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José Padilla

A pioneer of the Balearic sound, José Padilla was the quintessential chillout DJ. The influential selector rose to fame as a resident at Café del Mar, an iconic bar located on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Padilla soundtracked countless sunsets with an eclectic mix of ambient, downtempo pop, mellow jazz, film music, and more. He began curating the Café del Mar series in 1994, and by the end of the decade, the compilations (and their derivatives) were ubiquitous in record stores as well as hip eateries, boutiques, and lounges alike. Padilla included his own productions on the albums, and he released his debut full-length, Souvenir, in 1998. He remained an in-demand DJ throughout the world, and continued releasing compilations and mixed sessions, including the Café Solo and Bella Musica series. He occasionally returned to producing music, and his final album, the Balearic house effort So Many Colours, appeared in 2015. José Padilla was born in Barcelona in 1955. He moved to Ibiza around 1976, and soon started to DJ on the island, which was becoming known as a premiere destination of the nascent clubbing culture. After spinning at several spots, he began his legendary residency at Café del Mar, a bar located in San Antonio, in 1991. Having released bootleg mixtapes of his mix sessions due to demand from clubgoers, he started compiling an official Café del Mar series, with the first volume arriving in 1994. He lived part-time in England for several years and made several appearances on BBC Radio One's Essential Mix program, and continued to DJ sets of various tempos throughout the world. Having released a few singles and compilation tracks, Padilla issued his first studio album, Souvenir, on Mercury in 1998. He remained with the Café del Mar series through its sixth volume (1999), and issued his second artist album, Navigator, on Spanish label DRO in 2001 (Madonna's Maverick imprint released the record in the United States). Featuring guest vocals by Seal (a remix of the single "Adios Ayer") and N'Dea Davenport (a cover of "The Look of Love"), the set was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Padilla compiled and composed music for the soundtrack to El Sueño de Ibiza (Ibiza Dream), released in 2002. He issued several additional compilations and DJ mixes, including two Café Solo releases, six volumes of Bella Musica, and Café Mambo Ibiza 09. He collaborated with singer/songwriter and guitarist Kirsty Keatch on Binary Sun, an atmospheric pop/rock album, in 2013. He then worked with producers Mark Barrott, Tornado Wallace, Telephones, and Wolf Müller on a house album titled So Many Colours, which appeared through Barrott's International Feel Recordings in 2015. Padilla died of colon cancer on October 18, 2020, at the age of 64.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo


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