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Review: Space Ibiza closing fiesta, 2015

What a good do.

Space opening was the first party I went to in my very first season in Ibiza as a wee intern - straight off the plane (with only a bag-drop detour) to meet my new boss outside Space, who grabbed my hand and led me through the cracks of a tightly packed crowd whilst the owner of Space sang happy birthday to Carl Cox, right into the centre of the glitter-filled tempest that would be my life for the next four years.

Those looking for an account of the epicness of the Space closing Flight Area, coverage of the many brilliant DJs playing in all corners of Space from the afternoon, or indeed information on anything that happened at Space before about two in the morning, should look elsewhere. This was to be my last Space closing for some time, and my last review for Spotlight, and I was under strict instructions from the same boss who dragged me into this mess several years earlier, that I was NOT allowed to tire out and go home before Carl Cox and Nic Fanciulli's closing set, starting from 6AM in the terrace. So the plan of attack changed this year, and we decided to save ourselves for the second half of the fiesta - the weird and wonderful morning hours.

With many closings already under the belt, including Amnesia only a few hours earlier, my vocal chords pushing out a distinctly Hans Moleman timbre by the time we arrived at Space. All croakings were silenced, however, when my friends and I sidled into the terrace to find Erick Morillo smashing the decks a new one, putting all the energy that ever was or could be into every track change and effect. His enthusiasm had folks flailing hard, with uplifting house numbers like Deetron's Photon keeping energy positive in a set which crossed fairly diverse ground. Presently I left Morillo and his exploding smile for another DJ whose boundless good humour puts the rest of us to shame, Ibiza's own resident Paul Reynolds.

Paul Reynolds, Space closing fiesta 2015

"Love is in the air" with one of our favourite island jocks and resident for Space Ibiza, Paul Reynolds.The roof terrace of the Premier Etage never looked so good...

Posted by Ibiza Spotlight on Thursday, 8 October 2015

Paul Reynolds' sets have become a staple of Space openings and closings, as rave-weary residents and curious holidaymakers alike flock to the warm embrace of disco, house, old pop classics and a DJ booth a mere two metres from the bar. Reynolds collection is full of treasures: in half an hour you might enjoy a Todd Terje remix of Dolly Parton's Jolene, Inner City's Good Life and, of course, the track which first shot Reynolds into our hearts like a John Paul Young shaped arrow from the dark, Love is in the Air. Now that's how you celebrate. Friends found each other, shimmied around the circular booth, plastered glitter upon the faces of the worthy and generally congratulated themselves and Reynolds for knowing that the best party in the whole of Space right now was going down in an unassuming nook of the Premiere Etage terrace, poor sound and all. What we lacked in lasers and sub-bass, we well and truly made up for in hip thrusts and sing-a-longs. I was officially back in the game. Thank you Paul Reynolds - saving lives, one disco jam at a time.

Like most times at this stage of the season, it was time for a drink, so we decided to check out what the Elrow troops were up to in the sunset terrace below whilst we downed a few hierbas chupitos and vodka-somethings. Team Elrow were doing what they do best - making a big mess - so we waded knee-deep through confetti to the bar, inflateable animals bouncing off our faces as we knocked into people bouncing to tech house, off their faces. Soon enough, the hour had arrived. Full of that retro state-of-mind, glee, I charged into the terrace in self-congratualation at being fresh (a very, very, very relative concept during closings) for the closing set of Space's entire season.

High energy from the start, Nic Fanciulli and Carl Cox opened the morning with lively, jacking house, Coxy's familiar battle cry across the mic (oh yes oh yes faaaaaantastic) as comforting as an episode of Friends on foreign TV and as energising as a thunderclap at the end of a long, hot day. We were soon to be swimming through old school classics, but first it was time to give some tunes of the season their crowning moment, like the swirling synthetic arpeggios of Frankey and Sandrino's Acamar, which had us all twiddling our fingers at the pretty lights and rolling our heads about on our shoulders in appreciation. Although it made sense in the bigger picture, most of us wailed and screeched upon the discovery that Ben Klock - a legendary techno figure rarely seen on Balearic shores - was to play at the same time as the penultimate Coxy/Fanciulli closing set, so around seven thirty we severed ourself from the terrace floor to see what holes in the space/time continuum the Klockster was smashing over in the discoteca.

All the holes; all the smashing. Klock was playing mid-tempo, incredibly heavy techno which still managed to hold onto a deep and satisfying groove. I tend to crave the sunny morning sets and old school house classics these days, but it was the perfect reminder of just how good a solid techno stomp session can be, with season classic I Wanna Go Bang by Bjarki a highlight. Amidst the pounding bass and frantically dancing laser beams a friend announced she was determined to have Ben Klock play at her wedding; I found out later she had very recently thrown up in a corridor though, so let's see how that one plays out.

Back on the terrace, antics were getting wa-heeeeeird. As Bucketheads' classic The Bomb sent half the floor grooving, the other half were distracted by… pretty much anything at that point - the dance floor full of talking, laughing, costume changing, hologram-glasses appreciating and note-taking (I make my review notes the old school way, and though I always get weird looks at first, once folks grasp the retro concept of pen and paper I'm practically fighting the chumps off with a taser). As Mike Skinner would say, it was ‘all smile, all sing' as the classics continued to flow including Groove Armada's Superstylin, Oxia's Domino and the afro-acid remix of Mory Kante's Yeke Yeke.

Around 10am came the collective decision to let the day in, and as the incredibly joyous Strings of Life played and all hands shot to the sky, someone up the back pulled the blinds up and the terrace was flooded with warm mediterranean sun. Space owner Pepe Rosello, our knight in shining drinks tickets, arrived during Donna Summers I Feel Love and, after embracing the two DJs and some friends, cast clumps of said drinks tickets into the thirsty crowd. Though always a pillar of benevolence amidst more self-interested Ibiza moguls, he did almost kill my boyfriend, who was directly under one of Pepe's ticket explosions when for a minute his sky went dark with grasping fingers.

Having all of the fun with Carl Cox and Nic Fanciulli earlier this morning on Space Ibiza's terrace.

Posted by Ibiza Spotlight on Monday, 5 October 2015

Armand Van Helden's You Don't Know Me put the focus right back on the floor, and I danced hard next a dude wearing a luigi hat and a deflated turtle as a cape. A Felix da Housecat remix of Nina Simone's Sinnerman was one of the last tunes I clocked from the famous morning duo, as soon after this Coxy made a sly exit. Word on the street is he had the squits, or some less graphic ailment, poor fella. Around this time the music also cut out briefly, which was soon sorted out, but the lack of Coxy and sudden taste of silence had my friends and I suddenly noticing our aching bodies, rasping voices and general fatigue. It wasn't quite the end for me though, as I was shamed, guilted, pressured and positively BULLIED by the boss-come-friend from the start of our story, to stay on. We gave in around a half hour later, only 45 minutes from the end (!!!!), with thoughts of saving our energy for DC10. Stivi, you were so right - what a flaccid move. I may never live that down.

It was a closing set I will never forget. As a protest against the irritating hyperbole that dominates Ibiza reviews - this writer sadly not exempt - I'll summarise it in the words of my friend Sharma, immortalised in tattered notebook form…

What a good do.

WORDS | Jordan Smith PHOTOGRAPHY | Space and James Chapman

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