Experimental Cocktail Club to Open Experimental Beach in Ibiza This Summer

Are you hip to Experimental Cocktail Club? If you’re a serious cocktail enthusiast you should be. ECC, as it’s known, is a series of cocktail bars in Paris, London, and New York that are as cutting-edge as they are elegant. If there’s a cocktail equivalent to molecular gastronomy, it can be found in these clubby lounges, where wild, weird things are done with booze and mixers to make cocktails that are both fascinating and delicious. I’d be shocked if Wylie and Ferran haven’t dropped by yet. ECC bars aren’t snooty per se, but they’re into pushing boundaries, not serving vodka tonics, which makes them precisely the kinds of bars that that whiney, Yelp-style rant the New York Post published a couple of weeks ago was supposed to take down a notch. But bars aren’t for babies, and ECC is a bar for trying crazy, experimental drinks. You should therefore visit with an open mind, not a propensity for being offended. And despite, or perhaps because of, its exclusivity, ECC is doing great. So great, in fact, that it’s opening a summer bar in Ibiza this year called Experimental Beach Ibiza. The Balearic Islands have never tasted anything like it. 

Opening in May, Experimental Beach Ibiza will be situated on the beaches of southern Ibiza’s Ses Salinas national reserve, and it promises "marvelous cocktails, fresh local food, and sumptuous sunbeds." That local food will come from the kitchen of chef Gerard Ortiz Arlandis. About those cocktails: They come from ECC bartenders in Paris, London, and New York, adding a beachy little twist. "Expect beautifully giant punch bowls perfect for sharing with friends as the sun sinks into the horizon," says the press release. Sounds good to me, I’d love for well-made punches to replace bottle service among elite drinkers. One vodka and three uninspired mixers does not a great cocktail make. 

Of course, all of this raises the question: exactly how weird are these weird cocktails? When I visited the New York outpost of ECC last year to sip drinks with Mike Birbiglia, we had, among other cocktails, the Kinkakuji. It’s premade with coconut milk and regular cow’s milk, which is curdled and filtered twice, then mixed with overproof rum and Japanese whiskey. It takes 3 days to make. Then there was the Jack O’ Lantern. Directions: a whole egg is vigorously shaken with a large dose of butternut squash-infused Plantation Barbados 5 year old Rum and a bit of coconut milk and homemade cinnamon syrup. It’s served up, with some nutmeg freshly grated on the top. They were both as tasty as they were bizarre. 

It remains to be seen whether visitors to Ibiza will be into flavors like these, but last I checked it’s a pretty open-minded island, so I like ECC’s chances. If you visit, be advised that you’re expected to step outside your comfort zone and try something different. If you order a vodka tonic, they won’t insult you for your uncreative order. But they will charge you extra for it.

Photo: Toni Ramon

[Related: BlackBook Ibiza Guide; Tasting Experimental Cocktails with Sleepwalk With Me Star Mike Birbiglia]

2012’s Hottest Parties, From San Francisco to Brooklyn to Beirut

Over the summer, BlackBook sent seven photographers into the night to capture the energy of their home cities. Now that we’re in the throws of the bitter cold, what better time to look back at the hottest parties of the year? 

9:37pm, August 11th: Non Stop Bhangra

Public Works,
 San Francisco, California

As a professional photographer, I go to many parties here in San Francisco. Not many are memorable, but I remember the first time I happened upon Non Stop Bhangra. I was passing by a club called Public Works on Erie Street when I heard the instantly recognizable beat of bhangra music spilling from the door. I followed the sound into a room full of women wearing saris and men wearing turbans. Everyone was waving their arms in the air with broad smiles. This is Non Stop Bhangra, a party started in 2004. It happens the second Saturday of every month and I never miss it.—Hanna Quevedo

2:30am, August 3rd: Happy Hour Hammer Time

Mojo Crew Club, Beirut, Lebanon

Happy Hour Hammer Time carries on the party spirit in Beirut during the holy month of Ramadan, usually a quiet month on the party circuit. The party is thusly named because “you’ll have fun and you’ll probably get hammered,” according to one of its beer-loving founders. It’s the longest-running happy hour in the city, and for only 20,000 Lebanese lira ($15) offers an open tap, cheap drinks, and endless beer pong. Filling the beer pong cups are two local beers, 961 and LB, which are part of the emerging microbrew scene in Lebanon.—Eric Hinojosa

