In conversation with a Balearic beat pioneer.
Originally from Barcelona, José Padilla first travelled to Ibiza in 1976 in rebellion against his family. By this point he'd already dabbled in DJing and was collecting records, so it didn't take him long to break into the island's nascent club circuit, holding down residencies at several spots in buzzy San Antonio. Like his peers—Alfredo, DJ Pippi, Cesar—Padilla would spin ten-hour sets, six nights a week, playing anything and everything he could get his hands on. It was this mix of funk, soul, jazz, disco and rock that spawned the term "Balearic beat" (or simply Balearic), a catch-all name for dance music suited to balmier climes. In 1991, Padilla would align himself with another genre—ambient, or chillout as it came to be known, thanks to his residency at Café Del Mar and the subsequent world-famous mix series. More recently, he's worked with Telephones and Tornado Wallace on his latest album, So Many Colours, which came out via International Feel in 2015. Earlier this summer—Padilla's 40th on the island—Carlos Hawthorn visited him at his home to discuss all of the above. Padilla also explained why he's developed such a bittersweet relationship with the White Isle over the years.