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Spotify playlist | The best labels on Ibiza

Staff photographer Michael explores the imprints making waves on the White Isle.

One thing that connects clubbers from all scenes, is the love of music.

Fortunately, there's an abundance out there waiting to be discovered. The past two decades have seen production technology become readily available and affordable, which has led to an exponential increase in producers worldwide.

The combination of DIY ethos coupled with the ease of use of plug-in-and-play equipment, has made it easier than ever before. Nowadays, it's possible for a budding artist to make a hit record from the comfort of their bedroom.

For most, it's the goal to be signed by a major label. Much like the music itself, running a label has become easier due to online sites like Beatport, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube and others giving wouldbe entrepeneurs a platform to sell their music globally.

Artists who once used concentrated on producing or DJing, now add label boss to their resume. With such a volume of titles across many labels, it can be hard to decide which one to spend your money on.

Being a mecca for electronic dance music, it stands to reason that Ibiza has some of the best labels from around the world represented here. A few base themselves here physically, while others were born on the dance floors. Some merely adopt the Ibiza vibe, proxy.

Many more still are located overseas, but return year-after-year every summer. Ibiza's magnetic properties in full effect.

If you are sonically inquisitive then this playlist is for you. Below is our round-up of the best labels (and their parties) associated with our fair White Isle.


Cocoon | Amnesia

The Cocoon brand is about all things techno. Headed up by DJing legend Sven Väth, the label has been releasing club stompers since 2000. Along the way it has championed artists like Ricard Villalobos, Guy Gerber, Ricardo Tobar and more.

It is also famed for its Cocoon compilation series which is now on its 19th - or "S" - edition.

In 2019, the party has celebrated its 20th anniversary on Ibiza in style, hosting some outrageous events for the Cocoon20 season.

We've seen electronic legends Kraftwerk and Underworld take over Ushuaïa, over two huge concert-sized events. On top of this, Papa Sven has taken over both Benimussa and Underground for special one-off parties.

They finish off this grand celebratory season on 30 September in Amnesia with Peggy Gou, Adam Beyer, Ilario Alicante and ANNA joining Sven for this closing extravaganza.


Diynamic | Solomun+1 | Pacha

Pacha's Sunday resident certainly knows how to select a good record. As a tastemaker, it's no surprise that Solomun runs his label with the same high threshold. Since its inception, Diynamic has traversed genres from indie dance grooves to melodic techno cuts.

During a Solomun+1 season, we often get a preview of a forthcoming banger.

Last season it was ARTBAT's Atlas that dominated dancefloors, which went on to conquer the Beatport charts. Solomun closes his party on Sunday 13 October with Keinemusik - Adam Port, &ME and Rampa - joining the Balkan Stalwart in the booth.


Innervisions | Transmoderna | Pacha

Around 2005, Dixon faced a decision. With the increased popularity of minimal production, house sounds were on the decline. He knew it was time branch out away from Sonar Kollektiv and go against the grain, so he teamed up with close friends Âme to created sub-label, Innervisions.

The brand would go to release some of the most iconic electronic tracks of the last decade, including the soul-warming Âme remix of Howling.

Dixon continues to bring to visionary innovativeness to his projects - including his Pacha residency, Transmoderna. It closes on Friday 4 October with an all night long set from the label boss.


Afterlife | Hï Ibiza

An odyssey through the realm of consciousness - this is the mantra of the Afterlife label. Run by Italian duo Tale Of Us, the ethereal entity has seen a wealth of success since launching in 2016.

One of the key contributors to the rise of melodic house and techno, all tracks created by TOU or the Afterlife roster turn into essential club tunes. Frenzied scenes as the latest one is yet to be identified are commonplace.

Over the course of three years the labels sound has been refined; introspective electronica, euphoric peak-time cuts and subtle rollers.

Their residency at Hï Ibiza showcases these sounds to a loyal fanbase, who return week after week. A mega three room event has been planned for their closing on Thursday 03 October with a bunch of label cohorts and big-name techno acts filling the slots from open to close.


Söla | BODYWORKS | Hï Ibiza

Northern lads, Solardo have conquered the tech house scene in a very short space of time. A mixture of tribal drums, tongue-in-cheek sampling, old school rave synths and signature nawty beats have catapulted the Mancunian duo to international stardom.

Their Söla label project follows a similar club-ready format, releasing material from rising stars from the UK and beyond.

