Ibiza Acid Pt1: Judge Jules Interview: Sankeys Dance 88/89
This article was first published as part of an Ibizan At Night Special Feature, Edition 861, 1st June 2017. The entire feature is published online in 3 parts. (Articles will open in new window)
Part 1. Judge Jules Interview & Sankeys Dance 88/89
Interview: Judge Jules: Dance 88/89: Sankeys
- Nick Gibbs
“Judge Jules has been an Ibizan clubbing constant since 1988. After a few years at various clubs he set down the roots of Judgement Sundays (and more latterly Fridays) in San Antonio, since when the furthest he has moved is 5 metres across the road from Eden to Es Paradis, and back again.
2017 is the first season for getting on 20 years that his face will not be gracing the billboards of San Antonio, a town of which he has always been a strong advocate, flying its flag as an important gateway to Ibiza.
So what is going on?
Well nobody was more surprised than us when Sankey’s successful 88/89 night released their 2017 line up with Judge Jules playing 12 of the 17 dates. But don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing surprising about Judge Jules being on the line up for those parties per se, if anything it is a match made in heaven, or shoom, or spectrum (see what I did there?) as he’ll be playing alongside an old-skool reunion with the likes of Mssrs Rampling, Farley, Park and Sr Alfredo. The surprising bit is that it is in a place not called San Antonio.
We thought we’d better ask him if he has lost his way….
- NG: So Jules, Playa d’en Bossa, did you have to look it up on a map?
JJ: Ha Ha. I can’t say that in previous summer seasons I’ve visited Bossa on a daily basis, but there’s no question that the town’s clubbing activity has been, to put it mildly, strong in recent years.
- NG: Will you miss San Antonio and is it the end of the Judgement brand?
JJ: It’s definitely not the end of the Judgement brand, but it’s time for an Ibiza clubbing change for me personally. I think San Antonio is about five years into a ten year cycle of wholesale regeneration. Both of the town in a physical sense, and also a regeneration of its reputation away from the shores of Ibiza. So all is very positive. My ties with San An remain strong. I have a house in the hills just outside the town, and great affection for the place. However, my DJ allegiance is now shifted elsewhere, to a more intimate venue that I really love.
- NG: What made you go for Sankey’s 88/89?
JJ: I did a couple of ‘tester’ sets last season, and really loved my time behind the decks at Sankeys. As someone playing his 29th season in Ibiza (yes, I was very young when I started), I can’t help but hanker a little for the Ibiza of the past. As much as the island’s “upmarket” success story is a source of great pride, playing in a club with virtually no VIP presence is hugely appealing for me. An underground venue that’s a mecca for music lovers, Sankeys serves as a much-needed contrast to the island’s increasing daytime bling-orientated clubbing presence.
- NG: I guess Sankey’s and Eden are as different in style as you could imagine, but they do have the commonality of insanely good Void systems (in my humble opinion two of the best systems on the Island). Do you take that type of thing into account when deciding where to play, or is it a case of always making the best of whatever is available?
JJ: All the island’s venues tend to be very strong on the technical and acoustic front. In fact, Ibiza’s clubs are used as showpieces by all the leading audio hardware manufacturers. So, it’s a given that sound will be good wherever one goes, in any of the ‘super clubs’.
- NG: You’ll be playing with quite a few names you started out with. Do you expect a lot of ‘those were the days’ nostalgia in the booth?
JJ: No, for me this isn’t about nostalgia. It’s about a genre of music that’s gagging to be rediscovered by 2017 clubbers. Tracks that have been hugely influential, particularly over recent dance music. Last summer’s gigs attracted a crowd who were predominantly too young to have experienced the sound of 88/89 first time around. I’m all about looking forwards and not backwards.
- NG: Before we look forwards, on the subject of Nostalgia, I’ve been reading ‘Acid House, the true story’ by Luke Bainbridge. I came across this photo of you. My wife said ‘oh my God that is so cute’. How old were you?
JJ: 21. Butter wouldn’t melt…
- NG: and what time did you have to be home?
JJ: Ha ha. If I was let out in the first place.
- NG: In the book you talk of trips to New York staying with a friend which gave you advance access to House records. Have you always kept all of your records? Any of those very early buys stand out as particularly important to you?
JJ: I’ve got a certain amount of my original vinyl, but I’m format agnostic and not really an anorak-ish vinyl collector. So, if I have a great track as a digital file then I’m not really bothered whether I still own the vinyl or not. For me it’s all about listening and immersing oneself in great tracks at extremely high volume, rather than owning physical copies.
- NG: Back to 2017, by which I mean 88/89? What should punters expect, is it limited just to tracks from that period?
JJ: Yes just from that era, but I everything for my 88/89 sets has been re-mastered and re-edited, so there will be a distinctly 2017 flavour.
- NG: Any particular tracks you’ve already got in mind that you’re looking forward to dusting down and reintroducing to a new generation of clubbers?
JJ: Soooo many. I’m a huge lover of the Detroit sound from that era, and in particular, playing those tracks on a booming Void soundsystem is a DJ’s dream come true.
- NG: If you see me bobbing around down the front with a huge grin on my face and t-shirt will you play Flow Coma for me?
JJ: If you buy me a vodka limon (or two).
I’ll take it. Thanks to Judge Jules for talking to us.
On 14th June Judge Jules plays his first of 11 Dance 88/89 nights. see Sankey’s info below.
- Dance 88/89: Sankeys
Dance 88/89 @ Sankeys was one of the club’s stand out parties from 2016.
It is back from June 7th with Alfredo, Bushwacka! and original Hacienda DJ Graeme Park kicking off the season.
And it’s free for residents.
Free Acid, be rude not to.