August 15th 2014 : Nick Gibbs
Alex P and Brandon Block—founding fathers of the Space terrace way back when—are in Ibiza on the final leg of the History of House world tour.
They will be playing Ocean Beach on Sunday for what is bound to be a memorable day, especially as it is Alex P’s 50th birthday too, at San An’s sun and be seen success story.
Their contribution to everything we know as Ibiza is immense. The first daytime outdoor party—the format that became the Ibiza icon that turned Dance music from inside to out and from darkness to light.
With Space celebrating their 25th Anniversary earlier this month, an event notable by the terrace twins absence, I was pleased to meet the Tottenham two for a chat in the run up.
Well I say chat, but for some reason on the day I couldn’t keep it simple and so decided to go for an idea of back to back interviewing.
Questions were prepared and filed away within record sleeves with a clue as to the contents written on the outside.
So how would we get on? Would the boys play nice and get into a mutual groove, or throw each other a curve ball or two?
Brandon played first, let the questions spin.
Brandon B. Now eligible for Saga Holidays, will you be growing old disgracefully?
Alex P. Ha ha—without a shadow of a doubt. It is a great time in my life. I’ve got a wonderful young family—I’ve been given a second chance. I’ve got a 17 year old Zak —my pride and joy—and a 4 year old Rio with Amanda my new partner.
Live for the day.
Alex P. You lucky sod. Easy one. What is your favourite Ibiza …
Brandon B. Back when we were here all the time we used to use Gracioneta. Now of course it’s Ocean Beach with my good friends and ex-partners from Linekers. But for sandy escapes Gracioneta—tucked away and private. Then of course there’s Salinas and the vibe down there. Brilliant.
BB. Well I expect there are so many what you’d call cheffy restaurants here now, we just some great sushi here, fantastic, but you know in all my time in Ibiza it has to be a place that isn’t there any more, a curry house in Port Des Torrent called Palms. Brilliant. It was just over the road from us. He used to make it so hot, so hot, we’d have mate’s crying.
AP. Current Club?
BB. My clubbing days are so infrequent now. I still have a soft spot for Es Paradis—inside it’s still got the Ibiza style. But as for the big Clubs, I’ve no real interest in going into any of them. I guess I’m just getting old ha ha.
AP. All Time Club Party? (excluding Space terrace)
BB. All time, well it’s got to be Clockwork Orange. We were integral in building that brand over here. There have been so many great ones but for the whole package, longevity, the vibe, the people, definitely Clockwork Orange.
BB. What are your most treasured records and why?
AP. Wow. This is a deep question for me right now as I’ve just been going through all my records. I had 50,000 plus in a basement in West Hampstead—we got flooded and I lost about 20% of them.
Going through them I think it would be the late 80’s and 90’s. But you know it’s my Disco and Jazz Funk that I just couldn’t part with. They’d be the ones I’d save.
When we get asked to do sets we’re always asked to do old classics and to get them online is virtually impossible.
Those records still get played today and work. You don’t get that from records anymore. So much of what is released now has a 2 hour shelf life. Takes a couples of hours to make them and before you know it they’re gone, finished.
AP. Ah you’ve got it, this is the question I would have asked you. Space 25th Birthday brought up a whole lot of fond nostalgia.
For a decade the Space terrace and the daytime party defined Ibiza. You created a lifestyle for thousands. On a scale of awesomeness how awesome does that feel?
BB. In any interview I’ve always said the pinnacle of my music career has been the Space Terrace. Given the opportunity by you Alex to play with you and start the party that got all parties going was very special.
The awesomeness of that was pretty, well awesome, yeah. It was the first in the world. Nightclubs just did not open in the day. First outside too. The Space terrace was the epitome of daytime clubbing. Everyone went there. Everyone.
AP: Why weren’t you involved in the Birthday celebrations?
BB: You know what I wasn’t actually too surprised. I don’t know but I had a bit of a run in a few years back. I’d just written my book, obviously with plenty about the terrace years and Space asked me to play the closing party. Before or perhaps after I was playing, I can’t remember exactly, I thought I’d go and take a look in the Terrace box, just for old times sake I suppose. They wouldn’t let me in. You know like the terrace we’d started and made what it was and still is and I wasn’t allowed in. I was pretty put out by that and I let them know what I thought. I didn’t deserve it but definitely Alex didn’t deserve it—he wasn’t even there. It’s a pretty pathetic incident really looking back but the snub seems to have carried on.
AP: It wasn’t busy in them days before we started. Inside was just full of freaks.
BB: That’s right, we pulled them outside and that’s what really made it. It introduced a whole new group of people who became a publicity machine back in their native countries. It wasn’t just the Brits. There was a mass of Italians, Dutch, Swedish.
AP: It made us global too. It was so different back then without social media and all that. The mixed crowd ended up in us getting bookings all around the world. This was the early 90’s.
BB: There weren’t really even any promoters, a few in London, but it was just us two DJing at the time. We used to play every night of the week round all the clubs, then Space every morning. By 92 it was 7 nights a week and Space 7 days a week. Not bloody surprising I ended up with a drug problem is it—ha ha.
AP: We were a bit pissed we were snubbed. In everything they’ve put out there’s not a bit about anything before 1997.
BB: They can’t count then. Because by my sums 25 years is 1989—which is when we started, not 1997.
AP: On a final note we would both like to thank Colin Butts hugely for his words. (ed—see end of interview for Colin Butts’ text from issue 743) I didn’t feel able to say anything myself but I, well both of us, were really appreciative of what he said. It went nuts on Social Media, thousands of likes and comments. Colin puts it so well, it’s not about slagging off other DJs at all, but it would have been nice to be acknowledged for your contribution.
