Tue, 17 Sep 2013  /  Post a comment
Barcelona's latest addition to the clubbing landscape, KER, will open on Friday, October 11th.
The 1200-capacity venue is located in the heart of the city centre, near Plaza España. It will contain two rooms: one main space fit to cater for DJs, live acts and bands and one smaller, 250-capacity cocktail bar. The former will host an array of international house and techno talent, while the latter showcases softer, funkier tones from local DJs. The club's layout takes inspiration from the intimate boîtes of the '70s and '80s, paying homage to the late Spanish interior design visionary Javier Regas.
To commemorate its inauguration, KER will throw two opening parties: Art Department and My Favorite Robot will play on Friday, October 11th, before Audion and Eduardo de la Calle perform the following night. The club will open weekly on Fridays and Saturdays.
For more of an idea of what to expect, check out this promotional video below.
Oct 11 KER Pres. Art Department, My Favorite RobotPost a comment
Oct 12 KER presents Audion, Eduardo De La Calle, Alex Pott
Fri, 13 Sep 2013  /  Post a comment
RA sits down with Carl Cox this week to discuss the season so far, retirement and how he came to coin a catchphrase. We also give our take on Ibiza's afterparty scene, while rounding up events at Booom! and Sankeys, including the Dirtybird closing.Post a comment
Interview: Carl Cox
No one DJ holds as strong a grip over Ibiza as Carl Cox. Reaching the end of its 12th season, his Tuesday night party at Space remains the most popular on the island, and yet 2013 has been a different sort of season for the UK veteran. We caught up with Cox to discuss stepping out of his comfort zone, the looming prospect of retirement, and just how he's managed to stay so relevant for the best part of 30 years.
First of all Carl, we're up to the penultimate party of your residency at Space. How has this season been?
It's been an interesting one this year. It's the first time I've stepped out of Space in 12 years—as you can imagine, I've been quite loyal to them. It's also been nice for the people to see their favourite DJs outside of their usual environments and working alongside other DJs on the basis of our shared understanding, which is to give our followers more. In my case, we've got the Space parties down to a T, so to be able to play at Amnesia for Marco [Carola] at a party that he's created is an exciting prospect.
I get to play different music than I usually would on the island, and also get to warm up the room for Marco, just as he did for me back in July. Musically, the people get the best of both worlds. And it's not only been me club-hopping. For the first time ever all these DJs are working together, which has calmed down a lot of speculation as to who or what is the best. It's shown that there really is a camaraderie between us all and that we're here to drive the scene forward.
So what is it that brought about this power shift from the clubs and promoters to the artists?
I think a lot of it is to do with why people come to the island. Many years ago, there was no infrastructure for DJs. We were just people that played other people's music and that was the end of it. If you got a beer out of what you were doing, and a little payment, that was a bonus. These days, however, we have been empowered with such a sword to wield in terms of what we can achieve. We're putting serious bums on seats. If you look at Richie Hawtin's move, he was basically playing for Sven [Väth], gigging as much as he could on the island. We invited him to play for us, he rocked the place, so we invited him back and he turned us down, deciding to start up his own night at Space on Thursday instead! We were like, "OK, so you've got the balls to do that." Because no one did at that time.
The first DJ to plant that idea, I believe, was Paul Oakenfold, who said: "Right I'm going to play every Tuesday night at Pacha," and it worked out for a while, but people still weren't sure about going out to hear the same DJ every week. What I created at Space happened more organically, as a direct result of my residency on the Terrace. From there we completely created this notion of a Tuesday night party, and then all the other DJs thought they'd try their hand. This season there have been plenty of DJs who have tried to hold down a residency and had it be a success, others less so. It's not like there are more people on the island, so there were bound to be some people who did less well. This is what has defined this season.
This idea of camaraderie is visible in that the week has been purposefully carved up to ensure that none of the six or seven heavyweight DJs step on each others' toes.
Definitely. When Richie [Hawtin] wanted to do the night at Space, the first person he asked was me. He felt compelled to make sure I was OK with it. I could've said no, but then he probably would've done it anyway! It's not for me to control anybody or anything that happens. And if I'm honest, the more techno they want to put into Space the better. It's great for all of us.
Staying musically current is one of the driving features of your output but you still have a lot of time for the classics. Do you spend time sifting through old records in the same way that you do new ones?
Yeah, I think it's really important that we go back to go forward. There's a whole new generation of people that have no clue who Steve "Silk" Hurley is—they're like "Steve 'Silk' who? It sounds like a fancy make of hairdryer." When they hear these old records, to them they sound new and fresh. And for me, these records were ahead of their time to begin with. It's great to bring them back again and mix them up with the current and create an experience from that. If everything is totally upfront it can get a little staid, in that everyone is just pushing to have that latest track. There are so many classic moments in house and techno that if we just go back a little bit, they can still sound as fresh today as they did then.
You play CDs now. Do you have all your old records digitally converted?
No I don't. I'm still missing out on so much because I haven't transferred them yet. All my records are in a garage at home in Melbourne—there's over 150,000 vinyl in there, from 1968 to about 2007. I go in there now and again and go, "Right, 88-89" and pick out a selection, and in there maybe there will be a B-side I like. Then I have to clean the record, put it through the computer, top and tail it, boost the sound quality... It's very time consuming. But it does add colour and a bit of mystery to my sets. People will ask for the record and I'll tell them, but I know they'll never track it down.
Your toasting on the mic, if we can call it that, is a big part of your performance personality. Where does that originate from?
It got to a point where I was doing so many parties, especially in the rave era, and all the DJs were there, playing music, and it just felt like there was no connection with the people. People could see you, and tell this was the sound of a certain DJ, but there was something missing in terms of an actual personality reaching out. I'm not going to stand there and have a conversation, but I can get on the mic and ask the crowd how they're doing, and then BAM, drop straight back into the music. The more I did this, I started to notice that whenever I didn't engage the people, they got pissed off and were like: "Does he even wanna be here?" It became a part of my show based on what the people wanted. They wanted to feel me via my human voice. Everything around me is technical—strobe lights, smoke machines, soundsystem—and they forget there's a person in there.
As time went on I thought to myself, "Well what can I say that reflects who I am?" That's how "Oh yes, Oh yes" came about. Some people don't like it; the majority love it. When people come to see me they want to know that I'm enjoying myself. I've actually tested the waters by not saying it, and the reaction is pretty strong. Now I can't not say it. It's something the people want me to do. I get on the mic at every gig, by pure public demand. They get upset if I don't! Russians, Portuguese, whatever, they all want to hear it. I'm fine with that.
There are plenty of your peers who, in the '90s or early '00s, were at the top of their game, but now find it difficult to maintain that level of popularity. How have you managed to stay relevant throughout your career?
