True House Stories® Youtube & Spotify Video Podcast
TRUE HOUSE STORIES W/ PAUL IBIZA
Paul Ibiza interview podcast hosted by Lenny Fontana # 110 - True House Stories®
Paul Ibiza is the man responsible for bringing the world the legendary records label Ibiza Records, he is the promoter that organized cutting edge events Fantastic Ibiza, Jungle Splash and MC Convention to name but a few.
More recently Paul aka Digital Niyabinghi has been producing “Jungle Dub” and taking his Digital Niyabinghi Sound System on tour. Although Paul could be labelled as a Producer, Promoter, DJ, Label owner, Paul simply describes himself as an entrepreneur within the music industry.
Paul got started in the rave business in 1988 around the time of events such as Sunrise and Genesis were putting on raves in fields and warehouse in the London region.
Although Paul actually got started in 1988 his journey started way before in the early 80’s in the days of Soul II Soul and Paul Anderson among other house and warehouse parties which is where Paul was first influenced by the Reggae and Soul played at these parties then known as or “Blues” or “Shebeens” (Shebeen being the Irish term for an illicit bar or club where excisable alcoholic beverages were sold without a licence).
In 1989 Paul was involved in organising the ‘Freedom to Party’ rally in Trafalgar Square which aimed to relax licensing laws in order to allow nightclubs to stay open longer. Paul then started promoting the ‘Fantastic Ibiza’ raves in Goods Way, Kings Cross with DJ’s such as Carl Cox, Colin Dale, Kenny Ken, Grooverider.
Many of these weekend long parties were attended by upwards of 3000 people and did not always have an entry fee but rather the money was made by donations and drinks sales.
After the Police attention was getting excessive due to overcrowding both inside and outside the venue in Kings Cross, Ibiza records was born in 1989 after Paul went to the Balearic Island of Ibiza and ended up breaking his leg. While Paul was immobile he started learningPaul Ibiza how to produce music using Cubase on the first Ataricomputers capable of sequencing music along with an Akai S950 sampler and Spirit mixing desk.
Soon Ibiza Records would set up their offices and studio in Hornsey, North London. When Ibiza records first begun they were making Techno, Hardcore and House types of music, coupled with Dub & Reggae influences the music now known as Jungle emerged which Ibiza Records was championing along with labels and artists such as Shut up and Dance, Rebel MC, Reel 2 Reel and a Guy Called Gerald.
Ibiza Records went on to establish a number of successful spin off labels such as Boxbase, Highly Blessed, Hard Plastic, Three Lions, Kemet, 3rd Party, Limited-E. Paul also opened up a record shop ‘Ibiza Records’ in Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London in the early 90’s. In 1994 Jungle Splash was born and still continues to this day. Paul’s vision for Jungle Splash was to showcase the best of Jungle music much like an exhibition for the scene.
Jungle Splash has moved from many venues over the years such as The Rocket complex in Holloway, Roller Express, The Mass and is currently held at Jamm in Brixton, London. In 2003 Paul promoted the MC Convention event convention under the ‘Highly Blessed’ brand in conjunction with Mc Shabba and Skibadee. The event met with some resistance from some people that thought putting the focus on the MC’s as opposed to DJ’s was bound to ensure that the event would flop.
To the contrary, all tickets to the event at the Stratford Rex sold out and MC Convention toured Birmingham, Cardiff, Southampton and Essex. Paul’s latest innovation is the new sound he calls “Jungle Dub” and has been touring with his own Digital Niyabinghi Sound System which goes back to the roots of Jungle and Dub. The Sound System features artists such as Winston Runtingz, Uncle Dugs, Junior Dangerous, Ragga Twins, Potential Bad Boy, Terry T, MC Moose, Beefy and Daddy Nature and of course Paul ‘Digital Niyabinghi’ himself.
Biography Paul Ibiza
Paul Ibiza is the man responsible for bringing the world the legendary records label Ibiza Records and he is the promoter who organised those cutting edged events like Fantastic Ibiza in 1988, Jungle Splash in 1994 and MC Convention in 2000 that have etched many countless memories for ravers and those involved in the rave game over the last 34 years.
More recently since 2010 Paul aka Digital Niyabinghi has been producing “Jungle Dub” and taking his Digital Niyabinghi Sound System on the road in the uk and been as far as Alicante in Spain. Paul has crafted himself as a Promoter, Label owner, DJ and a Producer, and has been very instrumental in his passion and his involvement within the music industry.
