The Mambo Brothers are a perfect representation of the Ibiza party, and have been gaining the attention of music promoters across the globe. One half of this entrepreneurial duo, Christian Anadon, drops into Sonic Vista Studios to talk to Henry Sarmiento and Jonathan Tessier about music, Café Mambo, and a blossoming DJ career.
Christian, you just came back from India, where you were playing for Corona Sunsets, and we also saw you perform at the Corona Sunsets festival in Ibiza this summer. How was your experience with these types of festivals?
For us, it’s all beautiful. We love travelling, meeting people, and playing in festivals and bigger format parties. And because we’re from an island, we don’t get to leave Ibiza in the summer too often, so it’s great for us to do these kinds of festivals.
What do you think of the representation of the island internationally?
Ibiza is now seen as the mecca for the electronic music industry, like the Hollywood of the film industry. That’s amazing, but there is also so much more for people to discover, and see the other side of this incredible island in the Mediterranean. It’s a music destination, but it’s also a hippy, free-spirit destination, too. I’ve been living here all my life, and I’m still discovering some of its magic everyday.
How would you illustrate the spirit of your music?
Well, we like to play solid house music, but it’s eclectic. When I say eclectic, I mean we will not draw a straight line; we’ll take it through another path suddenly, and then bring it back up. It’s happy, uplifting, but not too dreamy; at the same time, we put a few tracks in that remind people of other music periods: maybe a classic house track, or something that gives a happy vibe, like something Balearic. You know, being born in Ibiza, people here are always happy, so it naturally makes us ‘be’ quite happy, so whether it’s summer or winter time, our sets are always joyful.
Does that make Mambo Brothers different than other DJs?
We’ve been listening to music for 20 years, and admiring DJs like Frankie Knuckles, Pete Tong, John Digweed, Steve Lawler - you know, we’ve learned from all of them, and obviously we’ve been listening to sets of the older DJs from Ibiza like DJ Pippi and Alfredo. We understand what the Ibiza vibe is, so we always like to keep it not too serious, and not too square; and sometimes even put a totally different song in our set, like Talk Talk, or an ‘80s track, or a house track that seems completely random; and if it works well, it becomes a memorable night. We remember some DJ sets from the past that have changed our lives.
Yet Mambo Brothers only launched a couple of years ago...
[smiles] Yeah, but I’ve been DJ-ing for the past 10 years, and I’ve always wanted to create a music duo with my brother. I’d done my duties in the family company, and then we finally began DJ-ing as Mambo Brothers. We try to represent all the hours we’ve spent clubbing. Sometimes you’ve got to incorporate several elements to be able to do what you want to do in life, and now here we are.
You’re a bar owner, restaurant owner, and a serious entrepreneur. And now you have a beautiful new hotel! Whatever next..?
[laughs] We are a family business that loves looking after people. We love the hospitality business, and we are passionate about it. Café Mambo is a very successful bar, so little by little, we’ve been experimenting with restaurants; and now we have a beautiful new hotel with sunset views. But we want to keep it really authentic, like Ibiza was back in the day. The hotel is in a really magical area, and we’ve been behind this project for 10 years. We would love to open a Café Mambo somewhere else someday, but it would have to be very special.
How have you seen Ibiza change, and where do you see it going?
Back in the day, it was really raw; we didn’t even know what was going to happen the next day. Now, Ibiza is a place with great opportunities if you are a hard-working person. It’s on the top of the scale right now; no matter where we go travelling, everyone is like, “You’re from Ibiza? Wow, you are so lucky!”. This is all great, but we want Ibiza to maintain its rawness, its hippiness, its charm, and its old fincas (Spanish traditional homes). It’s important to remember that it’s the spirit of Ibiza that has made it one of the most famous islands in the world.
Why do you think EDM is so important for Europeans?
Electronic Dance Music has been big in Europe for 20 years, and it’s been
a beautiful 20 years seeing it develop. In Ibiza back then, mainstream dance music was called trance, and all the big DJs were trance DJs like Paul van Dyk and Tiësto. It all has its period. Now, house and techno music are getting really big in Ibiza, and I believe the same will happen in America in a few years time. In fact, the transformation that America is going through right now in term of electronic music is pretty incredible.
And your first release, Momento, is due out pretty soon, right?
Yes, it will be out for Winter Music Conference 2016 (Miami, USA), and we’re really looking forward to it. It’s been getting good feedback from DJs; Pete Tong’s been playing it as well as Eric Prydz and Hot Since 82, so we’re very excited for our first release. It’s coming out on Toolroom Records.
And where do you see the Mambo Brothers five years from now?
Making people dance and have fun, and doing what we love: DJ-ing!