That's a great question. What can I say? I still feel young at heart, I still have some water left in my well. I still think there's amazing music out there. My attitude towards the scene is of the highest level. I still enjoy getting out there and doing what I do for the love of it. A lot of DJs who become big really quickly have lost that essence. They're constantly chasing something, some dream. When I started I wasn't chasing anything. I played a party, had a good time, rocked it. OK, onto the next party. I've kind of just kept doing that, without worrying about whether my record will make it to number one or if enough people are putting their hands in the air. I never give that any thought at all. I have the right mindset to carry on at the top level because I'm not pursuing anything.
I was talking to a couple of other DJs on a panel—DJs who have a career based on hit records—and they're getting upset if their song reaches number five. They have a pressure to keep performing and I think that's a very stressful place to be. I feel very comfortable with who I am as an artist and just ensure that when I get booked to a play a gig that I give 110%. When people see me, I think it's clear that I still love DJing. It's not a job for me.
After all this time, DJing for huge crowds must be almost second nature. In that case, what's the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Because I've been around for so long people want to see me trip up. They still want to see me not rock the house. Throw up on the decks. Pass out. Something that will show a chink in the armour. I still have to step up every time I play. When you've got Art Department, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, Solomun and all these others coming through, and there's me old Carl Cox standing there, I have to show people what I'm about as a DJ.
I've been brought up with music—Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Roy Ayers —real music. So when I play I try and make that come through, that spirit and history I have in me. People can play my style of music, but they won't play it like I can. Whereas I might be able to take their tracks and play them better, just because of they way I've learnt to nurture music. Every time I step out and do what I do it's all about that: being creative and pushing things forward. I remember stepping out at DC-10 last year and playing a full set between 120 -122 BPM. I've never stayed so low. Don't get me wrong, it was still pumping, but I usually take things to 126 - 7. The funny thing was someone on Twitter posted: "That sounds really boring." Well, because you weren't there! If you had been, you'd understand how much groove there is in that sound. For me, that was challenging.
There's been a lot of talk recently about how the first wave of DJs are edging towards retirement. Is it a daunting prospect or one you look forward to?
It's really unbelievable to be at this point in my life. To think that I've reached 51 and am continuing playing to the masses, to 18-year-old girls who still want to flash me their top half. I'm thinking: "This is... This is something else." I mean, my niece is 21! I wonder if their dads know what they're up to [laughs]. The age gap is quite daunting. When I started DJing I was the same age as my friends, then I entered the rave scene and was maybe one or two years older and now I've gone totally to the other extreme. You're not going to get 10,000 50-year-old ravers. My crowd ranges from 18 - 50. I'm still appealing to the next generation, which will take me through to the next ten years at least. But then what do I do? Do I hang up my turntables? By 60 I'll be done at the top level... Or will I?
Finally, I'm going to put you on the spot here. What is your number one track of the summer and why?
I think Ninetoes ["Finder"]. It's got a beautiful, warm Caribbean feel to it. It puts a smile on your face and gets you moving. There have been some amazing tough house records, some cool minimal bits, but nothing that has really stood out. Ninetoes has come out and BAM! Everybody knows it; you'll hear it a million times and it still has the same effect.
As the season draws to a close, Ibiza's party people need little excuse to make the most of the precious few weeks that remain. While the island's chock-a-block club calendar couldn't fail to keep the most dedicated raver occupied, for many it's the afterparty scene that has the most appeal. Secret venues, unannounced guests, impromptu back-to-back sets—afterparties break the mould of the traditional business-driven clubnight. On the island, they come in all shapes and sizes: from spur of the moment house parties to meticulously planned all-day beach raves. We present a round up of some of the better known, regular affairs.
Of all the nights in Ibiza, Cocoon has the strongest afterparty legacy. The reason for this is simple: they've thrown more than anyone else. Indeed, rumour has it that over the course of their fifteen-year history, they've almost always held one. Beach clubs, restaurants, local bars—Sven Väth and co. would take over any public venue available to them, inviting their roster of residents to spin extended sets right into the early hours of Wednesday morning. Following the example set by Space and DC-10, who would both open in the early hours and run all day, afterparties were the done thing in Ibiza. In 2008, however, this all changed. A new law was introduced in a bid to kill the post-club scene, stating that the earliest day parties could start was 4.30 PM. Space and DC-10 were forced to alter their MO, and Cocoon had to adopt new tactics. For a significant period, their afterhours became more private affairs, events for 50-100 people in villas hidden away in the hills.
2013, however, saw Cocoon return to their roots, taking over La Sal Rossa every Tuesday. As the laws around partying relaxed (Cocoon and many other nights are running later than ever before), so large-scale, accessible afterparties have made a comeback. In truth, the Cocoon afterhours run under the guise of Get Flashed, an affiliated beach party run by label staples Ilario Alicante and Dorian Paic. Get Flashed originally started on Sundays, but was soon moved to Tuesdays to coincide with Cocoon. The DJs are typically guests from Amnesia the night before, with Matthias Kaden, Adam Beyer and Christian Burkhardt all appearing this season. Entry is free and revellers are invited to dance on Playa d'en Bossa in full sunshine. While by Cocoon's standards it might be a little conventional, it nevertheless offers a jubilant, musically-driven post-Amnesia experience. The events run weekly, so expect the three remaining Tuesdays of Cocoon's season to go ahead as usual.
In its formative years, Marco Carola was one of the Cocoon afterparty mainstays. After his split in 2012 to form his own Music On venture, he took the tradition with him, and was one of the few to do so (Loco Dice, Richie Hawtin and Luciano aren't as enthusiastic). La Plage in Playa d'en Bossa hosted several last year and the first few this year, until the venue was forced to close. The parties sprang back into action after Carl Cox's appearance at the end of August, with the Amnesia-owned restaurant Cova Santa the chosen venue. The event itself was about as official as afterparties come. Entry was €35 without a wristband and a small, branded stage had been erected, where residents Marc Antona and Leon spun grey-scale techno for hours on end. The venue itself was magnificent, separated into several tiers that overlook the lush surrounding mountains. Ornate water fountains and statues decorated the area, and with the sun shining, it was hard not to have fun. Around 5 or 6 PM, Carola took to the decks and injected a little life into the music, with the festivities running until 6 AM.
While Carola's music may not match up to your stereotypical afterparty soundtrack, the same can't be said for Jamie Jones. This summer the Welsh DJ has put on a string of lauded afters, including villa parties overlooking the iconic Es Vedrà island, and full-on raves aboard a former minesweeper-turned-super yacht (also positioned in full view of Es Vedrà). While the latter is said to have since been seized by the authorities, Jones and co. promise to host several equally as audacious afterhours in preparation for their final few performances at DC-10. To attend, all you have to do is follow the crucial afterparty rule: keep your ear firmly to the ground.
