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Review: W.A.R. at Ibiza Rocks Hotel, 3rd July

Woz, Kidnap Kid and Gorgon City bring in the weekend.

The vast number of quality artists, Black Butter Records has catapulted into our eardrums and consciousness is impressive, the independent label being one of London’s finest. On Friday, July 3rd this stature was showcased at Ibiza Rocks Hotel, by the likes of Woz, Kidnap Kid, and Gorgon City.

Although having both made a name for themselves separately, since joining forces in 2012, Gorgon City haven’t looked back. At the same point deep house crossed over, a sheer production caliber to create addictive hooks whilst teaming up with upcoming vocalists, has made them the next biggest UK double act after Disclosure.

Not for the first time in my life, I ran around like a headless chicken in order to find the hotel, fortunately arriving in time to see Woz takes control of things. Having forgotten that Shelter comes later on at Sankeys, revelers shied away, huddled by the sides and bar area while Woz did his best to lure people from their safe spots and draw interest onto the dancefloor. New life was leased to Hardrive’s classic Deep Inside and Ejeca’s Music Sounds Better With A 303 had hotel guests dancing on their balconies. Woz mixed his late summer hit from 2014, Cherry Hill into Mele’s cowbell packed forthcoming track Ambience. Drake fans were catered for as the Find Yourself line: “I was running through the six” made its way into the mix, the floor now filled out.

Kidnap Kid came in with climbing synths and churning bass, and things turned more melodic after half an hour with his own song, Stronger, shortly followed by new releases on Pete Tong’s FFRR label: Freedom and Fall. His combination of sentimental vocal lines and slow-burning house was a good bridge between the two other acts, and maintained the crowd’s energy. His own productions aside, the vocals were few and far between, with Dennis Ferrer’s Hey Hey hitting the spot. Closing with track of the moment, Bicep’s Just, the floor was packed and noticeably sweaty.

Gorgon City started off with Disciples’ They Don't Know, the crowd clearly excited, chanted along. Tunes from their debut album Sirens released last October, containing all the elements that has seen them such success, were dropped ensuing sing-alongs. All between club bangers from the year so far, including: Justin Martin & Ardalan’s Function, Fono’s jabbing electro synth number Real Joy, and Lower Frequency by Denney on Hot Creations.

A re-edit of Imagination saw the exclamations from Katy Menditta alongside rave licks. Amid the deep and thumping bass lines, near impossible to not move to, (not that I ever say no), vocalist Josh Barry came onstage for a couple of songs. As the chorus to Real hit, their breakout single from 2013, an array of hands were in the air. The duo seemed totally in sync, with few words exchanged, whilst they demonstrated knowledge of what the crowd craved, both enjoying it just as well themselves.


WORDS | Emma Gillett PHOTOGRAPHY | Luke Dyson