AP: How well do you know your anthems? What tunes are these lines from?
NG To be honest there is not much point printing the responses. Both Alex and Brandon tried but couldn’t guess any of the 4 correctly. Given their reputation as the masters of the Anthem I didn’t pick the most obvious lyrics—but still a pretty poor showing. If you can get any of the following you’ve beaten the best—answers at the foot of the page.
- Is when I search for the light, Pick up my pen and start to write
- I have got a feeling that you’re gonna like it what I’m doing to you
- Baseline pumping, Body’s rocking, Pulling the crowd hear them shout
- De de, de de, de de, de da, de da, de da
AP: Working together a long time.
Ever get fed up with each other?
BB: Ha ha brilliant, well we did fall out for a whole 4 years. I guess it’s inevitable when you work with someone so much that sometimes you’ll hit a problem. We buried the hatchet—it was stupid.
AP: But really overall to be working in such an egotistical world for so long and so closely we did really well. Probably helped that we doused everything down with alcohol and drugs ha ha.
BB: We numbed our pain ha ha
AP: But you know if you want to DJ and you want to get anywhere you have to be egotistical. You have to believe you are the best DJ in the land.
BB: You and my bloody volume levels
AP: You’re a bloody knob twiddler
BB: When I‘m waiting for a nice breakdown you come and mix something into it
AP: that’s payback for twiddling with my knobs.
Our thanks to Alex and Brandon
Text as printed in issue 743
Ah, those were the days.” The Space 25th Anniversary has sparked much nostalgia amongst Ibizans of a certain age. It seems everybody has some fond recollections of their own journey through Space.
As is no surprise we can rely on Colin Butts to say what so many are thinking in his own imitable style through his facebook post this week.
So, today is the 25th anniversary of Space. A superclub. Not a superclub that suddenly burst onto the scene as a result of having millions of euros thrown at it, retaining the world’s biggest DJs for astronomic fees and having a blind eye turned to licensing laws most other businesses have to comply to. Yes, that might be the case now but why did it become so popular in the 1st place?
Daytime partying. The place all clubbers went to in the 90s after a night out, streaming into the club at 8am whilst bemused tourists going to the water park or staying in the Fiesta hotel opposite (now Ushuaia) looked on.
Were it not for those daytime sessions, Space would not be the club it is – indeed, Ibiza probably wouldn’t be the island it is.
Sure, the scene has evolved just as everything evolves and no-one should live in the past…but that doesn’t mean you should forget the past.
So, whereas for best part of a decade from the early-mid 90s I would fly from the UK for every opening & closing party at the behemoth of clubbing, today, even though I live but a dozen miles away, I won’t be going. Yes, part of that is cos my own clubbing journey has all but fizzled out but there’s another reason.
Two DJs changed that club (and possibly Ibiza) yet in all the hype I haven’t seen a mention of them or any real appreciation of what they did when they had the idea of doing daytime parties in what was then a disco-cum-conference centre.
As far as I’m aware, they haven’t even been invited.
So, whilst the thousands are in Space today, the majority totally unaware of the fact that they probably wouldn’t be standing or dancing there were it not for these 2 DJs, I shall be at home raising my glass to them and having a nostalgic 5 minutes remembering those incredible days on the Space terrace.
Alex Petrides and Brandon Block I salute you.
History of House
Ocean Beach Sunday 17th August
Little over a year old, ´´History´´ has now toured in 17 countries around the world and is now growing at a rate no one could have imagined… proving one thing… The Classics Are Timeless!!!
Sunday 17th August, Ocean Beach opens its doors for what is set to be their best event yet… DJs from the last 25 years will be getting together to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of the Islands most iconic figures, Alex P, co founder of the now world famous Space Terrace. Of course no party with Alex would be complete without his right hand man Brandon Block, as they play nothing but over two decades of classics alongside Hacienda legend Graeme Park, Creams John Kelly, one of the Islands most famous and longstanding female DJs Jo Mills, History of House founder Jon Besant, Jon Fitz, Swankys boys Parris and LLoyd and many more including local DJs Alexander J, Drew Moreland and Alice Rose… to add to this Historic party will be the irreplaceable sounds of The Lovely Laura on Sax and Wayne B on Percussion.
Alex P says ´´Ocean Beach is a breath of fresh air for the Island, hats off to Tru Heffner aka Tony Truman for creating such an amazing atmosphere and party vibe in San Antonio, and to be playing my 50th Birthday on the Island with so many people that have shaped my career and supported me for so many years is nothing less than perfect´´
In the last year History of House has now thrown parties in places such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Marbella, Manchester and more but founder Jon Besant says ´´for some reason, this is the one that I am most nervous and excited about!! The day Tony rang me to say we could have a date in the 2014 summer calendar, I had to pinch myself as I know the venue hosts so many amazing brands and parties´´ he explained ´´Ibiza is the place I went on my holidays from just 17 years old and didn’t miss a single year until I decided to take a break a few years ago, anyone that knows my DJ sets know that I’ve never strayed to far from the anthems or classics and to be able to create a brand that has been received by all ages with so much support around the world for me is a dream come true. Working with artists that I used to pay to go and see, and who I now class as friends is a match made in heaven!!´´
Tickets, Beds or any information for History of House are available from
or you can contact Jon directly on 0034 608219408…
Will you be a part of History?
Anthem Answers. 1. Faithless Insomnia 2. Inner City Good Life 3. D-Mob We Call It Aciieed 4. Café Del Mar (Joke)