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Ibiza 2005 mid term report – A for effort

Who sucked? Who got the bucks? Why did papa_baird walk 15 kilometres from Amnesia to San An?

Ibiza 2005 is half over but it barely seems like it’s started. The punters of June and July have swept past like bloodthirsty bands of orcs and high season is upon us.

Manumission @ Privilege - Friday August 5, 2005

Some loathe the crowds and heat of August but the biggest clubs in the world in full flight are a magnificent sight.

Figures for last month have yet to be released, but according to airport site over half a million tourists landed in June. UK nationals arrived in the greatest numbers with 194,168, marginally ahead of mainland Spanish with 184,293.

Which suggests the notion that the Ibiza nightlife does not cater for Hispanics wishing to “strut” their “stuff” is outdated, if it ever applied.

Nano VergelSpace resident dj and Ibicenco Nano Vergel (right) cites Balearic People at Penelope, La Comunidad and What’s Up? (both at Space) as examples of parties put on by people with a long-standing association with Ibiza.

“I think competition produces better quality. And now in Ibiza we have the best djs every night of the week to choose from, from all over the world. And still local parties mix it with the likes of Cocoon and Ministry.”

Also Space’s Saturdays and Thursdays (Matinée and La Troya’s Fake respectively) feature Spanish djs almost exclusively. Pacha’s indigenous Flower Power production was totally rammo last night. Subliminal is headlined by the fluent Spanish speaker and Columbian-born Erick Morillo and Release Yourself with Roger Sanchez is packed with locals, a fact you’d be aware if you’d attended even once.

There are numerous other examples, but this division of the Ibiza Spotlight Niterie Review Team sets itself a target of only one club per day and to be honest there is a lot I haven’t got to yet.

my feet - August 9, 2005

As can be seen in exhibit A (above) the hems of my jeans are ripped to shreds. The soles of my flip flops are studded with broken glass. My body clock is irretrievably cuckoo.

Like “the Man” in the classic Dire Straits song, Ibiza is too big and too strong for just one person to handle.

Therefore I’ve trawled the forums, drawing heavily on our ‘Club reviews’ section and collated a selection of opinions from the opiniated peeps therein.

One of the dominant impressions is that the clubs are more differentiated in 2005, with consequently intensified positive and negative experiences.

For example Manumission, long a recipient of brickbats and bouquets, have invested heavily in live music by bringing over a slew of untested names for their Music Box (below) on Mondays and Fridays, with varying results. Speaking to Skrufff, Andy McKay says "the bands are genuinely happy to have been invited, and we watch musician after musician falling in love with an island that surpasses their expectations. There are some great characters in some of these bands too, this is raw young energy that the island needs. The only down side is the money we will lose doing this and some of the cynicism we get from people who seem to think dance music and Ibiza can have a healthy future without evolution.”

Go this year before the hype kicks in and you won’t be able to get anywhere near the front in 2006.

Hard-Fi in the Music Box - August 5, 2005

(Click here for the Live Music in Ibiza 2005 thread.)

Pacha’s hip hop and r’n’b program is firmly entrenched and already they’ve brought over big names like London rapper Dizzee Rascal and the American siren Kelis.

Amnesia enjoys the kudos that comes with hosting the island’s hippest gig – Cocoon on Monday nights. In response to the over-subscription of Cream on Thursdays, trance fans can now also do Tuesdays with Armin Van Buuren.

Made In Italy on Fridays is also reportedly doing well, as is the organisers’ new club on Formentera, Xueno.

Space is arguably the premier club for forward-thinking tech-house and electro, and even pulled off a cracking drum’n’bass coup on July 19 with Roni Size (below) at Carl Cox's fiesta apertura.

Roni Size @ Space - July 19, 2005

Back in San An the owners of many high profile clubs and bars have very publicly renounced the lowest common denominator approach of yesteryear and the area as a whole is visibly improved.

Dc10 Monday sessions are for many a holiday highlight, and last week Timo Maas successfully initiated his August-only Wednesday nighters.

Their opening party was waaaaay crowded and the car park was overrun by cops but bad boys like them are used to a bit of heat.

Bora Bora’s troubles seem to be behind them despite Dj Gee’s efforts to antagonise some of the powerful institutions on the island. Maybe they weren’t out to get him after all.

Penelope have the most talked about new night on the island with Monza on Thursdays, and look set to win big if El Divino loses the lease on its land as rumoured.

