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The big chill

09/30/2009 10:30 PM

It may have taken a High Court judgement to decide the Café del Mar trademark belongs to both venue and DJ, but for most José Padilla will always be the true father of the legacy.

Padilla is the Godfather of chill out. Landing in Ibiza from mainland Spain more than 30 years ago, he was the first DJ to play the famous beachfront club.

"I started recording tapes and the guys at Café del Mar played them as background music," Padilla said ahead of his first Dubai appearance tomorrow night at Barasti.

"I lived just next door for five years and enjoyed the sunset with my friends, so when I started working there it was a bit like being in my own front room."

As with all good things (especially when the money starts rolling in) Padilla soon found himself embroiled in a nasty battle with the owners of the venue who attempted to trademark the name, therefore claiming the rights and royalties of the Café del Mar compilation albums featuring many of Padilla's mixes.

"The court case was very stressful and it eventually went in my favour," he said with a heavy sigh.

"But they pushed it further and it went to the High Court on appeal. I was so tired and we managed to find some middle ground and agree out of court."

Court case or not, Padilla maintains a reputation through Café del Mar for his sunset music which is unsurpassable, something that will be experienced first-hand at Barasti from 6pm tomorrow.

"I have never played in Dubai before, so I am naturally very curious," he said, nervously probing for the inside line on the type of beach bar he's been booked for.

At 53, Jose has seen and done it all when it comes to Spanish nightlife, but going commercial hasn't become an option.

"My ears have grown more sophisticated as I have," he laughs.

"The commercial stuff is so mechanical. I'll play great house, Balearic tracks and some dance, but no commercial."

Dressed in linen trousers teamed with a soft baby pink shirt hanging casually from his narrow shoulders, Gary B looks every bit the Café del Mar stalwart.

It's instantly apparent it's not just the music that's "chilled" when it comes to this man.

Sandwiched between gigs in Mumbai and Manchester, Gary B played Dubai last week to help bring the famous Café Del Mar platform to the Middle East.

"It's all about the music for me," said the DJ and producer, one of just a handful of artists signed exclusively to the Ibiza music powerhouse.

"My home and studio overlook a pine forest on an island and I love what I do. Music consumes me like nothing else. It's really all that simple."

But it turns out there's a lot more to chill-out than playing a few smooth tracks while the punters mix drink with conversation.

"The words 'chill' and 'out' are massively over-used," he said. "There are hundreds of compilation CDs which have been thrown together. They have no substance. No soul."

This, however, is in stark contrast to the London-born musician's work, which comes only from the soul unless the heart is having a go, too. "Chill-out music can consume you," he said.

"It takes inspiration from everywhere - a melody you hear, a crazy person you meet, the way the sun sets in the clouds, whatever."

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