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Review: Insane at Pacha, 11th September

You’d be crazy to miss it.

It's not so often that Pacha showcases the underground, so if that's what you're looking to hear and experience Friday night at Insane (or Solomun's Sunday parties) is the time to head along to the grand old finca on Avenida 8 d'Agost.

If you're fortunate enough to be on the island at the season's end then there's even more reason as, after swapping and overlapping the residency with MK throughout the summer, John Digweed is all present and correct for the last four parties. Careful though, if you're here for Diggers it's very much worth finding out the set times in advance (our forums are a great place to start!) as it's not been stable throughout the season. Tonight, for example, he was in the 0130-0300 slot, so it paid to get in early!

A crisp 90 minutes then from the Bedrock head honcho which might have meant about six tracks from one of the titans of the late nineties/early noughties progressive house scene, but he tailored his set nicely to the shorter format and the crowd were treated to Digweed's distinctive extended builds, ethereal synths and driving rhythms that ebbed and flowed throughout his set. It was hands in the air stuff, and not just for the few seconds before a drop but for entire mixes, at times it was as though those on the dance floor were simultaneously held up at gunpoint, arms up as one, but loving it.

It didn't feel like a warm-up set, despite the early slot, that is until Hot Since 82 took to the decks. It was the Yorkshire-man's birthday which prompted Digweed to get on the mic to wish him a happy one and present him with a cake. He then proceeded to crank the energy up straight away with some hard-hitting, high energy house music. Even the VIPs were lifted from the sofas to their feet as they joined in with the dancing.

Hot Since 82 had two hours and it was a set very much of two halves. The first hour was a good sequence of tracks, well knitted together but without the coherence of a top-draw set. He was getting himself settled with some bangers before a second hour that really stepped it up and Daley showed us why his star has risen so quickly. It was right at the point when Traumer's Hoodlum came in that it felt as though there was a change in the atmosphere. Krankbrother's Circular Thing added to it, then when he dropped his own Voices, it was confirmed - this was now one of those sets that live long in the memory; great track and a great Ibiza moment.

But then Dennis Ferrer took over and was even better; stunning stuff from Dennis who's in magnificent form lately (was he ever out of it?!). Three decks on the go constantly, one playing a track, another looping bars from one he'd played out previously - sometimes for 15-20 minutes - that added wonderful leitmotifs throughout his set as the loops came in and out of prominence, and a third deck playing another loop which he would delay and reverb to monstrous effect, leading up to the drop of the first track that would set a bomb off on the dancefloor. Island favourite this season, Oxia's old classic Domino, was one such bomb. Utter brilliance. It was exactly what clubbers in Ibiza flock there for: the best DJs, playing the best music on the best sound-systems in the best clubs, a complete and utter masterclass.

WORDS | Andrew Fulker PHOTOGRAPHY | Tatiana Chausovsky and Julian Farina

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