Posted on September 4, 2015

Essential Ibiza has been the go-to site for Ibiza news for the five seasons of its Ibiza tenure to date. The one stop shop gives you all the info you need on where to party and when, as well as an option to book VIP club tables, beach beds, boat charters, buy club tickets and even secure that exclusive villa! Having recently launched a digital magazine, offering all the Ibiza news in a cool new format, it is set for the release of ‘Essential Ibiza 2015’, the essential sound of Ibiza, a two CD compilation mixed by island favourites Jo Mills and Andy Baxter.

Clockwork Orange party_nassau_tanit_beach by_la_skimal

The team behind Essential Ibiza is steeped in dance music tradition, all of which have been involved in the industry in one shape or another for over twenty years! MD Charlie Chester played a significant role with his early Flying Records parties, as well as labels Flying and Cowboy Records and brought a Channel Four film crew with him to Ibiza in 1990 for a mini festival that provided the basis of cult documentary ‘A Short Film About Chilin’. With Essential Ibiza going from strength to strength, launching a compilation series was the obvious next step. Choosing the DJs to mix the launch CD was also an easy one, Jo Mills is a partner in the business but, more importantly, has played at many of the island’s cooler parties, as well as regularly around the world, while Andy Baxter is one of the most prominent resident DJs on the island, holding down residencies at a number of cool parties, guest appearing at others and hosting his own radio show – DubMetric – on Openlab Ibiza.

Essential Ibiza chose New State Records as the collaborator, with decades of experience in artist management, as well as releasing and managing countless artist and compilation albums, the team behind New State shares a similar journey as Essential, making them the perfect partners in the concept. Friday September 4 seen the album get its full release, offering a unique insight into the music and the people that make the island tick, both during and out of season. We caught up with the DJs behind the musical journey to get an idea of what goes into the process of delivering a world class mix compilation…

Jo Mills

You’ve mixed a CD in the forthcoming debut Essential Ibiza 2015 double compilation, what should we expect from your mix?
JO: I selected my tracks carefully to represent the house sound of Ibiza with some Balearic swing and hooky melodies to give it a summer vibe that builds throughout the mix, taking it more edgey towards the end. Most importantly for me I wanted to deliver a timeless mix of great house music.

ANDY: The mix in particular focuses on the music I hear at my favourite venues on the island and concentrates how I would portray my sound at all of these venues. It is a deep builder, ranging through the styles of house music that I really love.

Andy Baxter

Putting together a good mix compilation can be a tricky thing, what makes a good mix for you?
JO: As with my sets I like a mix to build, I try not to go for gimmicky tracks that will date and drive the listener mad after a few plays! I have kept it four-to-the-floor solid house with twist here and there to keep it interesting and captivating.

ANDY: I think a good mix should reflect different genres of music with feeling, something you will go back to again and again. I also personally like mixes to start very deep and take you on some kind of journey.

How difficult was it choosing your final playlist, what factors go into that decision?
JO: Ha-ha, see above. It was difficult but not impossible, a lot of the tracks pick themselves.

ANDY: First things first, I wanted to look after as many of my friends and label owners as possible, they all have such great music out there and forthcoming. The hard part is trying to make sure the mix/comp is super fresh, so you need to be really ahead of your game, then you need to try different combinations with your final tracks, so that the journey works from start to finish.

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It’s the first in the compilation series, did that bring any extra pressure, making sure it got off on the right foot musically?
JO: No not at all, I mixed the first Circo Loco compilation with Cirillo back in 2000, which was well received. That process actually helped me decide on what to pick for this album, house music with longevity!

ANDY: Not really any pressure no, I knew that Essential wanted Jo and myself to select naturally with our heart and instincts, to keep it as real to what we know, and not sound like the other mix/compilations on the market.

Is your mix a straight up dancefloor mix to be listened to when getting ready for the party or can it be enjoyed in other circumstances?
JO: I would like to say I have catered for all occasions; it’s a mix of beach club beats and chunky dancefloor tracks towards the end.
I wanted it to be something that is also good for the car as well as entertaining at home.

ANDY: After listening to the mix, I personally think it can be enjoyed any time of the day, either before going out, or when you get back from the party (or even family a BBQ lol)!

Defected In The House Opening Review by Essential Ibiza photographed by Hrvoje Slebur 04

Having just compiled the mix, did you discover any new artists that made the cut? How healthy is the scene for new talent and good music?
JO: There are some pretty inspiring new producers around at the moment, my favourite is Emanuel Satie, his productions are slick and phat with hooky samples and nagging grooves, fit for the day time hands in the air of Circo Loco or the march on, lights out main room of Cocoon! Pure talent.

ANDY: Yes indeed, I loved to discover Makcim & Levi on the brilliant Apollonia label, really looking forward to their next works. And of course Acid Mondays and 2 Vilas are really on the money right now. I hope the people that listen to the mix will discover more about the artists and labels I have chosen.

You’ve played many of the island’s best parties, which dancefloor does your mix suit?
JO: I would say, Circo Loco, Nassau beach, Destino, Sankeys Ibiza, Pacha, BEACHOUSE and any where with a great crowd into GOOD HOUSE MUSIC!

ANDY: Ooft! That’s a tough one. I would have to say both terraces of Space, the terrace Amnesia, the basement of Sankeys, the garden of DC10, Freddies at Pikes, BEACHOUSE and of course the living room floor!

‘Essential Ibiza 2015’ The Essential Sound Of Ibiza Is Out Now On New State Records:

Europe (inc. Spain):

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Carl Cox Opening photographed by Hrvoje Slebur 12