3:32am, July 28th: Squat House Party

La Plage De L’Elephant, Ibiza, Spain

Wild nights are the status quo here in Ibiza. But what I like about Squat House Party, a concept imported from Buenos Aires, is that it’s a clash of cultures. Though they first started in abandoned houses in Argentina, now Squat House is a global movement with events in hotspots like Barcelona, Punta del Este, and Sao Paolo. This mix of underground music in a high socioeconomic environment is called “under-chic,” and the parties rarely end before dawn.—Ezequiel Salvatierra

12:52am, August 3rd: Astro Nautico

Free Candy, Brooklyn, New York

It’s the first Friday of the month and, on this sweltering night in an old parking garage in Flatbush, a mass of people are shaking their hips and stomping their feet to the thumping bass provided by the Brooklyn collective Astro Nautico. The crowd of twentysomethings is entranced as they watch VHS clips the resident artist Paul Jones projects to accompany the music. The booze flows freely like the sweat pouring down the small of everyone’s backs, but no one cares. This is a dance party.—Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez

10:32pm, August 1st: Diarrhea Planet Concert

Mercy Lounge,
 Nashville, Tennessee

In the best of times, partying in Nashville means seeing bands like Diarrhea Planet. Armed with four guitar players, a $150 noise citation, and a song called “Ghost with a Boner,” DP has developed a reputation in the local punk scene as Music City’s most entertainingly ostentatious party-punk sextet. Tonight, a sea of straight-edges at the foot of the stage will dance themselves into a frenzied mosh pit, screaming every lyric to every song and crowd surfing for at least a quarter of the show. At least one person will wind up bleeding.—Lance Conzett

11:37pm, August 11th: Beat Players

East Village Club, London, England

London DJ Stuart Patterson opened East Village in 2008. Tonight, Beat Players, a group of DJs who focus on the soulful side of house music and cater to a slightly older crowd, celebrates the Olympics with a “Best of the British” night. London’s Phil Asher spins disco in the upstairs lounge, while rising Welsh star Sean McCabe plays soulful house in the booming basement.—Annalisa Bruno

10:45pm, August 15th: Low End Theory

The Airliner, Los Angeles, California

Low End Theory is a mix of hip-hop and bass heavy experimental beats. As I reach the 2nd floor I feel like I’ve stepped into a sauna. The girl next to me complains to her friend that it smells like “sweaty feet on the dance floor”. Honestly it did, but nobody seemed to care. The energy of the front stage had the party pumping and the crowd was feeding off the beats. Low End Theory has some of the most legendary resident DJs and MCs in L.A., and it’s good to see that hip-hop is alive and well in L.A.—Nanette Gonzales

Industry Insiders: Talking to DJ Diego Harispe

For our Oct./Nov. issue’s Industry Insider section, we interviewed professional house music DJ Diego Harispe. In the business for over 10 years, Harispe approaches his craft old-school, mixing CDs and vinyls, and weaving the sound into a story. Currently based in Miami where he’s found DJing at such spots as Nikki Beach and Mynt, Harispe has DJd across South America (Crobar in Buenos Aires) and Europe, where he honors the local cultures’ music. Here, Diego shares what he thinks a DJ should never do, the one song everyone loves, and what he reminds himself in the midst of success.

You’ve DJd all around the globe. What place do you look forward to spinning in the most?
That’s a hard question. I think every city and every country has something special. My favorite place is always the next one to visit, so this week it’s Ibiza. In Ibiza, every dancefloor is filled with different nationalities and cultures, but what is amazing about this magic island is that everybody speaks the same language: MUSIC. 

What’s a DJing-don’t? Something a DJ should NEVER do?
A DJ should never become a DJ for other reasons than the love for music itself. Unhappily, we have lots of supposed “DJs” in the industry  that are there just for exposure, a certain lifestyle, or other vein reasons than the music.

What is one song that people always love?
Gotye’s “Somebody That I Use To Know.” There are so many good remixes of it.

You’ve been a pro for years. What have you learned about success?
It’s not something that you finally reach. Success is being able to do what you love. It’s a forever path, and the key is to have faith in you. No matter how hard things get, with faith and consistency you will always achieve what you want.  

AllSaints & MTV Want Fashion Fans to Party in Ibiza

Lots of AllSaints Spitalfields news today. First, the British brand announced the launch of their new sale site, which will feature archived merchandise from the high-street retailer for up to 50% off. Second, they’re teaming up with MTV Ibiza to turn their culture, fashion, and music formula up a notch. Starting July 1st for 10 weeks, MTV and Ibiza super club Amnesia is hosting I Want My MTV Ibiza, a live music night featuring headliners like Snoop Dogg, Robyn, Mark Ronson, and Duran Duran.

