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ODYSSEY opening party from start to finish

Ushuaïa and Hï Ibiza open with 24-hour party.

For as long as we can remember, people have been calling for a return to partying around the clock. Well, somebody has listened. Kicking-off another busy summer in Playa d'en Bossa, the Night League delivered a 24-hour opening extravaganza at both its flagship venues.

ODYSSEY raged from midday to midnight outdoors at Ushuaïa, then straight through from midnight to midday the following day over the road at Hï Ibiza. Day to night to day again - just like the old days. How long were you able to last?

The marathon featured a nucleus of artists from the Tale Of Us Afterlife stable, plus some international heavyweights adding further prestige to the underground credentials.

In divide and conquer mentality, we staggered attendance to ensure that every second of action was covered.

Dancing come rain or shine


Exciting young talent in the shape of Reznik and Aníi opened proceedings, but it was Denis Horvat who first took our hands and led us down the path. The Dane's ethereal music set the tone for what was to come later, finishing on a high.

Up next, Korean superstar Peggy Gou raised the bar with a track selection ranging from jacking old school to funky jams. Effortlessly cool, the Guda entrepreneur brought booming beats, before wandering into that favoured acid territory.

Vibing to the music herself, the fashionista was all too happy to interact with the audience. With purple lights dancing behind her on the stage backdrop, a swirling wormhole rotated as the screens depicted alien worlds.

Soon it was time to jump two-footed into the vortex created by live wizard Paul Kalkbrenner. ODYSSEY turned out to be not only a journey through music but also through time and space.

The grey clouds and even a brief shower were met with approving cheers from the crowd. Though the rain quickly cleared, revealing a blue cast sky, a beautiful scene to witness as Kalkbrenner dropped Sky and Sand.

With the rain gone, it was poetic that Kalkbrenner should play his most anthemic track - the perfect soundtrack to this serene post-storm scene.

THe twilight hours

21:30 - 01:30

With the sun now disappeared, Ushuaïa descended into darkness right in time for the first coming of Tale Of Us. After an impressive season last year with their unearthly Afterlife creation, the Italian duo altered reality with their trademark metaphysical soundscapes.

At midnight, it was time to teleport across the road to Hï Ibiza. In the Club room, Kevin de Vries was already flexing his succinct skills. Pounding techno kept the eager ravers stomping away.

With euphoric arpeggios and weighty kick drums, even a momentary slice of silence helped accentuate wall-shaking drops. Occasionally switching the pace to include iconic rave reworks, such as Move Your Body, he pushed energy levels up a notch further.

Elsewhere, Adam Port was wowing his crowd in the Theatre with uplifting synths coupled with his signature tribal percussion. Vocals cascading across the room were followed by meaty basslines. The clubbers went wild.

In the thick of it

01:30 - 04:30

Next to take the stage was one half of Adriatique, elevating the energy level with slamming beats. Towards the end of the set, an edit of Depeche Mode hit all the right notes creating a truly memorable dance floor moment.

Hopping back to the Club room, we found ANNA in full control. Bursting with energy, the Brazilian brought raw power to a banging arsenal of records. Never had a dance floor and a performer felt so in sync.

Revellers were still pouring into the Club room at 02:30 as established island favourite Andrea Oliva took control of the decks. The seasoned Swiss generated a lively tone that kept people bouncing, despite being 14-hours deep into the marathon.

Back inside the Theatre, Damian Lazarus was coercing the masses to join him on a mystic voyage. The production surrounding him created the illusion of a trippy, desolate desert.

Somehow we were able to pull ourselves away briefly to visit the club room and watch Mathew Jonson put in a great turn.

The home stretch

04:30 - 12:00

Things were about to get dark, as Richie Hawtin entered the booth. Scaling-back production, only a dozen beams of light illuminated the dance floor, reminiscent of Richie's ENTER. days. Time had come to get lost in the techno bunker.

By the time 06:00 rolled around, we had ricocheted off every wall. If Hawtin had provided the stompers, we were about to be catapulted into the next galaxy by Tale Of Us. Even the fact this was a six-hour set was a rare treat in itself - the ideal closure to a warped 24-hour adventure.

Having reached the final straight, we were a little discombobulated. The lights, the production, the music - we were in awe of it all. The imagery behind our heroes turned from frozen glaciers to volatile volcanic peaks. Like colliding tectonic plates, we felt shockwaves.

Despite tired feet and worn-away soles, when the time the lights came up, we felt like we could've done it all over again. It was midday again. We had only crossed the road, but in our mind we had gone on a journey far more epic.

Regardless of the tremendous talent on offer, centre-stage was taken by the venue itself. Namely, the state-of-the-art Theatre room. Its chameleon-like capabilities transported us to far-flung worlds and across the cosmos, from set to set.

Such versatility means you could attend every night of Hï Ibiza's weekly programme, and see something new each time. However, fans of last night's soundtrack should gravitate towards Afterlife - starting Thursday 27 June for a gateway to the unknown.

The prologue will feature Maceo Plex, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Stephan Bodzin, Mind Against and Vaal, in addition to our hosts.

Whether you are reliving or curiously discovering, check-out our ODYSSEY playlist below:

Containing exclusively music we heard over the course of the 24-hours, this 24-track playlist sees each act contributing one or more: a musical journey from start to finish.

WORDS | Stephen Hunt, Michael Tomlinson, Sasha Wharton and Hannah Starkie

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