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Review: Toolroom Knights opening at Booom!, 21st July

Ibiza's favourite Knight in shining armour rides into Booom! castle with the opening of Toolroom.

Having begun shaping the Toolroom brand a decade ago, there's no doubt that Mark Knight certainly knows what he's doing when it comes to dance music, and following seasons in both Eden and Space, this was a first night at Booom! for us both, as he brought the house imprint to the Ibiza Town hotspot for its opening night, and I brought, myself.

So as I so eloquently put it there, this was my first trip to Booom! and it didn't disappoint. Opened last year, it's clear that no expense has been spared in this little venue. Although small in comparison to some of Ibiza's other clubbing giants, it's fitted with an irrepressibly powerful custom built sound system, that pumps out bass which quite literally shakes the cubicle doors in the toilets. Made up of just one room, several levels and balconies break up the space and the DJ booth is nestled right in among the action at the front centre of the dance floor. Having seen pretty much all of Ibiza's clubs by now, this is definitely up there with one of my favourite in terms of the way it's been decked out, and no that has absolutely nothing to do with the Mezzanine bar upstairs where you're served by hot shirtless bar-tenders...

I arrived to the energetic sounds of Veerus & Maxie Devine's Click as Leftwing & Kody ensured the growing crowd were up on their feet. I have to say after a heavy Sunday night and busy day of work I was tempted by the ridiculously inviting red velvet seating nestled in every corner, but alas, with their punchy beats and electro house funk they even had lazy bones over here on the dance floor. Nearing the end of their set the London duo gave us opener Dale Howard's remix of Bunny's Chalk, meaning that although I didn't catch any of the Scouser's midnight set I still got a taste of the hypnotic deep house of his Static Audio sound.

After a quick breather out on the Terrace - which, with its Moroccan-themed low tables and various rugs to recline on, could pass as a night out in itself - I headed back in and Claptone was up next, obligatory beaked mask present and correct of course. Kicking off with some Martin Waslewski & Ole Biege with Hanne & Lore's remix of Odsbodkins, the tone was set for what was to be an hour of deep, shuffling bass. The sign of a great DJ in my books, Claptone managed to capture the elements that we know and love his own tracks for in his set as a whole, in this case his ability to create great house music whilst maintaining an eccentricity with unusual vocals or percussion. Tracks like Paolo Marturano's I'll Be Waiting For You, with its low, echoed vocals, and the combination of whistling pipes and upbeat brass melodies in The Path by Purple Disco Machines & Teenage Mutants perfectly complimented the large selection from Claptone's own catalogue, as he gave us both Another Night and one the most recognisable keyboard melodies of last year, Wrong.

Much to the crowd's excitement the German with a penchant for fancy dress rounded his stint off with his 2013 club favourite No Eyes featuring Jaw, ensuring he had a full and attentive dance floor to pass onto Toolroom main man Mark Knight. Taking the baton Knight announced his arrival with the vocals 'Mark Knight is in the house!' on loop, and his recent release In And Out, the hyper-energetic beat racing round the crowd whilst blue and silver confetti rained down. Knight stepped up the pace with his set, taking us away from the slower housier beats and into the land of dance, with Jamie Antonelli fittingly telling us all about his 'disco in the sky' in Divine, and samples of dance favourites like Gotsome's Bassline and Mason vs. Princess Superstar's Perfect Exceeder. Knight continued on this road of old-school beats and feet stomping bass right through till the early hours, before Hector Couto rounded off mine and Toolroom's first - but certainly not last - trip to Booom! this summer.

WORDS | Joanna Wright PHOTOGRAPHY | Marc De Groot

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