Q (UK) - - Girl Ray -

Detroit and Chicago might have sup­plied the mu­sic, but the loved-up acid house spirit which be­came a fea­ture of the Bri­tish scene was the re­sult of an un­likely hol­i­day ro­mance. Af­ter vis­it­ing Ibiza in Au­gust 1987 with a group of friends that in­cluded Nicky Hol­loway and Danny Ram­pling, a young Paul Oak­en­fold wrote a re­port for Boy’s Own which be­moaned the Brits-abroad men­tal­ity of vis­i­tors to re­sort town San An­to­nio. But he also mar­velled that on the other side of the is­land from th­ese “beer-swill­ing lob­sters”, chic Euro club­bers from the Span­ish main­land and Italy were danc­ing through the night to a mix of Euro- pop, Italo disco and acid house served up at clubs such as Pacha and Am­ne­sia, where DJ Al­fredo presided over an open-air dance­floor. Com­bined with an in­flux of ec­stasy, it’s not hard to see why Ibizan nightlife seemed so idyl­lic to Oak­en­fold and his fel­low trav­ellers. Not only did they bring back tales of chem­i­cally-en­hanced sun­sets and foam par­ties, but a whole new mu­si­cal out­look, as re­flected on 1988’ s Balearic Beats Vol 1 com­pi­la­tion fea­tur­ing Oak­en­fold’s own re­work­ing of Latin disco num­ber Jibaro along­side Es­sex in­dus­tri­al­ists Nitzer Ebb and some­time Mrs Bill Wy­man, Mandy Smith. Balearic never ended up catch­ing the pop­u­lar imag­i­na­tion the way acid did. But as An­drew Weather­all later pointed out, try­ing to recre­ate the Ibizan vibe under grey skies was a very Bri­tish tri­umph in it­self. “It was a wonky ap­prox­i­ma­tion of Ibiza,” he re­called. “They’d done it a bit wrong and that some­how made it more beau­ti­ful.”

Li­censed to chill: club­bers en­joy the Ibiza sun­set.

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