Often teaming up with party co-hosts CamelPhat, the brand's stock looks set to increase over the next few seasons. Catch Solardo, CamelPhat and FISHER smash it out one last time at their BODYWORKS residency on Tuesday 24 September.


Solid Grooves | Privilege

Sometimes, simplicity is the most effective business model. For Solid Grooves, this is especially true. Both label and party boast a no-nonsense, heavy-duty style reminiscent of warehouse parties of old.

Admirably, they stick to a tight-knit family of artists, whilst simultaneously championing up-and-coming acts. Therefore, the brand has developed into one of the most exciting electronic exports the UK has to offer.

Over the past two years, the label's tenure in Privilege's Vista club room has gained them a firm following from the seasonal worker crowd.

Each week, its roster rips up the dance floor with an unquestioned underground soundtrack. Their closing party on Sunday 22 September features Michael Bibi, PAWSA, Dennis Cruz, Eddy M and Reelow plus an unannounced secret guest.


Hot Creations | Paradise | DC-10

If there's one brand out of this list that is an integral cog in Ibiza's current music scene, arguably it's Hot Creations.

The label has a knack of releasing a summer anthem with effortless regularity. Echoing through the punchy sound system of DC-10 every Wednesday at the label's associated party, Paradise.

Under the watchful eye of Jamie Jones, Hot Creations possesses a career-transforming edge unlike any other dance music label. Darius Syrossian, Patrick Topping, wAFF and many others owe their current success to acclaimed releases on the label.

Should you seek a slice of Paradise, the party closes on Wednesday 2 October features a stacked Hot Creations and friends line-up.


All Day I Dream | Cova Santa

Approaching the melodic four to the floor sound with a deeper approach, is Lee Burridge's label - All Day I Dream.

Musically melancholy yet matched with warmer tones, both party and imprint stand out from the crowd as being emotionally intelligent and progressive in nature. As one of the pioneers of this style, they have contributed significantly to the desert sound niche.

The party has found a home in the open-air venue of Cova Santa, located in the hills of San José.

Minimal in its organisation but visually strong, each date this summer has showcased the very best of the label's signees. The final instalment takes place on Friday 20 September with YokoO and Roy Rosenfeld joining Burridge for a journey into a sonic wilderness.


Defected | Eden

The undisputed champion of house music labels, Defected's track record is impressive when it comes to releasing iconic classics.

From their early success, with tracks like Another Chance by Robert Sanchez and I Can't Get Enough by Soulsearchers; to their modern hits like Cola by CamelPhat and Hey Hey Hey by Dennis Ferrer - Defected is a household name.

Under the guidance of Simon Dunmore, the label has conquered the White Isle in not one but two clubs: Glitterbox in Hï Ibiza and Defected in Eden.

Both feature the trademark components that have made the record label a success - vocal soaked anthems with an uplifting vibe. The latter party in Eden closes on Friday 4 October with label stars hitting the booth to play out summer.


Toolroom | Eden

Who would have thought that when brothers Mark and Stuart Knight started a label from their garden shed, it would grow to be a brand synonymous with modern house music.

Figurehead Mark Knight has grown alongside Toolroom becoming a global sensation, widely known for releasing remixes of Man With The Red Face and You've Got the Love.

Mark has been turning his hand to a summer Ibiza residency in 2019, as Toolroom has taken over Sundays at Eden with the aid of Toolroom academy graduate, Maxinne.

You catch both of them, plus Friend Within, Illyus & Barrientos, Leftwing:Kody, Martin Ikin and Siege at the parties closing on Sunday 22 September.


Honourable Mentions

Drumcode's label takeover of RESISTANCE never disappoints

There's so much choice when it comes to prominent labels, it was difficult to whittle it down to ten for this list.

When it comes to label heads and their profiles, few come close to the standards of Adam Beyer of Drumcode or Armin Van Buuren of Armada Music.

On the party side of things, following the success of the events, brands like elrow and ABODE have dipped their toes into digital releases. Both have show willingness to place previously unknown producers into the limelight.

Lastly, legendary names like HedKandi continue to hold a presence on the paradise island that made them famous around the globe.


You can check out our top selections of each label in the Best Labels on Ibiza playlist on our Spotify channel.

We have picked three tracks per label: one from the vaults, one modern release and one seminal classic to complete a 30-track playlist for your aural pleasure.

Listen to the top picks below and head here to subscribe.

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