Unlike in previous years we went late July instead of late June/early July. The effect of that was higher prices and more people. Never mind that, though. The trip was from Wednesday, July 21 – Tuesday, July 27 for me, my party buddy Matze joined me from Thursday – Sunday.
Day 1, Wednesday 7/21
After a fairly messy trip (my outbound flight was moved from Frankfurt to Stuttgart, a painful 2 hour train ride away) I made it to the apartment in Playa d'en Bossa about 5 pm. It turned out to be the same air conditioned standard as the famous Jet apartments right at Bora-Bora beach, yet at just over half the price and only a 1 minute walk from Jet and, importantly, 3 minutes from Space. Immediately text-messaged Ekstasis, who I was then to meet at midnight to go to Chris Liebing's and Mauro Picotto's "Meganite" Party at Privilege. With Ekstasis and his friend Marade from England having free passes and me on the guest list, it was going to be a fairly cheap night. We got there some time between 1 and 2 am to no line at all, which wasn't really surprising, as this is a new party this year and Privilege and techno generally do not draw as many people as other parties. Inside, they had curtained off about 80% of the space of the club, so only the very front part was open in order to not make it look totally empty. The full space of the club holds up to 10,000! The opening DJ was Gabry Fasano, who I had never heard of. Unfortunately, his set was extremely slow and boring. Well, used the time to chat with Chris, who was rather pleased to get some support form Frankfurt. To my dismay he told me that Cari Lekebusch wasn't going to show up as announced. The booking agency made some mistake and had booked Cari for August. That was quite a let down as I had very much looked forward to seeing him. Anyway, at about 3 am Mauro Picotto came on and the music improved dramatically. As I had experienced only a few weeks before, he was kind of up and down though, but not too bad. He was making a lot of fun behind the decks, at one point slowing the music, lowering the volume and motioning for everyone to crouch which eventually almost all did only to jump up in the air when he let the bass hit hard again. Pretty funny. At 4:30 am Chris took over and started nicely. But after an hour into the set he really got it going and relentlessly kicked the euphoric crowd's ass. Only shortly before the end of his set did he slow down and even became housey. The coolest thing he did was to play a remix of Michael Jackson's Billy Jean and mixing that into Whitestripes – 7th Nation Army (CL remix) . That was stunning and everyone just loved it. After a few encores they party finally ended just after 7 am. But this being Ibiza, it only ended at that club, i.e. I moved on to Space until about noon, I just love that location, especially the inside which has by far the best sound on the island. In fact, I kind of decided that it has maybe the best sound in the world. It just sounds so clear and three-dimensional. The party was good as usual, though unusually the DJ spinning inside wasn't that good at mixing. But his tracks were good, so it was all good.
Day 2, Thursday 7/22
After Space I got a few hours of sleep and was joined by Matze later that afternoon. After some dinner we met up with Ekstasis and another English friend of his, Carolyne. Unfortunately, Ekstasis was unable to secure a free pass so he ended up not joining us for Cream at Amnesia, one of the two "big nights" I had in my party calendar. So the three of us got a cab and were at the club about 2 am. Tiesto was already on and not bad at all, so we immediately hit the dance floor to get our dose of the cryo cannon asap. I quickly spotted German TA Frank, who was already walking on air. As usual, the Cream party was packed wall to wall. By the time Paul van Dyk came on at 4 am the crowd was in a frenzy. PvD slammed it out as expected, playing an "Amnesia style" set that was hard and fast, and also included classics such as Three Drives – Greece 2000. We danced our asses off, got killed by the cannon many times and the night just flew by at the speed of light. Being still totally psyched, even Matze decided to join me to Space.
Day 3, Friday 7/23
Space had the "Good Fridays" party on the terrace and "What's up" inside, which we ended up never leaving until it closed at noon. The music was superb techno, as always sounding incredible on that system. At 10 am Funk D'Void came on and delivered an absolutely superb set, banging, top quality tracks and perfect mixing. What a perfect closure to an excellent night. Matze left at noon, I stuck around for another or two on the terrace, which was quite nice. Only when the music became too vocal and somewhat cheezy I left.
For Friday night we had considered Pacha featuring Sander Kleinenberg and Pete Tong. But eventually we decided to skip that and go to bed early for a change. We don't like Pacha, it is too chic, drawing more posers than clubbers. No vibe there, really. Also, Sander can be kind of hit-or-miss, so good times were not guaranteed. And we wanted to hit Matinee at Space the next morning, which has always been good.