Paul got started in the rave business in 1988 around the time of events such as Sunrise and Genesis with pioneers Tony Colston-Hayter, Dave Roberts and Wayne Anthony were putting on raves in fields and warehouses in the London and surrounding areas. It may be true Paul actually got started in the rave game in 1988 but his journey started way before in the early 80’s in the days of Soul II Soul and Paul Anderson R.I.P, and Kiss FM with the founder George Power R.I.P learning his trade.
Paul was among others putting on house parties which Paul had been first influenced by the reggae blues that his father was known for putting on in north London back in the 60’s and 70’s with he’s sound system called Billy The Clown. Paul then experienced himself putting on his own first party at the age of 14 years old at the local community centre and never looked back the next couple of years Paul was known for putting on soul house parties having bars on each floor and charging on the door like clubs we have today.
In 1989 Paul was involved in organising the ‘Freedom to Party’ rally in Trafalgar Square which aimed to relax licensing laws in order to allow nightclubs to stay open longer. Paul at that time had started promoting the ‘Fantastic Ibiza’ raves in Goods Way, Kings Cross incidentally Mike West aka Congo Natty, Top Buzz Mad P (who is Paul’s older brother) and the duo Dem 2 From Essex used to play. Many of these weekend long parties were attended by upwards of 3000 people.
After the Police attention was getting excessive due to overcrowding both inside and outside the venue in Kings Cross, Ibiza records was born in 1989 after Paul went to the Balearic Island of Ibiza and ended up breaking his leg.
While Paul was out of action recovering from his injury back in North London during 1989 he started learning how to produce music using Cubase on the first Atari computers capable of sequencing music along with an Akai S950 sampler and Spirit mixing desk. Ibiza Records was born and would set up their office and studio in Hornsey, North London.
During this time Paul turned to his cultural background due to growing up with his father who was of Jamaican and involved in the reggae sound system era only influenced Paul’s then eagerness to learn how to now make an actual record. This lead Paul to finding Chris Hanson the band leader of the group Black Slate who also had the Dubplate/mastering cutting house which was originally based on top of the Post Office in Finsbury Park North London before later moving to Holloway Road and now based in Millmead Business Centre in Tottenham Hale North London.
When Chris first heard Paul’s musik he said “a what dis mad music yah” and Paul stated to him “Chris this musik is Jungle and it’s gonna be the future”, Paul also used JTS Studio Mastering owned by Keith Swan aka Jah Tubby’s Sound System.
Paul been inspired by John from Reel 2 Reel who was a black label owner within the hardcore scene putting out music, he was related to DJ Randall, MC Fats and Kool & Flex out from the East London Record Shop ‘The Undergound’. When Ibiza Records first began, they were making Techno, Hardcore and House types of music, coupled with Dub & Reggae influence the music known as Jungle Techno emerged which Ibiza Records invented and championed this new sound that went on to be known as Jungle.
IIt was around the 2nd release on Ibiza Records a track called Box Bass which totally changed the game by bringing in a one finger reggae bassline that shook the windows, the floor and the scene to the extent that distributors were fighting over it but Paul gave it to Dionne who was just starting out at Mo’s distribution based in Walthamstow. One other record shop that had a lot to do with the music scene in the 90’s was based in Haringey north London called music power on green lanes run by Chris Simon which then became Paul’s stomping ground.
DJ Grooverider championed that Box Bass dubplate until it wared down to the bare acetate and him doing this lead DJ Kemistry to come to Ibiza Records office in North London. Paul knew Kemistry as a friend before she turned a DJ that day she came with the graffiti artist Clifford Price aka Goldie with his spray can in hand and his dog.
Paul was not interested in the idea of a graffiti themed sprayed record cover as Goldie was suggesting as he didn’t see the point of graffiti being part of uk’s culture it was American and we were British. In meeting Paul had to tell Goldie to control his dog he came with as it was running around the office.
Ibiza Records went on to establish a number of successful spin off labels such as Boxbase, Highly Blessed, Hard Plastic, Three Lions, and Limited-E. Paul also opened up a record shop ‘Ibiza Records’ in Kingsland High Road at the Waste, Dalston London in 1994.
