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Review: elrow Ibiza is back at Space

A rollicking good time had by all

You know it's a good party when a lilo comes flying through the air and hits your mate on the head. And if all parties were measured by this marker, elrow would be the clear frontrunner - I lost count of the amount of times at the party's opening at Space on Saturday night that my dancing buddy got clocked in the face by some kind of inflatable (don't worry, she took it like a trooper). Elrow is one of those parties where you know what to expect (confetti, toys, tomfoolery), but you still stand there, mouth agape, as chaos unfolds around you, not quite sure whether to break into hysteria, kiss a stranger or question your own sanity. It's a whirlwind that you leaves elated, inflated and stomping for your life - a rare combination on any dance floor, but one that finds a fitting home in Ibiza - the crazies flock together on this island.

Good thing too, because that's what makes elrow such a unique night - its ability to capture the crazy kid that's lurking within all of us - the way it taps into that unparalleled sense of fun that lies beneath our serious exteriors. And believe me, it was impossible to remain po-faced if you were at Space last night. Discoteca and Sunset Terrace had been dressed with enough brightly coloured props to blind a unicorn - tennis rackets, flags and Olympic style rings hung from the ceiling, in homage to this year's opening theme, Rowlympics, and everywhere you turned people were teetering around on stilts, expertly avoiding toppling over while in the middle of a packed dance floor and simultaneously overacting with enough panache to upstage Nicolas Cage.

We arrived in the Discoteca just in time to see Matador stepping up to the brink to set the live tone for the night. At elrow you really feel like the music embodies the vibe - it's uptempo and excitable and enthusiastic - the kind of tech house that could drag anyone out of the darkest depression. He launched in resolutely, drinking the hunger from the crowd and using it to feed on - tunes like ‘Dahustle' and ‘Remember' were winners, while the Nikola Gala Remix of Marco Bailey's ‘Wildfires' provided a big enough drop to warrant the infamous confetti cannons marching into action. We stayed put here for some time, locked in by the beats and engrossed in the pop up long jump competitions appearing at our feet.

Around 3 AM we moved over to the Terrace, which was a more stripped back affair - no decoration or performance here, but it did serve as a more downtempo alternative for those needing to take a break from the sensory overload. Groove Armada were holed up in here all night long and were doing what they do best (they know this room well) - infusing the dance floor with vibrant, joyful ear pleasers like ‘Superstylin'' and spreading love in slightly less in-your-face way.

Back in Discoteca, Steve Lawler had ushered in a slightly darker mood. Smiles were still stuck on faces but there were slower build ups, darker climaxes and a minimal sound: see Claude VonStroke's ‘Who's Afraid Of Detroit' for the picture. But in spite of the slightly more serious musical agenda, the shenanigans continued. Gymnasts bounced from the ceiling - limbs everywhere - and inflatable boats got caught in orifices of unsuspecting crowd members. It was Marc Maya then, till closing, and he was quick to ramp up the energy levels. Bouncing around behind the booth he let loose with high octane ammunition like Krankbrother's ‘Circular Thing (Hot Since 82 Remix)', insisting the crowd stayed engaged on this bumpy, jumpy journey. At 6 AM the dance floor was still heaving; testament to the fact people couldn't drag themselves away from the madness. We made our way out but not before an up close and personal encounter with an acrobat's crotch - and that ladies and gentlemen, is how you end a successful night.


WORDS | Abby Lowe

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