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Back to Stories

Heartbread Heritage

A libertarian movement had taken hold, and from it emerged now-legendary night spots such as Lola’s and Glory’s. By day, the party spilled onto the beach at Playa d’en Bossa, home to the palm-fringed Waikiki, or to the deserted sandbar of S’Espalmador. Disc jockeying became a profession thanks to maverick DJs Pippi and Alfredo, and Ibiza’s globally recognized nightlife culture was born.

While mainland Spain was stumbling blindly out of Franco’s cultural void, a musical revolution was underway in Ibiza that would alter the face of nightlife forever. A libertarian movement had taken hold, and from it emerged now-legendary night spots such as Lola’s and Glory’s. By day, the party spilled onto the beach at Playa d’en Bossa, home to the palm-fringed Waikiki, or to the deserted sandbar of S’Espalmador. Disc jockeying became a profession thanks to maverick DJs Pippi and Alfredo, and Ibiza’s globally recognized nightlife culture was born.

In 1973, an abandoned finca on the wrong side of Ibiza Town was to become home to a nightclub the type never seen before. Buoyed by the success of their fledgling Pacha discoteca in Sitges, Barcelona-born brothers Ricardo and Piti Urgell brought an avant-garde entrepreneurialism to Ibiza. Body paint, Moroccan décor and costume parties were de rigeur at Pacha. Piti played rock and roll and blues records while the hippy jet set danced past dawn with Ibiza’s home-grown flower children. The mood was ecstatic, fueled by liberty, love and the first vestiges of the bohemian glamor that would come to define Pacha. A few years later, the vast Ku club picked up where Studio 54 left off.

SA celebrity-saturated pleasure pit, Ku attracted a no-holds-barred crowd for whom sex, drugs and nudity were the norm. Grace Jones, Freddie Mercury and Spandau Ballet found their freedom beneath Ku’s monolithic disco balls, while the world’s actors, aristocrats and politicians collided on the dragon-headed water slide. The watchword was hedonism, and it wasn’t until 1983 that the scene shifted once more, this time to the open-air dancefloor of Amnesia. With the mood shifting away from glam rock and electropop, the eclectic style of Amnesia’s DJ Alfredo would come to define what is now known as Balearic beat.

Fast-forward to 2021 and Ibiza’s music scene is still as groundbreaking as it was in the early seventies. Tucked away on the peaceful northern tip of Ibiza, you find the breathtaking Xarraca Bay. Hidden beneath the craggy rocks are caves which hold the island’s latest secret - a live music venue.

Masterminded by composer, producer and recording artist Tomer Biran, and supported by music industry executive Shivas Howard-Brown, the Beach Cave is the new heartbeat of Xarraca.

Like many creatives, Biran was drawn to the island by the sense of freedom and creativity. His award-winning Ibiza studio produces original music for some of the world’s leading production houses and film companies, including artists like Snoop Dogg, Luis Fonsi and Nicole Scherzinger.

He is joined by Howard-Brown, who cut his teeth talent scouting for legendary DJ Pete Tong, and who went on to work for Parlophone and Columbia Records, before starting his own label, Regal Minds.

The pair have chosen to focus on channeling Ibiza’s ancient landscape and hypnotic natural rhythms, using McIntosh and Sonus faber technology to create an immersive sensory experience. So what’s their vision?

“We want to represent all cultures from each corner of the world that have made up the creative, individualist community in Ibiza since the 1960s,” says Howard-Brown. “This means steering away from the commercialized sound that has become homogenized across the island and presenting the true cultural origins of different sounds from Jazz and Bossa Nova to world music.”

The mix will include local artists and famous DJs on summer residencies. “Ibiza has always been known for its natural earthing and spirituality,” Biran adds. “We believe that the bands and DJs we have curated communicate that in the most honest way.”

The boys don’t want to give too much away, but in true Xarraca style, you won’t want to miss sundown. “We will be doing pop-up unplugged performances on the rocks, with a focus on the sunset. It is the most enlightening part of anyone’s day in Ibiza - to be able to give the soundtrack to that is every musician’s and DJ’s dream.”

The delivery system matches the vision, with the latest in cutting edge music technology. “If McIntosh can power Jimmy Hendrix and Santana at Woodstock 1969, imagine what we can do with the energy of Ibiza in 2021,” says Howard-Brown.

And if creativity strikes in the middle of the night, the Cave Royale guest room is fitted with a secret door, leading to an in-house Recording Studio, a cultural hub for like-minded travelers who live and breathe music.

“We loved the idea of building a creative community, with everything set up for music composition and the editing process, not just for artists but movie producers. Going further, the idea is to open a record label and host cool season co-writing camps and collaborations in the studio, while also striking up distribution partnerships with major labels. No other resort will have such a great home for talent and artists.”

The finishing touch in the studio is a dedicated DJ booth created specifically for vinyl. “We’ll have a selection of curated titles that represent the music of Ibiza for our Beach Cave guests to mix,” says Howard-Brown. “It’s less electronic, less appropriated and more organic and instrumental, so they can develop something really original.”

If that sounds exciting, you’ll find Biran and Howard-Brown are in total agreement. “Bossa Nova or Afrobeat are the sounds that speak to me on the most spiritual level on early mornings or late evenings,” enthuses Howard-Brown. “It’s an amazing amalgamation of dance floor culture, different black cultures and Asian cultures. Instead of sampling this in 4x4 records, I want to formalize this into something live, so you never get the same experience twice. That’s the draw for people to come back, again and again.”

McIntosh and Sonus faber have achieved global acclaim for their luxury audio products. McIntosh’s iconic Blue Watt Meters and Sonus faber’s meticulously designed wood and leather products have become symbols of quality and excellence, each a work of art, boasting cutting-edge technology to elevate any living style.


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