During the early 90s Paul also began promoting Jungle Techno and putting on parties, it was between 92 – 93 Paul was at Rocket Complex Holloway Road North London setting up a Jungle Techno rave and his friend Brett from Telepathy came and introduced him to a young dj now known as Andy C. Brett was saying that the kid was good and wanted Paul’s input so Paul then said “Here take this dubplate mate and show me what you can do over there on the decks then?”
Paul listened while this young kid played and he did some mixes etc. Paul said “ Your not bad are you? Now where my dubplate that I just gave you?” Andy C replied he didn’t have any dubplate so after that Paul decided not to book him that night as he was the last person to have the dubplate. In 1994 Paul decided to make the move as the scene had evolved from Jungle Techno to Jungle and that’s when Jungle Splash was born which still continues to this day.
Paul’s vision for Jungle Splash was to showcase the best of Jungle music much like an exhibition for the scene and Jungle Splash has moved around many venues over the years such as The Rocket complex Holloway Road, Roller Express, The Rex, The Mass and in the Jamm in Brixton, and Fire & Lightbox in Vauxhall for a consecutive 5 years with Jungle Splash’s Free Party event’s. Over the years Jungle Splash has helped showcase many artists who are now household names the likes of Shy FX, Uk Apachi, Elisabeth Troy, McDet, Five O, Dj Brockie, Potential Bad Boy, Mc Shabba D, Peter Bouncer the list goes on and on.
In 2000 Paul promoted the MC Convention event with ‘Highly Blessed’ brand in conjunction with Mc Shabba and Mc Skibadee (R.I.P) S.O.S. The event totally changed the rave game making the Mcs the main act and super stars and from the first MC convention which was a sold out event which went from strength to strength touring uk cities like London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Southhampton, Hasting Pier in Essex and as far a field internationally to the rave island Aiya Napia. For the record Mc Convention was the first to start off the CD packs of the event recordings which killed off the longstanding tape packs.
Paul’s latest innovation is the new sound he calls “Jungle Dub” he’s been promoting since 2010 and then got his own sound in 2014 touring Digital Niyabinghi Sound System which promotes the true roots of Jungle and Dub. DJ Magazine has featured Digital Niyabinghi’s Jungle Dub sound and showed support by giving a free download of the Jungle Dub track “Rastaman Herbalist” to their readers.
Digital Niyabinghi has played at a few music festivals both Glastonbury and Boomtown to name a few. Jungle Splash brand has always promoted Digital Niyabinghi events and also puts on several reggae and dub sound system events and has worked with the likes of Channel One, Aba Shanti I, Young Warrior the Son of Jah Shaka, Irration Steppers, and many more .
Since the passing of the Artist Uk Principal aka Douglas Sparks in March 2020 who tragically passed away during the early stages of the world’s pandemic lockdown, he had been Digital Niyabinghi’s MC (Master of Ceremony) and his lost has caused an unfillable space that cant be replaced so Digital Niyabinghi is taking some time out.
Over the years Paul Ibiza has often been mentioned in early rave and present day documentaries for being the innovator of Jungle here are some quotes; Micky Finn ‘London sum ting this? Documentary in 1993 “It was Paul from Ibiza Records” “Paul was definitely the first person to use the reggae influences” “Paul brought the Jungle into the scene”. Also Flinty Badman from Ragga Twins in a 2014 rave documentary said “When it first started, it wasn’t called Jungle, we didn’t even have a name for it. I think it was Paul Ibiza as he came out with a tune that said ‘Jungle’ on it”.
Just before the world’s lockdown in 2020 Paul was adamant that the jungle scene had gone into the wrong direction and the music being represented as Jungle had basically lost it’s soul and those grassroots that uphold what jungle really is and means.
Since this he has focused on sourcing/searching for new up and coming producers that are keeping to the true roots of jungle within their musik, it’s been a re-education as Paul now realisies that often a lot of producers don’t overstand the true essence of jungle i.e. the amen/breaks, the vocals, the groove, the soul, the reggae influence etc. and they are playing homage to drum n bass which is not and does not represent what Jungle truly represents.
Now that has changed as the last 3 years Paul has been working hard behind the scenes and is now confident he has found the man for the job, and will be announcing the signing of his new artist producer whose coming with a serious calibre and ready to set the cats among the pigeons n ready to pump the scene with some sic unadulterated jungle track with live vocals with a groove. Look out for the coming 20 track ‘Original Sound of Jungle’ album download to hit road taking you back to where it began musically…..