• Geoff ‘DJ Sergio’ who died last week was a seminal player in what became known as the ‘Balearic beat’.
  • His encyclopaedic musical knowledge was perfectly attuned to this eclectic anti-style, his sets seamlessly melding frequently obscure gems from across the globe.

Words; Nick Clayton, Writer & Journalist, nick@nickclayton.com Photos; Jon Sa Trinxa

Before moving to Ibiza in 1990 Geoff was already well-known through the mix tapes he used to sell in London’s Camden Market to influential DJs such as Danny Rampling. Even then Geoff’s taste in tunes was legendary.

On the island he was in demand as a DJ at open air parties as well as Pacha, Ku, Amnesia, Space, El Divino, Cafe del Mar, Sa Trinxa, Mambo and Sol Den Serra (now called Amante) where he was a long-time fixture. At the same time he was signed to EMI where he compiled the first three volumes of the classic Ambient Ibiza series. He also began his long-time collaboration with the godfather of chillout José Padilla as well as producing and recording tracks with musician Kenneth Bager in Denmark.

Even in the late stages of his illness, Geoff’s passion for music remained undimmed. Until a few weeks ago he continued to share tracks with his many friends on Facebook. There was disco from Cameroon, Mauritian funk, seventies Japanese synth-pop and recent Italian space boogie to mention but a few.

But, it wasn’t just for his music that Geoff will be remembered, it’s for his sense of humour and skill as a raconteur. ‘He never suffered a fool or a shite tune, and never said no to a hierbas or a good laugh,’ recalls Ibiza DJ Andy Wilson.

‘Geoff was a loveable rogue from an Ealing comedy, with a touch of the Artful Dodger and a gentleman,’ says DJ Jon Sa Trinxa, laughing, as we tried to piece together Geoff’s past.

He spoke occasionally of an Argentinian wife and time spent in South America. But, Geoff was notoriously vague. His adopted name he sometimes said was because Interpol were after him. He certainly used to tell hilarious tales of his inept exploits as an international drug smuggler. Then again, he might have been called ‘Sergio’ by dance music pioneers Rocky and Diesel who were joking about the amount of Italian piano house Geoff was playing. Who knows?

Even after illness kept Geoff away from the turntables he stayed friends with many from the music business. Fellow Balearic pioneer Phil Mison and funky house DJ Mark Elliott last visited him on Friday, the day he died, and were able to play him a few tunes and stream a game featuring Geoff’s beloved Chelsea. ‘We managed to have a laugh together,’ says Phil. ‘It was a good way for him to leave.’

Obituary & Tributes; Geoff ‘DJ Sergio’; Balearic Beat Pioneer

Tributes

Kenneth Bager, DJ & Producer

“The world has lost an incredible person and I have lost a dear dear friend – Jeff Aka Geoff aka Dj Sergio passed away on friday in hospital after a long struggle with health. In my life I have never ever meet anybody that could make me laugh so much – tons of times I laughed in tears and had stomach problems laughing too much. Your voice and your speciel (loud) laugh will stay with me forever.

“I meet Jeff in a Record shop in the early 90ties and became friends straight after. Such a loveable crazy character.

“I had the pleasure of seeing Jeff dj lots of times af Sa Trinxa and other nice places in Ibiza. His knowledge of music was like a encyclopedia in Balearic Music. He knew a good tune after 1 hearing and I am happy that my label managed to release three timeless compilations called “Ambient Ibiza” named after his fabulous tape series. He could also produce and recorded his own tracks in Denmark at Njalsgade and what fun it was. The trip we had to Rimini was outrageous, our night at La Troya in Amnesia – drinking Hierbas at Cala Salada – wow – I could go on – there is so many memories.

“What a legend – as in LEGENDARY – his stories – I always said, Jeff – if your life was a book it would be a best seller.

You will be missed – RIP Jeff – thanks for the music and the wonderful times and the tons of laughs – keep spreading music, love and laughs on your journey

Jonny Lee, DJ and Founder of A DJ Saved My Life.

“A true inspiration to me Jeff aka Sergio Rodriguez has sadly passed away yesterday after a long courageous battle with his health. My musical collection over the many years from the early ’90s and some of the first ambient /Balearic compilations was always expanded every time a hung out with him, drinking Hierbas in the early years and sharing crazy stories… Belly laughing at points, and crikey all done at volume 10… His sense of humor shone out, his love of music and how he just fell on so many rare gems …

“All my love Jeff you laughing box x”

Andy Wilson, DJ

Big love to brother Jeff aka DJ Sergio , one of the true Balearic DJs and all round top boy, who sadly left us yesterday after a long fight with cancer . Never suffered a fool or a shite tune , and never said no to a hierbas or a good laugh . He always knew if it was Balearic or not , RIP Jeff and his big heart.

Music

Listen to a mix here (posted by Andy Wilson)

dj sergio on testpressing