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What IDOL brings to Sankeys

The holy trinity of music, setting and crowd combine to make a night worth idolising at Sankeys Ibiza.

The sets Timo Maas played at DC10 back in the day are the stuff legend is made of. Having remained very active in the scene, he now fronts his own night IDOL at Sankeys. We went along to the opening party to see what the party was all about.

With The Redlight cut several weeks ago and Thursday nights' Unusual Suspects being the venue's only other weekly night until The Others opens this Saturday, this was the ideal opportunity to see another promoter in control of Sankeys.

It's been 14 years since Maas infiltrated the commercial charts and received a Grammy nomination for his remixing prowess. We were curious to see whether today's new generation of clubbers would idolise him as much as those of yesteryear.

Check out our photo and tune gallery for some of the phenomenal music and sights that were on offer.


We arrived in The Lab to find resident Alex Neri warming the crowd. Already there was a sizeable crowd on the dance floor and we needed little encouragement to join them.

Throughout the nine-week run, IDOL has constructed carefully considered line-ups. It was plain to see that this had attracted a knowledgeable crowd.

With Neri mixing a wide-range of tracks from past and present, we immersed ourselves in the night.

Nothing was off bounds, and the crowd ate up everything Neri threw at them. Tracks from AJ Christou and Kiwi Dreams, plus some more obscure gems formed a nucleus of music that would set us on our way.

The first big guest of the season was none other than infamous German selector DJ Hell. Perhaps not a household name here on Ibiza but no doubt a distinguished, seasoned professional from his homeland nevertheless. He's somebody in whose hands we had absolute faith.

DJ Hell started off by edging up the tempo. He played several tracks from acclaimed Italian producer Marco Faraone, such as Modular Day and the On My Way.

Just a handful of tracks into his set, and Hell had found his stride.

As the buzz on the dance floor increased, Hell weaved through more astute selections. It was an exhilarating experience.

CO2 fired into the centre of the dance floor, providing the crowd with a refreshing blast. In a room that has a reputation for soaring mercury, this is always a welcomed addition.

Fur Coat's huge production from earlier in the year was one memorable highlight.

Music aside, Sankeys appeared to have put more focus on other areas of the club. Or perhaps it was just the IDOL concept which brought these elements to the forefront. Podium dancers taped in black leather, twisted and turned to the underground soundtrack.

By this point, we had succumbed to the soundtrack. As Hell took things into darker territory, we were willing participants eager to see which direction we would be guided to next.

Bart Skils's Bells of the Revolution, Tone Depth's Olympus and Dixon's retouch of Radio Slave's Trans made us feel like we were clubbing in Berlin instead of Ibiza. What a buzz.

Giant effigies were dotted around the room. These art installations caught the attention of inquisitive attendees.

Notorious for focussing on the music, this interesting development showed Sankeys in a whole new light. The statues give the party its own indistinguishable identity.

Nuanced and dynamic, Hell continued to blow us away with inspired selections. The lead single from Tim Green's recent Cocoon album and Inigo Kennedy's Black Light were two more melodic tune choices.

The epic tracks kept on coming. Few sets can be considered as rich and textured as DJ Hell's masterclass. Just when we thought the night had peaked, he pulled another big hitter out the bag.

By the time IDOL resident Timo Maas took the decks, we felt we'd already had our fill of phenomenal music. But the night was far from over.

Riding the wave of his predecessor's momentum, Timo started with this number. It was an indication that home-time was to be postponed for a little while longer.

Looking around, a few of the numbers had started to drift off but the hardcore contingent remained. They weren't going anywhere. Neither were we. You don't walk away from a night in freeflow.

Dancing is exactly what we continued to do, as Timo expertly shut down the night as emphatically as it had been throughout its duration.

In homage to the guest, Timo Maas made it clear that DJ Hell was not only a great selector but also an astute producer. This huge track from Hell's own Gigolo International imprint caused a dance floor ruckus.

Naturally, we were also treated to Timo's recent collaboration with Basti Grub's We Were Riding High - a version we hadn't heard before. Remix package incoming?


Musically, we can't recall a night so satisfying. As we left Playa d'En Bossa, it dawned on us that this superb night of music was not trying to promote Timo Maas and his guests as idols but rather showcasing their own idols to us.

Reading between the lines, perhaps one can find a suggestion of a cautionary tale: beware of worshipping false idols.

Amongst the most competitive nights on the island, Tuesdays go beyond the flashing lights, slick PR machine and social media likes. IDOL champions incredible music as its biggest selling point.

After all the hype has settled, it's worth remembering that it is the music that remains the most important factor. It's the music we remember, the music that keeps us coming back for more.

With guests such as Tiefschwarz, Sebastian Mulläert and Martin Buttrich amongst future appearances, it's a given that the high standards will continue throughout the season. IDOL is no doubt the choice of musos. Kudos to them.

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