My first time in IBIZA
Διονύσης, or Denny as we know him, is the newest addition to the MEOKO family. Only 21 years of age and recently moved to London from his hometown in Greece four months ago, Denny has a neverending passion for all things HOUSE and TECHNO and his enthusiasm is infectious! Having studied sound engineering and music technology in Athens, and working as a radio producer and DJ for Proton Radio, Denny lives and breathes dance music and we love that!
Hence when we discovered Denny hadn’t actually yet been to Ibiza, we concocted a plan to make his dreams come true. Sending him off to the big bad island (but armed with a bit of VIP access), Denny will be documenting his adventures, as he experiences some of the most iconic locations and nights in the underground music scene.
So I saved my pennies, booked the flights, bought some crazy outfits; and I even had another week’s holiday at home after I came back, to recuperate. Everything seemed perfect. Destination? Ibiza! Ibiza is known internationally for being, perhaps, the ‘Clubbing Capital’ of the world and nightlife in Ibiza is something that you have to experience to truly appreciate! It’s been a few weeks now since I popped my Ibiza cherry as my disappearing tan keeps reminding me, but it’s what happens in Ibiza that makes the whole experience unforgettable and that’s something that will last longer than any tan! The unique cultural diversity, warm temperatures, friendly and beautiful people all contribute to creating a magical atmosphere. Every single day in Ibiza feels like the weekend anywhere else in the world (for four months of the year anyway). As soon as you drive out of Ibiza’s airport, it becomes very clear the predominant industry on this island is nightlife culture & clubbing thanks to the many billboards plastered with DJ’s faces, club branding, CD advertisements and events!
Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza Town and San Antonio are the most musically alive areas you will find on the island, with Playa d’en Bossa the main destination for the more party-focused tourists who come to the island each season. I booked my accommodation in Platj’a Den Bossa, in the heart of Playa D’en Bossa, where all the island’s clubs could be reached on the disco bus which stopped just meters from where I was based. The legendary ‘Space’ was 10 minutes walk and ‘Sankeys’ just around the corner! I couldn’t have found a better location to be honest! I had 8 days to explore the island’s party side and I was determined to attend as many parties as possible…
The result; a total of 72 hours spent in clubs, beach bars, basements, terraces and any other location you can imagine! As long as there is a Jockey, turntables, speakers and booze there is nothing more you need to have a great time!
Wednesday: tINI & the gang @ Sirocco Beach, FUSE @ Sankeys
Photo Credit: Tasya Menaker
Playa D’en Bossa is a two-kilometer long beach; rich in sun loungers, umbrellas and watersports. But the stretch really comes alive with the abundance of impressive bars; where drinking, dancing and sunglasses meet to mix a perfect Balearic cocktail.
On the north end of this astonishing beach you will find “Sirocco Beach”, the home of “tINI & the gang”! With a season-long residency, a solid line up, a free-entry beach party and a crew that kicks ass, tINI easily got me in the mood for an amazing Wednesday night to follow! The ‘gang’ meets up every Wednesday in Sirocco with incredible results; the ‘join our gang’ philosophy creates a friendly vibe where you feel comfortable enough to enjoy the party even if you’re on your own like I was! Both the crowd and dj’s share the same excitement and by the time the night falls, you can experience the ‘peak’ of what tINI & the gang is all about! The party kicks off around 5pm and goes until midnight!
After tINI’s beach party we rolled onto FUSE at Sankeys! Fuse is a London institution built around a strong ethos of quality music, quality sound system and no messing about with stupid gimmicks – all with a committed group of followers! Running since 2008, Fuse parties have become the stuff of legends in recent years thanks to the crew’s simple but effective policy of presenting extended sets from their core residents and friends…Enzo Siragusa, Seb Zito, Rich NxT, Rossko, tINI, and co. A couple of hours in this amazing basement were enough to witness the essence of everything FUSE does in London being transported to Ibiza. Enzo and the FUSE family play sounds and create vibes that are difficult to experience anywhere else on the island – it really is the polar opposite to the glamorous side of Ibiza clubbing that you might see on the TV or in the magazines. Down in that basement it, feeling the incredible sound system, everything was as it was supposed to be…deep, dark and intimate!
Thursday: ENTER @ Space
Photo Credit: Space Ibiza
Space Ibiza is synonymous around the world as one of the temples of electronic dance music. Unique through many of its years by offering unadulterated daytime clubbing! Space or ‘Ibiza’s power clubbing’ is at its finest and gives a particular emphasis on bringing only the best international DJs across the genres. While it is the world’s most awarded club armed with a sound system that will literally blow your head off, you will be crazy to be on the island and not to go there at least once! Every Thursday ENTER takes over Space and delivers an unforgettable high-octane experience of quality Techno (amongst other styles), innovative design, an inclusive atmosphere and plenty of Sake week after week. ENTER.Sake is the island’s first true Sake Bar experience – an intimate Japanese inspired room with surprise DJ sets from major guests starting each Thursday at 10pm. The party vibe was apparent as soon as I walked through the doors and it didn’t take long until I noticed Richie weaving through the early-bird crowd pouring Sake and meeting friends and fans. The transformation of Space into Richie Hawtin’s visionary concept takes 11 hours every week whilst the decoration is totally changed from the previous night. This gives ENTER an almost festival-like atmosphere and was one of many highlights during my Balearic adventure.
