Olivier Giacomotto.

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