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Review: We Love... Space opening party, 2014

Start picking out a new day of rest because with We Love back in Ibiza, you certainly aren't going to be getting any on Sundays.

There was no time for a siesta yesterday afternoon as Space got back to its daytime partying roots, opening its doors at the earlier time of half four for their Sunday staple We Love... Although not quite back to the 22 hour marathon of an event it started out as in the nineties, it was definitely a step in the right direction after last year's lacklustre 7pm start. Kicking things off was new concept Stripped making its début on the Sunset Terrace, a seven-hour party that will see a mystery line-up take to the decks each week. We Love... has promised that these anonymous DJs will be worth turning up on time for, and they're certainly off to a good start with Rossko headlining yesterday's opening.

Space is renowned for offering a whole solar system of music, spanning enough genres to keep even the fussiest of punters happy, and although usually aided by the fact they have five rooms to play with, yesterday they certainly weren't going to let a little thing like only having one room open for half the night stop them. The secret guests taking us through till midnight took the crowd on an adventure through dance music, with Bushwacka! (Just Be) championing house tracks like Guy Gerber & Dixon's No Distance and Shaun Reeves throwing us off with the Herbert Mix of jazz crooner Louie Austen's Hopin'. Laurent Garner's house classic Man With the Red Face went down a treat, as did Josh Wink's techy treasure Higher State of Consciousness, a track usually saved for the murky depths of a night in a basement, but which sounded surprisingly at home in the cool, airy evening. Mingling with the crowds were dancers whizzing about on roller blades and a drag queen who appeared to have come as Mary Poppins, that is if Mary Poppins had decided that it was in fact a spoonful of acid that made the medicine go down. All in all a big thumbs up for Stripped, although we maybe could have done without the admittedly impressive air con, which was managing to get people reaching for their jumpers on a day with 27 degree heat.

Headlining the discoteca was Rudimental, the Hackney boys who have well and truly cracked the formula for commercial success. Their DJ set, as well as having the expected selection of chart toppers, also included some darker drum and bass, like a bottom heavy remix of Ray Charles' Hit The Road Jack. This eclectic approach ensured that the cavernous room, which was flooded with red, misty light for the most part of the night, was kept suitably packed. Joining Rudimental on stage was trumpeter Mark Crown, whose live instrumental input created some truly magical moments. The discoteca has never felt so alive as when the notes of the trumpet sailed over Rudimental's hit Free and one by one punters started rising up onto shoulders like Space's very own "I Am Sparticus moment", until it seemed as if half the room was on a lofty shoulder perch! Saving their trump card for last, they ended their stint with Waiting All Night, their number one single featuring Ella Eyre that last year helped cement their place as one of the hottest bands to come out of the UK in recent years.

Despite the high calibre of talent across all of the rooms, I kept finding myself back in the Terraza, where the sets were a delicious mix of thumping bass and laid back anthems - which are sometimes just what's needed when the hours you've spent in a club hit double figures. Ben UFO and his partner in crime Paul Woolford got things going, keeping it interesting by flitting from synth heavy tracks like DJ Marley Marl's Beyond, to a far more soulful sound in the form of Anthony Naple's Mad Disrespect. The high standard was kept up as Skream and Dusky followed, both playing Ten Walls' musical hot water bottle of a track Walking With Elephants, which we're undoubtedly going to be hearing a lot more of over the coming months. The crowd was kept on their toes with the odd track going against the (predominately house) grain, like the feel-good reggae of Reggie Stepper's Drum Pan Sound.

No trip to Space would be complete without taking a moment to recharge your batteries in the club's smallest room, El Salon, with its intimate lighting and expanse of seating. Each Sunday, this snug space will be taken over by a different guest promoter, (Spotlight will be doing the honours at the end of the month!), and last night it was the turn of Ibiza's very own LO CURA Lounge, whose resident DJ Daisy Heartbreaker kept the classics coming, from Armand Van Helden's NYC Beat to Dennis Ferrer's Hey Hey. Between here and the cool escape of the Premier Etage, where Kabodah and Ryan Platt were amongst the DJs on, there was enough space for everyone to give their legs a much needed break during the mammoth 14 hour party.

Start picking out a new day of rest because with We Love... back for summer, you certainly aren't going to be getting any on Sundays.

WORDS | Joanna Wright PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman


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