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Review: IMS Ibiza 2013 Day 2

IMS conference in full swing, plus the first of the Dalt Vila parties!

Whilst Day One of IMS Ibiza 2013 had covered a lot of contentious and conceptual topics about the dance music industry, as discussed by key players behind the scenes, Day Two was mostly coloured by artists' personal stories and struggles, processes of music making and how rad Daft Punk's new shit is.

I can understand why they did it, but I still maintain putting the most anticipated speaker of the IMS, Nile Rodgers, on first thing in the morning during openings week was not quite in the lazy spirit of Ibiza. Back for a second year by popular demand, the two or so hours of Nile Rodgers (that everyone turned out for despite hangovers) were something special. Armed on stage with his guitar, Rodger's endless supply of anecdotes was peppered with classic riffs and licks, as he communicated his love of music the way he does best. One of the most unforgettable moments was easily when his interviewer Pete Tong asked him to play his part of Daft Punk's Get Lucky and we watched a giggling Rodgers fumble about trying to relearn a part which, although incredibly fresh in our minds, he hadn't thought about for a year; “It's in B minor? Really??” He got there of course, and it was brilliant. Pearls of wisdom were imparted generously as Rodgers talked about his life in the industry, his music, his health demons and his huge professional respect for artists like Avicii in perfectly shareable sound bytes that sent the twitter feed manic all day. “When dance music came into my life it allowed me to do what I wanted to do,” Rodgers mused, later receiving a standing ovation from a room of people who believe that more than most.

The warm fuzzies continued in the Paul van Dyk key interview and the subsequent panel on social responsibility in dance music, during which we learnt about the projects he and the other members of the panel were engaged in to “make giving back a part of youth culture.” Paul van Dyk also had some interesting thoughts on the American EDM boom and the lack of artist identity with some of its main players. “You can only be convincing,” he commented, “if you really believe what you're doing is right.”

Then it was time to hear the official anthem for IMS, created by Nile Rodgers and remixed by Eats Everything. A slightly bemused Rodgers admitted he didn't have a clue what was requested of him (“are we talking like a fan fare or something?”) before flicking the switch on what was pretty quickly a hit. An impromptu auction ensued between labels offering to buy the new track, with all proceeds going to Rodger's own charity, but quickly had to be deferred, as calls were coming in with offers of 50 000. More on that soon! Eats Everything aired his remix next, whilst everybody sat politely in their seats and engaged in eager but restrained neck bobbing. Both tunes were killer in their own right, though surprisingly disparate.

Lots of giggles at the Mixmag panel (largely supplied by self-proclaimed DJ-slash-model Eats Everything) where a choice selection of DJs (plus the managers of Disclosure and of Maya Jane Coles) discussed the perils and pitfalls of making it as an artist, David August commenting that “social media can help you as an artist if you show a certain amount of personality,” whilst Hot Since 82 maintained that “you're only as good as your last record.” Later in the afternoon the panel on women in the music industry returned for 2013, and for the first time the actor-come-DJ Idris Elba spoke to IMS delegates about his experience in both the music and film industry.

IMS Legends Award recipient Fatboy Slim was the final speaker of Thursday, interviewed most proficiently by the mega-chilled Rob da Bank. Norman Cook (the real man behind the Fatboy moniker) sat with his trademark bare feet and spoke of frozen fish, meeting his wife in Ibiza, mild luddite tendencies (he's going to give social media a couple more years to make sure it's not just a fad) and the pros and cons of his ‘wilder' days. Cook described Fatboy Slim as his “irresponsible drunken alter ego,” symbolised by the donning of a loud hawaiin shirt. Though sober now, he has no regrets about those mad years, at the height of which his rider compromised “vodka, Diet Coke, Redbull, cocaine and towels.” Rockstar.

As the evening took over, the IMS focus shifted up to the old town of Dalt Vila, where the first Grand Finale party was already underway up on the battlements. Hot Since 82 took us into twilight, dropping deep house bombs like his own remix of Yousef's ‘Beg' and Chaim's ‘En Milim.' Idris Elba was next, which must honestly be described as a pretty messy set (“I'm gonna be honest with you, I'm playing the wrong tune” he quipped), but what he lacked in polish, Elba made up for in energy and diversity; we started in deep and dark house and somehow wound up with a progressive house remix of Lana Del Ray, so go figure! Pete Tong was his usual masterful self, delivering a chunky set which opened with Let's Jack Vs. Gez Uri (Eats Everything Rebeef), later smoothed out into Justin Martin's remix of Rachel Row's ‘Follow the Step' and eventually slammed out Nile Rodger's IMS anthem – as fresh as it gets. Man of the moment Fatboy Slim closed out the night with a face-smashing set of degenerate and dirty electro, seasoned throughout with his much loved classics and closed with the incomparable Donna Summers.

There just isn't any location like Dalt Vila, and one of the coolest things about this gig was the diversity of the crowd, from babies on shoulders in protective earmuffs to antique Ibicencos and everyone in between, dance music was doing what it does best and bringing people together.

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