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Amnesia brings down the curtains to close 2017

One final giant leap for the staunch clubbers among us.

What is one of the best things about Ibiza's closing parties? Those 12-hour sessions that have you raving right through to noon. A pretty obvious answer, eh? Obvious or not, those rare opportunities to dance as the sun blasts down almost feel capable of transporting us back to the golden days of the '90s.

However, we're not getting mad with it in the '90s, it's 2017, which is 43 years on from when Amnesia first offered itself as a hideaway for the hedonistic partyseekers. That's a long-ass time and its legacy deserves our attention. With the words "Making History Since 1974" being sprawled across the boards that promoted Ibiza fiestas, Amnesia hinted that this closing would be pretty special, and it's safe to say that it was.

With Ibiza-born concept party WooMooN taking over the Main Room and spilling into the outside area, you realised early on that this would be a totally different experience to the previous few years. Boutique cocktail stands, food stalls, lounge-worthy bean bags and a giant geometric dome that housed multi-instrumentalist Rico Loop, singers and musicians made this a far more interesting space than just a spot for smoking, socialising and possibly passing out due to fatigue.

WooMooN's influence setting the tone outside, we made a beeline for its club takeover in the Main Room. Now, this is a fiesta based on love, self-expression, compassion, spirituality and liberalism - ethos that we should all be able to get right behind, especially when we're involving ourselves in one of the last season gatherings.

While it held residency at open-air venue Cova Santa, seeking shelter within Amnesia worked pretty well. Confetti, LED screens radiated with burning intensity, hand-painted giant eye artwork suspended from the ceiling and the presence of Ibiza legend Tanit had partygoers on a tight leash. There's so much going on, so much to observe and that's why you don't go to WooMooN purely for the DJs; you go for the immersive experience. However, when the closing line-up includes Rampue, Blond:ish and Damian Lazarus, there's no denying that music would also be your captor.

Now, on how many occasions have you witnessed one of your fellow humans being suspended and spun in the air with their hair attached to a rope? Very few, if none at all, right? As Rampue mixed in a dramatic slice of anticipation-building sonic mastery, two performers were lifted from their podiums and elegantly twirled to a huge applause from the crowd below. It looked like absolute agony, but more importantly, it was an incredible performance of human strength. Next season that'll be me up there, suspended by my big toe.

Last year, the Main Room has been loaded with more mainstream house names like Hannah Wants, Claptone and Gorgon City, which made WooMooN's inclusion an attention-grabbing decision. How would both rooms work together? Would you comfortably be able to drift between both throughout those heady hours, or would you eventually settle on one camp and stick with it? Bouncing into the main room for the first time had us in the hands of Eats Everything going in with Mar-T, and the track that had us getting down was Basement Jaxx's 1997 brute, Fly Life (Xtra). What a tune to escort you onto the Terrace dance floor, and the classics continued with Armand Van Helden's mix of CJ Bolland's 1996 smash Sugar Is Sweeter, and a little sample from Donna Summer's anthemic peach I Feel Love. Basically, together they had a good handle on bangin' party tunes, with a few attention-seeking drops packed in there to wrap your legs around.

Back in the Main Room Damian Lazarus had leapt on with a track that sounded as if an ensemble of drummers were right in there in the room, while a hard-hitting bassline gave it an added smack. Lazarus knew what was required of him to suit WooMooN's audience, layering in the kind of deep techno that had you gliding and slithering across the floor, including Patrick Chardronnet & Martin Eyerer's collaborative effort Spank!. Acidic touches penetrated the air, while later on Middle Eastern influences would be woven through.

Taking a break outside around 8AM, it was distinctly clear that we'd arrived at 6AM feeling fresh. I wasn't now entirely sure if I wanted to feel as fresh as I did; I wanted to be that guy over by the bin with what was once a quinoa burger now smashed into a paste in his palm. Or did I? Nah, probably not. A disgruntled punter made his way out into the garden area, screaming that everyone pay attention before announcing, "THIS PLACE LOOKS LIKE FUCKING VIETNAM." That's the spirit, buddy. We can all assume he was drawing on memories of watching Platoon, Apocalypse Now or even Full Metal Jacket. And in that case, you couldn't shy away from the stark similarities. Yup, it had gotten weird and I wasn't complaining.

Darting onto the Terrace for Ilario Alicante, we were instantly rewarded with brutal, menacing techno from Secret Cinema & Egbert's track Maximaal. Faces screwed up in mock disgust, anyone? It worked for me, and it seemingly worked for the thousands on the Terrace but it was a huge deviation from what was going on in the Main Room. Anyone who wouldn't consider themselves fans of tough techno would have felt the change like a brutal smack to the jaw, and would have likely retreated to the confines of the darkened chamber.

Alicante continued with his techno tricks as the sun grew brighter which was perfect for this hour, especially when some had been going for eight hours. You need those instant sonic pick-me-ups that remind you that you've still got a lot of living to do. Sampling in Floorplan's hair-raiser Never Grow Old was a brilliant decision, as was Phil Moffa's rework of Humans' track Follow and Patrice Bäumel's summer anthem Glutes.

Due to take over from Alicante was Better Lost Than Stupid - a DJ collaboration with Martin Buttrich, Davide Squillace and Matthias Tanzmann. They missed their flight; shit happens. But they did eventually arrive - Better Late Than Never, eh? And anyway, because of their unavoidable mishap, we had Amnesia's dance floor for an extra hour. Happy days.

This trio can handle themselves. With Alicante having brought in more groove with KiNK's house hitter Perth, Better Lost Than Stupid were given room to take it back up a notch if they chose to do so. At times they went in with steely, robust beats that roamed further into techno territory. At one point I heard Daft Punk's track Alive coming in a mile off. Couldn't bloody believe it. YES. I've spent so long gagging to hear this track in a club, and finally that day had come. Now noon, the sun was in full force and you could easily read the pleasure in the faces of other sweaty dance floor buddies.

At one point their set ventured into tech house territory, which for me was beginning to become a little monotonous and uninspiring. Admittedly, I did consider leaving as I thought we were on a plateau that would take me to a forgettable place, and then WHAM BAM, James Holden's intensely powerful remix of Nathan Fake's The Sky Was Pink burst through. Hold onto your nipples, people.

Soon after that nipple-baring moment, it was all over and so we wait another six months until we can break back in with the purpose of losing our silly minds. Next year, Amnesia.

Amnesia Closing Party listings - 2023

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