Exclusive Interview: Mambo Brothers reflect on Café Mambo’s iconic moments
Two of Ibiza’s most iconic DJ’s were lucky enough to grow up in Ibiza’s most iconic venue. Born & raised on the White Isle, Christian and Alan Anadon; better known as the Mambo Brothers had the privilege of witnessing the best DJ’s in the world grace the decks at Café Mambo Ibiza from a young age. Having been part of the evolution of electronic music since the beginning, they have gained knowledge of electronic music from all the house genres.
One half of the Mambo Brothers, Christian, was introduced to decks at Mambo’s sister bar; Savannah, where he held a residency for many years. He watched legends such as Roger Sanchez and Carl Cox take over the decks, as well as warm-up for them on a daily basis. Soon after, in the early 2000’s, Alan joined his older brother to form a brother duo, who often played at local Ibiza nightclubs such as Privilege and Amnesia. A stellar duo boasting a stellar career, the Mambo Brothers were kind enough to sit down with We Rave You for an exclusive interview.
Your last release, ‘Sundogs’ on Toolroom Records, peaked at #24 on the overall Beatport chart! How did that come about?
“Good music and a good record label always helps. We still find it overwhelming charting on Beatport and other charts.”
Your parents famously opened Café Mambo more than 20 years ago. Having witnessed everything behind the scenes, what are you most proud of?
“Back then it was a totally different ballgame, everything was much rawer, nothing was very well organised! Café Mambo was a totally new addition to the Ibiza landscape. At the time you couldn’t find a bar serving food all day with a strong musical offering – live DJ’s from the afternoon, through sunset and into the night. We had great cocktails, great service and of course the beautiful setting on the shoreline really gave it a special atmosphere. The sunset strip back then felt like another area of San Antonio, it was kind of far away from everything else and you really had to know where it was. This was all long before the promenade path was built that directed more footfall past our doors, which didn’t appear until the late 2000’s. So really the thing we are proudest of is keeping that same unique vibe for nearly 25 solid years. We still pride ourselves on all of those elements that continue to make Mambo unique.”
Café Mambo played a large role in making sunset DJ sets so popular. How big an influence did that have on you two?
“A lot of course, we’ve seen so many different sets and styles at Mambo over the years. It’s been amazing seeing all the DJ’s adapt to those moments of twilight. We still remember Laurent Garnier playing amazing deep house that was perfect for the twilight after what must be about 12 years now! It is mind blowing sometimes to think about all these special moments we got to witness.”
From Paris by Night with Bob Sinclair, to F**k Me I’m Famous with David Guetta, the venue has a little something for everyone. What’s your personal favourite event on the Café Mambo calendar?
“We just love all the events that give people a great experience at Mambo. And we do get people coming up to us to say thank you for a great time. For us this is super important – we want everyone to enjoy Mambo, whatever style of music they like.”
Back in 1994, DJ Sasha paid a visit to Café Mambo, when you waited 12 hours to see him. How did that impact you both?
“Well, we were young at the time, just 13 years old (Christian) and I got told that “tomorrow the number one DJ in the world is coming to Mambo”. Back then as a kid of that age, never knew really what a DJ was or really did. But the fact he was number one sounded pretty exciting so we came to Mambo the next morning and started eagerly waiting for this big DJ called Sasha to show up. However, he didn’t actually get down to Mambo until well after sunset! I finally met him and still have the picture somewhere. So I guess it was worth the wait! Until then we never really understood that DJ’s live by night. At that age we were always hanging out at Mambo during the day time. So maybe that was a moment that also helped switch us onto DJ culture and nightlife.”
You’ve seen your fair share of celebrities pass through; including Elton John, Paris Hilton and Lizzie Phelan. Have you ever found yourselves feeling starstruck?
“Not really! But we got to meet Robert De Niro this summer and he was very nice and totally relaxed which was cool.”
Fatboy Slim, Pete Tong and Carl Cox are just some of the legendary names that have graced the stage and put on shows to remember. Over the 20+ years that the cafe’s been open, what were your favourite performance/s?
“There’s been so many, but back in the day watching Roger Sanchez play vinyl at Mambo was amazing, witnessing the pure art of DJing with the unique skills he had. I remember many of the resident DJs of Ibiza coming down to see what he was doing with 3 decks all going at the same time!”
After arranging for House hero Harry “Choo Choo” Romero to indulge the Miami scene with the sound of Armada Subjekt a few months back, the second instalment of ‘Subjekt Sessions’ sees Ibiza’s star duo taking charge. Comprising 27 groove-led records in two different parts, ‘Subjekt Ibiza Sessions’ has arrived, mixed seamlessly by Ibiza natives Mambo Brothers.
Decked out with everything from tempting percussion loops to endearing vibes, ‘Subjekt Ibiza Sessions’ acquaints the Balearic isle with the wayward sound of the underground. With two parts that represent respectively daytime and nighttime parties, and tracks from groove gods such as ATFC & David Penn, Claptone, Erick Morillo, Franky Rizardo, Yousef, Sante and of course Mambo Brothers themselves. This instalment of the Subjekt Sessions series will prove pivotal in any House fan’s Ibiza experience.