Vagabundos on the Beach: Carl Craig & Luciano


It’s a beautiful thing watching bromance blossom before your very eyes. But the budding brotherly romance that bloomed between musical masterminds Luciano and Carl Craig on Thursday night at La Plage de l’Elephant was as sweet as candy on a stick.

OBSERVING them behind the decks was like watching two boys play battleships, albeit minus the tantrums and with a lot more love.

Mirroring their mutual connection they both dressed in black (Luciano sporting a Michael Jackson Thriller t-shirt) as we watched the rapport unfold under a condensation-thick marquee on the Playa d’en Bossa beach front to the soundtrack of deep, twisted techno.

Many of the crowd and Cadenza Vagabundos crew sported their signature black top hats, unwilling to let a few power blunders during Ernesto Ferreyra’s earlier set spoil the fun.

Luciano grinned from ear to ear, his smile widening as the night went on and the tequila slammers kicked in. Craig, who’s customarily calm and composed, spent the first hour glaring at his laptop with his usual intense concentration, dealing with fans that approached the DJ booth with a polite yet aloof manner. By the end however, he was on the Luciano buzz, dancing and hugging his Cadenza comrade with wild abandon, while Luciano clapped, pointed, whistled and chuckled cheerily.

As the night grew so too did the brotherly bond. They just seemed to instinctively know what sounds to play, feeding off their intimate surroundings in between jokes and jostles, thumbs ups, man hugs and slaps on each other’s backs. At one point Luciano planted a huge smacker on Craig’s cheek, clearly elated by the whole experience as they enjoyed friendly grapples, laughing at each other’s in-jokes with spontaneous chortles.

I witnessed a similar union when Mark Ronson and Zane Lowe played together for Radio 1 at Space a few weeks back, but somehow their bromance seemed like more of a performance. For Carliano it’s clearly the real thing.

As the mesmerising companionship unfolded a giant cake, complete with fizzing sparklers, appeared and Craig, clearly overjoyed, bounced up and down with outstretched arms, but Luciano didn’t miss a beat on the decks. The cake recipient remains a mystery; there were no slices up for offer and no birthday songs to sing, much to my dismay. Needless to say, the novelty wore off after a couple of minutes and it was back to the music as Craig flaunted his keyboard skills, mixing in the world beat and jazz-inspired remixes he’s known to have pioneered, alongside Luciano’s Latin samples, proving they really are the perfect partnership – it’s no wonder they are a little in love.

First published on I Voice, Ibiza, June 2010.
© Abbey Stirling