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24 hours on the MDRNTY Cruise

Fueled by techno and an unlimited free bar, the MDRNTY Cruise's maiden voyage smashed us good and proper.

These words still have an impact on me to this day: "We're off to spend 24 hours on a techno cruise, book your flight to Barcelona, it's next weekend." After what seems like a lifetime of raving in different parts of the world, exploring the intimate venues and the warehouse beasts, with various DJs unleashing their sound - this was a dive in the deep end, and it's safe to say we had no idea what to expect.

Sure, boat parties had been on the agenda plenty of times on the White Isle this season, but the MDRNTY Cruise quite obviously intended to be a completely different beast. Organised by the team behind Caprices Festival, an event held in the Swiss alps with huge house and techno line-ups, these guys know how to run a party. Across four days, there was the promise of 24-hour, non-stop music between four stages with some of the biggest gunners in house and techno. Seeking refreshments or alcohol? No problem. There would be 11 super stylish bars to hound, with unlimited drinks even including Cafe Patrón, which was undoubedtly the chief suspect in our descent into intoxication. Five restaurants would certainly make soaking up the unlimited free booze that bit easier, and the cabins looked to be welcoming havens for a little respite in between.

The luxury liner had set sail from Genoa before heading for Barcelona and onto Mallorca, Ibiza and back again. My Ibiza Spotlight partner in crime and I hopped on at Barcelona after filling our boots with some deliciously filthy techno at Moog - one of the city's best known clubbing haunts. As the saying goes, first impressions count. So, wandering along Barcelona's twinkling promenade to see a trail of partygoers was the first sign of what was to come. Once onboard, it was full-on scenes of luxury and it had to be one of the most unique entrances to a party yet.

As we set sail while getting stuck into the plush comforts of our cabin, lightning struck fiercly ahead, and that swiftly opened discussion into morbid possibilties of perishing at sea. That wouldn't be great if we hadn't at least heard from one of the booth bruisers onboard, so we made our way out to explore.

You had three spots for digesting tunes in the evening. There was the Ametista stage, a low-ceiling space with an intimiate feel; the Disco 32 stage, a smaller haven at the top of the boat; and the sprawling Indoor Pool area. Regardless of whether you made good use of the open-bar policy, your first attempts at navigating between the areas might not have been the smoothest of operations. Also, if you have any issues with conjuring images of the twins from The Shining repeating those infamous lines, "come play with us," you're in for a treat when searching the seemingly-endless cabin hallways for your exit.

It made for quite an unusual experience to find the club rooms having seen few music heads along the way, especially when you've been accustomed to seeing large Ibiza queues and standard club entrances leading way to dance floors within seconds. Swiss producer Ripperton was our first taste of the MDRNTY Cruise beat, positioning himself between some seriously divine, melodic techno with his own remix of Zopelar's Origini and Conforce's track TKY.

Talking line-up curation, having Ripperton followed by illustrious duo Adriatique and German mastermind Dixon stood out as an excellent decision even before your ears had been indulged by any of their selections. Adriatique kept it deep, melancholic - even a little haunting - and overall, utterly captivating. Dixon did much the same, with sonic injections from Stereocalypse's reworking of Who Made Who's deep house beauty I Don't know. Utterly flawless.

If throbbing techno is your modus operandi, a quick jaunt through to the Indoor Pool stage with Danish native Nima Gorji proved it was there for the intake. He provided techno thunder from Julian Wassermann with his 2017 summer release Neurose, and gave us a blasting with A1 from Johannes Heil - a huge record that's been chasing us around the island all summer.

As previously mentioned, floating between stages in the evening could be a litle tricky to navigate, which during precious moments of music consumption could be frustrating. Also, having spent the season witnessing the likes of Dixon and Adriatique in Amnesia, Privilege, DC10 and Pacha - and each being an occasion smacked with the "wow factor" on entry - the mood did feel a little flat by comparison when heading into the Ametista stage. Personally speaking, it would have been wicked to have seen them filling out the Indoor stage, however, once in and occupied by the beat, you were all set.

Highlight of those heavy 24 hours? The FUSE takeover, hands down. Kicking off early at 07:00 at the Outdoor pool stage, we had 12 hours of whipping FUSE meat at our feet as we were docked in Mallorca and Ibiza. With FUSE having smashed through another stellar season at Amnesia with techno mob HYTE, we anticipated that we'd be having vigorous tech house for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rossko, Seb Zito, Guti, Archie Hamilton and Enzo Siragusa were all there and we were served what was required during those blistering daylight hours onboard.

We can certify that the MDRNTY crew grabbed life by the balls and pulled off an exceptional 24 hours. Would we do it again? Absofuckinglutely. Music heads after a festival that packs a stellar line-up (minus the tent-dwelling in between stage diving) should really consider giving MDRTY Cruise 2018 a pop.


WORDS l Aimee Lawrence and Ruby Munslow

PHOTOGRAPHY l David Holderbach and Alberto Alcocer

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