Friday: Flying Circus @ Sankeys
Photo Credit: Tribal Mixes.com
The residency at Sankeys for Flying Circus, which is run by Luca Saporito / Audiofly, is their first on the island forming part of the club’s new seven day weekly roster. Developed six years ago, Flying Circus is now a tried and tested party formula dedicated to keeping these underground fun times a simple, friendly and quality affair. Pure and deep unconstrained house and techno, was supplied to you by the clubs phenomenal Void sound system; taking over all of Sankeys 3 main spaces, Flying Circus aims to create a dynamic, immersive experience for all party goers. Simple concepts, are often the best ones: good friends + good tunes = good times 😉
Saturday: Kehakuma @ Space, Wisdom Of The Glove after party with Guy Gerber
Photo Credit: Max Lawless
Following on from the collaboration with ENTER in 2012, Kehakuma is now holding it’s own residency, with a new home on Saturdays at Space. The underground night showcases only the best in deep house & minimal sounds retaining with it the atmosphere that Kehakuma has built up over the years; a seriously good fun party! A post apocalyptic cave of hungry rhythm and creeping ghosts, Kehakuma presents itself with unflinching style! Dedicated to a boldly artistic vision of waxy ghosts and blood-red propaganda, all guests are invited to lose their minds and find their souls! The energy sparkled as the party developed with some of the most respected artists on the underground scene taking over the decks. Lot’s of people say that Ibiza is not yet ready for this kind of music, given the more underground nature of the lineups in comparison to the ‘big guns’ showcased on Space’s other nights. But I would say if you like your beats deep and underground then Kehakuma won’t disappoint.
After Kehakuma it was time for Guy Gerber’s secret after party somewhere on the island! I don’t have a clue where the location was all I can remember is a beach 100 meters away from a villa! The location was astonishing, one of the best after parties I’ve ever been in my life, and I’ve been to a few! About 150 people were feeling the love of Guy Gerber’s music in this super amazing dark room full of black lights and Buddha decorations! Although I didn’t make it to Pacha for Guy Gerber’s ‘Wisdom of the Glove’ main event, at least I had a taste of what this party is all about! Wisdom of the Glove sees Pacha transform into a very bizarre dystopia, with spinning wheels, sparkling hands and disembodied eyes peering out from all corners. This is definitely one of the most creative and musically sophisticated nights Pacha has to offer.
Sunday Viva Warriors @ Sankeys
Without a doubt Viva Warriors is among the best parties Ibiza has to offer on a Sunday night! On the back of a cracking first season last year and sell out shows all over Europe, the Warriors smash the arse out of the Sankeys basement every week, led by Ibiza veteran and all-round club legend Steve Lawler. This is one of Sankeys’ most successful nights, and definitely a favourite amongst island workers, with Departure (the quintessential workers party) hosting a room each Sunday. With a marketing plan inspired by 1979 cult movie ‘The Warriors’ and the raw identity of the night , Viva Warriors has become one of the strongest parties of the summer. The ecstatic vibe created by both dj’s and crowd was something that made me feel like I was actually in a war; a techno war where smiling faces and amazing music was the most powerful weapon to be found. As usual I stayed until the very last track! The magic moments I experienced during the last hour (where the toughest ‘warriors’ remained on the dance floor) were the ones that made Viva Warriors such a successful mind blowing party!
Monday: Cocoon @ Amnesia
By Monday I found myself contemplating the previous 5 days of unadulterated fun I’d had having hit up nearly all the parties I’d planned to; I really understood why people get so excited about Ibiza. There is nothing in the world to be compared with Ibiza’s night life, the venues, the crowds, the sound systems, the quality of music, the vibe and excitement! Everything had been top notch! No bullshit stories, no drama, just mind blowing music sneaking to your ears every single day. As an Ibiza virgin I thought it couldn’t get any better than that but … on Monday night I was proved wrong. An Amnesia sized ‘slap’ came out of nowhere to wake me up and take me to another dimension of musical experience! Even though a whole month has passed since that day…I can remember even the smallest detail because that day I was feeling 100% alive. Monday was my Ibiza highlight…
Photo Credit: White-Ibiza.com
The time was getting closer to become a Cocoonero and to pop my Amnesia cheery, excited doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. Huge thanks to my beloved ‘Rebel Butterflies’ Alice and Clare who made the whole thing seem like a fairytale before it even started! Even though it was a last minute decision the girls did their magic and Jesus Sierra the press director of Amnesia happily agreed to show me around Amnesia … so you know what that means right? What happened at fabric and Fuse for my very first ‘My first time’, was about to happen at Amnesia for Cocoon. Could it get any better? I’d seen many pictures and videos but was curious to find out how Amnesia really looked, how it really sounded, how it really feels to be there I the middle of an epic party. And I was about to find out…the lineup: Sven Vath all night in the main room, with Ricardo Villalobos b2b [a:rpia:r] in the terrace. Too much.