Underground in San Rafael and Blue Marlin in Cala Jondal refuse to court publicity – a policy which is paying off for them both.

The following are quotes from other raving ravers who call the Spotlight forums home:

Defjam28 from “storyville”:

“Sun: Slept in and then time at the pool. 3pm hit Space with a vengence! What an awesome day! Terrace was excellent and great vibes all round. One of the best parties I’ve had for sure. Didn’t even use my passout and left at 3am! Fell in love with Bora Bora though! Possibly my favourite place on earth!”

Johnny_c11 loved it all:

"Thursday - Cream @ amnesia - gabriel and dresden, jon carter and paul van dyk. Amazing night one of the best ive had.

"Monday - Manumission - Unbelievable..12,000 bouncing around stood for about an hr in amazement.

"Thursday - this was the big night went to sunsea bar beside coastline cafe and had dinner while listenening to steve lawler how can u beat that then headed to Space - steve lawler, felix da housecat and sasha. What a night this turned out to be absolutely out of this world best night of the holiday."

jonbawls from Brooklyn was impressed by fellow citizen Erick Morillo:

"Got back into the main room at 4, as Morillo went on……why cant he play like this in NYC???? He opened with Solveig – ‘Everybody’, dropped B. TuckerPrecious Love, which sounded great. Guess what? He played 'Pump Up the Jam' But, he was working too….played the ‘So Many Times’ vocal over a crazy beat…..Herd & fitzJust Cant Get Enough……then the song of the trip for me, he dropped the opening to Red Carpet – ‘Allright’ but played the vocal for Kings of Tomorrow – ‘Finally’, before playing all right….SICK. Later on he played Funkytown and MetallicaEnter Sandman (not my scene, but at least he was playing something dif. taking some chances) later on he dropped Rachel Starr – Till there was you…..then me and LT had one foot out the door, when he dropped the HCCR mix of ‘Waiting in the Darkness’…..we ran back in, sick track!!! Great way for us to end the night."

Ibiza-girlie liked Sammy at Es Paradis and also Xavier with the blue eyes.

lisaminx dug Space’s refurb:

“well, the new terrace is just like the old terrace, Smiley, happy and very HOT!! the new room is huge with really cool lighting, the main room inside was brilliant too, with these weird, trippy ball things on the ceiling that i just could not take my eyes off. The new decor is slick and minimalist, but hasnt lost that Space look or feel at all. Infact, now there is more room in there, it is easier to dance without getting burnt/knocked/falling over (unless thats your bag)

"The music was banging all night, a lot harder than last time I was there, with lots of old skool tunes remixed and chucked in. Smokin Jo and Tim Sherridan were fantastic, Tim was really into it, you can tell they love the music they play. It still has the same old school atmosphere, everyone smiling and no attitude, lots of people of every age, race and gender persuasion. 12 hours fly by like 12 minutes. I am getting on a bit now, but it felt like clubbing used to be in 92/93.

"I didnt think you could improve on perfection, but Space have managed it somehow, well done to them!"

Barbie from “Fancy London Town” had the best night of her week at Yoshitoshi’s opening night:

“One of the best crowds I've seen in Pacha (people were actually there for the music), Behrouz played from midnight til 3am and then Deep Dish played from 3am til about 7.45am.

"Absolutely amazing music, one of those nights where you can't sit down once"

dw151174’s did maximum damage on his mini break:

"landed at 11.15 in apts by 11.30 and then the fun begain .........headed off to bora bora for a couple of beers to get in the mood and decided we would head over to space for lawlers opening and what a great choice, the man rocked it along with slam and whoever else headed back the to the apt at 7 realised sleep was out of the question so strolled down the beach until 10 back to the apt to try and get heads down but again no joy so decided to get on it again, few beers and later we headed to bora bora for an afternoon of mayhem, by 5 the place was rockin and we were in full swing again stayed till about 8 then headed back to sort out lives out,

"Monday flew home about midnight feeling rough as badgers arses......................all in all a good trip but most def my last , the body really did take a battering and i realised i'm not as young as i used to be but i went there to achive a goal and that goal was achieved.........adios ibiza my time has come to say goodbye, 6 times is enough for me, i've been there, seen it, done it and got the t-shirt!"

stuppy got into a bit of trouble during his visit in July.

“we decided to hit the West End again. Everything was going good until we were on our way home at 4 and a mate jumped on my back and we fell into some shutters next to Plastik and put a massive dent in them. Police were involved and everything and we had to pay 300 euros to the guy!"