AllSaints fans have a chance to win tickets every week.

Simply “like” the brand’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter to learn how to win. If you need further convincing, take a peek at the show’s killer line-up here (and shop for your outfit here, while you’re at it).

4AM DJ Tour Diary: Orazio Rispo’s Ibiza Dreams Come True

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m always arranging performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day, the reports I get back from my DJs sound like the kind of wild adventures that I rarely get to be a part of as a desk – rather than a disk – jockey. The people who go to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this monthly column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this first 4AM DJ Tour Diary, you’ll read about red-hot house DJ Orazio Rispo’s month-long tour, which brought him from the Hamptons to Ibiza, throughout Italy, and back home to NYC – with an enviable roster of super-exclusive parties in between. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

DJ Orazio Rispo’s 4AM DJ Tour Diary

I began my summer DJing mainly in the Hamptons at the brand new RdV. East, but I planned to go to Europe in August for business and more than a little pleasure. I rented a villa in Ibiza and invited around 15 friends. We found an amazing house in St. Miguel in the middle of a beautiful, isolated field. I have been going to Ibiza for the past six years and naturally dreamed of playing at Pacha. In June, I was fortunate enough to play Pacha New York—another longtime dream—so for the Pacha Ibiza booking to follow so shortly after, well, it was Christmas in July. I landed in Ibiza on August 1st with only one confirmed DJ booking on the island: August 11th at Pacha with my manager and friend DJ Jus Ske of 4AM DJs, thanks to Eddie Dean and Erick Morillo, who’s party it was.

On the third day, I linked up with a friend from New York who invited me to play an after-hours at his villa. Following what seemed at the time to be directions to a hidden treasure, I arrived with my group to the villa at 8am. I DJed for four hours as the sun rose and the rest of the world’s day began. Diddy and Erick Morillo showed up with their entourages in tow and rocked out with me. It was a thrill.

The next day, August 5th, my friend Corey Lane asked me to play at the Kiss and Fly annual beach party at The Sands. I attended that party the year before and kind of knew what to expect. My set started at 4pm and was supposed to go until 7, but I played for an extra hour until my friend DJ Vanjee got there and rocked it. When I got to The Sands and started setting up all my equipment, I suddenly began to panic as I realized I had no quarter-inch adapter for my headphones, essentially leaving me without headphones. The resident DJ was on before me, so as she was putting on her last couple of songs, I asked her if she could lend me her adapter after her set. She quickly obliged and explained to me that she had to stick around anyways, so it would be no trouble at all. Sands was everything I hoped it would be: the perfect combination of a lazy, beach atmosphere with the excitement that happens naturally as Ibiza gradually turns to night. By the end of my set, people were off their beach chairs and in the main bar area dancing.

image

As I played the last songs in my set, the resident DJ came to me in the booth and told me she wanted to talk to me for a second. This was my first official gig in Ibiza, and although I could confidently say I had a good set, I felt the way I did when I was called into the principal’s office as a youngster. We sat down on a beach cabana and she began to unfold her proposition. She told me her name was Clara Da Costa, and she had been living on the island and working as a DJ for the past 15 years. She told me she was the resident at The Sands, Es Vive, and Space for openings, and most importantly, she had her own weekly radio show on Ibiza Sonica Radio, the island’s most popular radio station. Clara told me that she loved my set and that, for the first time ever, she wanted to offer me her personal slot on her radio show. She had booked another DJ to be the guest so there were no other slots left but her own, and she wanted me to have it.

The Ibiza Sonica Radio offices are located in a modest office complex in the center of the island. The studio had all the cutting edge DJ and broadcasting equipment, and the booth was situated right in front a huge glass window with a view of the hills and waterfront. Clara was in her natural habitat. She immediately began to set up all the equipment to her liking as only a veteran could. I played deep for the first hour and then back-to-back with her for the second hour. My friends and fellow 4AM DJs listened online in NYC, and I saw them tweeting about it. Two days later, Clara invited me to play at Es Vive with her. The Es Vive CDs were some of the first electronic compilations I had ever listened to. It was a middle-of-the-afternoon pool atmosphere, lazy and lounge-y.

