Standard Sounds

Vinyl Destination: DJ Colleen "Cosmo" Murphy Talks Ibiza

DJ Colleen "Cosmo" Murphy wears many hats—DJ, curator, radio host, vocal vinyl proponent. Her second edition of "Balearic Breakfast" explores the sounds of Ibiza and we're thrilled to welcome her to The Standard on June 17. We sat down with Colleen to talk Isla Blanca, old-school records and what makes a true audiophile.
Your career has crisscrossed the globe, but you’re back for a second helping of Balearic Breakfast in Ibiza: What is it about the Balearic sound that feeds your creativity?

The Balearic sound appeals to me because of its fuzziness—the fact that it can’t be pinned down like other genres of music such as house or drum n’bass or hip hop. It has an open-ended spirit and it more evocative of a feeling than a sound. It can go anywhere or be anything. It’s a feeling of freedom.
Could you tell us a truly essential track on the new Balearic Breakfast and perhaps the story behind it?

Of course, I feel they are all essential tracks and they each have their story so I’ll just pick one which is the closing song of the compilation - a cover of Mr. Fingers ‘What About This Love’ performed by Japanese duo Dip in the Pool and remixed by New Zealand’s Chaos in the CBD. I was obsessed with the Mr. Fingers ‘Introduction’ album as it came out when I had started DJ-ing outside of the radio station and in public spaces. In fact, I recently discussed my love of this album for Vinyl Factory and the profound influence it had on me. When I heard there was a cover of ‘What About This Love’, I approached it with trepidation as I didn’t think it could live up to my already high expectations. But I feel this version truly represents the innate spirit of the song as singer Miyako Koda is able to tap into and express the vulnerability of the lyrics and the musicianship and the remix heighten that feeling.
Set the scene for us: When you first came to Ibiza, what was your first impression?

I was lucky as the first time I came to Ibiza was to play as a guest for DJ Harvey’s residency at Space so I feel blessed to have played on that legendary terrace. But I also had the chance to see some other parts of the island and its beauty and magic left a deep impression upon me. I was a bit naive and didn’t even bring a swimsuit with me so I had to borrow a friend’s who had a promotional Cream bikini so that’s what I had to wear. ;)

"An audiophile is one who has a deep passion for sound and a quest to hear pre-recorded music reproduced as close to the artist’s original intent as possible."

You’ve been described (and self-described) as an audiophile. What does that title mean to you, and how do we know if we’re audiophiles, too?

An audiophile is one who has a deep passion for sound and a quest to hear pre-recorded music reproduced as close to the artist’s original intent as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money, but, in my eyes and ears at least, its about having the concern to make whatever listening or playback situation that is currently available to you the best that it can be. It’s about taking care and trying to get the best sound you possibly can whether its arranging your loudspeakers in your living room so that they are in the best position or setting up your turntables and cartridges properly if you are a DJ. 
The vinyl comeback is real and you’ve been outspoken promoting classic formats. Do you have any advice for music lovers just getting started with vinyl?

Take care of it. Clean your records and don’t use a blunt stylus as that will wreck your records. It is a physical format so it responds best to the ideal physical conditions. Set up your turntable so that it is completely level, adjust the tracking force of your cartridge (all styli have an optimum weight at which they should be set), make sure your anti-skate isn’t pulling too far in or too far out. If the turntable and cartridge are set up correctly then the stylus should sit in the middle of the groove at the correct force and you will get the most out of your vinyl.
Thank you for Classic Album Sundays—it’s essential listening for deep music lovers. Is there an album you haven’t covered that you’re dying to explore in depth?

There are so many and the more I learn about music, the more there is to know. I learnt that at the age of 16 when I first started working in a record shop. The list is too long and if I mention one, that puts it above the others. I have learnt about so many different albums and musicians and forms of music through Classic Album Sundays and for the same reason, I love the request nature of Balearic Breakfast as it creates new opportunities to explore music.

Watch DJ Colleen in action June 17 in Jara


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