This week on the island
Flying Circus's main flaw this season has been over-ambition. The Spectrum space, and its nine or ten people in attendance, saw a Blond:ish set that left both artist and reveller disappointed. Given the Basement was operating nowhere near capacity, the party would benefit from focusing its energy on the one room, and slicing the DJ's set times if required. On this occasion, Wruhme saw us out, rocking the place with his brand of throbbing, melodic techno. As Bernt's techno smash "Geffen" sounded from the speakers, the Circus' small but loyal following kept moving and shaking until close.
Following the MAW man was Guti, an artist representative of Defected's move away from the commercial sounds towards deeper, dubbier moods. The Argentine began thick and jackin', so as to ensure a smooth transition from his predecessor. As his live set progressed, he gradually worked in darker elements, which was refreshing to hear at somewhere like Defected. The crowd, too, seemed to welcome the change in mood. Eager to end on a high, however, Guti played the keys from MK's "Burning," once again taking into account the overall curve of the party.
Entering the packed basement, J Phlip's growling bass hits gave way to the thick-edged bounce of Catz n' Dogz. The Polish duo's own "Bring Me That Water" still sounded fresh in and amongst a slew of low-slung tech house jams. Eats Everything followed, upping the ante further by treating the strong UK contingent to an upfront set of floor-shaking edits, including Huxley's "Let It Go" and the Lil "Mo" Yin Yang classic " Reach." Given its status as one of the season's biggest records, the night wouldn't have been complete without Breach's "Jack" (released originally on Dirtybird). It got its expected reaction, and it was great to see Eats Everything, Claude VonStroke and the crew given the send off they deserve.
Carl Cox at Space - Nel G Photograph
Get Flashed - Phrank.net
Defected - Shane Webber
Used + Abused - Roberto Castaño
ENTER. - Igor Rubnik
Solomun +1 - Faris Villena
Cocoon - Phrank.net
Carl Cox: The Party Unites - Nel G Photograph
All others - Tasya Menaker
Fri, 06 Sep 2013  /  1 Comment
RA goes on set this week, taking a closer look at the production behind two of the island's more visually striking events. We also round-up the best parties from the past seven days, and speak to that most iconic of Ibiza figures: the club dancer.1 Comment
Part of what separates clubbing in Ibiza from the rest of the world is the emphasis placed on production. On the island, concept is king. The amount of time, effort and money you're willing to invest in making your venue reflect the vibe of your party is just as important as the DJs you book. Elrow and ENTER. are two of the circuit's boldest ventures, in strikingly contrasting ways. We went behind the scenes at both parties, and spoke to Juan Arnau, founder and head promoter of Elrow, to find out what goes into giving the people that idiosyncratic Ibiza experience.
Elrow started life in Barcelona in 2010, set up as a daytime party with a difference: revellers were expected to wake up and attend, rather than roll through from the night before. Part of the reason for this, as Juan Arnau explains, "was to encourage the customers to play an active role in the party. We spent money on inflatable toys and party props, though of course people still treated the first few events as an afterparty. But as soon as they realised how active and fun an environment it was, they decided to conserve their energy and wake up instead."
In three years Elrow has gone from spending €2/300 on lilos and blow-up hammers, to investing €50,000 in production, actors and performers for a 7-8,000 capacity event at El Poble Espanyol earlier this year.
Inflatable toys? €50k on production? For anyone unfamiliar with the party, it offers a totally unconventional take on clubbing: "We're not trying to compete with the big clubs. Rather than spend 20 or 30 grand on a DJ that next week is going to be playing at the other big venue in town, we'd prefer to spend that money on production and give the customer a unique experience. Our main objective, as a family involved in the world of nocturnal entertainment since 1942, has always been to ensure people have a good time. We want you to leave smiling and happy."
In 2012, Elrow started its first residency abroad, setting up for the season at Vista Club in Ibiza. Following a successful debut, the team returned, manning Saturday nights. Each event has a specific theme, from the Balkans, to the '80s, to the Wild West, with the club then decorated accordingly. Each event takes several weeks of preparation: "Two or three weeks before the party a team of seven or eight will start building the larger sets and stages and then three days before the actual show, a team of 15 sets about completing whatever else needs doing. Thursday and Friday in the workshop and then Saturday setting it all up in Vista Club."
How many people are involved per production? "At Vista, some 60-70 form part of the performance every week. Within that you have 30 street actors and another 30 that belong to theatre companies. Plus, there are three people working in the office and another 15 making decorations and costumes. All the costumes are hand-made. We don't rent a thing. We make everything and keep it all. We have two sowing rooms, carpenters, painters, all involved in the process. On average, each event costs €15,000."
So how is the party? In short, incredibly fun. The theatrical elements and decoration are sublime, both thought out and put together with an acute attention to detail. You are presented with constant visual stimulation, and actively encouraged to join in. Colourful, jubilant and carefree, it's the quintessential adult's playground.
Richie Hawtin's ENTER., with its dark, stripped-back minimalism, pursues a very different aesthetic. From the posters through to the PR team, the party carries a strong conceptual focus on a single black dot. From the moment you walk into Space on a Thursday night, you'll find the dot on walls, floors and ceilings, evoking a jet-black, futuristic intensity. The Discoteca is purposefully under lit, transforming all performers and dancers into silhouettes. Behind the DJ booth is the party's flagship, imposing dot. Unlike Elrow, which pushes its music to the sidelines, ENTER. is all about the symbiosis of sound and production. As you stand listening to slick, thumping techno in the dark, you feel transported.
ENTER. Mind, which houses the party's more experimental acts, is bathed in a dense mist, accentuating the effect of the avant-garde sounds and adding to the overall sense of atmosphere. Outside in the Sake Bar, you're met with more of a warm, yellow glow, as Japanese lanterns hang and bartenders in kimonos serve premium sake cocktails. Like Elrow, the attention to detail is striking. In an environment as clinical and sprawling as Space, ENTER. gives the club a real sense of character.
Behind the scenes: Jenniffer Luciana Gertman
Born and raised in Miami, Jenniffer Luciana Gertman has been dancing ever since she was a little girl. Scouted by Pacha while working in her hometown, she spent years dancing exclusively for the iconic brand around the world. This year, however, she has decided to go solo, working freelance for the first time. We caught up with her to get the lowdown on living the life of one of the island's emblematic figures.
Tell us about your relationship with Ibiza. What led you to become a professional club dancer?