The next night I was asked to play a party at Stefano Chitis’ villa. It was truly a unique experience. We got to his house around 3pm, ate lunch, jumped in the ocean, and then I began to play around 5. From 5-9, we watched the sun gradually fade in front of us—an orange ball slowly sinking into the horizon—to a deep, tech house setting. DJs fantasize about parties like this. The house was one of the most incredible architectural feats I’ve seen in Ibiza. Once in the front door, you see nothing but white stone and an infinity pool directly in front of you, juxtaposed with the open sea. The house was built decades ago on the cliff of a public beach, something which today would never be permitted. Top models and tennis players attended the party and we all danced until the sun fully disappeared.

The big day finally arrived: I was playing Pacha that night. My manager, Adam Alpert of 4AM, BBMed me that the Pacha guys wanted me to come do a little pre-party at Cafe Mambo. I’ve always heard about its legendary pre-parties, and to actually play there as the pre-party for my night at Pacha made it all the more special. I played with the Pacha NYC crew, led by Eddie Dean and Rob Fernandez. I played alongside NYC-natives DJ David Berrie, Pauly Raffaele, and Theo. The part of San Antonio beach that Mambo is situated on was packed for its daily sunset celebration. People were walking up and down the boardwalk and stopping to dance when they passed Mambo’s DJ booth. Luckily I got to play one of the later sets, but I cut it close, ending with exactly enough time to jump in a taxi and be at Pacha for my big set.

Pacha was special. For years I wanted to play that club, on that island. To be able to finally do so with a crew of friends from Pacha New York made the experience all the more significant. Originally I was scheduled to play the opening set from 1-2am, but DJ Jus Ske gave me his 4-5am set time, giving me two, one-hour long sets to play. Things just kept on getting better. Everyone was dancing. All my friends from the villa, New York, and everywhere else were in the room dancing in front of me. I played George Morel’s “Just Groove,” and the room blew up. Those four epic cymbal crashes before the drop never sounded as good as they did that night. The Italians were all cheering and chanting, as they often do. I got home and did not begin to fully recap all the night’s events until I was in bed at 11am the next morning.

image

For years people in New York told me not to play certain tracks in certain genres, saying they were “too Ibiza.” This summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to play what I wanted at every party I worked. People in Ibiza generally come with a passion or a curiosity when it comes to electronic music. Their willingness to trust the DJ and stay with him for the duration of a set makes DJs feel comfortable wherever they play on the island.

After two full weeks in Ibiza, we packed up and left our villa behind. I headed to Italy for my last few gigs. I played at Sottovento nightclub in Portocervo for the second year in a row. I got such a great reaction from the crowd, using mostly vocal European house. Tuccillo’s remix of “Hey Hey” blew that room up. Rai television was in the booth filming and doing an interview.

Towards the end of my trip I went to Capri for two nights to attend a friend’s party. Immediately after getting off the hydrofoil, my friends and I did what everyone does at 7pm in Italy: Aperitivo! We went to Il Panterei, ordered a drink, and began to feel like something was missing. I went to the owner and asked him if he would let me replace his classical music CD with something a little more deep. He gave me carte blanche and shortly after, I was already playing again in Capri. We sent the word out and filled the club with our friends while I played for two hours. We took over a well-known venue and basically threw a house party.

And finally Panarea, one of the two or three places in the world I could call home. I played at the historic Raya “discoteca,” the best (and only) club on the island, but also in the entire Eolian region. Raya holds roughly 600 people and is consistently packed in the summer months. The star-studded crowd was a mixture of longtime friends and family members, 90% of whom were Italian. Days later someone sent me an article that the party had been in Page 6. I was shocked! The fact that this one-night affair, in a tiny island in the Mediterranean, could end up in a newspaper back home, was powerful. It read: “Masterpiece art dealer Gerard Faggionato’s 50th birthday was packed with wealthy guests. The London-based dealer, who runs Faggionato Fine Art and represents Francis Bacon’s estate, hosted 300 friends at an ultra-private dance party at nightclub Raya in Panarea, Italy, on Friday. DJ Orazio Rispo mixed for Stavros Niarchos, Princess of Monaco Charlotte Casiraghi, Mark Getty and Uma Thurman and her boyfriend Arpad Busson, who stayed until the lights came on at 4a.m.”

It had been such an amazing summer. I didn’t want to come home. I called the Alitalia and postponed my flight home by 4 days. An hour later, Adam called me to tell me that we have a walkthrough scheduled at the brand new Lavo in New York City, where I would be starting my new Saturday night residency for Jason Strauss, Noah Tepperberg, Rocco Ancorola, and Jayma Cordoso. Nothing could be better than concluding an incomparable summer European tour than the excitement of having the biggest residency at the hottest new nightclub in NYC. I was so sad to leave and so happy to be home!

For more info on Orazio, go here.

image