From Truman Capote's Black and White Ball in New York to a Balearic blowout in Ibiza, see out 2013 with a NOWNESS-curated series of archival photographs, allied with some party advice from two of the world's most sought-after DJs. Fresh from presiding over their Despacio party in London with James Murphy, 2ManyDJs met us to discuss the state of partying in time for the New Year celebrations. Built at huge expense in collaboration with the McIntosh amplifier company, the three-night residency centered around a 50,000-watt, ten-ton sound system that pumped out acid
house, disco, pop, electro, techno, funk and Steve Reich. Inspired by the early days of Ibiza and legendary New York nightclub The Loft, Despacio is about creating a party that's as intimate and fun as the dream party in your living room, but a world away from a YouTube party. While James Murphy attended to a broken stylus, we spoke to the sharply dressed Belgian brothers about Despacio, and what makes the perfect party.
What was the inspiration behind the Despacio parties?
Stephen Dewaele: We wanted to have the control back. It's the idea that if you throw a party, it's your own soundsystem. We're way more involved than if it were a festival or a club, we think about serving the drinks, everything. For some reason the world that James, David and I work in it's so far removed from that—it's very corporate. So this was our way of going 'Hey, we can do it ourselves, and play the music we want, and make it sound like we want to do it.'
You've talked about the huge amount of money Despacio costs to put on. Is it important to be generous hosts?
SD: Why not? We want to share this kind of music and experience with people as music fans.
David Dewaele: Despacio extends further than the music. This is how we want it to sound, this is the kind of venue that we love, these are the people we want in the bar; it's this wine, this coffee.
SD: It's also this idea of Balearic, disco, minimal wave, all these things we've been loving our whole lives. It's saying, 'Hey, you can blend all these things,' it has a lot to do with the sound, how people behave to each other, serving them a good drink rather than some crap beer. This is 100th of what we think the best party would be! Logistically and financially we're not able to do these things.
What would you like to do with this that you haven't done yet?
DD: Playing until seven in the morning, we open up the roof and the sun comes up... the sea slowly coming onto the dancefloor, and people saying 'OK, I'm going for a swim now.' That would be amazing.
What's the biggest change you've seen in the party world
DD: Money is the main thing. DJing has transformed into something, a force, way beyond what it should be.
What was your best ever New Years party?
DD: Mine was the Millennium. 1999 was a busy year for us, and our managers said 'You've been working hard, why don't you take New Year's Eve off.' We had a dinner, we went to a party in our home town—they played R&B, I danced all night, and I remember you had a shit time because your girlfriend tried to put ecstasy in your mouth.
SD: Oh that night, Jesus Christ, she did put ecstasy in my mouth. The first of January is always better, New Years Eve is always forced. The ones I like doing are in Spain, because people haven't been to bed, you play at six in the afternoon on the first of January and there are 5,000 people really having a good time.