I've been on the island for 12 years. The first four I stayed only the summers and the following eight I lived here all year round. I was dancing in Miami, where I'm originally from, and the director of entertainment from Pacha came and told me, "Hey, I'm taking you to Ibiza!" At the time, I was like, "What? I don't eat pizza!" [laughs]. I had no idea about the island at all. After some time spent working at Pacha Ibiza, I was sent to dance for all the other Pachas around the world. I travelled for a while, but now I'm back home where I belong.
And you still work for Pacha?
I do, but this is actually my first year as a freelance dancer. Before I was dancing six nights a week in Pacha, which was great, but it was time for a change. Now I dance for Music On at Amnesia and Used + Abused at Ushuaia as well. I love it. I thought I'd seen everything Ibiza had to offer, but this year has opened me up to so many new experiences.
Tell us about a standard nights work in a club.
It varies. There are some clubs where you'll only dance three or four sets of fifteen minutes a night. That's how I started, but now I'm doing twenty or thirty minutes sets, between five and seven times a night. It also depends on the music. Sometimes the music is so good you just want to keep dancing. Also, in some clubs, where you don't just go from the dressing room to the stage, you're expected to be on the dance floor all night, interacting with people and representing the party. You never really sit down. It's better like that.
Is it a lucrative career-choice? Roughly how much can a dancer expect to earn per night?
There's no set rate. Each dancer is paid according to their experience and where they've worked before. If you were discovered as the diamond in the rough in some dive, then you're going to begin earning less. But if you've come from a prestigious club, then you'll enter at a higher rate. Plus, different clubs hold varying degrees of standing in the dancing world. For example, six years dancing at Amnesia could only equate to one year at Pacha. It's a status thing. And more recently the parties and even the DJs themselves have started to influence this. Essentially, it means that people dancing in the same club are all paid different amounts.
Are dancers expected to dance to music they might not like—or are shifts assigned based on musical preference?
No, sometimes you have to dance to music you really hate. What's more, some DJs get pissed off if you take the attention away from them. You'd never notice it, but they're not satisfied with everyone in the club listening to them, they want everyone to be watching them, too. As a result, I've been in situations where I can feel the DJ trying to make it hard for me to dance, by playing the hardest, noisiest tracks. But for me, just because the music is bad, doesn't mean I'm going to dance bad. You've got to suck the good out of the songs and make it look sexy.
This year you've danced at Amnesia for the first time. How does the experience compare to Pacha?
It's very different. At Pacha you dance alone on a podium. At Music On I dance on the platform in the middle of the Terrace with two other girls. I lead the other two and so have to try and incorporate them into what I'm doing, whilst still maintaining that dominant position. It becomes much more of a performance. There's also a lot more interaction with the DJ. Sometimes I'm there staring at them, waiting for them to push and pull me with the music, it's much more intense than anything at Pacha. I like it.
I saw you at Music On on Friday. You guys were up there for a long time.
This is what I mean! In Pacha I'm used to a flat 20/25 minutes, but here, it's all about not breaking the vibe, so I was told to keep going. Sometimes I can be there for 30/40 minutes without even noticing, I'm that into it.
Which is your favourite club to dance at in Ibiza and why?
They all have their good and bad bits. At Space the best place is in the Terrace, literally on the DJ booth. There you really feel the energy of the DJ and have a full view of the crowd. It's intimate. In Pacha one of the best spots to dance is in the Global Room. It doesn't get a lot of attention but the stage is so big, for what is quite an intimate space. Also, you have to command the entire area—it's a challenge. I don't have a favourite club, more just favourite positions within all the clubs.
What is the hardest thing about being a dancer?
Dealing with the crowd. You're face to face with people who are really excited, having the time of their lives and often drunk and intoxicated. If someone grabs the heel of your shoe, or touches your leg, you have to be able to toe the line between telling them the correct way to behave, whilst not killing their buzz or angering them. To put it one way, you've gotta tell someone not to do a fucked up thing, whilst they're fucked up. As a dancer, you just can't flip out. That's the bottom line. You're representing the club and yourself, and no matter how much you might want to give some idiot a slap, you can't. Exercising and maintaining that control is tough.
This week on the island
By the time Nick Curly assumed his position around 11.30 PM there was a strong dance floor presence, with the focus now trained firmly on the music. Tasked with pushing the party to its climax, the Cécille man laid down busy, rhythmic tech house, keeping fists pumping and bodies gyrating, before dipping into classic US sounds to close. The groovy thrust of Simon Baker's "Blue Lights" went down particularly well. All in all, Sasha's absence went by largely unnoticed, suggesting that Never Say Never has evolved into more than just his venture. It's now a quality party in its own right, offering Ibiza a distinctive and, rarest of all, intimate experience.
Carried by the powerhouse vocals of his two female accomplices, Rodgers dropped into "Spacer" by Sheila & Black Devotion. From there the band segued into jams by Sister Sledge, Duran Duran and David Bowie. As the opening bars of "Le Freak" sounded out, cries of "oh my god" could be heard spreading around the dance floor. While I can't claim to have been quite as excited, it did feel almost cathartic to engage in a proper collective singalong, so used have we all become to nodding our heads and bopping along in continuous, silent approval. Closing with an extended version of "Good Times"—a track that seemingly never loses its charm—hoards of fans joined Chic on stage for one last dance. In the context of Ibiza, there could be no better pre-club lubricant.
Gathering for their first all-resident affair in several weeks, Rossko opened up with plenty of punchy urgency, before delving into deeper, more ethereal territory as Siragusa's entrance approached. Siragusa immediately injected some bounce into the music, moving with dexterity between one low-slung, tumbling bassline and the next. For those yet to see him in action, do—he's a real talent. Classic samples from Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone and Donna Summer added flourishes of familiarity to his set. Playing to a Sankeys basement with just the right amount of people, it was one of the more enjoyable outings I've had this season. If you're yet to visit Fuse, don't bother waiting for your favourite guest to drop by—I guarantee the residents are just as good.
ENTER. - Igor Rubnik
Sasha - James Chapman
Used + Abused - Roberto Castaño
Cocoon - Phrank.net
Carl Cox: The Party Unites - Nel G Photograph
All others - Tasya Menaker
Tue, 03 Sep 2013  /  1 Comment
The Haçienda, in association with Spanish promoter Rachdingue, will throw a one-off event in Madrid in October.1 Comment
The iconic Manchester venue, which helped pioneer the UK's acid house movement, shut its doors in 1997. Since then, a myriad of Haçienda-related events have taken place around the world, including a UK tour in 2012 to mark the 30th anniversary of its opening. On Saturday, October 19th, the club will host its first showcase in the Spanish capital, taking over the city's Auditorio Miguel Rios. Headlining the 15,000-capacity gig will be the Happy Mondays, Peter Hook & The Light, who will perform the best of New Order, and Spanish band Cycle. More artists are still to be confirmed. The concert will run from 5.30 PM through midnight.
