Ricardo Urgell, the son of a Barcelona engineer, built Pacha in the early 1970s on a desolate half-acre he bought for about $14,000. After its opening in 1973 the club came to represent ultracool debauchery and an escape from the conservative moral code of Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator. Native Ibicencos mixed with artists, hippies, thieves on the lam and those whose bronzed bodies were all the clothing they required.
But as the scene grew, the elder Urgells eventually became disenchanted by the music that made them millionaires.
“It’s monotonous sound and volume; it’s bodies squeezed together, it’s a little masochistic,” Ricardo Urgell said in a 2011 interview. “The great defect of this music,” he added, “is that it has to be accompanied by drugs. I took Ecstasy just one time in my life and found that out for myself.”
Electronic music, Piti Urgell said last month, “hasn’t evolved in 20 years and is for idiots.”