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Review: Café Olé with Dita Von Teese, 26th August

Housemaster Sanchez prescribes a dose of credible underground laced with darling erotica.

As Space's contribution to Ibiza's cherished clutch of gay-friendly nights, Roger Sanchez's Café Olé invites you to attend a refined and hedonically elegant portrayal of your own racy utopia. Resurrected in 2009 after its prodigious spawn defected to Amnesia, like its show-style brethren Olé is a theme-based affair that for this season attends to the exploration of 'Freak'. Helmed by veteran floor master Sanchez, the party presents the 'accustomed' camp and colourful odyssey within the vital confines of a credible musical fare; tonight was to meld the smoldering charm of Dita Von Teese with the best in classical house.

Motioning past the top-hatted flexor astride his silver unicorn the Discoteca bristled with a truly eclectic mix of humans. From horn-rimmed thoughtful types to red feathered queens, man, woman and everything in between grooved before a glistening stage be-decked with various props and devices. I arrived to Sanchez mixing his first track, a troupe of pearl clad Twenties dancers and a naked man toying with a dark blue towel - but to focus on the music: counting Danny Tenaglia as a partner in New York-styled crime, Sanchez - known for his vocally public affinity with the underground - span house thick with American grit and feet-stamping funk. The groaning tones of Sable Sheep's Upon Burning Skies well encapsulated the pink rhythm of the usually sincere space, as on stage an endless chain of skulking, doe-eyed Burlesque acts slunk by. The room was treated to a suitably comprehensive tour of house in its various diverging forms, Sanchez deftly seguing from direct tech house to the carnival limbo of Master at Work's Work.

Unique to Olé, the Sunset Terrace is utilised as the party's second room. Island resident Mirko Loko led a crowd of a size usually reserved for Space's Thursday night soirée. After a rain stoppage left the metallic clicking of the nearby popcorn machine to fill the unfortunate void Loko resumed an infectious spread of disco-licked funk. Teasing buttery soft electro between old school jiving, Cassian's I Love It swam through as a highlight of Loko's disco-house outing.

American Von Teese has been credited with the modern revival of burlesque, sophisticated sex and the glamour of a post-war United States - here, sandwiched between DJs, she was a tongue in cheek spectacle. As Sanchez moved towards a fiercer, coarser fare reminiscent of bygone electro-clash intensities the daintily shimmering curtain parted to reveal a bull-ride complete with diamante horns and a quilted, pink saddle: cue around ten minutes of old-fashioned feminine guile. The innate charm of her performance cemented the frivolous atmosphere of inclusivity at the party; it was not at all seedy but instead drew the crowd even closer to one another - perhaps the tumultuous world stage could do with more sex. Post performance the task of re-igniting the musical flame fell to Netherlands native Funkermann: rarely have I seen such immediate command of a dancefloor. At once spinning a darker sound laden with warehouse reverb Funkermann, aka Ardie van Beek, caused immediate revelry. Old school swing chased crisp claps and whispers of menace around the Discoteca illustrating his swift, deft grip of the room.

You would think that a night like this - boasting such a natural affinity with the underground - is inviting sure scornful criticism. Though standing deep within the amorous mass that is Café Olé, glitter cannons ablaze I can confirm that the musical genetics of the party are stoically sound. Olé is not just a visual extravaganza but a real opportunity to engage in what Sanchez wishes; what happens when you allow the music to really take control.

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