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Review: Solomun + 1 pre party at Pacha, 25th April

The first Ibiza superclub party of the season, brought to you by Pacha and the hamburgers.

Ibiza superclubbing in April is great because the bags under your eyes are the least noticeable they'll be all year. Full of energy, excitement, enthusiasm, zest, curiosity, mischief, pork chops and all the other advantageous clubbing accessories, I arrived at my first Ibiza party of the season.

Solomun and Pacha have been throwing these pre-season soft-openings since the party began a few summers ago - and they've developed a reputation. By peak-time on Saturday night it felt like peak-season, with a rammed club full of Ibiza residents and earlybird tourists all clamouring for a taste of summer clubbing. Solomun's guest for the evening was fellow hamburger (probably not the correct term for those who live in Hamburg, Germany, but it really should be), DJ Phono. Phono sent ambient, melody-driven sound waves wafting into Pacha's many corners, settling into a deep, slow groove with tracks like Agoria's Baptême (Lucky Blue Eyes version) and Andhim's take on Elderbrook's How Many Times.

Whether it be Solomun + 1, Solomun + Live (coming soon to Destino), Diynamic club nights or festivals, any party Solomun has a hand in can be counted upon to turn out beautiful vocal lines above grinding bass and on Saturday night that tradition held. Phono's featuring of orchestral instruments and vocals was his finest gift to the clubbers, resulting in accessible and emotive music. Around 2am he dropped Ame's remix of Dan Croll From Nowhere and Moderat's Bad Kingdom (Marcel Dettman remix) in quick succession. These were two of the biggest tunes from last season and so predictably got a rousing response, but by now I was looking for something fresh. At 2:30 Solomun started poking his nose about in the booth, and took over with dark and grinding bass lines for his first set of the Ibiza season.


I was forced to admit to myself around three that the evening was feeling a little beige. Phono's tunes had been beautiful and mellow, Solomun was in the throws of his usual dark and epic sessions… but it all seemed too safe and slow. It had been some time since a tune had jerked me out of my casual step-touch hand-flap dancing pattern and I was itching to get a proper jive on.

Around 4am, Solomun obliged. He put away the cotton buds and tweezers, whipped out the mallet and began hammering out the grizzlies. In the space of a few tracks we found ourselves raving hard to driving tech like Danny Daze - Beatdown and Chromeo - Hot Mess (Djedjotronic remix) and the main room floor came alive. From here, not only was the music more energetic, but joyously unpredictable. One minute Solomun's smashing some old Cirez D tech down our throats, then we're grooving along with soulful house tracks like Deepswing - In The Music, then we're blissing out, eyes closed, to Solomun's poignant dub remix of Lana del Rey West Coast, and finally back to the grinding board for some electro stomping with the Justice-esque Juan Maclean - By The Time I Get To Venus (Four Stars remix), all peppered by the cinematic, tension-filled build ups that Solomun has made his own. Don't be fooled by his amiable appearance; loves a bit of drama, that Solomun.

The Pacha punters raved with renewed energy until around 8am, after which point the most valiant among us kicked on to a villa after-party where Phono and Solomun played back-to-back most of the day. What was I saying about being fresh in April? What a load of tripe, I'm knackered.

WORDS | Jordan Smith PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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