DJ, producer and radio presenter Pete Gooding is fully part of Ibiza’s balearic fabric, in fact for most of the year it’s the place he calls home. Resident DJ at the world-famous Café Mambo since 1996, Gooding has played thousands of sunset sets, marking the end of one sun-drenched Ibizan day with perfectly-pitched ambient, classical and film scores before kick-starting another hedonistic night with the best music on the planet. Last year he took charge of the 20th anniversary Café Mambo compilation, this being the tenth edition he’s curated for the venue.
He’s released over 150 records and was named Best Ibiza DJ at the Ibiza DJ Awards in 2002. His has been released on major labels include Universal, Sony, Virgin and EMI as well as the best independents including Defected, Hooj Choons, Junior Boy’s Own offshoot Fuju, Paper Recordings, Toolroom and many others.
“As a kid I was really academic. My older sister gave me the House Sound of Chicago Volume 1 and I got so obsessed I failed everything. I missed my Business Studies GCSE because it was the day my local record shop was getting Frankie Knuckles’ ‘Your Love’ on Trax. They were only getting three copies. I met Frankie Knuckles years later and told him. He signed my copy: ‘Dear Pete, you made the right choice.’” Fast forward to 2011 and another big box was ticked when Gooding officially remixed ‘Your Love’.
House music was exploding in Britain in the 1990s but Gooding had a head start. Family holidays to Ibiza in the late ‘80s and a hedonistic big sister meant he’d been smuggled in to see Alfredo play at legendary club Amnesia aged 15. He returned whenever he could, soaking up the sounds of Jose Padilla at the Café Del Mar. In the mid-‘90s found himself resident at the neighbouring Café Mambo, fusing everything he’d learned from Padilla with his own musical obsessions over nine hour sets, seven nights a week.
He and a group of friends started running illegal raves in motorway tunnels in Warwickshire and around Birmingham. Shortly after this, Gooding and Phil Dockerty (who later formed Futureshock) started a weekly club night called “What You Like” booking DJs like Tony Humphries, Graeme Park and Erick Morillo it ran weekly for seven years.
The significant break came when he was approached by Renaissance to join them as a resident. This led to big room residencies across the world, including Ibiza’s biggest clubs Pacha, Amnesia and Privilege.
Gooding and Dockerty started the Secret Life Music blog in 2013 (with mutual friend Murray Mckee) “We did it as a hobby at first and didn’t think anyone was looking. We looked at the stats after nine months and we’d had 800,000 hits.” Since then it’s evolved into a record label, DJ representation and events programming business.
Recent gigs have included a residency at Ibiza Rocks (Pikes Hotel) at DJ Harvey Mercury Rising, Sheer Rocks in Antigua, La Torre Ibiza and the Secret Life curated Kaleidoscope stage at Bestival. Wether it’s a sunset, a poolside a festival stage or a club Gooding always takes a similar approach “I don’t play records because they’re cool. I play what I get excited about.”
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