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When you follow your heart to the HEART opening party

Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons, colourful characters and a surprise end to the night.

HEART has positioned itself as the high-end multi-functional venue, honing on credible underground music. After missing out on the previous night's star-studied IMS Legends dinner, we were keen to make up for lost time at the venue's official opening party.

Being in close proximity to Marina Botafoch, hints of nautical décor decorate the interior of the venue Interwoven rope lined the walls and ceiling, and fluorescent jellyfish illuminated the walkway to the restrooms. Behind the bar, a row of super premium spirits occupied the top shelf.


An audience with character

An assortment of bombastic characters made their way around the lush venue. Leggy model-types tootled between outrageously attired gentlemen. Baby Marcelo - the face of La Troya - is one of the familiars mingling with the crowd.

Guy Laliberté on warm-up duties was spinning some disco-edged house.

DJ Koze's remix of Låpsley's Operator and Follow Me by Aly-Us are just a couple of the tunes we clocked.

A blend of IMS dignitaries and island bourgeois were also present. As such, we had an abundance of sartorial elegance.

Backless ball gowns and cocktail dresses sit alongside international fashion houses' latest ranges - as many sparkles in the champagne flutes as there were draped on collarbones.

The dance floor opened up to everybody and the tone switched. As Laliberté took us into darker territory, we took this as a sign our headline act was fast approaching.

We were then treated to Fake Mood's Don't Miss (Armen Miran Remix) and Monolink's Sirens.

The latter's haunting vocal was giving us goosebumps.


In the court of Count Lazarus

Damian Lazarus truly is a shapeshifting enigma. Whether he is throwing pop-ups at Tulum, getting things weird at DC10 or chanting along in the terraces at West Ham, his chameleon-like adaptability is enviable. It's that ever-present cloak of mystique that adds to his legend.

As the frontman of The Ancient Moons, he displays another facet of his many talents.

A flurry of flashing lights signalled the time had come. It felt like a close encounter.

Some heavy distortion plateaued out. “Welcome to the world of The Ancient Moons, good evening” They began on I Found You, vocalist Zulu crooning out the lyrics.

Behind them, visuals depicted a supermoon setting on a barren wasteland. It's fair to say that Damian Lazarus and his band making a rare appearance in Ibiza is an event of lunar proportions.

The set-list included We Will Return, Five Moons and a mash-up of Vermillion/Where Love Lives of Alison Limerick fame.

Some tracks we recognised from 2015's Messages From the Other Side. The ones we didn't, we would not be surprised to see on their forthcoming sophomore album.

After the set was brought to an end on last year's hit Fly Away, we took the opportunity to explore the venue, venturing to the rooftop terrace.

In this hang-out for interesting characters, we came across a white-haired eccentric wearing a three-piece chequered suit assuming the role of court jester. Standing inside a glass frame he made a lewd hand gesture as a pair of young women cooed nearby in juvenile amusement.

Having seen the headline act and with an eye firmly on tomorrow's schedule, we reached a crossroad in proceedings. As we debated making an early(-ish) exit, for whatever reason, we decided to stay a little longer. We're so glad we did…

What happened next was quite unexpected, making it all the sweeter. It's a common adage within the industry that the very best nights are the ones you least expect. HEART opening party was just about to turn into a great night.


The surprise package

Satori had just started his own live set. An artist, I'll confess, had not been on my radar, he is now.

With soaring ethnic vocals and a distinct measure of North African and Arabian influence, think Crosstown Rebels' realm, Satori is not surprisingly a regular on Lazarus's imprint.

The most impressive element of his set-up is the incorporation of a flute-like instrument he plays live, connected to his hardware.

And the energy – the energy – was palpable. Somewhere in the middle of everything, the dance floor switched from conservative and reserved into a full-blown party atmosphere. It happened so organically, we hadn't noticed getting swept up into the frenzy ourselves.

I could go into further detail. Truth is, all of this music is new to me - and that is key. So instead of endless commentary, I shall leave you with a tip: check-out what Satori is all about. The man is a virtuoso phenomenon.


Reflection

The night reminded us to open our minds and embrace discovery, a timely reminder at the start of the season. One of the best things about clubbing in Ibiza - and anywhere really - is discovering new music and new artists.

Reliving one of the key messages from IMS week: it's easy to play it safe and stick to what you know. But the magic happens when you step outside your comfort zone and dive into the unknown.

With lots of nights along these lines, the arty nightclub has quickly become the go-to venue for quality underground music. Head here to see what is on offer at HEART Ibiza this summer.

Full summer listings for HEART Opening Party - 2019

HEART Ibiza

HEART Opening Party

Thu 23 May

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