I'll start this review off by expressing my dismay at the one big dissapointment of the night. It's a big one, and entirely my own fault. Time and time again I make full plans to get to Ushuaïa nice and early to warm myself up in the paddling pool at the back. You know, splash around, irritate a few people, drop my phone in the water... that sort of behaviour. Friday's event would have been perfect for it too, as the man with the textbook neck/head-nod combo - DJ Sneak - played nice and early. Of course, I arrived late and only caught maybe the last 45 seconds of nodding. Crying shame.
On from there though and everything was typically great for what has very quickly developed into my, and many others at Spotlight, favourite party at Ushuaïa. We usually comment each time we go about how much nicer the crowd is at a Sasha party, typically a bit more mature and certainly the average age raises by a few years. This is testament to Sasha's huge appeal from his 'hey-dey' in the 90s as he began to tour around with John Digweed, with fans from those years very much still fans now. I guess many younger people just aren't overly aware of those times and keep their head down and arms up to the sound of Jamie Jones and all that DC10 crew, which is fine.
Tensnake was the guy on duty next, taking to easily the most impressive stage area on the island, and knocking out what felt like a hugely 80s influenced set. Dropping down the tempo from the typically energetic and jacking level of Sneak - serving as a more appropriate warm up set to the night - left many feeling like the set order should have been a little different really. DJ T's 2011 reimagination of the lovely 'All Around the House' by Tensnake went down a treat with the deep disco-infused synths sounding very nice echoing around the pool area. The set was in fact full of tracks influenced by Tensnake himself, whether it be tracks he produced directly - such as the classic 'Coma Cat' track (hugely popular amongst the more discerning clubber and on the commerical radio waves) - or tracks that he remixed - such as that of The Faint 'Mirror Error' from 2008.
Truth be told pretty much every track Tensnake played was a recognisable favourite from recent times, with one coming from Kölsch that I'm sure most know and love - 'Loreley'. Top this off with the Tensnake remix of one of my favourite Radiohead tracks 'Everything In Its Right Place', with that beautiful vocal, and it left me feeling pretty satisfied with that hour of the party.
Onwards then to M.A.N.D.Y., or one half anyway, as Patrick Bodmer took an entirely different approach to his set. By this I mean in comparison to Tensnake I recognised considerably less tracks, and by that I mean I recognised one of his tracks. But at least it was this one - 'Hélicoptère' by Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts. I didn't get into Patrick's set nearly as much as the others, I'm not sure the progression was there like it was in Tensnake's, and certainly not for Sasha. But such is the high quality of music you hear each Friday at these parties, we're still talking a great set.
Sasha has always had that enviable ability to seemlessly mix from one track to the other with barely any giveaway that one track has finished and the other begun. I mean, taking things back to their basics and getting from one track to the other is what the DJ needs to do, and he does it so so well. There isn't a huge amount of messing about with the tracks, just enough to keep things interesting, it's all about the progression of building the set up. Sasha took things in a floaty and euphoric direction, with a track we featured in our Top 10 Tracks From Ibiza: August 2012 article - 'All That Matters'. It was an absolute pleasure to hear it played out on Friday... with 5 minutes of the instrumental building very nicely to a much enjoyed further 5 minutes of the vocal version. Thoroughly spoilt.
This track was a perfect example of the last hour or so of the night, and an even better advert for the musical direction Sasha wants to take, I really can't recommend enough you getting down to the closing party next friday if you haven't already. Who knows what his plans are for next season. Will he be back? I hope so, and I hope he brings with him some of those diamond encrusted lady dancers of his too.
More about: Ushuaïa
72 hours of continuous sun. A next level lineup. A beautiful country.
The circus of the night returns in 2014.
First artists announced for the Space opening fiesta isn't one to disappoint.
The first two residencies announced for the clubs 2014 programme.