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The past, present and future of Toolroom on Ibiza

The family label plays the generation game at its Eden closing party.

Ibiza Spotlight joined the Toolroom family at Eden for the label's closing party on Sunday 22 September. Here's what went down...

The universe is a vast and wondrous place, filled with anomaly and exception - and Ibiza occupies but a spec of that crazy cosmos. The usual laws of time and space do not apply here, as many a visitor will attest.

Time here goes quick. A week can seemingly flash-by in a handful of days. But away from the island, the opposite can appear true. A year away can feel like a decade.

Even if we were to apply the standard law of time, four years is a long time. Yet that is that period of time that had passed since Toolroom last held residency on the island.

2019's return has been like starting afresh. It's been a learning curve, but through the ups and downs, Toolroom has emerged the other end of the season wiser and thicker skinned.

Such victories are worth shouting about, especially taking into consideration to the relative inexperience of much of the current Toolroom roster in comparison to other parties. Here is a young family whose best years still lay ahead of them.

With prestigious residencies at Space, Amnesia and indeed Eden in the past, Toolroom has a deeply-woven history on the island.

If you don't know where you come from; you don't know where you're going.

After a rollercoaster first season back, we examine the past, present and future at the closing party.

The Past | Mark Knight

WORDS | by Hannah Starkie

Though it may have been a brand new Toolroom residency in Eden this summer, label head Mark Knight is anything but a stranger to Ibiza. Last year marked 15 years of the label and Mark looked every bit the Ibiza veteran.

On the night, Mark's set was short but sweet – presumably allowing time for the rest of the line-up to have their turn in the spotlight.

He played us out with Toolroom Records anthem Man With The Red Face - one of his own most treasured releases and a certified Ibiza anthem. Adding a touch of flair for the occasion, the track was given an extra layer or gleam courtesy of an unannounced cameo.

Island favourite Lovely Laura was the surprise guest of the night, appearing onstage to play along to the seminal track. The ultra-talented saxophonist never fails to put a smile on our face and this was no exception.

With infectious energy, Laura filled the room with the feel-good summer sound that she's renowned for. It was a refreshing live take on a big track that has already stood the test of time. She was so good, it sounded identical to the original.

Though the most senior member of the Toolroom family, the most gratifying part of his leadership this summer, was his inclination to step away at various intervals and thrust fledgelings onto the big stage. A commendable, forward-thinking booking policy.

The Present | Maxinne

WORDS | by Jo Dargie

Taking up a full summer residency spanning 17-weeks is something even seasoned pros struggle to get their head around. However, Maxinne has excelled in the responsibility, coming on leaps and bounds during that period alone.

Each week, she has carried the torch for the label, coming out armed with fresh tracks, rapturous house beats and a committed attitude. She put her all into whatever slot was called of her, whether that be open, close or peak-time.

On the ground, she rallied the troops and engendered a real community spirit amongst the workers contingent at the Marco Polo pre-parties.

Sunday night's closing party saw Maxinne join the boss in the booth, to play alongside him back-to-back. Bringing a full force of energy to the decks, she looked perfectly at ease.

Not only the face of Toolroom's present but the face of its fashion range and brightest product of its academy, Maxinne has been one of Ibiza's 2019 success stories. No longer one for the future, but one for the here and now.

The Future | Alisha

WORDS | by Sasha Wharton

The third set of the night was delivered emphatically by ALISHA - an act we touted as being one to watch at the start of the season.

Having made multiple appearances for Toolroom this season, it says much about how highly regarded she is that her original dates were added to.

Clearly buzzing off the back of her appearance at ABODE In The Park festival in London earlier that day, ALISHA rode the wave with a fierce roar. We're not kidding when we say she launched it out of the ballpark.

Setting the tempo, ALISHA went in full force with the powerful track Agartha by Blackchild, to kick start an energetic set. Combining memorable vocals and a bouncy BPM, her track selection was a hit on the dance floor, the crowd going wild.

Later, we heard the track Switch by Jansons. Exceeding my expectations, ALISHA closed off her set with Mamadi by Noidoi. This laid back number was the perfect end to a monstrous mix and paved the way for Mark Knight to follow.

The future of Toolroom roaring loud.

Toolroom's overdue return to Ibiza in 2019 has paved the foundations for future seasons.

The party's unflagging enthusiasm in going head to head with some of the island's most established and popular parties was a refreshing take. More applause-worthy still, was its dedication to investing in the label's next wave of in-house talent.

When given the chance to shine, these hungry young superstars grasped the opportunity firmly with both hands. You can listen to the now complete Toolroom Ibiza playlist below:

We hope that Toolroom and its young but exciting family is back in 2020 to continue the journey it started this year.

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