Photo Credit: Katya Smolina
I was outside Amnesia with my mate Gary when Jesus came and picked us up from the entrance. Like the great host he was, Jesus took us inside the venue to show us around and from that moment my heart started beating like a drum! The first thing I saw as I passed the doors of the venue was the legendary terrace, which is considered to be one of the best dance floors on the globe! If that wasn’t enough Ricardo was already spinning records with his Romanian mates [a:rpia:r] and the terrace was almost full of people! Having this mind blowing combination of Jockeys behind these specific decks was more than enough for me to feel like I was at a workshop and having a proper lesson of “how it should be done”. When we talk about underground electronic music and what it represents, these guys really are at the very forefront of what they do and what we love!
Jesus continued to show me around the venue, giving me information about the history, the culture and everything Amnesia related! A few minutes where enough for me to understand that Amnesia was way more than just a club. There’s a private restaurant on the 1st floor with bars, where we could observe in detail what was happening on the dance floors and dj booths; that floor took the Amnesia experience on another dimension! My favourite spot, however, was the glass balcony just above Terrace’s dj booth. From that balcony I had the best observation point with the jockeys, the turntables and the mixer, everything just a couple of meters
nder me. It was literally just a glass floor separating
s, giving me a chance to really witness some masters at work…
It was about time to find out what was happening ‘behind the party’ so Jesus showed me the rest of the facilities of Amnesia (the ones that I couldn’t access if Jesus wasn’t there). One of these was his office, which was nothing less than what I expected. There was a proper studio in there with so much equipment and an awesome radio station with all the equipment needed to broadcast the parties in real time! It was my dream office! As we were having a really interesting conversation with Jesus about Amnesia’s current season Alice and Clare from Rebel Butterly showed up. These two extremely beautiful girls conspired with MEOKO for ‘My First Time at Amnesia’ when I actually met them it felt like I knew them already! Now we were all together we had an amazing conversation about Ibiza, it’s clubs, the life style, the crowd … everything that has made Ibiza what it is for so long. What Amnesia has been offering on this island and the industry since 1974 is without doubt one of the best experiences I had in my short stay.
After my outstanding tour of Amnesia it was time to leave Jesus to continue his work whilst Alice, Clare and I headed to the main room to witness Mr. Vath in action! Although it wasn’t strictly allowed, the Cocooneros gave me 5 precious minutes to spend in the dj booth while Sven was playing! The feeling being next to the man himself, observing him interact with the crowd was one of a kind, priceless and unforgettable! You could see that the crowd had turned into a big mass of bodies, moving and breathing to Vath’s techno sounds. After witnessing that magic connection Sven Vath and his crowd had, I was ready to head on the terrace and see what the other maestros were up to…
Photo Credit: Amnesia.es
Ricardo and [a:rpia:r] were delivering an exquisite set of deep minimalistic house and techno, an ecstatic b2b session if ever I saw one. I recognised so many dj’s among the crowd…the Apollonia trio, DJ Sneak , Enzo Siragusa & Seb Zito from Fuse, Bella Sarris and Crocodile Soup were a few I saw and chatted to; sharing the same excitement with all these artists made me realise even more the greatness of Cocoon! The music coming through the massive sound system developed in such a way that I really couldn’t have asked for any more! But I was given more regardless, every single track was perfectly matched to the previous one and the result made me feel like I was listening to one track which constantly changed with new sounds coming from nowhere. That experience took me into a total sound trip where I lost the sense of time for good, and I was thrilled to realise it was 7am already! It had gotten bright on the terrace, like someone had turned the lights on, something that worried me because I was thinking the music was soon going to stop. When I saw the ceiling I noticed the enormous gaps which where especially made for the natural sunlight to invade the room. It was a real moment! I could see clearly every single person in the terrace from the dance floor to the first floor and what I could see was just incredible! The crowd was amazing and the terrace was still jam-packed; did I mention Amnesia is a 4000 capacity venue?? Amongst the chaos it felt like everything was in perfect harmony. The dedication of Cocoon’s crowd is something every label or promoter could wish for, and the skill of these masters of music is something every crowd could wish to experience…a perfect balance.
Photo Credit: ibiza-spotlight.de
By now the terrace had loosened up as some of the crowd realised the time, Ricardo and the [a:rpia:r] guys however seemed intent on playing on. Alice had already gone and Clare … well I lost Clare as I lost my mate Gary, but that didn’t worry meat all; I was sure they were enjoying the party wherever they were. All I was worried about was the music and the electric atmosphere, I wished it would have lasted forever! 4 hours of non-stop dancing felt like just one…I won’t ever forget that moment. That’s what makes Amnesia unquestionably the best club on the island for me.
After half an hour or so it was time for the party to end, unfortunately nothing lasts forever. Heading to the exit was something I didn’t want at all but there was no other choice. Cocoon’s mentality is based on quotes like that “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once” nothing more was left to be done! I want to thanks Jesus Sierra for being an amazing host and showing me around the whole of Amnesia, Alice and Clare for arranging that tour and of course my crazy MEOKO family for sending me into the wildest and craziest jungle of the summer!
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