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Q & A: Judge Jules

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The Scene talks beach bars and break beats with Judge Jules in Europe's party capital.

The Scene: So what is it that makes Ibiza so special?

Judge Jules: If you're into gambling you go to Las Vegas and if you're into partying you go to Ibiza. It's unrivalled when it comes to the facilities, the range of parties available and the choice of quite cool international party people to hang out with. Ibiza has sometimes been written off but the reality is there isn't any other location in the world with the same clubs, beach bars and restaurants. You wouldn't find at least five of the world's top 20 DJs on an average week in any other location in the world.

TS: What does Ibiza mean to you as a DJ?

JJ: It's a place where a DJ's reputation can be cemented or demolished because every week you've got tens of thousands of the most discerning people flying in who know a good tune and a good DJ when they hear one and are able to separate the good from the bad.

TS: Can you remember when the Ibizan scene started?

JJ: Well, Ibiza's club scene has been going strong since the mid 70s. I first came her in 1988 to play a solitary gig at Pacha and like everyone visiting Ibiza for the first time, my memory begins and ends there. The Old Town really stuck out as the one physical memory above all else, apart perhaps from Es Vedra, the mythical rock that sticks out of the sea at Cala d'Hort close to San Jose. It's the history and beauty of the Old Town that makes it stand out. It is a traditional, battlement town built high on the summit of a hill to pour boiling oil onto Moorish invaders. It's got some really labyrinthine streets and a fantastic cathedral at the summit. In terms of historic battlement towns, it's almost unrivalled in Europe. I've certainly seen nowhere so splendid and memorable.

TS: Tell us about Benniras beach. That's one of your favorite places on the island, right?

JJ: Benniras is probably the best place to watch the sunset in Ibiza. It sounds pretentious and hippy-like, yet at the end of the night you'll get people clapping when the sun goes down because it just looks so much better than anywhere else you've seen a sunset. Benniras shows the hippy origins of Ibiza. You have drummers playing in unison as the sun goes down and it's also a bit inaccessible -- you really have to make the effort. If you think you've seen a sunset then you ain't seen nothing until you've been to Benniras.

TS: And Km5 is one of your favorite places to hang out?

JJ: Km5 is a late night bar that's very hard to find and if you went there at midnight you'd think, "Why on earth is he recommending that I come here?" Suddenly at about half past one the place is teeming with 2,000 people. It's one of those places that's a hybrid between a club, a restaurant and a bar. It's got an incredibly cool bunch of people.

TS: So would you get up and spin a few tunes?

JJ: I wouldn't turn up and spontaneously DJ because you don't really need that kind of busman's holiday when you're here. Generally I just play in one particular club. I love DJing but it's good to go out socially. The one great thing about Ibiza when you're a DJ is that every night is a Saturday night. I get very few Fridays or Saturdays off to recreationally go clubbing but here I can choose any night to go out. During the summer season I act like the next demented raver on the dance floor. I think it's important as a DJ to remember why you're in it in the first place.

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