The Sound Of Flying Circus

Posted on July 23, 2014

Words: Lena Kochetkova.

The name Flying Circus rings a bell with thousands of clubbers around the world: this brainchild of the Audiofly duo has conquered the hearts of music fans who love to listen outside the box, and has firmly established itself as a staple of quality underground entertainment. Last season, Anthony Middleton and Luca Saporito brought Flying Circus to a weekly residency in Ibiza, landing on Friday night in Sankeys. The small and minimal nature of the basement in the Playa d’en Bossa venue is tailor-made for this party, now in its sophomore year, it remains one of the most interesting in Ibiza in terms of music: its deep, dark and dangerous grooves present a healthy alternative to the more mainstream sound that dominates many a dancefloor on the island today. Unfortunately, many of us come on holiday to Ibiza for 1-2 weeks only, so the time to enjoy the sets of our favourite artists is really limited. Anthony and Luca realise it well and thus decided to release the first official compilation Flying Circus Ibiza #01 that will help everyone keep their hands on the pulse of the island, no matter where they are. The compilation consists of two CDs, the first of which is compiled and mixed by Audiofly themselves and the second one by Blond:ish. The latter duo’s trademark sound has become an integral part of Fridays at Sankeys, and, by the way, this is the first official compilation by Anstascia D’elene and Vivie Ann Bakos. Flying Circus Ibiza #01 will see light on August 4, and before that we had quite an exciting conversation with Audiofly about the philosophy of the compilation, the distinct uniqueness of the sound of Flying Circus, and the lesson they learnt from the previous season of their residency in Ibiza…


You make Flying Circus parties literally all around the world. Why was it Ibiza that inspired your first Flying Circus compilation?
It’s very simple. It’s the only place in the world where we have a weekly residency. Also, when we were working on it, all we could think was that we wanted to make the perfect CD to drive around in a car in Ibiza. We’ve always wanted to do that. Ibiza is beautiful and more so when you drive around it, and a car is simply one of the best places in the world to hear music, especially if the sound system is top notch. The emphasis on this mix is in the subtle progression from one track to another and you can only hear that if you play close attention. Obviously we had to try this ourselves first hand when we first came to the island this year, so we drove the length of the CD, up and down the island from one side to the other. Let’s just say that at the end of the drive we looked at each other and smiled for a good 15 minutes. And not a word was spoken during the journey…

Why did you choose Blond:ish to compile and mix the second CD?
One of the best things that comes with doing our own parties on a regular basis is that we get to know that artists we bring very deeply and on a more personal level. We also get to understand their music much more profoundly and really try to find the best possible set time placement for each artist based on the music he or she plays. This rings even more true for Blond:ish. So much so that, when we were asked to do this compilation, we knew right away that they were going to be the right musical partners for this project. And after listening to their mix and hearing how well it progresses from our own, we realised that we couldn’t have made a much better choice.


Are all the tracks included in the album meant to be played at Flying Circus parties in Ibiza?
Some of them certainly are, but not all. Listen to the beginning of our mix for example. We could never play some of these tracks during peak time at Sankeys or anywhere else for that matter. The mix is supposed to draw you into it slowly, almost unnoticeably. Everyone seems to go for the hard and fast formula these days. Big drums, big breaks, big melodies, but we went the other way around, almost.

Not sure if “melancholic” is the proper word, but your album sounds noticeably different from the typical sound of Ibiza today, which David Vincent from Sankeys calls “EDM techno”. Were you aiming to make a difference deliberately or did it just grow organically?
I am so glad you noticed. To be perfectly honest, we are kind of allergic to big hits. In fact, when something gets too big we cannot play it anymore, even if it’s essentially a good track. And that is perfectly reflected on this compilation: we weren’t aiming at making an album with as many of the biggest dancefloor or unreleased stuff as we could. The initial idea, as explained before, was to make something to listen to whilst driving around in Ibiza and then it grew from there…


Many of the artists who contributed to the album with their tracks won’t be playing at Flying Circus at Sankeys this summer. Does it mean that the aim of the album is to reflect not quite the sound of your Ibiza season, but rather the broader style of Flying Circus concept?
It wasn’t intentional actually and it very much depended on the initial vision that we had when we agreed to do this compilation. When we started mixing it, we already had a preconceived body of work in mind and really wanted to reflect the more underground sound we are championing these days. Of course we love the music that our regular guests produce but it was more of a case of fitting it all together in a coherent manner. Time was another issue and when we were approached to do this mix we really didn’t have the time to ask anybody to make a track specifically for the compilation, so we went for a more straightforward approach of mixing it track by track and finding the tunes that would fit best with each other.

Why is it so important for you to have a weekly Flying Circus residency in Ibiza?
We have been coming to the island for over ten years now playing pretty much all the clubs, and when we were offered to bring our own party to the island last year, it seemed the logical next step for us. There aren’t many places in the world where you get a continuous influx of tourists as you do in Ibiza, and so it makes it the perfect spot to have a weekly residency. It also helps that Sankeys is the perfect size and space for our Flying Circus parties. Also it’s undeniable that people from all over the world keep an eye on what’s going on in Ibiza, so it’s natural that having a good residency here affects how the brand is seen everywhere else in the world.


Last summer in Ibiza turned out to be overly competitive: many amazing up-and-coming parties with impressive line-ups didn’t renew their residencies for season 2014. Flying Circus, however, returns to the joy of its numerous fans, and will for sure have a tremendous summer. What are the lessons that you learnt from your debut season in Ibiza?
The biggest lesson we learned last year was to keep the party in one room. Bigger is not necessarily better, especially when you are the new kid on the block. We stretched way too much by having three rooms open at times and that gave us unnecessary stress last year. People were really curious about the party though and we were lucky enough that we had fans from all over the world checking us out. We built our name outside of Ibiza for many years before coming to the island so most people knew who were and that put us a step ahead of most new nights on the island. So at the end of day, we made our share of mistakes, but we’ve learned quickly from it, and that allowed us to survive and most importantly make our mark on the island.

Every Friday at Sankeys Spectrum room will be hosted by Tigre music, while Flying Circus takes care of the Basement. Was it you, or Sankeys, or both of you who came up with the decision of inviting Tigre as a neighbour?
It was a mixture of both, but we had to make the decision. I knew Oliver from last year. He was a regular at Flying Circus and he was always bringing a crowd with himself. That truly impressed us and when he asked us if he could host the Spectrum with his new concept party it felt like the right choice, no doubt.