Day 4, Saturday 7/24
As expected, Matinee at Space was superb. Inside had the hallmark dark and hard techno which again I never left until they closed at 1:30 pm. After another hour on the terrace I left to join Matze on the beach for a few hours. The night was again open to debate, the tentative plan again calling for unbeloved Pacha, this time having Danny Howells, Hector Romero, Satoshi Tomiie. Wondering whether to go or not, considering that Satoshi and Hector had bored me to death last year and it being Pacha again, we consulted our exclusive ticket seller. He recommended to go to People from Ibiza at Amnesia and even gave us free passes. It is party mostly frequented by locals and other Spaniards, so kind of off the beaten track for people like us. frank and his friend were thrilled by the idea that tickets cost only 10 eur per person, so they decided to join us. According to the flyer the music was going to be "balearic house" on the terrace and "balearic tech-house" in the main room, whatever that was supposed to mean. Anyway, we never regretted that decision! The place was packed, the vibe excellent and the music banging tech-house in the main room. A very brief excursion to the terrace revealed that the music there was essentially the same. but the atmosphere in the main room is just unbeatable, so we stayed there until about 15 minutes before the end to catch a cab before the crowds spilled out. It was still too early for Space, which opens at 8 am. Waiting at Tantra bar/cafe (where we conveniently have been buying all out tickets the last two years) adjacent to Space for an hour like we did Friday morning didn't seem too appealing, so we went back to the apartment to get a few hours of sleep, recharging for the very long We Love Sundays at Space party. Unfortunately, Matze flew home that afternoon, so there was no point for him to go to Space.
Day 5, Sunday 7/25
So I hit Space at 1 pm and, as usual, spent most time inside where it is dark, loud and banging. Fortunately, on Sundays it is possible to leave the club one and re-enter, so I did that at about 6 pm to eat, change and get some rest. Fell asleep for longer than planned and completely missed Groove Armada's set from 7 – 10 pm. When I finally got back to Space at 11:30, Steve Lawler was still on the terrace, but his set didn't do it for me, unlike in Miami. It was too vocal and, well, fluffy. So I retreated to my favorite inside, where I found Josh Wink delivering a rather hard set, more techno than house. I loved it and in his second hour he truly tore it up. At 1 am Jeff Mills came on for a 2.5 hour set. It was good, but uninspiring. At least he played last year's Ibiza favorite Tomaz vs. Filterheadz – Sunshine as well as my own all-time favorite DJ Rolando – Jaguar, so I can't complain. But Mills was then played to the wall by Umek, a techno DJ from Slovenia well known in Germany. I had somewhat mixed feelings about his appearance, as I have seen him several times in Germany when he played with the effects way too much. This night was different. He completely destroyed the place as I have never seen it before at Space. When I spoke with Adam Beyer, who was hanging out behind the DJ booth he called him a madman. How true. Also asked Adam if there was going to be an after-hour after Cocoon on Monday. he said yes, but didn't know where yet. Umek continued until after the official closing time of 6 am, and they let him play some encores until 6:30. The final encore was unbelievable, so I went up to find out what it was: Hystereo – Winters in the City. The set as a whole goes down as the best of the entire trip, even surpassing PvD and Richie Hawtin.
Day 6, Monday 7/26
After that long Sunday, the question was, would I make it to Space again Monday morning? For the first time they now have a party on Mondays, too, which used to be a day exclusive to DC 10. Was interested to check it out, as it was to be on the brand new second terrace on the roof. But sleep got the better of me and I slept the day away. Was probably a good thing, as Cocoon at Amnesia was on the agenda. Unfortunately, I only made it to the club at 2 am, so Adam Beyer was already 1.5 hours into his set. He had started it really slow and was now starting to build it up nicely. The club started to get nicely crowded now, too, but of course nowhere near as jam-packed as Cream. By now Ekstasis had texted me that he wouldn't make it, being clubbed out. but I did meet some guys from Frankfurt I know, so all was good. By 3:30 am, when Richie Hawtin came on, the main floor was full and the party was in full swing. Richie got off to a banging start, working the crowd like crazy and using the cannon to maximum effect. After about 2 hours he slowed the pace and the set turned more richie-esque. It pretty much stayed like that until the end. During Richie's set I ventured upstairs to the VIP area for a while where I ran into Adam and Chris, who was hanging out trying to have fun while not spinning, which he says is not really his thing. Adam still didn't know where the after was going to be, but just told me to stick around. When the party was over at the usual time of 7 am, I waited in the parking lot to see what would happen. Soon I met Ricardo Villalobos, who was so nice to secure me a ride to the afterparty.
Day 7, Tuesday 7/27
So I simply got in the car with some people, having no idea whatsoever where we would go. It turned out to be in the middle of nowhere, by the pool of a stunning villa (or mansion, rather) sitting on a hilltop overlooking the valley underneath and the hills beyond. The pool was interestingly shaped and had dark blue tiles instead of the standard light blue, which gave it the appearance of a lake. poolside were several decks, their thatched roofs providing much needed protection from the blazing sun. Mattresses invited to lie down, relax and just enjoy the music provided by Ricardo and Ata, resident at Frankfurt's 'Robert Johnson' house club and the man behind the Playhouse record label. Someone drove to town to get drinks, so there was no shortage of that and the party probably lasted all day and well into the evening. Alas, when someone with a car left at 2:30 pm I took the opportunity to get a ride back to Playa d'en Bossa. Otherwise, getting out of there may have proved very difficult, possibly involving a 20-30 minute walk through the heat to the main road. So I got back to the apartment at 3 pm, allowing me to catch a couple of hours of sleep before I had to leave for the airport at 5:30. I mostly slept on the first 30 minute leg of the flight, to Mallorca, and never felt anything of the second leg back to Frankfurt, stretching out in an empty row and probably appearing to be dead. Was home after midnight crashing immediately.
Again, Ibiza lived up to it's image as the party island, delivering some fantastic parties and the coolest after hour ever. So the planning for next year can begin......
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