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Review: Ushuaïa Closing Party, 2013

Who needs a rollercoaster with a line-up like this?

Saturday night we saw Ushuaïa, part hotel part outdoor music venue, setting up its signature grand entrance and roping off its pool for the last time this summer, as they rounded off another season. The closing party line-up was a cracking one, hosting some of the DJs who have made Ushuaïa's season this year - Loco Dice, Andrea Oliva and Los Suruba. We also saw some names that have been as essential on the island as factor 30 was in August, including Maya Jane Coles, Reboot, Uner and a back to back set from Joris Voorn and Nic Fanciulli.

I skipped through a huge grinning mouth and an almost solid wall of iridescent bubbles and fairground-style laughter. A giant stick of candy floss the size of my face was thrust into my hand by a girl dressed in what one could describe as appropriate ‘glamorous fairground assistant chic', and I knew straight away I was in for a right treat. It was like being transported back to childhood, not knowing whether to look at the beautiful dancers in the pool, the waltzers that whizzed round on the stage screens or gaze in awe at the trapeze suspended mid air, wondering who or what Ushuaïa had in store for us to end their season in true over the top style. Luckily I didn't have to wait long before three girls were lifted high into the air and started to swing themselves and each other from the trapeze.

Reboot's set was perfect for the crowd and the atmosphere, playing a great balanced set which included fun tracks such as Groove Armada's I See You Baby, mixed with heavier guitar riff ‘Reboot' vibes, with cuts such as Robert Hood's Dancer.

Strobe lighting and generous amounts of reverb could only mean one thing - it was Dice's turn. I have to admit I wasn't hugely excited initially as, although he is always solid, he has played all over the island this summer and I'm more of a fan of exclusivity. However, I'm thrilled to say I witnessed the best set he's played all summer. Dice was utilising the layering possibilities afforded by his multi-deck digital set up to great effect. Traditional structure, start and end points were all lost among a constantly evolving journey of loops and effects as Dice bodyslammed the dancefloor. Fire shot from the cannons at the front of the stage (a worryingly short amount of time after confetti had flooded the sky, but that's all part of the fairground ‘wow' really isn't it!), Dice ended his set with plenty of bongo drums, soulful vocals and off-beat bass, really mixing it up and making me glad I caught one of his final sets of the season.

Uner played next, and was a definite highlight for me as his set was mix of new and classic melodic techno, including the Tale Of Us remix of Thugfucker's Disco Gnome, and Âme and Frank Weirderman's Howling.

After launching right into their set with one of the biggest hits of the summer, Breach's Lets Jack, Joris Voorn and Nic Fanciulli killed it, playing a great mix of ‘90s vibe house and catchy beats (you can thank Joris for those) with a subtle but very much essential signature techno injection from Fanciulli. There was a great element of brotherhood between them, thanks to the chemistry, mutual respect and appreciation they showed each other behind the decks.

Ants resident and favourite Andrea Oliva fittingly wrapped up the night, putting an end to the possibly one of the best fairgrounds I've been to and confirming that, yet again, they've nailed it this season.

Words by Lydia Laws,Photography by James Chapman.

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