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Two sides of SHINE at Eden Ibiza

Trance lover versus trance hater.

Ibiza's de facto trance mecca, SHINE has rolled into its second season. The party takes up residence at Eden on Thursdays in a change to last year's debut. Taking command of the party is industry icon, Paul van Dyk, resuming his position as the party's main resident.

Alongside the legendary German, the season's line-ups consist of the creme de la creme of the trance scene: Bryan Kearney, Cosmic Gate, Ben Nicky, The Thrillseekers, John O'Callaghan and multiple assists from Aly & Fila are just some of the acts who are set to shine this summer.

Sometimes the general consensus on trance can split the room. It's not uncommon to find people less favourable of the music. On the flip side, passionate lovers of the genre comprise its loyal fanbase. And, yes, they headbang to every tune.

This divide is certainly true of the Ibiza Spotlight clubbing office. Step forward staff writers Stephen and Michael.

Whilst the former has more techno leanings, the latter has been listening and dancing to trance since his teens. Both attended the opening party of SHINE this past Thursday to offer different perspectives on dance music's most maligned sub-genre. Here's what we both thought.

Trance Lover

written by Michael Tomlinson

The last time that I saw Aly & Fila play was in 2016. Seeing them close Cream at Amnesia on my first trip to Ibiza is up there as one of my all-time great clubbing moments. I remember distinctly the passion the artist that had for the music.

Every crescendo and the subsequent drop was met with mutual bliss between the artist and the audience, a truly magical atmosphere to say the least.

Fast forward three years and I'm stood meters away from Fila taking photographs whilst enjoying a banging set in Eden. Towards the beginning of the night, he went down a heavier route, something that would usually be a risk at a normal club, but trance heads appreciate the switch up in styles.

On the subject of the crowd, a real mix of clubbers flooded the dance floor for the opening. Die-hard trance lovers stood beside clubbing virgins, all were elated by the music played by Fila.

Shouts and cheers often referenced the DJ himself. Clearly some loyal fans in the audience had made the effort to come out to the island specifically for this party.

Later Fila changed the sonic mood toward a more melodic side, selecting straight from his label, Future sound of Egypt.

Beneath The Stars by Paul Denton & Audrey Gallagher is just one example of the great tunes released on this staple trance brand, a testament to Aly & Fila's work that spans a decade.

Whilst there were plenty of anthemic moments, for this trance fan one stood out against the rest. The familiar chime of Children by Robert Miles raised goosebumps. I stood in awe as the peak of the song hit and the crowd exploded in furious raving.

Picking the next tune from the most recent Aly & Fila release, It's All About The Music hit all the right notes.

Before long it was time Paul van Dyk's turn to lift the crowd energy further with an amazing live performance. His arrival on stage was met by cheers of elation from the crowd. After taking position behind many sonic gadgets and controllers, his first mix was met with many arms reaching for neon green lasers.

The legendary DJ played a medley of hits each one driving the crowd into a euphoric frenzy. What makes PvD so enjoyable to watch is witnessing the wizardry he puts into his sets. Sampling and reworking classics whilst also supplying a full recital of his own signature tunes.

I could not help but sing along to Music Rescues Me, a hit PvD release from last season.

The rest of the night carried on in fantastic form with the crowd in love with the tunes and Paul van Dyk in love with their elated reaction. The German artist was feeding off the energy in the room, becoming more animated as the night went on.

Amongst the many PvD tracks, the occasional anthem like Giuseppe Ottaviani remix of Out Of The Blue kept the atmosphere in the room at a high octane level.

All of the above solidifies the fact that trance belongs on Ibiza and why it'll be here for years to come. The devotion from both artists and fans is what creates that unique dance floor community.

Trance Hater

written by Stephen Hunt

Trance hater” seems too strong. As does “-virgin”. I grew-up bopping to Lasgo, ATB and Darude in the under 18s disco after all. The Kevin & Perry Go Large OST was rinsed in my early teens - as was the film itself. Mauro Picotto's Lizard is still a tune.

Perhaps it's more the case that I simply missed the boat? By the time I eventually entered adulthood and begun clubbing properly, the golden days of trance had already passed. “Uninitiated” might be more accurate.

Names like Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and - of course - Paul van Dyk, still, come with cultural significance for their contribution to dance music in general. I attended the opening of SHINE with intrigue and an open mind, curious to see whether this visit might ignite a new-found calling.

In particular, I enjoyed the middle hour of Aly & Fila's set, when the tempo was still hovering around the 120bpm mark - it was the warm-up, after all - and they played a lot darker than I was expecting.

Close your eyes, and this could've been a modern techno party. Tale Of Us eat your heart out.

Aly & Fila even played a selection of music with especially wobbly basslines. I don't know if acid trance is a thing? But if it isn't, then it should be. Sign me up.

Finally, the speed would be ramped up and more vocal elements added, paving the way for Paul van Dyk. Up until this point, the lasers had been used effectively - but sparingly. Only they were about to be unleashed in full force, along with the CO2 which had been especially reserved.

Now, this was proper trance to my ears.

After getting amongst it with the trance heads, it's fair to say I won't be making SHINE a weekly ritual. However, I definitely won't be ruling out return visits.

Suddenly, I'm pretty excited to see Oakie next week at Clockwork. Maybe I caught the bug more than I'm prepared to admit?

The other thing I took away from the night, was just how passionate the trance fraternity is. They were completely engrossed in the music, friendly and well up for a party.

Something else that resonated with me was that it was incredibly refreshing to have an event with two acts - each allocated three hours sets. Where else on Ibiza can you find this, apart from Solomun+1?

Paul van Dyk and Aly & Fila repeat this format at the closing party on 19 September.

Sporadic one-offs and more low-key intimate parties aside - and assuming we now consider Armin an EDM night as opposed to pure trance - SHINE stands alone as the last bastion of weekly trance music on the island.

Some might argue that is indicative of trance's flagging popularity on the island, but it only tells part of the story. Last night, Eden's dance floor told a different side to the story. Ibiza needs SHINE. Ibiza needs trance.

At the DJ Awards last summer, Paul van Dyk told us that “the future of trance on Ibiza is SHINE.” He's not wrong.

What would Ibiza be without trance music? The fast-paced euphoric genre forms a huge part of the White Isles clubbing heritage. Many clubbers old and young have a personal connection to it.

In the present day, the scene now caters to a select loyal following; however, it has not lost what makes it special - a sense of belonging to part of a community.

Whether you are a trance fanatic or merely somebody who enjoys a lively dance floor, you can catch Paul van Dyk steering the SHINE ship for the next ten Thursdays with Aly & Fila back a further five times, in addition to other scene heavyweights.

To be a part of Ibiza's trance family, head below to check full listings and those trance-tastic tickets.

SHINE Ibiza listings - 2024










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Vandit Records 25th Anniversary
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