Richie Hawtin's successful opening season, London's Fuse party at Sankeys and a look behind the scenes at Space: All this week in the RA Ibiza Weekly. For more White Isle coverage, head over to our comprehensive Ibiza microsite.
ENTER. at Space
Like a well-spun story involving multiple intersecting plot twists, it seems that no matter how many times I visit Richie Hawtin's ENTER something new catches my eye. For example, at most events, people like the bathroom attendants go woefully unnoticed, sporting only a drab "Staff" shirt, yet at ENTER, even they are transformed from head to toe in fashionable attire—black dot included.
It's the black dot that defines ENTER. It's a dance podium in the middle of the sake bar. It's the seating pads that line the room. It's also the chairs that dot the floor of ENTER.Air. As Dubfire joked to me, "You can't escape the black dot." In fact, some have mentioned that aside from possibly being the most elegant promotion on the island, it's by far the most prolific, with billboards and placards lining every major street from San Antonio to Playa d'en Bossa.
This is what separates Richie's night from the rest: rabid promotion—like playing a set on a giant, floating black dot in Salinas beach—and attention to detail. And both are paying off, with Hawtin announcing on his Twitter feed that last week's show was at record attendance.
Attention to detail extends past the décor, however. Inviting a world-class artist to play a warm-up set in the intimate ENTER.Sake room, like Magda did last week, creates a vibe few others can provide. And everywhere I looked, clubbers were enjoying the popular ENTER sake cocktail. Served with Toyo Buin sake in a special tall glass, it's infused with flavored tobacco, which is burned and fed through a hose. The glass is then covered to let the smoke permeate for a moment, then the cover is removed letting the smoke gently waft out. The taste is both slightly spicy and sweet, and might just give mojitos a run for the money in the refreshing department.
Guests this year have been a "who's-who" of techno artists, with regular appearances by the likes of Dubfire and Paco Osuna, support by some fresh faces like Maya Jane Coles and the fast rising Martinez Brothers. The latter were perhaps the most hyped act behind Hawtin last week, and their young, carefree energy behind the decks translated well on the ENTER.Kehakuma terrace, with tracks like the Julian Perez remix of Kadoc's "The Night Train," keeping the crowd soaring high. Over in the main room, Hawtin stayed dark and pulsing, with tracks like the MiniCoolBoyz's remix of NDKj's "Bad Taste," Chris Larsen's "What the F Man" and Edu Pretz's "Chemical Konnections" to a packed and pumping room.
One party that surprised some was the opening of Fuse last week. With attendance that surpassed some of the more established nights at Sankeys, the Sunday night London institution could be another very strong night for the club. And though this Monday wasn't as rammed, it still provided for a strong turnout and a musically top-notch night.
Daring to be somewhat different from some underground nights on the island, Fuse kept things squarely in the family, showcasing residents Rich NxT, Seb Zito and Fuse founder Enzo Siragusa. The light lineup allowed the artists to play for several hours, creating an extremely smooth transition of energy throughout the night. NxT started things off, which saw most of the crowd hanging out upstairs in the smoking area until around 1:30 AM, but by 2, things were in full swing, and seeing his chance, Zito really got things moving, heading seamlessly from dub to driving techno straight back into laidback house. Finally, Siragusa brought it home, wearing a relaxed, all-knowing expression, smiling mischievously when he hit it right.
What particularly impressed me was the loyalty fans had not just towards the night (and the brand), but also the music. As one clubber explained, the difference between seeing Fuse in London and Ibiza isn't about the quality of the night or any silly Ibiza gimmicks, but simply the ability to hear his favorite music surrounded by sun, surf and sand.
Behind the scenes...
We spend plenty of time talking about the superstar DJs on the island, but what about the heroes that make sure everything is running smoothly? In this irregular feature in RA Ibiza Weekly, we'll take a look at some of these integral cogs in the White Isle machine.
This week we spoke with Sheffield, UK native Ryan Simpson, who has been a driver for various clubs on the island for a few seasons, about life behind the wheel.
How did you end up becoming a driver?
My first season over here I got a job as chief sandwich artiste in a little cafe in San Antonio, and one of the regulars that used to come in was a driver for Space. We became friends later on that year down in Sydney, did a bit of work together there and then he offered me a job over here. Sound!
I understand your car was broken into a while back. Did that happen while working?
Yeah man, I was working for Space that night, and had my bag in the car with my laptop, headphones wallet, cash, some clothes, the lot...absolute nightmare!! Thieving bastards! But lesson learnt anyway, don't leave valuables in your car, especially in Ibiza!
What are some of the craziest things you've seen or experienced as a driver?
One of my favourite things about working in the big clubs out here is to see how it all works behind the scenes. You know you see some funny and strange things sat out the back loading dock at Space! The craziest stuff always happens at the end of the night, or at the after parties though. We Love... always do a great after hours somewhere, and it's great to see all the artists and staff get involved too. More than once I've had a car with way too many people in it, music blaring and one or two people in the boot (even a DJ or two in there as well). I even saw two dogs going at it in the middle of the motorway one night last year, just looking up staring at us while we nearly ran them over, they were smiling as well—proper strange!