Throughout his lengthy career, Paul Woolford has worn many hats and adopted many aliases. We managed to grab five minutes with him ahead of his appearance at The Refuge in Manchester where he was playing their ‘Return To Pikes Ibiza’ event.

Introduce yourself
Most people know me as a DJ/Producer, but that’s quite a reductive expression of what I do. My work goes from soundtrack/film trailer music through all shades of dance music: from the disco era onwards.

You’re playing at The Refuge for their Return To Pikes Event – tell us about your love affair with Ibiza.
It’s somewhere very close to my heart as it was where I spent every Summer for nine years as a resident for WeLove at Space. It was the Sunday party there and at it’s best – it was intense. Part of the team running the club now run Pikes so there’s a family connection there too.

Why do you think Ibiza has played such big part in the dance music industry for so many years? What are your thoughts on the island currently?
The history of hippies and drop-outs from all sectors of society escaping to Ibiza to form their own communities has been well documented over the years. Gradually that has been less apparent as the money men have taken over the running of the place. Islands are always ruled in quirky and particular ways that benefit certain individuals and Ibiza is no different. It’s still a great place to get lost in the party, provided you attend the right one…

You have 24 hours in Ibiza: what’s on your ‘must do’ list?
First off: decide to miss your flight home
Second: swim at Cala Xuclar in the North well away from all the fuss, and top your tan up
Third: Dinner at Trattoria Del Mar at Marina Botafoch near Ibiza Town
Fourth: get the boat over from the marina to Ibiza Town and have a nosey at the yachts in the harbour
Five: Down a round or two of hierbas shots in one of the many fine drinking establishments there
Six: Head to Pikes and get stuck right in. Have the time of your life.
Seven: Don’t forget you’re missing your flight
Eight: Do whatever you want, you’ve created yourself an adventure

You also play under the alias ‘Special Request’, earning massive appeal to the youngsters and ace remixes for the likes of Jungle. How did that all come about?
I had been working on Special Request for a few years before the releases came out in 2012. The harder and rougher UK-influences of pirate radio have always been a part of my background, but for many years it was seen as something not to shout about by many in the house and techno scenes. I’d had enough of that and I wanted to stir it up, so I dived in and here we are currently working on the third album. It’s liberating. Breakbeats are now a sound du jour across house and techno so I’m pleased things have progressed again.

Any new and exciting projects in the pipeline?
I have a run of large-scale house records for this summer and beyond that I’m negotiating on with a handful of labels, once the deal is done they should shake things up again. I had a wild email from Gerd Janson yesterday saying the first, Hang Up Your Hang Ups, caused ‘Pogo style destruction’ in Berlin’s Panaramabar so that will do for me!

– Interview conducted for The Refuge’s Blog, The Wire