This summer there are now four residencies on Ibiza gunning for electrohouse and techno. So who shifted the goalposts?
When progressive house kingpins Steve Lawler and Sasha launched their joint residency in Ibiza last summer, it seemed like a sure bet. Progressive had long ruled the roost on the island and they had secured for the season Thursday nights at Space, certainly the most famous club on the island, perhaps even the most famous in the world. But the unthinkable happened: midway through the season the bouncers were standing around twiddling their thumbs – Sasha and Lawler were forced to close off one of the main rooms because numbers were so low. Management were left scratching their heads wondering what exactly had gone wrong.
Meanwhile on the other side of the island, taxis were pulling up by the dozen outside a club dubbed Penelope, which opened in 2005 modeling itself after New York’s legendary Studio 54. But it wasn't just the décor that was drawing the crowds: it turns out Monza’s secret ingredient was burbling basslines of electrohouse, a genre that had emerged from smaller clubs and bars across Europe to become the sound of 2005. Top it off with a dollop of techno and tech house, and suddenly the Monza concoction was the toast of the town.
As the Germans clinked their beer jugs in celebration, Lawler and Sasha were probably reaching for the minibar themselves, but in their case to forget the whole mess. Egos had taken such a bruising that a certain half of the pair didn’t even bother turning up to spin at his own residency as summer drew to a close. But while it might be easy for a DJ to leave it all behind – tomorrow there's always another date on the circuit somewhere far away – how were Space going to fill their Thursday residency in 2006?
Salt has been rubbed into wounds. The new residency on Thursday nights is – pitchshifted snareroll please – Monza. Clubbers voted for electrohouse with their feet in 2005 and how does Space respond? If you can’t beat ‘em, join em. Muttering under their breath, they have pulled a Microsoft and swallowed the competition.
Monza in partnership with Get Physical is happening at Space on Thursday nights in Ibiza. It’s a beast of a lineup with the cream of the electrohouse and techno crop slotted in for summer including Ame, Booka Shade, Mr.C, Patrick Chardronnet, Margaret Dygas, Fuckpony, Chelonis R.Jones, Damian Lazarus, Locodice, M.A.N.D.Y, Ricardo Villalobos, System of Survival, and DJ T.
But what does it all mean? With the addition of Monza, the four (count ‘em) electrohouse and techno residencies on the island means four less first-class plane tickets for the big guns of the nineties. If you want to see prog, make sure you arrive on a Thursday because the Yoshitoshi and Renaissance alternating residency at Pacha is now the only big game in town.
Is that a good thing? Best let your own feet be the judge, but one thing is certain: there has been a seismic shift in the tectonic plates of dance music and the underground is rising. Whether or not the foundations of the older structures will be strong enough to last, only time will tell. But don't fret: if it all comes down like a house of cards, you'll be able to seek shelter in new, cheap, and Jerry-built environs, at least temporarily.
Monza's fifteen-week residency at Space will run from June 22 to September 28 with the opening party to be headlined by M.A.N.D.Y and Booka Shade. More tba.