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Interview: Rob Roar, Phonetics Ibiza

Phonetic Recordings' label head Rob Roar talks number 1 singles, ingredients to a successful party and why Ibiza makes him cry.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 10th Aug 2010

Synonymous with Ibiza and with a reputation for churning out chart topping house tunes, Phonetic Recordings this Summer delivers its debut Ibiza compilation with more world exclusives than you can shake a faded glow-stick at. Here label head Rob Roar talks number 1 singles, ingredients to a successful party and why Ibiza makes him cry. 

Despite Phonetic Recordings having had more number 1 Ibiza singles than any other house label, you’ve never put out an Ibiza compilation until now. Why the change?

It’s been more a case of actually having the time to compile, mix and market a big compilation that we would be happy with. It’s the same for our releases; we always make sure they are as good as they can possibly be and work them hard on a global scale.  If the production doesn’t receive one of the biggest reactions of the night when dropped in a club, we’d rather not release it.

As a DJ I’ve been lucky enough to play some of the world’s best superclubs. The We Love... Space terrace is like home to me as well as the excellent Manumission, Miss Moneypennys, Bora Bora and those legendary Clockwork Orange parties at Es Paradis. One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “Do you have a mix CD?”...  So Phonetic Ibiza 2010 Night & Day has been a long time coming!

Why do you think people still buy a mix CD these days, what with the proliferation of podcasts? What role do they play?

Mix CD’s offer something a little different as there’s a definite musical journey to be had. It’s also a bit more personal if you know the DJ or have heard him play out. DJs mix in a certain style and create a unique vibe when they play, hopefully a mix CD will reflect part of that.

And what was the plan when you set out with this one? What were you aiming for?

There’s lots of Ibiza CDs around and I’m sure they are all good, but our aim was to  produce a CD that didn’t contain ‘filler’ tracks; a compilation you could listen to from start to finish at home, in the car and theoretically also in a club (if you could persuade the DJ to stick it on!). 

There always seems to be four or five great tracks and then a lot of just ‘OK’ fillers on some of these compilations, we didn't want to go down that road. We’re lucky enough to have one of the biggest artist rosters in the world with some amazing talent and killer releases.  Rather than flood the market with a series of comps, we’d much rather spend the time and effort making sure every one we do is of a high calibre.

How does Phonetic Ibiza differ from other Ibiza compilations?

It really is the perfect all round Ibiza package. CD1 DAY contains a stunning Balearic mix of poolside, sunset, get-lost-in-the-moment tracks. Back from the beach, in the shower and on goes CD2 to get you fired up for the night ahead, the mix contains some of the hottest tunes you’ll hear in Ibiza this summer, with a track list courtesy of some of the hottest underground and chart topping house music superstars.

The compilation may be well overdue but we believe that in ‘Ibiza 2010 - Night & Day’ we have delivered an unforgettable slice of the island; you can listen to it on the plane en route to Ibiza, chilling by the pool or on the beach, while getting ready to go clubbing or even back home reminiscing about your time on the white isle.

Where did you record the mix and did that influence it at all? 
Both CD’s were mixed in Ibiza at Leigh Devlin’s studio which has a great view from the big hill overlooking Playa den Bossa. One of those moments where everything just felt right and just slotted into place.

What did you use to record it? 
A mixture of LIVE & Ableton.

How would you describe the sounds on the mix?

CD2 NIGHT, starts off nice and funky building nicely throughout, moving into techy tribal influenced beats then mixing it up a little later on dropping a couple of quality vocal tracks in for good measure.

CD1 DAY is a stunning mix of original world exclusive tracks, all recorded by artists signed to our sister company Mustard Music Publishing. I’m confident this is one of the best chill out mixes you’ll hear this year, mesmerising lost in the moment tunes!

How many tracks did you start off with for the compilation and how did you go about selecting which records to include on the final mix?

We spent the early part of this year working hard with our artists to make sure when the summer arrived, we had some of the biggest forward facing anthems to unleash on the white island and I’m so chuffed with the results.  It’s such an honour working with the likes of Bodyrox & Luciana, Michael Gray, Paul Harris, Max Linen, Dave Seaman, Martjin ten Velden, Sam Obernik & Amanda Wilson with mixes/edits from Axwell & Deadmau5. Everything we worked on features on the comp, it was impossible to leave any of them off!

Is the overall flow of the mix or the individual tracks more important to you? 
Both. The flow is so important and the tracks need to be special. Without both of these ingredients, it would have felt like we were missing the point.

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