Fri, 30 Aug 2013  /  Post a comment
Piknic Electronik Barcelona has announced full details of its closing party, taking place on Sunday, September 22nd.
The events outfit, which hails originally from Montreal, has so far enjoyed a strong second season in the Jardins de Joan Brossa venue, hosting the likes of Derrick Carter, Claude VonStroke and Carl Craig. Wrapping up the series will be Richie Hawtin and his Minus crew, featuring sets from Paco Osuna, Matador, Hobo and Barem. Before that, Ben UFO and Jimmy Edgar drop by on September 1st, Agoria, Joris Delacroix and Rone play on the 8th and Michael Mayer, COMA and Terranova perform on the 15th as part of a Kompakt 20th anniversary showcase.
Sep 01 Piknic #12 - presented by Red Bull Music AcademyPost a comment
Sep 08 Piknic Electronik Barcelona #13 Especial Francia
Sep 15 Piknic Electronik Barcelona #14 - 20 Years of Kompakt
Sep 22 Piknic Electronik Barcelona #15 La Mercè
Fri, 30 Aug 2013  /  4 Comments
This week RA gets up close and personal with one of house music's best-loved trios, Apollonia, as they prepare for their second DC-10 takeover in as many years. We also offer our take on parties at Ushuaia, Sankeys and Space.4 Comments
A day in the life... Apollonia
“You know what the Spanish call us? Apoyonia. It's the double 'l,' they just can't get their head round it.” – Dan Ghenacia.
Spending 24 hours in the company of anyone is a trying prospect. When that anyone is a journalist, and it happens to be the day of your showcase at DC-10 in Ibiza, I'd have thought it would have been the last thing on your wish list. Not so, however, for Apollonia, the Parisian-born DJ collective of Dan Ghenacia, Shonky and Dyed Soundorom. In fact, when I first met the trio outside Ibiza Sonica radio on a baking hot Saturday afternoon, they could hardly have been more welcoming. The plan, as far as they knew, was to spin a few records on air, then head down to the beach for a spot of last-minute promo, before grabbing some dinner and making our way to DC-10. “It's going to be a long day,” grinned Ghenacia.
Despite the slight age gap (Ghenacia is pushing 40, while Soundorom and Shonky are both 32), Apollonia have been best friends for years. It's a friendship that's been cultivated by a shared passion for deep, groovy house music. Soundorom and Shonky were regulars at Ghenacia's infamous Kwality afterhours at Batofar in Paris in the late '90s, and later mainstays on his now defunct Freak n' Chic imprint, but it wasn't until the label's dissolution in 2010 that the three of them decided to club together. "We were playing back-to-back so often, and enjoying it so much, that it seemed the next logical step," Ghenacia says. When asked, Shonky and Soundorom struggle to recall their first official gig: "It was with Cassy in Panorama Bar..." Dyed shakes his head, "No we weren't called Apollonia then. It was at..." "Ah! At the afterhours for Movement Festival in Turin. That was an amazing party."
During our hour at Sonica, it wasn't so much their interaction that highlighted the strength of their bond, as just how comfortable I immediately felt in their company. Shonky is the playful one, striking a series of ridiculous poses for the camera (part Rodin's thinker, part Baywatch model), while Ghenacia acts as the spokesman for the group, waxing lyrical live on air about the party, the label and potential plans for an Apollonia album. Dyed, meanwhile, stands glued to the decks, smiling. "You know Apollonia really changed things for me," he remarks. "After so many years spent travelling alone, being in the company of your two best friends makes all the difference. If I've just played a solo gig, and I'm tired, at least I know that I'll be reunited with them in a day or two." As 5 PM approaches, there's just enough time for Dan to tell the listeners to head to Playa d'en Bossa to catch the parade. Seconds later, Shonky receives a text: "We're going to Salinas instead." Dan shakes his head, "Putain."
Riding between Dan and Dyed in the Apollonia wagon—an open-top, safari-style Jeep—I try and gain a bit of background. Dyed moved to Berlin several years ago, along with Shonky, while Dan still lives in Paris: unlike the other two, it's a city he still loves. Dan has been happily married for more than ten years to Sofia Letelier, who runs Lola-Ed, the booking and management agency that represents both Apollonia and their solo careers. Any kids? "Not yet, but that's the plan. I want to do this album first and then the tour. Sofia and I are going to move to Berlin this winter so I can spend some serious time in the studio with the guys." Dyed, meanwhile, has nodded off. After a quick sandwich stop en-route to Salinas, Sofia and the PR teams catch up with us and tell us to head back to Playa d'en Bossa for the parade. With our stomachs full and Shonky now covered in Apollonia tattoos, we pile back into the car.
The parade is another brief affair. We meet the image and promo teams on the beach behind Ushuaia, which includes Dyed's younger brother, and unfurl the Apollonia banner. After a few silly snaps with the gang, it's time to leave. "Next year I want a white Apollonia horse riding up and down Playa d'en Bossa," jokes Dan. "How about one for every letter of Apollonia?" I interject. His face lights up: "Now you're talking." Here, the trio split up: Dan goes with Sofia to find a suitable afterparty location, while Shonky and Dyed head home to relax and get their crates ready for tonight, inviting me to join. After a short but in-depth conversation with Dyed about life and relationships, during which he turned to me at one point and asked: "Are you happy?," we arrive at the Apollonia villa in Jesús.
Nestled away down a leafy, residential street, the house is as beautiful as it is understated, and felt very French. Inside, a cosy living room is divided into a couch area and turntables, with endless boxes of records lining the surrounding floorspace. Dan's brother Stephane and Zoo Project staple Evan Baggs potter about. Shonky, after giving his Italian girlfriend a quick kiss, took instantly to the decks. He looked almost worried. "Man, my record bag got lost a few weeks ago, on the way to Kazantip Festival. After two changes and delays, it never came out the other end in the Ukraine. Usually they turn up after a week, but it's been almost three now. I've got to get some records ready for tonight." I watched him as he flicked through various piles, pulling some out, giving them a spin ("This is more Panorama Bar. Whoa, and this one more Berghain. We're playing DC-10, I have to keep the vibe happy").
There wasn't much that seemed to fit the bill. "When I go to record shops, I might buy 20, 30 records at a time, but only play ten of those. As a result, I don't know the rest very well." Eventually, he came across DJ Hell's 2013 rework of Capracara's "Flashback '86" from Kern Vol. 2–The Exclusives. He seemed very taken by the intro, which loops a booming, low-slung bassline, although less so by the subsequent pads. He looked at me, "Right, time to make an edit." Returning with his laptop, I asked if making edits was a regular occurrence. "Yeah, we do it a lot. If I only like one bit of the track, I'll buy the WAV and make the track I want to make and load it onto a USB. A lot of DJs would just play the record, but given the technology available in this day and age, I don't see the point. As Apollonia, we don't like things too noisy, we like to keep things stripped-back. So if the file is out there, I'll make an edit, it takes five minutes!"
