We ask our resident decksperts what made the year special
We’re not ones for needless sentimentality, but it will be with a pang of pain that we bid adieu to 360° when it shuts for summer next week. A night out on the inimitable venue’s circular dancefloor is a quintessential Dubai experience. The views of the Burj Al Arab at sunset make it a must-do for visitors, while the excellent house tunes served up by Audio Tonic (Fridays) and MustHaveSoul (Saturdays and alternate Thursdays) keep smart-minded clubbers coming back time and time again.
On the upside, we’re told this will be the last year we’ll have to suffer this painful parting – a renovation will get under way over summer to transform the downstairs Marina Seafood Restaurant into a year-round venue while retaining the upstairs area’s open-air charm.
In the meantime Audio Tonic is making sure the venue goes out in style. Instead of throwing all its pennies at one international headliner, the team has negotiated a bill starring 10 of the city’s very best house DJs, each spinning for an hour apiece, creating a snapshot of Dubai’s home-grown scene today. Ahead of the event on Friday May 25, we cornered each of them for their thoughts on the season.
4pm: Andy Buchan What made the Dubai winter 2011/12 special? There have been so many great line-ups this season, from Trilogy to Audio Tonic, to one-off parties such as Aloe Blacc and nights like DUST, Prism and AudiOasis. There’s a lot of variety in the city and, importantly, enough people to make them work.
Tune of the season? For house, Oliver $ with ‘Do Your Thang’; for indie, M83 with ‘Midnight City’. For nu-disco it’s Todd Terje’s ‘Ragysh’; while for bass music SBTRKT’s album was pretty special.
What have you learned this winter? Don’t try to promote gigs happening on the same weekend as Sandance. You’ll never win.
Gig of the season? Jazzy Jeff at Trilogy on New Year’s Eve was pretty special. Any man who can mix in AC/DC and Dead Prez is a winner in my book.
5pm: Megadon Betamax What made the Dubai winter 2011/12 season special? So much amazing new music, so many great DJs in town and a whole bunch of new friends.
Tune of the season? Either Midnight Magic’s ‘Drop Me a Line’, or Storm Queen’s ‘It Goes On’.
Tune that you spun every night? Rayko: ‘Getting Down’.
Personal highlights? Playing sunset for Audio Tonic at 360°; launching our own monthly parties, called DUST; DJs such as Prins Thomas and Justin Miller playing my records; and landing music on a new Ministry of Sound compilation.
What have you learned this winter? I’ve learned a lot this winter. That I no longer want to lug my 1200s to gigs; to keep actively backing up my hard drives; and to wear more hats.
7pm: Julian Jinx What made the Dubai winter 2011/12 season special? Fantastic DJs, great people and amazing parties.
Tune of the season? Lovebirds: ‘Want You in my Soul’.
Personal highlight? I remember one week at 360° when the sun was shining and the place was packed, everyone moving around having fun. I looked out to the ocean and a school of dolphins swam by; it really hit home then that this is the best gig in Dubai, and probably one of the best in the world.
Best gig? Everyone’s favourite Audio Tonic international DJ, Lars ‘Funk D’Void’ Sandberg, and local resident Raxon playing back to back.
Summer plans? Dubai local legend DJ Matthew Charles has a residency in Ibiza. It’s 17 years since I last went, so I might just pop across for a bit of mischief. soundcloud.com/audiotonic.
9pm: Rich Showell What made the Dubai winter 2011/12 season special? For me, this season was all about starting my Audio Tonic residency. It’s an absolute honour to be part of the team at the forefront of house music in Dubai.
Tune of the season? The Maceo Plex sound was very big this season and was very popular with the regulars – ‘Under the Sheets’ was probably my favourite.
Tune that you spun every night? The tune I’ve definitely given the most love to in the past few months is Miguel Puente: ‘How We Do’. It has loads of attitude and always gets a big reaction.
What have you learned this winter? It’s never a good idea to head over to Mahiki after 360° closes.
2012/13 predictions? Well, apparently, the world is ending on December 21 2012 so it could do with being pretty mint until then. December 21 also happens to be my birthday, so if by any chance the world doesn’t end, please feel free to express your relief in the form of birthday gifts. www.soundcloud.com/richshowell.
10pm: Vas Floyd What made the Dubai winter 2011/12 season special? The Audio Tonic and MustHaveSoul New Year’s Eve gig at 360° with Jimpster and Kiko Navarro. When I woke in the morning, despite the sore head, I really wished I could do it again.
Tune of the season? Rodriguez Jr: ‘Shapes I See’.
Tune you spin every night? Royksopp: ‘49 Percent (M.A.N.D.Y. remix)’. Been playing it since 2006 and it never fails!
Personal highlight? Playing back to back with D-Pulse at 360° in February.
What have you learned this winter? SEO – search engine optimisation.
Best gig? The residents’ night at 360° in December 2011.
Summer plans? Join us at Sonar in Barcelona from Sunday June 17 to Tuesday 19, with Mr Mr and Raxon. Imagine almost every DJ that was brought in for Audio Tonic in the past few years playing during one weekend. It would be a crime to miss it. www.audiotonic.net.
1am: Mr Mr What made the Dubai winter 2011/12 season special? Seeing Audio Tonic grow on all fronts. the weekly events at 360° and at Abu Dhabi’s Sea Lounge have been outstanding, and the label has garnered support from some of the biggest DJs in the world. It’s all been pretty special.
Tune of the season? For me, a remix on Audio Tonic’s label from Roberto Rodriguez, of the track ‘Falling’ from Seva K. It’s pure, timeless music – definitely a classic in the making.
Tune that you spun every night? Den Ishu: ‘New Luv’.
Personal highlight of the past six months? Finding out I’m going to be a dad again. Number two is on the way! On a business level, it’s been fantastic seeing the Audio Tonic brand grow globally. With the launch of the label, we now have ears in more than 130 countries worldwide listing to our music and mixes.
What have you learned this winter? Never become complacent. Hard work is never hard enough – always try harder.
Best gig you heard this season? It would have to be Belgium’s Spirit Catcher performing their live set at 360°. They’re a must for next season – consider it something for the bucket list.