Are You Tribal?

Posted on May 29, 2015

Words: Karen Brown
Images: Justin Gardner.

As a first-timer at Sankeys Ibiza, I’ve heard nothing but good chat about the club. The chat about it having the best sound system on the island catching my attention in particular. The night is Tribal Sessions, a long standing and established Sankeys UK party and one that made a big impact on the island after its long awaited debut last year. Returning for a second year with an equally impressive underground line up, I was prepared for a really great night. ‘Forward thinking music without predjudice’ is what Tribal promises to deliver and it didn’t fail to bring something different to two rooms full of bass-loving clubbers.

Tribal Sessions Opening Review by Essential Ibiza photographed by Justin Gardner 05

At onely 35 euros entry fee, the Sankeys crew made sure it was offering value for money, starting the party with a free BBQ on the terrace at 9pm before opening the club at midnight so we could really get our dance on. The line up was made up of some real techno stalwarts including Breach, Blawan, Jozef K + Winter Son (808 + 909), Redshape live, Shlomi Aber Secondcity, Tribal resident Manu Gonzalez and two of my favourite techno artists in the world – Dense & Pika. It was a universally exciting collection of talent to open the party but, having witnessed and been immersed in a different musical journey every time I have caught Dense & Pika in the past, I couldn’t wait for their performance.

Tribal Sessions Opening Review by Essential Ibiza photographed by Justin Gardner 07

I arrived at the club shortly after opening time and it with a quick and painless transition from out to in, I was met with a wave of smiling faces as I entered the Basement. Sankeys boasts three rooms, with the Lab and Spektrum joining the Basement, one of the most talked about room on the island in recent years. They all display different personalities but share one important trait – that fantastic booming VOID sound system that I was looking forward to hearing. The Basement is decked out with a vibrating Bodysonic dancefloor and full LED ceiling creating similar vibes to the original Sankeys venue in Manchester and there’s also a boutique VIP area for the ones who like a bit of luxury in their club experience – its beautiful décor consisted of Spanish tiles and armchairs and glass tables where the VIP clubbers were served full bottles of spirits in fancy arrangements. I explored the whole place on arrival to get my bearings and decide what beats I liked best. The crowd was mixed but all very stylish, cool and collected – similar to the crowd you’d find in Sankeys, Manchester, with maybe a few more languages floating about. The people in the club seemed to know their music very well and everyone I spoke to was here to see a couple of DJs in particular that night. The Lab had the heaviest sounds with Blawan in control when I dropped in. The dancefloor wasn’t as packed as the Basement but the music was more on my level with a more heavy, techy feel and a crowd full of awesome dancers! It was different to any other club I’d been to on the island with a dark shadowy feel to most of it. The club’s décor is grungey, with graffiti art everywhere and club stickers on the walls, the backdrop giving it an outdoor edge and showing off it’s raw character that I absolutely loved.


Tribal Sessions Opening Review by Essential Ibiza photographed by Justin Gardner 11

I spent some time on the outdoor terrace getting myself a drink, (they were the standard Ibiza club price of 15 Euros each with very generous helpings of the spirits) getting a feel for the crowd and what was going on before i heard the sound system being cranked up to the max – that was enough to take me straight inside for a bit of the thing I love best – dancing! The Lab was where I wanted to be and Redshape was providing the beats. It’s a strange one with Redshape, no one knows exactly who he is because he always hides behind a red mask. All we know is that he’s German and makes really good techno. He was playing a live set which is not so common in clubs, there was something really intriguing about this DJ behind the mask and his music – who was he? Who knows but I stayed dancing for his whole set!

Tribal Sessions Opening Review by Essential Ibiza photographed by Justin Gardner 09

I headed downstairs next and found Shlomi Aber, the techno artist who put a twist on his usual sounds, keeping his Tribal Sessions presence interesting and unusual. All the artists playing had a completely different feel to one another and lived up to the Tribal Sessions motto of ‘forward thinking music’. The Basement was taken over after Shlomi by Secondcity who played a mammoth 4-hour progressive house set weaving remixes of older house tunes with new tracks, surprising us with each one. The dancefloor was packed where smiling faces accompanied the dancing feet on the vibrating floor while the sound system literally rattled the bones in our bodies! I found myself wandering from room to room throughout my Sankeys debut, partly sounding out the new club to me and partly marvelling at the talent that was on show. It’s too difficult to pick a spot and stick to it for fear of missing out on something even more spectacular next door. The clubbers drifted from the Basement into the Lab nearer the end of the night as the music got heavier and an absolutely wicked set from Argy who played one of my favourite techno tracks of all time ‘Talkin To You’ by Josh Wink.

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I stayed in Sankeys until the sun had risen and it was closing time, there wasn’t much that was gonna make me leave before the music left first. The last few tracks were a really nice end to the techno treat that was Tribal Sessions with the tempo turned right down to ease us out of the night and into the morning when everyone who was left was still smiling as they exited for home with feathers in their hair and war paint on their faces in keeping with the theme of the night. I can’t wait to sample another Tribal session and the techno treat that we will be subjected to, the much asked question of ‘Are You Tribal?’, has only one answer. YES!

Tribal Sessions Opening Review by Essential Ibiza photographed by Justin Gardner 01
Tribal Sessions Opening Review by Essential Ibiza photographed by Justin Gardner 03
Tribal Sessions Opening Review by Essential Ibiza photographed by Justin Gardner