"Tuesday 19th - Was a big toss up between Armada and Tidy Vs. Euphoria. We opted for the latter and turned out to the be the best night of the holiday. Didn't get there till about 3am and we missed Anne Savage which was a pain, but Lee Haslam knocked a blinding set out. Some quality tracks. Managed to fall down the steps going onto the dance floor. Made a bit of a tit of myself. But a blinding night."

Best review award goes to Morbyd who made a slick 13 minute movie with footage from June. Our Moscow-based Spotlighter entitled his piece “Hot Trip to Heaven”:

“headed over to the opening party for Release Yourself with the man himself, Roger Sanchez. What can I say? Nowhere else did I see so many hands in the air and screams of delight. The man is a crowd pleaser who keeps the party going. Another great show with great tunes from the master. Home after dawn.

"then off to the opening of La Troya at Amnesia. One word: awesome. The best atmosphere of any party we attended and the terrace there is such a fabulous place to be. Cesar de Molero kept the music pumping, the dancers were fabulous, and DJ Oliver took you straight to heaven at dawn. This party is a must for all. Left just seconds before closing."

Find out who he gave awards to here:

jez71 has a new idol:

"We love Space on Sunday was fantastic... ace being back in Ibiza after a 4 year absence... grinning that much I nearly swallowed my ears! back on the terrace... oh it's good to be back... lasting memory of the day was the reaction when Jonathan Ulysess dropped 'Raining again' Moby... First time I'd heard it...Fantastic! Groove Armada were great (what I heard of them anyway but didn't catch all their set and haven't they killed superstylin yet?) Nic Fanciulli was fantastic... my new hero! He was Brilliant!"

France-resident moudire got a good deal into Space on Thursdays, but wondered if he might be a bit old for all this:

“What a party. The best music and very interesting party freaks. We stayed inside till about 11:30. Everybody was dancing. The atmosphere was just fantastic. I remember Aalin telling me “ I LOVE Ibiza

"We stayed at Space till 1 PM. We were really tired as we’ve been dancing for the last 12 hours. Note here that it is really difficult for the workers at space to concentrate on building the new terrace; I mean how can they not watch Space’s beautiful people ?!

"This year’s trip was only about clubbing. The only plans that were respected included Pacha or Space. No visit to Formentera, no exploring , nothing but clubbing. But I’m glad we did it this way.

"Ibiza still does it for me. I always have doubts before leaving to the white isle. I ask myself the kind of questions: haven’t you had enough? You have kids now? You’re not young anymore?"

papa_baird only joined in May of this year but has really got into the swing of things:

“WEDNESDAY 29TH JUNE - Got picked up from my friends house at 5pm to go to glasgow airport really excited. all 6 of us are ibiza virgins. plane journey leaves at 9.40 and is crazy. i have never seen so many drunk people on a plane. anyway we order 4 bottles of champaigne and join in. arrive in ibiza at about half 2 local time and get bus to club nautilus hotel. straight off to amnesia for espuma. CRAZY. no taxi would take us home so it was a 15 km job back to san an”

Mark Simpson, whose body lives in Belfast but whose mind is still here in Ibiza, loved Pacha’s recent defection, Defected.

“This proves to be one of the best nights I have had a Pacha. Junior Jack and Kid Creme play a seriously funky set (although the MC does his best to spoil it) before Sandy Rivera pumps it up a notch or two. 'Move Your Body' is an inspired choice of last track.”

But no-one was as eloquently over-awed as Mark Sun:

"The cynic in me says that it's not only inaccurate, but also verging on the heretic, to call my bond with Ibiza a spiritual one. That cynic goes on to say that the deep love I have for its sun-scored landscapes, honeyed air and bone-bleached colours is due to the psychotropic substances I tend to imbibe there, a by-product of reckless debauchery and irresponsibility rather than anything deeper.

"But as I sit here in my darkened London flat, my heart so swollen with memories it feels like it's filled to the seam with tears, I've come to one simple conclusion.

"Bollocks to that.

"Ibiza is as important a part of my spirituality as a thousand hours in a stuffy old church. The epiphanies I've had whilst lying on her aquamarine shores have changed my life more than any dry sermon ever has, or ever will. The friendships I have made, the simple expressions of generosity I have seen on the island have been as 'Christian' as any I have experienced. And I have seen God there - in the staggering perfection of those molten sunsets, in the flawlessness of her bejewelled fish."