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Review: Insane Opening Party 2013

Derrick Carter, Mark Farina and Sneak start a boy band... sort of.

After three days and nights of IMS Ibiza madness I thought it would take a miracle to get me up and dancing at the Insane opening party at Pacha. Miracles, it transpired, were unnecessary, when I had three absolute masters of their craft playing back-to-back in the recently relocated Pacha DJ booth (back to where it belongs, on the opposite side of the dance floor). Mark Farina, DJ Sneak and Derrick Carter proved to be a lethal trio, sidling around each other along a panel of CDJs and mixers, seamlessly blending their individual track choices into a cohesive house set with a distinctly old school buzz.

It was serious sample session, with all three players seasoning their beats with grabs of George Michael, Missy Elliot, Eurythmics, Underworld and more – a good tactic to get the whole Pacha crowd involved in a set which, for at least half the people there, was probably not what they were expecting. Boisterous hi-hats kept the energy up and the dance moves sharp as we jacked our way into the small hours, with all three DJs plainly as lost in the moment as the keenest raver in the room, often closing their eyes during a cheeky scratch session or a particularly smooth mix. Set peaks include a hands in the air sing-a-long to Derrick Carter's mix of ‘Life' by Blair and the man himself serenading into the microphone and looping his own live vocals over one of the final tracks. Quality stuff.

And then three became one, as John Digweed took control of the booth and steered proceedings in a deeper more progressive direction. Pacha was awash in blue light as Digweed smoothed out the beat and focused on texture and melody, his first half hour feeling quite different to the percussion focused sounds prior. As the morning progressed Digweed slowly brought a strong kick back into picture and the foot stomping returned in earnest; one of my favourite tracks during this transition was Maetrik's ‘The Poem' a dark and deep release of about this time last year.

I flagged like a big baby before Uner could take over, but I had had the taste of Insane that I needed and now I'm properly excited for more of this. Bring on the next trio!

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