Ask any island veteran and they’ll practically all tell you the same thing: Ibiza was at its peak around the turn of the millennium. Whereas Manumission and Space tended to grab most of the headlines back then, over by the airport another new club was slowly beginning to make a name for itself.
Its name, of course, was DC10, and over the past 15-or-so years it’s not only become a byword for hedonism — but it’s also helped launch the careers of numerous globe-trotting DJs and has become Ibiza’s most influential clubbing haunt for in-the-know heads.
One man who was there since the very beginning was Julien Veniel aka D’Julz. Inspired by its ramshackle décor, heady atmosphere and its brilliantly discerning soundtrack, the Parisian DJ/producer quickly became besotted by a club where island workers would rub shoulders with teachers, lawyers, celebrities and everyone in-between. DC10, it seemed, was a club of endless possibilities — and somewhere that was truly different to anything he’d encountered either before or since.
Fast-forward 15 years and it almost goes without saying that a lot has changed. No longer the ‘hidden gem’ of old, the club has gone through a number of refits, while its famed outdoor dancefloor is now only open for special occasions.
Its music policy, however, has remained on a strictly underground tip, while the raucous atmosphere for which it’s always been renowned hasn’t suffered one iota. And as for D’Julz? Well, the one-time wide-eyed Frenchman has become arguably his country’s foremost exporter of clued-up sounds, thanks chiefly to his label, Bass Culture, and a longstanding party of the same name that takes place in Paris’s renowned Rex Club. With
credentials like that, it was only a matter of time before DC10 came calling — in the process turning D’Julz’s dream into reality.
“I’ve been going to Circoloco since the very beginning,” he tells us.“It’s always been my favourite club on the island. Over the years I’ve seen it evolve and grow… but I had to wait 10 years to finally play there! So when it first happened I was very happy but also extremely nervous. It’s one of those opportunities you don’t want to miss. Luckily enough for me, I did a good enough job for them to book me again”.
He’s not lying either. Now very much a core part of the club’s recent programming, D’Julz has become a firm fixture in the club’s line-ups over the past few summers. We catch up with him shortly after DC10’s Opening Party, where he played a brilliant set on the infamous Terrace in-between music from Tiger & Woods and the house music legend that is Kerri Chandler.
“If a DJ can’t get excited for a gig like that,” he laughs, “it might be time for them to think about getting another job. This year was one of my favourite parties to date [at DC10] because of the time I played and the great connection with the crowd”.
From talking to D’Julz, it’s pretty clear that he shares a deep affinity with both the island of Ibiza and DC10 in particular. A man with a naturally positive demeanour, he cheerfully tells us of his love for Ibiza’s beaches, its numerous great restaurants and the many challenges brought up by playing at a club like DC10.
“Ibiza is very influential amongst the electronic music scene. Like it or not, there is no other place in the world where dance music from every genre and every nationality is so well represented. As an artist, it gives you huge exposure.
If you have a chance to play at the big nights on the island, there’s a fair chance it will have a significant impact on your career. DJ-wise, it's also very competitive so you have to make sure you’re on top of your game. To quote the famous song: 'If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere'.”
Whatever the secret to making it in Ibiza, it seems D’Julz has cracked it anyway — and with a successful label, a string of DC10 dates and now a fledgling radio show in his locker, don’t expect him to be going anywhere any time soon.
Mr Tophat & Art Alfie 'Dub the Rub' (Bass Culture)
“This is the second release from these Swedish wonder boys on my label. Two different vibes for different dancefloors.”
Franck Roger 'The Drift' (Home Invasion)
“More quality beats from Franck's hot new label. It worked fantastically on the Circoloco terrace during the opening.”
Mr G 'Sobering Yet So?' (Unreleased)
“This is a new track I just received from my hero and bass man numero uno aka Mr G. Yummy!”
Andrade 'Audio Montage (Nail Remix)' (Innercircle)
“Another Parisian mate and a very gifted producer just released this superb EP. Both originals are dope and to make it even more special it comes with a bomb remix from another old-school favourite of mine, Nail.”
D'Julz & Phil Weeks 'Ligne B' (RCM)
“My latest release, my first-ever collaboration with Phil Weeks and the first-ever release on the Rex Club label.”
D’Julz’ Bass Culture radio runs every Monday from 06/07 – 05/10 from 1- 2am. You an also catch him in Ibiza on these dates - 13/07, 10/08 & 05/10 (Circoloco) and Vagabundos at Space 19/07