As we sipped ice-cold beers, I pondered the idea of an 'Apollonia' sound. Does it deviate much from your individual styles? "It's not so much about sound," said Dyed. "Playing with Shonky and Dan encourages me to take risks. They'll play a specific track at a specific time that might totally throw me, and I've got to follow their lead. It makes for a much more fun, spontaneous experience." And what about the whole one-record-each philosophy? "You'll see tonight man. It makes things extremely fluid. A lot of back-to-backs become competitions, but here we are constantly trying to feed into a wider message, rather than show off our own tastes." The whole time, Shonky's new edit plays on loop in the background.
Soon, Dan and Sofia return ("the afterparty is going to be great," they inform us) and after a quick shower, we get ready to head out for some food. Shonky, however, stays behind to continue his quest. Talamanca Pizza Club is the setting, clearly an old favourite with the gang. There we meet Lionel Marciano, label manager for Apollonia. After some simple, hearty Italian food and several rounds of shots, we get back on the road in the direction of Destino, where Stephane Ghenacia is spinning. Standing in the booth as Stephane thumps out tough-talking house, I hear someone ask Dan: "Did you teach him to DJ?" Dan shakes his head. "No way. You know he's a photographer by trade, a really good one, but he's just given it all up. He had an amazing flat in London and now he lives like a hippy with five others, doing nothing but make music. I thought he was mad at first, but then he sent me the tracks. They really blew me away." After a quick pit stop at the house to pick up Shonky and their record bags, Apollonia finally make their way to DC-10.
When we arrive, around 12:30 AM, it's expectedly quiet. I realise I'd hardly spoken about the party all day. How was last year? "For me," says Shonky. "It was the best party of the year. And I'm not just saying that. But yeah, it could have been more full." As the Garden stood ominously empty, the three looked a little nervous. By 2 AM, however, with Apollonia in full swing, the Main Room was heaving. Having spent all day as their peer, it felt strange seeing them up on stage, performing. The fluidity that Dyed had insisted so strongly upon was clear to see, with each record complimenting and flowing into the next. Joining them in the booth when a particular record alerted the senses, I was overwhelmed by how much of a good time they were having. As Dyed blew kisses into the crowd, Shonky lined up his next record: "Amazon" by Jamie Jones. "It's his first release from 2006, on Freak n' Chic." Closing a little after 7 AM with Herbert's remix of Moloko's "Sing It Back," the packed floor sang and danced about one last time in jubilation. As hordes of fans and followers followed the trio out of the club, it was decided we'd head back to the Apollonia villa to continue the party.
When I arrived in Jesús, Shonky was already manning the decks. Lazing about by the pool, waiting for the sun to rise, I finally managed to grab a moment with Dan. So how was it? "Ah oui, amazing. Easy, you know. This club is so good. Fabric, Panorama Bar, DC-10, they're all such a pleasure to play at." It was clear he was itching to get back on the turntables. Inside, various Ibiza faces swanned about the house in search of ice or a clean glass, stopping intermittently to have a little dance. Sadly, the police showed up and asked for the music to be turned off, threatening a €6,000 fine if they had to return. With plans of another, more proper, afterparty in the works, everyone took the opportunity to recline and relax. Throughout the experience, I was taken aback by just how open and human the three of them were. Were it not for their united, undying passion for music and mixing, you'd have no idea they were globally revered DJs. At one point, Shonky and Dyed got wind that a member of the party had, in a past life, voiced the seminal Mortal Kombat games. Dyed stood motionless, in shock, while Shonky, recapturing his earlier playful form, took to walking round the house, bellowing "FINISH HIM."
This week on the island
Keen to keep the floor as energised as possible, Wink's set incorporated a selection of audacious, quirky tracks, moving from progressive and driving to jazzy. As is custom with many of Ibiza's bigger DJs, Luciano's first record coincided with a dramatic hike in volume, enhancing the atmosphere considerably. However, rather than follow Wink's lead, he opted to set his own pace, meaning his initial, loopy selections came across a little bland. Using the timeless sway of C-Rock's "Funky Dope Track" and Lil' Mo' Yin Yang's "Reach" to add colour and character to his headline set, Luciano's overall performance nevertheless felt a little safe. The Ushuaia faithful, however, lapped it up.
Rather than play alone, this season Solomun can more often than not be found performing back-to-back with H.O.S.H.. Together, they push and pull each in unexpected ways. Tonight, they followed on from UNER's accessible fare with several boisterous, driving cuts. Down in The Basement, David August was prepping his much-lauded live set. The young German has blossomed into an island favourite this summer, spoke of in the same breath as the likes of Nicolas Jaar and James Blake. Indeed, his set was as musical as it was pumping, at one point managing to cleverly reference The Beatles' "Come Together." For what is only ever an in-house affair, Diynamic's no-frills dance aesthetic suits Sankeys and its loyal clan down to a T.
Over in the main arena, Coxy was easing into third gear, muscling his way through slice after slice of huge tribal techno. Lending his selections a real percussive, afro-swing, it's almost impossible not to feel moved by his, and the room's, thunderous roar. Back in the Terrazza and the night's headliner, Julio Bashmore, took to churning out well-worn club tracks to a significantly thinner audience. Following Disclosure might be considered a somewhat fruitless mission, but one would've thought the Bristolian could look beyond the tried and tested formulas of his own "Battle For Middle You" and Joy Orbison's "Ellipsis." By comparison, the sibling darlings of today's scene looked every bit as fresh and current as the hype machine will have you believe.
Carnival Cities at SankeysRenato Ratier and his Brazilian club D-Edge took control of the LAB and the Basement on Saturday, inviting Todd Terry, Waze & Odyssey and Phonique to perform.
Luciano - Ushuaia
Carl Cox: The Party Unites - Nel G Photograph
Used + Abused - Roberto Castaño
ENTER. - Igor Rubnik
Carnival Cities - Charles Turner
Cocoon - Phrank.net
All others - Tasya Menaker
Wed, 28 Aug 2013  /  1 Comment
Terrorsound has announced full details of this year's festival, set to take place on August 31st.1 Comment
In previous years, the likes of Neverdogz, Uto Karem and The Advent have all performed at the ten-hour bash in the northern Spanish city of Huesca. Marcel Dettmann and Ben Sims will headline Saturday's party at Florida 135, which traditionally carries a strong techno-lean. Doors open at midnight, with the festivities running through until 10 AM. Tickets to the festival are available here on RA. For more of an idea of what to expect, check out this teaser video below:
Tue, 27 Aug 2013  /  Post a comment
Loud LTD has announced its booking programme for September at Barcelona's Macarena Club.Post a comment
The Spanish outfit will host four events across the month, taking place each Wednesday. The parties will run from 12 AM through 5 AM, with a single DJ taking control of the reigns for the duration of the night. Enrico Mantini is first up, playing the opening on September 4th, before Perlon affiliate Sonja Moonear drops by on the 11th. Club der Visioneire resident Janina guests on the 18th, with Amir Alexander rounding out the month with a show on September 25th.
