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Review: ENTER. opening party at Space 2014

Enter and prepare for one of the best nights out you’ll have in Ibiza…

Since arriving to the island a month ago, one of the parties I was most eagerly anticipating my return to was Richie Hawtin's ENTER at Space. Having visited Ibiza for the first time last year with friends, ENTER was my first big party experience in Ibiza and it completely set the bar for every other party I went to. This year, the opening party had a largely similar line-up to the week I visited last year and I couldn't wait to check it out again and relive some of my favourite moments.

Arriving to the club in time to catch the last hour of Richie Hawtin's first set of the night in the Sake Bar (Sunset Terrace), I was amazed to see the transformation that the room had undergone and the resulting change in atmosphere that we've come to expect from the Sunset Terrace. The room was covered in distinctly Japanese-style decorations and the music was certainly not what you'd expect from a set that begins at 10pm. It was the most busy I've seen it at such an early time, with everyone packed onto the dance-floor for Richie's first set of ENTER's third season in Ibiza. Hawtin launched straight into a techno set capable of rivalling any act we've seen in the larger rooms at Space, mixing so in sync that it was hard to tell at what point one track ended and another began. The planes flying overhead contributing to the huge crescendos that Richie has become notorious for in his live sets.

Once it hit midnight, we pushed on to the main room to catch Recondite kicking things off and enticing an already large crowd with techno too dark for your average sound-system to handle. Low-end growling bass lines appeared to be the order of the day, paired with simple yet catchy melodies to give the mix a hypnotic quality that contrasted the heavier techno acts of the night. A highlight towards the end of the set was Recondite's own tune, Borderline, a warm, tonal driven number which he swayed to in the booth with the best of us on the floor. Sufficiently warmed up and ready, we went on to check out all of the rooms in the club and lose ourselves in the ENTER experience.

Heading on to the terrace to catch Ida Engberg, one of the first things we noticed was the contrast in the tone of music between the terrace and the main room. Engberg's set was upbeat and made for a refreshing change from the moodiness of the techno being played in the main room, incorporating stabbing piano chords, plenty of cowbell (the quickest way to win me over) and a techno track that was infused with elements of jazz that left me completely blown away. No room was less energetic than the other, leaving me stuck for choice on where to head to next.

Next up in the Terrace was Tale of Us. I saw these guys last year at the now famous week 9 Enter party and can quite honestly say they played the best set I'd seen in Ibiza – possibly ever. With such a high standard set from last year, I was keen to see if they could match it at the opening party this year. They opened with an eerie piece that instantly caught the attention of the dance-floor, before slowly building up the crowd with the typically dark basslines we've come to expect from the duo. There were even elements of progressive sound dotted throughout the set, and by the time they finished on Ame's remix of Turn Around by Sailor & I, the crowd was roaring in approval. A typical Tale of Us set feels like an epic journey, and last night was certainly no different. It almost felt as if there was a bond between everyone in the room for having embarked on a journey through music together, which is not something you often feel on a night out. We briefly left the terrace to take a much-needed breather, in agreement that the set was fantastic, but not as great as our first time seeing the duo last year. However, when the bar is set that high, you can't be disappointed when the artist falls slightly short on the odd occasion.

Maceo Plex closed the terrace in style after Tale of Us, as the Ellum Audio boss launched straight into a tribal sounding number before moving into more soulful, melodic tech house that whipped the packed crowd into a frenzy on the dance-floor. Maceo Plex is one of those DJs that works as hard in the studio as he does behind the decks, making him one of those artists that you just can't get bored of seeing live. Having released his huge ‘Conjure EP' in early 2014, which is fast becoming one of the biggest EPs on the island this summer, we're looking forward to seeing Maceo Plex at many Enter dates across the season and so should you!

Back in the main room, Richie Hawtin's closing set followed a very similar line to his opening set – with stripped back techno, pounding percussion and bass that makes your insides rattle. There's nothing quite like hearing Richie in full flow in the main room and when the full light display comes into effect, the sense of euphoria you get in the middle of the dance-floor is unmatched by many other parties around the island. When you hear Hawtin's brand of techno through Space's insanely powerful Funktion One sound-system, you'll know exactly what we mean. We felt that the night had come full circle and provided a very fitting conclusion to one of the best parties I've been to so far.

ENTER is promoted as an experience as much as it is promoted as a club night, and rightfully so. There's so much to do and see in one night that there is no way you can feel satisfied with just one visit. Just head straight to the Sake Bar at the start of the night you'll begin to lose yourself in the party atmosphere. From the music to the decorations to the sake menu, ENTER is certainly not your average club event – yet with all the added elements that contribute to the overall ENTER experience, the focus on the quality of the party is never lost. It's all about people of all nationalities united under one roof having an absolute whale of a time, and what's not to love about that?

WORDS | Janson Goldberg PHOTOGRPAHY | James Chapman

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