Ibiza is a place that’s always changing, and if you only end up there every few years, it feels quite different every time. Last week was my first visit since 2015, and the clearest difference was the blow-out to rival any in dance music, it felt a bit understated.
I turned up just before 2 AM to a mostly full club. Dana Ruh was playing bigger and harder than I’d expected in the Main Room, and the energy only increased with Ilario Alicante and Adam Beyer. As usual, though, I spent most of my time on the Terrace. I caught a few minutes of DJ Koze unfurling lush and tribal cuts of house as red and purple lights strafed the vast dance floor. Henrik Schwarz came on strong and confident, clearly comfortable in such a big room. His live set was warm and exotic, full of big drops that grabbed everyone’s attention. He brought the night to its first peak with his remix of Emmanuel Jal’s “Kuar,” for my money the best record Innervisions ever put out.
Sven Väth, the party’s charismatic ringleader, took over at 3 AM to a wave of cheers from the crowd, which he redirected to Schwarz with one of his signature pantomimes, pulling an exaggerated “oh”-face and pointing at him with two hands raised high over his head. He spent the next four hours weaving between pumping, full-throttle techno and more groovy, summery cuts, most memorably Adam Port’s edit of “Senhor Doutor” by Quim Manuel O Espirito Santo. The room was full, the crowd beaming, but that feeling of wild abandon never crept in, and then it all wrapped up quite neatly at 7:30 AM. 12 hours later, face painted, ensconced in the jungly DJ booth at the official afterparty, Väth would get freaky with cuts of IDM and Afrobeat. But for now, he waved goodbye to a crowd that would make it home before sunrise.
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