Tue, 27 Aug 2013  /  Post a comment
Paraleloan has announced details of its next event, featuring Kode9.Post a comment
The party, which started last October, has recently found a home in Bilbao's Kafe Antzokia. It caters to the more avant-garde side of electronic music, having already played host to the likes of Actress, Vessel and Silent Servant. The Hyperdub boss's appearance on Friday, September 13th, will mark their sixth event, with Frankie Pizá in support. The event will run from 11.30 PM through 6 AM.
Fri, 23 Aug 2013  /  1 Comment
This week we loosen our focus on Ibiza's mainstream circuit and hone in on one of the island's longest-running, best-kept secrets. There was also time for a catch up with VIVa Warriors boss Steve Lawler, as well as our weekly round-up of the rest of the island's happenings.1 Comment
Under the radar
Although Ibiza's mainstream clubbing circuit grows increasingly more commercial, there still exist those keen to preserve the island's foundational free-spirited party ethos. From beach parties and cave raves to villa sessions and all-dayers aboard former Royal Navy minesweepers, every summer offers up an intermittent selection of bespoke affairs, often manned by some of the best underground DJs in the scene. It's a tradition that has always existed on the island, made famous by Ibiza's longstanding hippie community and later adopted by the hoards of dance music fans arriving throughout the '90s and '00s.
Irishman Ryan O'Gorman was one such aficionado, arriving on the island in 1999. His first experiences of the alternative scene were at trance-fuelled afterparties. Though not a huge fan of the music, he found the events themselves breathtaking: “It was the first time I'd seen people do these striking, open-air parties, surrounded by stunning natural beauty. That feeling of being a part of something that was pure, that had been created solely for the experience and not to sell anything, struck a chord. Compared to the clubs, where you were contained and monitored the whole time, these parties felt liberating and really changed people's way of thinking. It was an organic way of enjoying yourself; when people are left to their own devices, a natural social understanding is formed.”
In 2004, O'Gorman threw his first under the radar event, inviting Terry Francis to spin at a cave in Cala Conta, just round the bay from San Antonio. Not long after he pooled resources with Joe Upton, co-owner of Nasty Dirty Sex Music, who had been busy throwing his own DIY raves in villas and chiringuitos. The pair set about carving out a niche as the island's premier innovators. Today, however, O'Gorman mostly operates alone. His latest Vitalik event, named after the record label he runs, took place this week, returning to his favoured Cala Conta beach. Originally billed as a cave rave with Carl Craig, the rumour quickly spread that Shonky, Mr C and Bushwacka! would also appear. Sadly, just as the Apollonia man was getting going behind the decks, the police arrived, shutting the party down.
From the outside, it felt as if this might be fairly common practice. "You'd be surprised actually. We often have the police turn up to our events and have a word, but this is the first time in a while that we've been properly shut down," O'Gorman says. Has it become more difficult to throw parties as time's gone on? "Ibiza used to be a lot more lax. It didn't really get tricky for all that stuff until Zapatero and the socialists got re-elected in 2008. Before that there wasn't any legislation against parties, but as soon as they got into power they embarked on this mandate to clean up Ibiza. They got rid of all of the afterhours and then they passed a law that meant you needed a licence to have a party in any private residence with anything over 20 people, or something ridiculous. At the same time they increased the maximum fine for parties, which gave them the power and leverage to basically put a stop to the scene."
Safe to say, things aren't quite so extreme now. "You just have to be really cautious with how you work. The aim of the game is to not get caught, and implicit in that is a duty to be respectful to the locals. You have to not bother people, it's pretty simple. You make sure you clean up afterwards and leave no trace of the party and if you do that, and you don't piss people off, then you'll be fine. People don't care, the police don't care–so long as you don't bother them."
With Soul Clap and Seth Troxler set to appear for Vitalik before the summer's out, O'Gorman still appears as motivated, almost ten years on, to represent for Ibiza's wilder denizens: "There's the same motivation there, you still crave being at the forefront of the alternative scene. Ibiza is so commercial these days, people are coming here in droves to see Avicii and the Swedes. That's all people hear about. It's a vicious circle, the island is just being dumbed down. There's a lot of negative aspects to how the island's changing, so as these keep swelling, I think it's very important to keep the alternative scene alive. That has to exist as a reminder to the past, otherwise it'll get lost forever."
Interview: Steve Lawler
When it comes to Ibiza, Steve Lawler needs no introduction. One of the original icons of the Space Terrace, the UK DJ's relationship with the island dates back 20 years. In 2012, Lawler took the next step, launching his VIVa Warriors residency at Sankeys. 12 months on, the party is stronger than ever. We checked in with Steve to gauge the reasons behind the party's popularity and to discuss his newfound role as mentor to the next generation of house music talent.
We're officially halfway through the season and VIVa has proven one of the most popular parties on the island. What's been the secret to your success this year?
I'm not sure, it's a hard thing to pin down. Last year the crowds that we had were incredible and the atmosphere inside was electric. Musically I was very happy, not only with my own sets, but those of all my residents and some of the guests we had play. The thing is we don't have the budget that the other clubs have, we don't have the big billboards or poster allocations in the same way. We've never relied on promotion so much. It was mainly the strength of the party itself that saw us through and the fact that we always made sure to enjoy the party as much as anyone else. All of that effort in 2012 stood us in very good stead this year.
We also toured Warriors last winter, all over the UK and across Europe which meant I came into 2013 with a genuine sense that this summer would work for us. And it has: we're doing double the numbers on last year. I couldn't be happier with the way it's going. And not only the party, but how its success has really pushed the careers of our residents, such as Darius Syrossian and Detlef. The party is based around them and I think it shows how we've really stuck to our guns musically.
You've brought in the likes of Anek and Detlef this year, who as far as I'm aware were both entirely new to the Ibiza scene. How have they both acclimatised to the party?
