Techno Tuesday: Chus & Ceballos on trends, travel, and Ibiza sunsets
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
Spanish electronic legends Chus & Ceballos are no strangers to the long distance flight. The Madrid-based duo have clocked numerous trips around the world since springing onto the scene in the early 2000s when they kicked off their now-famous label Stereo Productions. Renowned for marathon DJ sets that seamlessly blend the boundaries of house and techno, Chus & Ceballos have cemented themselves as one of the premier acts in Spanish dance music. Ahead of gigs at Philadelphia’s Coda and Space New York this coming weekend, we sat down with Chus Esteban and Pablo Ceballos to talk trends, Ibiza, and of course, Spain’s legendary delicacy jamón ibérico.
DA: You guys are so closely associated with Ibiza. With this year’s season right around the corner, what was your highlight of last year?
C&C: Last year was one of the best, to be honest. It’s hard to pick one moment that was the highlight, but we played amazing gigs at Space, Blue Marlin, and also one gig at Sankey’s that really stood out. If you like electronic music or belong to the industry, going to Ibiza is a must – you have to go for at least one summer. Take Winter Music Conference in Miami or BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen and add five levels to it – that’s Ibiza. Pretty much every single DJ is there at some point in the summer.
DA: You guys have been going to Ibiza for quite some time now, correct? How do you stay relevant for so long in such a fast-moving industry?
C&C: After we started out label in 2001, we had an offer to do a residency and have been coming every year since then. In terms of being in the industry, the secret is to be true to yourself. Trends come and go in and out of fashion all the time. If there’s a sound that’s coming in and you’re not crazy about it – don’t just go for it because it’s popular. Make your own sound and have your own personality. Be focused and work a lot.
DA: What is one of your classic tracks for playing during an Ibiza sunset?
C&C: One that comes to mind is the first track we had on Defected – “That Feeling”. It became kind of an Ibiza anthem when it came out and it still always gets an amazing reaction.
DA: What is a typical weekend in Ibiza like?
C&C: The weekend starts on Friday afternoon. People say that they’re not going out, then before you know it, you’re at Ciroloco’s closing. Weekends in Ibiza are crazy unpredictable – everyone is so excited to be there, so everyone has a really fun disposition and wants to go out. The fun attitude definitely is part of the Ibiza magic.
DA: How do you stay on point for these big DJ sets when you’re traveling all the time?
C&C: Traveling is definitely a hassle – that’s the bad part of DJing. The reward is worth it though: playing at the club, seeing your own tracks go off and making people happy with music. We love what we do and the constant travel is the price you have to pay. For staying on point, we take care of ourselves and treat ourselves right by not partying too much. Touring is different than traveling for enjoyment – we go from the airport to the club to the hotel and then we’re onto the next city – rarely do we have the time to enjoy the cities we play in.
DA: What do you guys have coming up in the near future?
C&C: Our next big release is a Barcelona compilation coming out in June on our label. We have an Off Sonar party on the day it comes out to celebrate the release, so that will definitely be fun.
DA: Last question: Is it true what everyone says about Spanish Iberico ham? Everyone says it’s amazing.
C&C: (Laughs) Iamón ibérico is the best product that we have in Spain. I guess you would call it cured ham but it’s just so amazing. No disrespect to the Italians and their cured meats, but this is way better. Everyone that tries it says it says heaven – so you have to try it!
Catch Chus & Ceballos performing in Philadelphia and New York City this weekend.