The first face that welcomes me to the island of Ibiza is that of Dutch mega DJ Armin van Buuren, his teeth as white as the midday sun. As my eyes adjust to the intense light on this strip of land, the third largest of the Balearic Islands, other deputies of Ibiza emerge on massive billboards nearby: Steve Aoki, David Guetta, as well as super clubs like Booom! and Space. Judging by such signage, I could just as easily be in Las Vegas.
The electronic musician I’m looking for at the Ibiza airport is unadvertised. Mark Barrott, who a generation ago made music under the name Future Loop Foundation, has called Ibiza home for the past two years, and he promises to show me a seldom-seen side of the island. A tanned British man with collared shirt, cargo shorts, flip-flops, and wraparound shades, Barrott introduces himself, and soon we are off. As we leave the airport, a billboard promising a neon pleasure dome crowds our vision, and Barrott asks out loud: “What on earth does that have to do with music?”