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Magna Carta x Faction dig deep at 2017 opening

Grooving conga percussion and tech house venom.

In Magna Carta x Faction, we've got a dual residency that's uncompromising in its mission of bringing quality underground music to the heart of San Antonio. I hadn't had a feeding of this promoter partnership back in 2014 when Magna Carta invited in Faction to bolster its weekly teardown at Sankeys. Nor had I had a session with the Faction crew at Eden last season – a summer which saw it being tipped as the brand to start the revival of San An.

This year, the partnership has been rekindled as Faction returns the favour by instigating a collaboration with Magna Carta. And with their social media channels both kicking up the dust and creating a buzz for their first installment at Eden, I was keen on getting a good feel for this night.

Demarzo, a DJ and producer whose biography tells you that his sound is “deep, provocative and eclectic”, was the one holding the court at the time I joined the clubgoers up front. As a hub for dance music, Ibiza can be about seeing the DJs and producers you've become fiercely loyal to, and also a hotspot for discovery. Demarzo isn't a name who'd previously swung into my eardrums, and within the first ten minutes I'd decided that his sets might just be good for chasing.

He came in with a focus on Latin heat, with conga drum percussion beating seductively alongside a pounding house groove, and an equally seductive male vocal was woven in to maximum effect. This was superb, especially for the revelers who're out to pounce and create a little contagious energy on that dance floor. While the Latin percussion was sweated out just a little, he stayed deep with Latin America as he played out Brazilian producer Gorkiz's track Tribos. Eclectic he might be, but as he said himself, he's always gunning for groove. His groove-injected material did the damage, especially as the transitions between tracks and the progression sounded effortless.

House producer Dale Howard took over, and from the outset it was evident that his would be a high-octane set that would push out banger after banger, which seemed to be more suited to this crowd. Max Chapman's remix of Drummer Eager – a tech house track originally produced by Luca Donzelli - was slammed down early on and it roused an energetic reaction from the crowd. Tech house was your dominant force, with power-hungry basslines providing the meat. One particular track that stuck out from the pack was a gnarly bruiser, with a razor-sharp saw wave that ascended aggressively – Shazam failed in identifying, so I'll simply leave you with the knowledge that it's a good 'un.

British producer Burnski was the last to hammer us into the ground. He landed with a golden oldie from 1995 from KenLou (a.k.a Masters At Work). Its title being The Bounce, it still has us doing exactly what it was designed to do over two decades ago, and it still sounds so fresh. In September 2016 Burnski bolstered his decade-long career by dropping his debut album. Undoubtedly still buzzing from that career-defining moment, he gave us a taste with a blast of his track DNA. Distinctly lifting the place, with a bouncy breakbeat reverberating off Eden's walls, I was grateful for the introduction.

Post party, we had a quick word with Demarzo, and he had this to say of the residency's first blowout:

This is my second time playing for Faction events and I definitely think their line-ups are getting more and more exciting. I was also really looking forward to be playing with guys I respect a lot. It was my first time meeting the Magna Carter guys and together with Faction it was certainly an event I'd like to be involved in more and more. Although nothing was originally agreed, it sounds like I´ll be back for another date this season. With such a lot of competition in the area, I think the event is really starting to shine through. The crowd were great and I think it can only get better.”

Take it from him - Magna Carta and Faction are on the up. You've got until the end of September to see what this crew is all about. Get it in the diary.


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