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Review: Amnesia Ibiza closing party, 2016

A dousing of tunes and a drenching of October rain

The big closing weekend in Ibiza is normally one big BOSH through three consecutive days that leave you riddled with beating bullets. For the most part, you walk out feeling like a total hero for battering on until the finish line, but at some point this will likely be replaced with descending to level zero. However, this season has been a completely different beast, with the big closing parties split over two weekends. Ushuaïa said cheerio to 2016 and Space said adios for good last weekend. Admittedly, after careering through the best part of 18 hours at Space and feeling like a cheese ball of jubilant emotions for a majority of that time, could any other closing party compete? Probably not, but I'd have a good time testing this hypothesis.

To our advantage, the lot of us knew we'd be rocking up to Amnesia's closing bash in the knowledge that we didn't have to preserve a portion of our fuel fire for the Space marathon that has traditionally followed it from an early evening hour on Sunday. And luckily, the late licence was to be adhered by so we knew we'd be chucking in shapes until noon on Sunday – guns out blazing.

With that in mind, I entered the raving realm at 2AM, knowing that I had a solid session lying before me, waiting to be conquered. The main room was the chosen haven for a warm-up with Claptone inviting in the gold masks for a head-nod through a house-centric set that beamed with groovin' tracks like David Keno's nostalgic blaze, 'Youth', and a rework of Wildchild's 'Renegade Master', before he shone the limelight on his own mastery with remixes of Gregory Porter's soul packed 'Liquid Spirit' and Golden Summer's 'In The City'. Feel-good lyrics held their dominance with the ever-elusive Claptone as he pumped out Riva Starr's 'I Believe In You' - a track that attracted huge support from DJs across the dance music spectrum. Up on mixing duties next was British duo, Gorgon City, and they came in with a proper weapon that's been blasted throughout the clubs this season – Eats Everything's remix of Green Velvet's 'Flash'.

Feeling warmed up and ready for fodder that ranked in the harder territory, I sniffed out the terrace where LED pyramids were hung from the ceiling as a reminder of the mirrored pyramid that once stood at the centre of the open-air terrace back in the day. I got out my shovel and waded into the packed crowd as Amnesia residents, Mar-T, and Cuartero disseminated the damage with a remix of Groove Armada's 'Superstylin', inviting me in like the most hospitable of gracious guests. At this point I'd like to remind you that I've been battered and bruised by an onslaught of residency closings that struck out post Space closing – physical abuse I gladly welcomed at the time – and so the rest of what I have to add comes from a mental space that is largely disorganised. Forgive me. Mar-T and Cuartero rolled out deep, windin' tech house that was occasionally marked with decade-diving old school spirit. 5.30AM marked the hour that Apollonia stepped up to the rhythm plate and these guys are the dudes capable of stimulating every nerve in your muscle-equipped body. With a ballerina dancer on the podium possessing more grace in an hour than I've shown all season, they delved into their record stack and brought out the likes of Steaward & Theo Muller's recent release, 'Deep Stick', with its punchy bassline and metallic notes doing the business for the thousand-odd clubbers that were stood with the terrace's walls. Whether you were jackin' your body or in other moments seductively swaying, they had you in their clutches for the full 150 minutes.

Ricardo Villalobos – the Chilean who famously divides opinion – cruised in with an opener that slowly built until the roof of his sonic structure was invisible to the eye. American soul singer, Erykah Badu, proved that any genre was in the line of fire for a remix and as perhaps expected, from a sweep of the floor, it wasn't hitting everyone's pleasure spot. But, in the case of Villalobos, even although he wants you to have a good time he doesn't play it safe to cash in with mass praise – if you don't like it, tough. From his perspective, I'm more than certain he'd rather have half the crowd really into what feeling he was attempting to channel rather than the whole merry lot thinking it was merely pleasant. The daylight hours arrived with an almighty shower storm in tow, but Villalobos kept the looming greyness at bay with uplifting material, including a remix of Lil' Mo' Yin Yang's 'Reach'. A warming thought was that with the downpour raging on outside, at least you were in Amnesia with every punter who had stood the test of time.

I briefly stuck my head in for some of Markantonio and Luigi Madonna B2B in the main room and threw in some of what I had left for an absolute classic - X-Press 2's 'Muzik Xpress'. For the remainder of the terrace, it was up to Paco Osuna to keep our toes firmly planted until noon and at this hour he spoonfed us a set that was more appropriate to a time when every mortal's face was clearly visible to the eye, as opposed to hammering it out in the darker dungeons I've previously seen him in. As ever though, he had the place bouncing.

So, it's smell you later for now Amnesia, and with Space gone I left in the comfort knowing that I'd be back in there again with my disco stick leading the way in 2017.


WORDS | Aimee Lawrence

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