Roll up, roll up, it’s Saturday night in Playa D’en Bosa and that means only one thing, Carnival, and no, not the bearded lady or the pack of clowns chasing the elephant round the big top, Sankeys Carnival, its renowned in-house party that is one of the main factors in the popularity that the venue enjoys amongst workers, discerning clubbers and music loving locals. The flagship event has pulled in numerous top drawer line ups throughout the season so far and tonight promises to be yet another roadblock, in association with Bugged Out! Leftroom & Culprit with DJ Sneak, Cajmere and Boys Noise filling the headline slots. As we turn the corner from our pre-club drinks in Shardana its clear that we are not the only ones excited about the party that is about to unfold, massive queues both sides of the entrance tell their own story!
Considering the amount of people outside waiting to get in we can’t help jump to a couple of immediate conclusions, firstly, it might take a while to get in and secondly, there can’t be that many people inside if everyone is out here queuing. Wrong on both accounts! The queue is long but is managed swiftly and professionally and in no time we are being shown through the big doors and into the basement, which is already packed. The heat wave that only comes from a club full of enthusiastic dancers is the first thing that hits us, the second is the monstrous sound system in the big room, I can actually feel my hair vibrating! This is the reason that so many people have fallen in love with clubbing over the years, this right here!
We head upstairs to the VIP balcony overlooking The Box, much hat tipping to Bex and Kim for hooking us up with a spot to use as base camp while we pop in and out of the various rooms throughout the night. Bones is on deck duty when we land, warming the room up for Boys Noize and doing a fine job at that. Chunky, deep house grooves have the room almost full and moving already. We meet up with the mamboats crew, fresh from enjoying another adventure at sea with them the day earlier, now it’s time to party on dry land and we couldn’t have picked a better spot. For me, Sankeys offers the perfect clubbing experience, it enjoys that old school venue feel, where sound and light were the main focus and the lure of the DJ was stronger than that of a good table! BBC Radio 1 are in attendance, recording Matt Tolfrey and DJ Sneak for an Essential Mix and also Cajmere for Pete Tong, it’s the only party to be at on the island tonight!
The main reason for our visit is to catch DJ Sneak. He has been out in Ibiza most of the summer, playing around the island but so far, he has eluded us, but not tonight. We head downstairs and into the basement just as the original house gangster takes control of the booth, much to the delight of the packed room. You would literally struggle to squeeze another body into the room, everyone facing the front, paying homage to the house don by offering up the sweat from continual dancing. Sneak is the real deal, he has been filling clubs and smashing dancefloors around the world for over two decades and as he sets about his task this evening with the enthusiasm of a kid getting his first big break, there are no signs that he plans on going anywhere anytime soon. Jackin’ house is the order of the day, disco laced breakdowns, throbbing basslines and the odd vocal here and there and Sneak has complete control of the room.
For sanity sake, and also to get a glimpse of what ‘s going on elsewhere, we nip back upstairs. Boys Noize has taken over from Bones and The Box is looking very much like The Basement – wall to wall people all facing the booth and reacting as the numerous breakdowns and subsequent build-ups drive them crazy. It’s a seamless musical journey, apart from a slight musical mishap when one of the decks stops – in truth it was probably suffering from exhaustion – but even that served to insight the crowd further. Both rooms compliment each other musically, offering two completely different but equally amazing experiences, there’s nothing quite like this club when both rooms are firing on all cylinders! Time to head back into the lions den and catch the last part if Sneaks set.
The room is literally shaking, the walls are sweating and the imposing silhouette of DJ Sneak is visible in front of the giant screens that line the back of the DJ booth. He is bobbing up and down in time to the music as he delivers bomb after bomb on a dancefloor that must be every DJs dream. It reacts to every new track, bass drop, breakdown and even when Sneak looks out to see what’s going on. DJ Sneak is a huge character literally and metaphorically, he has a reputation as one of the finest spinners on the planet on the back of years of headline appearances and here, in the world’s clubbing capital, as he goes about demolishing and rebuilding the Sankeys Basement floor, it’s not hard to understand why. After two hours of relentless jackin house he hands the baton to Cajmere, who proceeds to take the floor on a slightly different trip, starting with some squelchy basslines and crisp beats.
We didn’t manage to make it across the main room to check out Spektrum but we have to give a quick mention for Manu Vulcano who has started his residency with the club on the back of winning the Burn Studios DJ competition earlier in the month. It’s great to see established club brands supporting new talent as he appeared alongside Departure DJs and Jordan Peak. We call it a night and head for the fresh air as the party continues to rock; Carnival is every bit as good as we remember.