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Q+A: tINI

Few DJs understand Ibiza quite as well as Munich techno star tINI

  • Johnny Lee
  • 27 May 2016

Both as a raver and a DJ, tINI has been making regular forays to the White Isle since 2003. Earlier that same year, she played her first ever gig at The Garden in Munich. Months later she was asked to warm up for Loco Dice. Dice was so impressed by what he heard that he invited tINI to join him for a back-to-back session that would change her life forever. In hindsight, tINI’s stars were aligning. Meeting Dice was a huge break, but having signed with Desolat, tINI soon became a headliner in her own right.

In the years that followed, she took on the role of techno missionary, touring the globe with Dice’s all conquering Artist Alife agency – the force currently underpinning Amnesia’s HYTE. In 2011, she released her debut long-player ‘Tessa’, before breaking off to advance her own free party agenda that quickly became part of White Isle folklore. Now the undisputed queen of Balearic beach parties, tINI’s first Ibiza residency was at Ushuaïa. That was six years ago, back in a very different age, when Ushuaïa was a modest Bossa beach bar fuelled by underground beats and basslines.

Most famously of all, perhaps, were her tINI and the Gang parties at Sirocco, which ran from June to October. Last summer, she was on the move again, taking her Gang residency to No Name, a wooden outpost serving cocktails at the far end of the beach. The scene was about as raw and stripped-back as you can get in Ibiza, but things at No Name didn’t go exactly to plan and ultimately tINI and her crew wound up concluding the season at neighbouring Lips.

It’s no surprise that tINI’s strikingly atmospheric DJ sets work so well outdoors, resonating, in particular, with the passion and heat of an Ibizan summer. But she’s also as adept inside, frequently realigning her sound to suit the much larger, darker dancehalls at Space and Amnesia. Given her massive popularity here in Ibiza, particularly with the island’s all-knowing worker population, who adore tINI’s sound as much as they appreciate the fact that her beach parties are always as fun as they are free, the fact that she’s never played Circoloco before is more than a little surprising. However, all that changed, when, on May 23, everyone’s favourite Gang Star finally took control of the Crazy Circus for the very first time.

Tell us about your first trip to Ibiza?

It was 13 years ago. I’d heard a lot about Ibiza and my best friend told me I had to go with her. So I booked my flights for the opening week. We went everywhere. We went to DC10, to Space, to Cocoon. She showed me around. I was a young raver back then. I remember DC10 had no roof on the terrace, and Space had no roof. We ended up at a private finca party where Sven Väth was playing. It was just how you would picture your first holiday in Ibiza.

Were you DJing at the time?

I’d just started. I was super fresh, but I was already playing. Back then I never would have guessed I would have my own party on the island one day.

Where was your first ever Ibiza gig?

It was for Carl Cox at Space. I opened for him on the Sunset Terrace. I remember being crazy nervous because it was a big first gig. Since then I’ve played the closing for Carl every year. I’m actually really upset that his party is going to stop after this season.

What do you think about the current situation at Space?

I’m definitely sad it’s changing. Space has always been a very important club for the island, and also to me. We’ll have to see what’s going to happen with the rest of the clubs on the island and see if they can manage to stay alive. Hopefully they do. Ibiza is always moving and new things are always coming up – new parties happening and new DJs establishing their own residencies. But things are getting tougher for the party side of the island. You can already see that there are lots of new festivals happening in other parts of Europe and perhaps some new residencies in places like Croatia.

Can Croatia compete with Ibiza?

Right now Ibiza is convenient to get to because there are a lot of flight connections. That’s still missing in Croatia – the public transport and all that kind of stuff isn’t as good. But with time it has a chance to become an interesting new spot.

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