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ABODE's A-grade opening party

Excelling at Amnesia.

Four years... a lot can happen in that time. The face of Ibiza has altered drastically during that period. Just look to ABODE, as one such example. In the space of four summers, much has changed for the once-small-time-gone-global party brand from London.

After parting ways on good terms with last year's co-hosts Do Not Sleep (which also remains part of the program at Amnesia), ABODE retains the Thursday night slot. Going at it alone won't phase the world-weary team. Quite the opposite, we expect them to rise to the challenge.

For a promoter who has stuck to its guns and carved its own path from the beginning, being master of its own fortune will appeal to its entrepreneurial mentality. Both teacher's pet and classroom rebel, ABODE excels at Amnesia.

This season is as much about a declaration of independence, as it is a continuation of the journey started in 2016.

Chilling with gee dubya

Before we headed to Amnesia, we converged on the sunset strip outside Café Mambo. Not even the distraction of an England footy international was enough to keep the faithful away. ABODE's dedicated fanbase flocked to the coastal hotspot to wave in a new season.

First, we caught the legendary Pete Gooding soundtrack the sun's final descent below the horizon, a rare treat as always. But it was when ABODE resident GW Harrison took to the decks that the celebrations really started.

After years of hosting pre-parties at other venues along the promenade, being trusted with Thursdays at Mambo this summer speaks volumes about how highly regarded ABODE is. The stripes have been earned.

Less is more

Visiting Café Mambo helped ignite the desire to dance sooner than we anticipated, and soon we were making our way to San Rafael to catch GW Harrison's second set of the night. Amnesia's terrace was beckoning.

Wherever you are in the world, 5,000 capacity venues can be unforgiving when partially full. Condensing the crowd to a single room, instead of splitting it, was a logical step - and one that immediately paid off judging by the scenes that greeted us. The Terrace was packed.

ABODE has a reputation for having a younger, less experienced following in the UK. Whilst we don't think there is anything inherently wrong with that, we can state that it wasn't the case here. Faces of all ages and nationalities were in attendance and ready to party.

On the podium, a triple-threat of dancers decked in black singlets and platform wedges dazzled us with their LED gloves. From the ceiling, dozens of the A-box lights hung, changing colour from white to red as the night progressed.

To our mind, East End Dubs' style suits smaller, more intimate venues with sweat on the walls rather than cavernous event spaces with grand production. But what do we know?

The Londoner ended on his forthcoming track Brave, reported as dropping at the end of June. Much like this time last year, we head into summer desperately trying to find out more info about an EED track with little information. He has us schooled. Catch him again in week three.

Happy he had proved us wrong, Dubs passed the controls over to Hector Couto and Mar-T with the room full and throbbing. The two Amnesia associates rode the wave that EED had started, then took things into a techier direction.

Getting right into the thick of the action in the middle of the floor, we were seized inside one of the room's trademark CO2 cannonballs. A rush of adrenaline shot through us with the crowd whooping in unison.

So carefree were we with our dancing, that in what seemed like no time at all it was already time for our headliner.

Big Al'

Alan Fitzpatrick and his We Are The Brave project have been giving retro beats a modern twist since the label's inception in 2016. That anthemic sound seems custom made for Amnesia's Terrace, especially since the KV2 audio upgrade.

Tracks like Mele's The 95 Vibe and Mark Broom's Break 97 fit the criteria.

Fitzpatrick wasted little time in taking things into harder territory while retaining enough melodic moments not to scare off the non-techno initiated.

This recent collab with Wheats, M27 paved the way for We Do What We Want, cueing rowdy dance floor scenes.

Having got the formalities out the way, Big Al' showed a cheekier side to his DJing persona. Sosa's unsigned and unreleased Coke Whore got the entire room bouncing.

The Southampton-born, Essex-based label owner is scheduled for four more blockbuster dates with ABODE on the Terrace. Next up is Thursday 13 June - only a few days away. After this performance, you can count on us to be there for an encore.

PHOTOGRAPHY | by Renata Subić

During its debut season in 2016, ABODE went head-to-head with Music On on Friday nights. The former at Sankeys, the latter at Amnesia. At the time, ABODE founder Kai spoke of Music On being the benchmark for success when it came to Ibiza parties. And who can argue?

Last year, the two parties shared a roof. Falling on consecutive nights of the week at Amnesia, arguably they created in-house competition for one another. As fate would have it, off-season events have again stacked them head-to-head in 2019 - this time on Thursdays.

The only difference being that it is ABODE who occupies the legendary San Rafael dance floor this time around while Carola has moved onto pastures new.

Just a few days ago, Kai used his personal social media channels to proclaim “there is nothing you cannot have. There are no limitations.” The message is clear: dream big and get your head down. A vision, hard graft and determination pay off.

It's a work in progress, but this early morning on Amnesia's Terrace definitely drew parallels to those fabled Music On sessions of the past.

Not that ABODE should concern itself with replicating a predecessor, however much inspiration it gave in those early years. Seems to us like the London-based promotion has its own course mapped out - and a destiny waiting to be fulfilled.

Sadly we didn't get much early morning sun penetrating the skylight, thanks to rogue clouds that had gathered. But there are plenty more opportunities for that - starting this Thursday.

Meanwhile, absorb yourself in the sound of ABODE Ibiza 2019 below at our designated Spotify playlist. Only music identified at the event is included - giving listeners a true reflection of what to expect. Check it out then head below for more details.

If you want to join the ABODE journey, tickets and line-ups for all remaining dates can be viewed below.

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