“An intimate affair of wild, creative individuals with their own sense of style, mingling with performers, artists and admiring clubbers, all entertained no-end by the multi-faceted aspect of this inspiring new night…”
Many would say that 2016 signified the end of an era, with Space closing it’s doors after a legendary 27 years of pioneering parties that have shaped electronic music culture as we know it today. However, one could also argue that 2016 is also a prime time for new beginnings – for something really innovative and exciting to evolve and put itself out there and possibly challenge the way club culture works Ibiza.
When Boogie In Wonderland announced their arrival at Heart Ibiza this season, it was safe to say that this, possibly, could be it. It was therefore, on the top of our hit-list when we flew out to enjoy the closing parties earlier this month.
There’s nothing quite like the rapture of excitement contained within the small space of an aircraft landing on Ibiza just before midnight on a Friday. Once out of the confines of air travel, there are no limits as to where this bubbling energy could take you on this island – the possibilities are endless, with going to bed the last thing on your mind as you and a bunch of strangers (who are now considered friends after 2.5hrs of hype) spill onto the streets of Ibiza Town.
Approaching 1:00am, we were after something pretty special to get our teeth into, something refreshing that would awaken the senses, push boundaries and immerse us in an experience of performance.
It therefore made sense to head down to the Boogie In Wonderland Closing Party where the prospect of Marshall Jefferson’s exclusive appearance on the White Isle this year was not the only thing to raise eyebrows – the addition of performances by Cirque du Soleil and live vocals from Recardo Patrick to the line up were more than enough to tempt us into our disco catsuits and hit the dance floor.
Entering to Aaron Mellor’s enticing set of classics from the Studio 54 era, we worked our way through a crowd adorned with sequins, platform shoes, fur coats and glitter grooving along to the sound of Pull Up To My Bumper by Grace Jones – the exact style icon you need to picture in your mind when trying to recreate the ambience in Heart’s Main Room, an intimate affair of wild, creative individuals with their own sense of style mingling with performers, artists and admiring clubbers who were entertained no-end by the multi-faceted aspect of this inspiring new night.
A beautiful aerial performance courtesy of Cirque Du Soleil gracefully added an exciting live aspect to Mellor’s DJ set, everyone hypnotised by the magnificent display of acrobatic dance unfolding right in front of our eyes. We got right down to the soundtrack of Gwen McRae’s Keep the Fire Burning, her sensational vocals coupled with that classic funk-driven, harp infused orchestral arrangement ensured we really got lost in music as club performers joined us on the floor.
Adorned in the most sensational costumes, they incorporated us into the show as we shared our finest dance moves with them – something that really helped to bring the crowd together on the dance floor, generating smiles and feel-good vibes all round.
Taking a break on the stunning Heart Terrace, with an exclusive view of Dalt Villa as our backdrop, we reflected on the inspiration for all this creativity – the legendary Studio 54 – the hub of New York’s exclusive disco culture in the late 70’s, a platform for boundary smashing performances, unrivalled debauchery and the location of parties that made history at the forefront of nightclub culture as we know it today. It was wild entity – spontaneous and limitless, filling its dance floor week after week with people of all backgrounds seeking pleasure through escapism and music. Creators Reubell and Schrager brought ever-changing theatrical sets to the floor, pop-up art installations, immersive performances and a dynamic change to the night time scene of New York City, leaving behind a legacy that all future club owners craved to achieve.
We certainly felt those influences here as we wandered back downstairs, taking in the miniature video displays showcasing vintage black and white films of gentry at the races. Some were over-laced with the colourful De Stijl pieces by Mondrian, all beautifully adorned with renaissance style gilded frames.
A live performance was resounding from the stage with a surprise appearance by Barbara Tucker. Barbara joined Recadro Patrick for an intimate and relaxed performance of Billie Jean, probably the surprise of the entire week for us. The live section left us feeling like we’d been a part of something extra special as did the rest of the crowd, judging by the rapturous response to the soulful and dynamic performance delivered by these legendary vocalists.
Marshall Jefferson then appeared behind the decks, where he immediately ramped up the energy in the room by treating everyone to some uplifting house tracks – the night’s programming reflective of the evolution of the disco genre into house during the 80’s.
Marshall’s set was familiar, yet it was exactly right for the moment. Alison Limerick’s Where Love Lives took us back to the golden era of piano house, before Jefferson’s own “Move Your Body” resounded around us – a credit to his status as “The Father of House”, having been the first producer to use piano riffs in his production.
We dove deeply into the genre of acid-house as he selected some gems such as Inner City’s “Big Fun”, before dropping a well-received surprise in the form of Intro by Alan Braxe and Fred Falke – a track we’d not witnessed being played in a club since the early 00’s. It’s dominating, sexy baseline resulted in the atmosphere on the floor exploding – things had suddenly got dark, the throbbing four-to-the-floor beat resonating across the room as the lights dropped and the sound got louder.
Finishing the set on an absolute high with C&C Music Factory’s Pride (A Deeper Love), we spent the entire A Capella intro having a sing-along with Marshall at the front of the DJ Box before he dropped the beat, once again leading to a frenzy unfolding right in front of him.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time within the walls of this wonderful party space. Boogie In Wonderland have taken a step in the right direction in curating something that has the potential to really bring Studio 54 back to life and to the shores of Ibiza.
For Disco lovers, it’s the perfect addition to the scene on the White Isle, even the Techno lovers amongst us were converted. However, there are a few thing it needs to incorporate in order to really emanate the party vibe of 1970’s New York. It needs to be braver, bolder and a little more dangerous. Just like Andy Warhol’s legendary loft parties, we’d like to see Boogie in Wonderland take it’s revellers even closer to the edge – there is no doubt they could absolutely get away with it.
Keep your eyes out for Boogie In Wonderland’s 2017 installment…coming soon!
Words: Gwen Angood
Image Credits: Heart Ibiza, Boogie In Wonderland, Heather Butterworth.