Incredibly well. The Anek girls have been DJing for years, but under a different name. They found themselves in a position where they were being booked into these big commercial clubs for being women rather than for their music and put them in a really uncomfortable position. People were leaving the dance floor because of the records they were playing and they weren't happy. I think it happens with a lot of good DJs, that they start to question themselves as an artist when really they're just in the wrong environment. This year we took them on as Anek and they do what they do and they're having a great time. From a personal perspective, it's really rewarding to see the likes of Darius and Detlef and Anek all really flourishing. Before they came onboard with VIVa some of the guys really didn't have much of a career, so it makes me feel great as a human being. Between us all we're really carving out our own sound and style. I'm supporting them, they're supporting me. It's a joint effort.
You were a mentor in this year's Burn residency program, what was your role?
I was doing the masterclasses. Showing people the technical side to what I do as a DJ and what led me to move from vinyl, which I played for a long time, then to CDs and then very quickly to Traktor. That sort of raised a few questions as to "why Traktor?", which I answered by showing the candidates directly, conveying how much more I can do creatively–from looping to editing and rearranging a track on the fly. I also spoke about the label and what it's like to represent a family of artists.
How did they respond?
Really positively. Over the past 15 years I've done a couple of things like this before and the difference this time around, I felt, was just how serious the project was. It felt so proper. The organisers put a lot of time, money and effort into the whole competition procedure. And even the ones that don't win really do learn a lot, having to go through all these different processes and workshops. They never had stuff like that when I started playing in acid house warehouse parties. Times have changed and DJing is huge business. Programmes like Burn are great when they're done properly, and I really felt that this one was. It was a pleasure to be a part of it and see the way the participants were listening and genuinely taking something from it.
One of the contestants, Miss Soulfly, who I was really impressed by, came to me after and said she wanted to play for [VIVa] Warriors, that it was her favourite night. So I gave her a residency. Being able to do things like that is great.
Out of the 18 finalists, was there anyone that really stuck out from the rest?
The Hungarian contestant, Collective Machine gave me some music I liked. Around half of them presented me with tracks, though I must say I was surprised not all of them did. Those I did receive I took them straight back to my apartment and listened to them all. This one guy from Hungrary had some interesting stuff, which wasn't right for my label, but I passed it on to OFF Recordings and they signed them. I just felt that if everyone else had gone to such an effort, it was my duty to do the same.
In your view, has it become easier or more difficult for young DJs to break through these days?
There are two sides to the story. I think it's easier in terms of the accessibility to music, in terms of the technology available. That said, being a good DJ is not about mixing or specifically your style but about programming and the way you select records to suit and tailor moods. That's the art of DJing. No matter how advanced the technology is, you can't fake that. Certainly making music is a lot more simple now than it used to be. I have to spend £10,000 just to buy the equipment. Now I don't think they spend anything. They just log-on onto a few torrent sites and they've got everything they need. Which is a shame, as far as I'm concerned. These days it's all about getting yourself in with a label and becoming part of the family. The likes of Cocoon, Hot Creations and Cadenza allow artists a strong platform to launch their style. Get involved early enough and it can really propel you forward in a short space of time.
Going back to VIVa Warriors, you said yourself it's growing at pretty steady rate. What do you envision for the future?
Well, we are looking into doing a couple of outdoor parties in Ibiza this season. I went to view the locations last week and no one has done parties in these places before. I cannot wait. I've been coming to Ibiza for 20 years and have never been to a party in a place like this–really rough, really warm–and we're going to get a couple of graffiti artists down there to deck it out in the Warrior colours. Those will be special events with 2-3000 people. In terms of our future as a club night, we won't be moving from our home at Sankeys. We are expanding the winter tour though, heading to South America in October and North America in November.
Finally, you've been a fixture on the Ibiza landscape for well over a decade. What do you make of it all now?
Certainly Ibiza has changed from the first time I went, but then life has changed, the world has changed. I've always said this throughout my whole career: one of the main reasons I've maintained a young audience all these years is because I embrace change, it excites me. So yes, Ibiza has been through a lot changes, but rather than look at it in a negative way, I try and make it work for me. And that's what Warriors is. It was two years ago now that I decided that I wanted to leave Space and last year I made it happen.
I knew Ibiza was going the way of Miami, with more table-orientated clubs, and I know how that ends up. On the other hand, the scene cannot survive one without the other. I think it's healthy we have a VIP scene; I mean just because someone has money it doesn't mean they can't enjoy themselves. Then there's the underground scene, which is equally vital. You can't have a landscape made up of just superclubs, you need the basements, you need the warehouses, otherwise the industry would die very quickly. I personally feel far more comfortable when I'm playing in a room like Sankeys in front of 2,500 people. It's not small numbers but it doesn't come near to some of the bigger clubs. Importantly, it's rammed and it's intimate. I'm happy to play those bigger gigs every now and then, but for a residency? No way.
You can download Steve Lawler & Detlef's rework of the 1988 LNR classic "Work It To The Bone" for free here.
This week on the island
Next up was Cassy. Cutting the picture of concentration behind the decks, the UK-born DJ kicked-off with deeper selections to suit the early, preparatory mood. Once the venue was nicely filled, she took it to the revellers, lending her selections a high-tempo, party swing. The increasingly ubiquitous "Get Ready" by Jay Lumen, for example, worked wonders. Seeing out her extended set in a flurry of jazzy, soulful house, the party carried a really inclusive, laid-back vibe, with Cassy happy to stay behind after her set to pose for photos with fans.
Closing out the central stage was Andrea Oliva, who used the last hour of his set to move through a selection of popular tracks. For the nth time this season, Ten Walls' "Gotham" reared its head, while Ibiza's other hit, Paul Woolford's "Untitled," came by minutes later, almost as if on cue. Come 10 PM, the action shifted to the main stage, with UNER taking to the decks amidst a blur of Hollywood-style fireworks, trapeze artists and visuals. His set proved as high-octane and crowd pleasing as one would expect, with the fresh sounds of Cajmere's "Bigger Than Prince" rubbing shoulders with classics like Laurent Garnier's "Man With The Red Face." When you stand back and try and take it all in, the scale of the ANTS machine really is something to behold.
On warm-up duty, Philip Bader span considered tech house to ease us in, handing over to Darius Syrossian within the hour. Syrossian, whose tight mixing skills and low-slung style have made him a firm favourite with the young Warriors crowd, went straight in at the deep end, opening with his own "Who's The Douche?" on Hot Creations. Donning a full Native-American headdress (as is custom, I was told), the UK DJ worked the crowd with funky, vocal-laden selections. Lawler followed with a slightly techier, more incisive edge, sending the Basement into a frenzy with his and Detlef's 2013 rework of LNR classic "Work It To The Bone." Despite being one of their quieter parties numbers-wise, from the energizing vibe inside the place, you would never have guessed it.
ANTS - Roberto Castaño
Used + Abused - Roberto Castaño
Igor Rubnik - ENTER.
All others - Tasya Menaker
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