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Review: We Love, 21st July

Ibiza's eclectic Sunday venture enjoys continued success

This summer sees Space's flagship extended hours party, 'We Love...' continue its organic ascension to the top-most tier of island clubbing. Beginning at 7pm and occupying all rooms - whether in-house or via promoter hosting - We Love aims to cultivate a festival-like atmosphere that caters to a broad spectrum of musical tastes. Although each weekly line-up remains extensive it can be a challenge to maintain a certain level of hysteria what with residents playing regularly and production detailing being kept at a relative minimum.

On this occasion the status quo of the locale had been reversed. Usually it is the expansive Discoteca that hosts the more notable or widely known artists: this time Voorn, Deetron, Zabiela and Kolsch were billed for Pulse Radio's Terraza whilst Pearson Sound, Technasia and Marco Bailey amongst others found themselves attached to the yawning hall.

In the main room one third of the acclaimed Hessle Audio trio Pearson Sound - aka David Kennedy - sat back to back with We Love resident Paul Woolford. Considering Woolford acted as an inspiration and sounding board for Kennedy as the younger artist took his first steps along the Ibizan road a tight-knit, perceptive partnership was expected - and the pair delivered. Chugging, unpredictable flows of blackened dub techno streamed over a crowd who weren't quite sure how to react - the night was young and yet the vibe was already uncompromising. Pangea's track Vidaduct slotted into the grungy, Midlands-flavoured bass music that - spliced with subsonic techno, dubplate and jungle strands - made for a somewhat esoteric set. Formerly a duo, Frenchman Charles Siegling amicably split with his partner in 2010 to continue his 'culture defying' Technasia project. After the previous genre bending pair Siegling's sound brought some agreeable adherence to the 4/4 model - delivering a cumbrous, elastic sound with an industrial sheen.

As mentioned the two main rooms were very different heterogeneous beasts. In the Terraza: a lesson in wispy electronic romanticism from the towering Kolsch - whilst in the Discoteca: the dark space flickered with growling, inky sex. Island man of the moment Deetron took to the decks after Kolsch had concluded his live set. Although long pegged in the industries techno camp, of late the Swiss has made a conscious decision to instead embrace the classic, soulful sounds of middle-American electronica. Although the recurring motown vocals and warmer house tracks seemed a little soft for the occasion tracks such as Syrossian & Coutos House is House on Hot Creations ensured the crowd were eager to contribute a swaying cohort of raised hands. The baton was then passed to tech house prince Joris Voorn who - with subtle use of enhancing effects - molded the room into an increasingly energetic silhouette. Dexterous excursions into both new and classic tech tracks gave way to a change of pace as machine-driven whines and warped synth sidled into existence.

The dense, unfinching ambience remained in the Discoteca as European stalwart Marco Bailey - utilising a four-deck setup complimented by a Pioneer RMX1000 effects unit - released a series of writhing techno wolves. Bailey has the peculiar ability to present hard material in an accessibly way: leaving just enough melody and vocals mired in the shredding kicks and percussion to engage the diverse room - and deliver boundless energy.

The shift in the usual We Love dynamic, with straight up techno edging its housier compatriots to the smaller stage was novel and refreshing. The prevailing atmosphere was a little more serious; the lights dimmed lower and the heads bowed more religiously. The island's premier Sunday party continues to reach new heights of success - and deservedly so: being able to present such a diverse range of artists and tastes in a consistently interesting way within a single event is no mean feat.

Photography by James Chapman

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