If there is a more aptly named party on this planet we have yet to find it! We Love opened up the 2011 season with a huge statement of intent, with six arenas, 27 DJs and a percussionist. The talent on display is as good as anything you will witness this year. Legends Alfredo, Carl Craig, Derrick Carter and Greg Wilson are juxtaposed with relative rookies Jem Haynes, Jaymo and Andy George not to mention Ibiza specialists like Paul Woolford and Jason Bye, thoughts turn to the proverbial kid in the sweetie shop!
The party has been in full swing since early in the afternoon and Jaymo and Andy George are live on Sonica Radio as we make our way across the island to Playa d’en Bossa. Radio 1’s newbies have taken Sunset Terrace responsibilities on several occasions this summer and their debut is going down a storm. On arrival we decide on a quick sweep of the rooms to get a fix on what’s going on, The Sunset Terrace, as we picked up from Sonica’s broadcast, is already rocking, up on the roof Ibiza legend Alfredo has the Premier Etage transfixed with a master class in Balearica. The club tour takes a break to soak up the atmosphere in the mini open-air arena. We are witnessing one of the reasons that Ibiza is the clubbing super power that it is today, Alfredo, in the flesh, and he still knows how to move the floor. The ear to ear grin as he does so tells you everything you need to know!
Reluctantly we exit and continue with our fact-finding tour. Scott Martin is building up the Red Room and down in the Salon, the Black Rabbit boys are gathering steam. With the main room almost ready to open, we head back to the Sunset Terrace where Greg Wilson has not long started his set. The tempo is around 120 bpm, a cool, hip swinging pace filled with disco loveliness, sneaky edits and some reel to reel trickery along the way, just what the doctor ordered! As we enter the room Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ comes bursting out of the fierce sound system, Greg’s own edit of course, the capacity crowd spans more than a couple of generations but that doesn’t matter, they are united in their love for a DJ that defines a musical genre. His particular brand of disco has spawned a new generation with an appreciation for classics that have been sampled to death over the years and have yet to be bettered. Greg has a sixth sense when it comes to controlling the crowd and every now and then a well placed edit sparks a hands in the air moment; Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ produces quite possibly the world’s biggest karaoke performance, Adamski’s ‘Killer’ also goes down a storm and when he finishes his set with a reworking of The Clash’s ‘Rock The Kasbah’ the Sunset Terrace erupts.
With an Alfredo like grin on our faces we make our way into the main room, which has opened and is filling up nicely. Tonight’s celebration of 20 years of Planet E is a vinyl only session, which helps prolong the nostalgic high from the Sunset Terrace. ‘We Love’ resident Jem Haynes is on deck duty and the sight of a DJ rattling through his bag of vinyl in search of the next tune is awesome! We must hold our hands up at this point and confess to not knowing too much about the talented ‘We Love’ resident prior to this event but a couple of hours later we are huge fans. He delivers a flawless performance, dropping a personal favourite, Joey Beltram’s ‘Energy Flash’, along the way. Jem is ably assisted by percussionist Ian C, who displays an almost psychic connection to the DJ as he expertly plays along, sensing every breakdown, reacting to the crowd and generally adding to the already outstanding performance.
While we are in the confessional, we have to hold our hands up, yet again, and admit that we never made it to La Terraza! We do accept that this is criminal behaviour given that the talent on show includes James Zabiela, Hot Chip DJs, Jesse Rose, Heidi and Mat Playford but we are only human and we have been captured by the energy that is building inside La Discoteca. We did partake in a couple of quick laps of our now familiar circuit to enjoy a bit of Ian Blevins in the Premier Etage and Ryan O’Gorman in the Red Box but the Discoteca has us and it’s not long before we’re back.
Paul Woolford has taken over deck responsibilities and proceeds to drop a CD, on a vinyl only night! How dare he! OK, he proceeds to smash the room so we are happy to overlook this slight discretion. He delivers a chunky, bubbly journey peppered with an old school synth or three, a healthy helping of bleeps and squelches and a wicked mix of Kristine W that tries to emulate the world karaoke record set earlier on the Sunset Terrace and only narrowly fails. By now, Carl Craig has entered the booth and the interest around the DJ box is gathering momentum. Camera phones create a strobe like effect and the buzz on the raised area filters across the main room floor, which kicks things up a notch as the anticipation builds.
At this point EI’s trusty creative director and photographer needs to grab something from the car and we decide a quick breath of fresh air before Carl Craig won’t do us any harm. Outside the club and across the road to where we parked the car and a gaping space has appeared, what follows is the perfect rendition of a scene from ‘Dude, Where’s My Car’. Our musically induced buzz is shattered and it’s time to head to the Police station to try and locate the buggy! Lesson of the night? Never ever leave the club early, bad news can wait! We Love Space gets off to a flyer, roll on next Sunday, no cars allowed!!