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Best moments and tracks from Unusual Suspects opening at Sankeys

The ultimate underground venue opened its doors for summer 2018.

After some jitters over the winter, we were all relieved to hear that Sankeys Ibiza would be back for the 2018 season. The popular underground haunt has played a strong tease game. Putting any speculation to bed, Sankeys reopened its doors last night with Unusual Suspects doing the honours. Here's what you missed.

Under new ownership, the Playa d'en Bossa venue had a crowd of people eager to get in already by 1:30. Masses of clubbers, holidaymakers and industry folk were keen to see what – if anything – is new at Sankeys Ibiza. We waited impatiently until we finally made it inside.

First off, let's talk about what's new.


If it's not broken, don't fix it

Save from some fancy new lights, The Basement is almost completely untouched – hooray. If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it.

  • Low ceilings with neon strip lighting.
  • A humid, perspiration-inducing climate.
  • That iconic Void sound system causing the damage.

There's just something about cutting loose in a darkened sweatbox that preaches to clubbers on a primal level. Originally, Sankeys had not advertised to be opening this floor tonight. However, the intrigue and resulting popularity meant the team had to reconsider its plans.

Ultimately, the right call was made. Janina was in total control of proceedings, blasting out the Ricardo Villalobos remix of Beck - Cellphone's Dead as we muscled through.

The rooftop terrace and walkways look like they always did, retaining Sankeys' trademark look. The bathrooms, too, still have that derelict squat rave chic about them. They probably couldn't work anywhere else, but at Sankeys we wouldn't have it any other way.


Recco to The Lab

Moving into The Lab, we could almost still smell the fresh paint. This room has undergone the biggest changes.

The dance floor has been opened-up, feeling more spacious and comfortable. Also, the platform that sat in the centre of the dance floor was nowhere to be seen, at least for the time being.

Production is not the focus here, but the introduction of two rows of moving lights, running from front-to-back either side of the DJ booth, made it clear that we were there to dance.

These cosmetic reconfigurations are minor and barely detectable to anyone not actively looking yet actually somehow make a difference.

What is more prominent is the installation of a brand new sound system. The beefed up sound certainly packs some bass.

The high-end might need further tweaking, but, hey, this was the first night. All things considered, it was a trivial oversight that can be remedied in easily.

Despite the changes, Sankeys is still a warehouse-style space. It feels roomier and more symmetrical, but the vibe hasn't changed one iota.

Enough of the superficials, though. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty: the music.


Let's talk about the music

Unusual Suspects resident Federico Grazzini was in a playful mood. The Italian deputised for his fellow countryman with fervour, unloading Garnier's Bang (The Underground Doesn't Stop).

A commotion in the DJ booth signalled the change-over was near. With the foundations nicely laid, Ilario Alicante stepped up to the decks.

Just as it appeared that the crowds were dispersing, the dance floor refilled as people vied for the best spot to see the Italian techno maestro.

Ilario Alicante meant business right from the off, blaring out Boys Noize's Adonis. Suddenly the sound system sounded a whole lot crisper.

He took things a little darker with Ariel Merisio's brooding Soft Jam.

Ilario, an increasingly important cog in the Drumcode wheel, played a volley of fellow label heads' material, including Alias' Nrg and Arjun Vagale's Hard Pop.

Any suggestion Alicante may have toned down his style for the early season crowd was quickly allayed.

He slew the floor with the intergalactic weaponry of Radio Slave's Grindhouse (Obscure Shape & SHDW Remix).

The hypnotic vocal of Guy Gerber's What To Do then had us in a trance, before Ilario brought the bass back in and got our feet pumping.

Proving he is far from a one-trick pony, Alicante underlined his versatility with splatters of more melodic music. Denis Horvat's soaring Lodi on Aeon was one such moment that gave us that eyes shut, twinkly fingers feeling.


Summing up

With only the bravest of the brave still standing as the lights come up, Ilario sent everybody home beaming. Reflecting on the past few hours of dancing, we draw the conclusion that little has changed.

The dawn of a new era at Sankeys maybe, but unless you are aware of the back story, it is simply business as usual.

The name remains the same. The aesthetic is unchanged. And the product is pure Sankeys through-and-through: dark, underground, basement clubbing in the heart of Playa d'en Bossa.

We are certainly looking forward to getting lost on the dance floor plenty more times this summer.

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