They say that in life, all things change and move on. What was once the Holy Grail for Pete Tong, is now but an old franchise, as the Indiana Jones of dance music, says goodbye to Ibiza and embarks on one last crusade to Los Angeles. The much respected icon of dance music, is now tipping LA as the new “center” of Electronic music, as he feels its influence has “shifted” away from Ibiza. His comments will disappoint many of his native countrymen and women, who will miss his presence in Ibiza this summer, as he concentrates “on raising his game” in America. In an interview with the LA Times, Mr Tong felt it was time to “shake it all out and find out what I am really made of” as he looks at broadening his horizons within the entertainment and film industry there. His new home will be Los Angles, but he will continue to host his BBC1 radio show, while rumours suggest that he will not seek an Ibiza residency this season. The Americans are delighted to have such a legend backing their industry and are already boasting that his move to LA, is a vindication that “The Worlds most influential voice in Dance Music media thinks the genres future is in Southern California.”
After many years at Pacha, Pete Tong moved to Ushuaia last summer for the début of his Le Grand Bazaar party. Of all the parties I attended in Ibiza last year, his was the most boring and unimaginative. His set was followed by another boring and predictable set from Fatboy Slim and I had to leave the party early as both elder statesmen of the genre were doing nothing for me. However other people I spoke to, totally enjoyed Tongs Le Grand Bazaar party, so maybe I was catching him on an off night. While the crowds packed around the Ushuaia stage entrance for David Guettas, charisma, style and star appeal, the same sort of atmosphere was not present for Pete Tong, as he wandered in and out without security protection. This may have something to do with Tongs decision to move to LA. While he describes himself as a “DJ first” Tongs talents and skills may be better suited to a more technical role behind the cameras.
I always felt that Pete Tong was never comfortable as a “Big Room” DJ – punching his hands in the air and preforming for a crowd like Guetta does. His talents, like John Peel, were more grounded in judgement, intelligence and a smooth delivery, not just an acting performance on stage. A radio DJ is a horse of a completely different colour, compared to the stadium DJ’s like SHM, Tiesto, Avicci, David Guetta and Calvin Harris. In my opinion, Ushuaia and Pete Tong just did not fit well together – their styles were too different to make it work. Ibiza will miss Pete Tong, more than it will any other DJ of his calibre (which there are few) and his move to LA, will damage the islands “branding” as the epicentre of electronic music. But, Ibiza does its own thing really, it always has done and it will get over it. It doesn’t seek recognition or awards, or to be the best at anything, it just facilitates an environment for people to be creative and experiment. I’m never going to buy the LA or Las Vegas product, not because there is anything wrong with it or its not a good buy, but because the polished, shiny and manicured thing, is just not my style. Hopefully Pete Tong will bring a little more substance to the scene in LA and will return some day soon to Ibiza.