Our White Isle correspondent visits four opening parties in the span of a week.
In this week's column we go partying. Four high-profile nights started last week, and we have a full report from each. As always, for more White Isle coverage, head over to our comprehensive Ibiza microsite.
For many, the past week was perhaps the most interesting on the island this season thus far. Four of the biggest artists in electronic music began their new nights on the island, something unprecedented in Ibiza history. In its wake, we can truly say that the 2012 season is now fully underway with parties like Solomun's Diynamic Neon, Richie Hawtin's ENTER., Jamie Jones' Paradise and Marco Carola's Music On all opening their doors.
Thursday began with Jamie Jones' Paradise, and with it came a whole new DC-10. The Terrace was turned into a chill-out room, with a little more than half cut off by a large projection curtain with the Paradise logo hung above it, beaming video shots of beaches, space, the Earth and jungles. Miniature palm trees were placed throughout the room, with several white seats surrounding a small dance area, all combining to create a warm vibe where you could easily enjoy the relaxed atmosphere before heading back into the bedlam of the main room.
Inside the main room, more props helped provide the Paradise-themed vibe, with multicolored, glowing lights hanging from the ceiling. The crowds on the outskirts of the dance floor were packed, but once I made my way to the middle I found plenty of room to really get down to Art Department, who were enjoying a bottle of Jack Daniels while they grooved. Once it was time for Jamie Jones to make his way to the decks, though, any free space was immediately filled, as clubbers ditched their cigarettes on the terrace and came rushing into the main room. The atmosphere was positively electric.
Photos: Hot Creations presents Paradise
On the same night, I headed to Richie Hawtin's new night, ENTER. Hawtin is an avid fan of all things Japan, and the event was billed as a "mixture of music, sake, technology and experience." It didn't disappoint. In the main room, Hawtin banged out twisted techno as giant, colored discs placed all over the roof and walls blazed on and off at different times, creating an intense strobe effect. On either side of the booth, dancers stood behind translucent sheets, with slow strobes pulsing behind them. You could occasionally hear ecstatic screams of "fucking Richie!" from the dance floor, as if the whole experience were just too much.
If, in fact, it were too much, there was a chill-out area in the Sunset Terrace, where a pre-recorded ambient mix played, as one person described it, "whale noises or something," throughout the room. Adding to the underwater effect were jellyfish-like props hanging from the ceiling, their tentacles dangling to the floor below, while along the far wall there was an interactive projector with animation that moved along with you. All in all, an impressive start to the night.
On the opposite side of the spectrum from the "experience" of ENTER. and Paradise was Marco Carola's new night, Music On. I had to admit, when I first walked into the dimly light main room at Amnesia, I was less than impressed. Compared to Amnesia's usual fare, seeing Carlo Lio play in the middle of the dance floor (a change of pace from the usual pulpit DJ booth) with half the room cut off behind him, things seemed somewhat disappointing. Over in the terrace, Leon played fairly standard grooves to a somewhat packed dance floor, while two small Music On logos hung from the ceiling. Amnesia is home to some rather extravagant productions, and this seemed as stripped down as a party at Sankeys or DC-10.
Once Carola took center stage, though, all my worries slowly melted away. In the Terrace, the crowd started swelling just as he came on, and after an hour you could tell Carola owned the night. He pushed, pulled and directed the packed crowd as he pleased, with tracks like Matthias Meyer's "Free Your Mind," and everyone that had made their way in by the start of his set was still going just as hard by 7:30 AM, giving the room a family vibe by the end. Just before we left, a group of young Italians overjoyed with their hero's new night started running around the terrace, waving their country's flag with "We Love Carola" written on it. Just outside, I even overheard shouts of "never going to Cocoon again!" and "the new Cocoon!"
Photos: Marco Carola presents... Music On
At Solomun's Diynamic Neon Night on Tuesday, smooth was the word of the evening. Smooth queue, smooth beats, smooth dance floor. Expecting the dark, underground Basement of Sankeys to be rammed in the same way as Paradise, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by the perfect amount of dedicated fans packed inside the place, especially after hearing all the buzz around town in anticipation for the night. By the peak of the night, though, it seemed the entire Diynamic fan base was out for the occasion. Completing the neon theme, the rear wall had "Don't Talk, Dance," written on it in neon tape, while the Diynamic crew had their brand's t-shirts on, decked out with neon, Warrior-like face paint.
Early on, David August kept things chilled out with Ben Pearce's forthcoming "What I Might Do." Later, Stimming closed his set with his ultra-chilled mix of Deadmau5's "Raise Your Weapon" as fervent fans reached their hands into the DJ box to try to make contact with him. The most memorable moment of the evening, though, came when Solomun and H.O.S.H played Solomun's anthemic remix of Noir & Haze's "Around." The crowd initiated a sit down, where the entire club crouched down in anticipation of the drop. Even Solomun himself got out of the DJ box to join his dedicated followers on the floor.
Photos: Diynamic Neon Night