Decoded Sundays – Graham Sahara

Graham Sahara is a long time Ibiza face who has been and continues to be a resident of legendary super club Pacha Ibiza for the last 10 years. Graham has been an resident since the legendary party days of the 1990’s and has graced the decks of pretty much every super club and venue of note on the island. He has played for world famous brands such as F*** Me I´m Famous, MTV and headlined with Laurent Garnier at the huge annual Paradise Party in Belgium, and also at smaller, more VIP venues, such as playing for fashion icon Roberto Cavalli in Florence, and performing exclusively at the after show party of award winning British musician Jamie Cullum in Paris.

A highly regarded DJ within the industry, he is nominated regularly for awards from a cross section of dance media, and as label head at Seamless Records has also collaborated with and remixed the likes of Richard Dinsdale, Danny Freakazoid, Kiko Navarro and Matt Caseli. His own music has appeared on labels such as Ministry Of Sound, Hed Kandi, Spinnin Records, Phonetic Recordings, Neurotraxs Deluxe, Purple Music and Pacha Recordings amongst many.

Tell us about how you got into dance music and where you started DJing?

I got in to dance music and clubbing in Birmingham where I’m from, around ’94. I used to visit clubs in Birmingham checking out house clubs like Wobble, Bakers, Bonds and the Steering Wheel and also used to visit Sweat,where I used to get my Acid Jazz and Funk fix. Soon after starting clubbing, I fancied having a crack a DJing, so saved up and bought some Soundlab belt drive turntables, anyone who has tried playing on belt drives will know how hard they are to use, and just began the hours and hours of practicing before i started playing around Birmingham and the Midlands. Then in ’97 I came to Ibiza to try my luck DJing here.

What made you settle in ibiza and what have been some of the biggest changes you’ve seen on the island?

Well, I found work DJing so stayed, I managed to get a residency in a place called Konga – a Winter afterhours venue. From there I stayed all year round and learnt Spanish, and then just progressed up the ranks as they say all the way to being resident in Pacha. I would say the biggest changes I’ve seen is probably in the last 7 years where the island has slowly become more VIP bling than hippie chic, which it was when i first arrived, and also how built up the South of the Island has become. Kongo, where I started years ago isn’t even there any more, its now apartments. There used to be so much waste land between Ibiza town and Playa D’en Bossa, and now there is vitrually none.

 

Tell us about DJing in Ibiza in the early days. You were resident at both KM5 and Pacha, how did the 2 places vary in vibe and clientele?

I was became resident in both KM5 and Pacha in the same year, 2003, and I’m still resident at Pacha now, this is my 13th year. They have both evolved just like the Island. KM5 used to be a pure party venue back in the day, a very big island vibe would always be there, but again like the island in general, it’s evolved to be a stunning place to go for great food, a casual drink with friends but yet it has still retained a great little area inside for a dance. Pacha, as most people have seen over the years, has had its changes but the clientele are still the same kind as before. Its always been glamorous and it still is now.

Your label – Seamless records has been going for some time now. What was your original vision for the label, and how have you been able to maintain the quality of your output?

Seamless was initially started by my partner Ben Sowton, who started Bargrooves over ten years ago. We met just as he started the label and we became friends and we’ve been doing it together for years. The original vision for the label was to put out quality music, compilations and events. Nothing has really changed on that front. With the changes to the music industry the whole landscape has changed especially with the whole digital era, but you had to adapt and evolve or you just wither and die away. We’re tried to be inventive with what we do and keep getting music fvrom the artists we like and who we know their music works. Obviously i have a great testing ground for the music and get to try the tracks out and make sure they work well on the floor before we sign them. That always helps to keep up the quality of the releases.

Whats new for 2015 that you can tell us about?

Well on the island there will be many changes on the headliners in the clubs as is normal every year but I don’t want to fuel the already spinning out of control Ibiza rumour mill, so i’ll just say with Seamless we’ve always done well with downtempo, and so we have artists like Tim Angrave and 9 In Common who will be back with even better stuff if thats even possible. 9 In Common, make excellent abstract hip hop, and you’ll hear some of their stuff in the mix I’ve done for you! Then the otherside of the musical spectrum is being influenced by what we’ve been doing with our events, a bit more underground and cutting edge. We’re working with artists like Martijn Ten Velden, who should need no introduction, and Davina, who was a trance DJ but has now taken on the house mantra. She’s working with labels like ourselves and Hot Creations. Both of them live here on the island, so we’re becoming more and more Ibiza centric. Even though the company was started in London, this is where we are based.

Tracks
01// Jakabar – Across Emotions
02// Bonobo – Flutter
03// Jon Kennedy – Funk Boutique
04// 9 In Common – Jealous
05// Ty – Knock Knock (DJ Spinna Beyond Real Remix)
06// Sofa Attitude – Stop That
07// Sola Rosa – Real Life Ft. LA Mitchell (Azaxx Remix)
08// Second Sky – Following The Sun
09// Afterlife – Sunfish
10// Second Sky – Deeper
11// Smoove & Turrell – Broken Toys
12// Cicada – Can’t Be Doin’ With Love (feat. Ben Onono)
13// Stendahl – Luminos
14// MinusBlue – You’re Not Alone