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Review: W.A.R!, 23rd August

W.A.R! Residents Example and DJ Wire return for their last outing of the season.

Formed from the ashes of a beige apartment complex Ibiza Rocks has, in its seventh year of operation, continued to specialise in its own style of easily digestible crossover sounds. Since their presentation of live music filled a noticeable hole in the island's psyche the groups' brand has gone from strength to strength culminating in the creation of their second Ibiza soiree - W.A.R! - last summer. Held each Friday We Are Rockstars! aims to bridge the gap between conventional live performance - the laymans 'band' - and the DJs of the electronic music scene.

Bookings so far have included Radio 1 spinner Zane Lowe, British r 'n' b success Ms. Dynamite and commercial dub vocalist Katy B. Overall W.A.R! leans towards the grimier side of British taste with the likes of Oneman, Doorly and Skepta cementing it's bass and hip-hop preference. Friday saw the last appearance of event resident-duo Example and DJ Wire alongside actor-come-artist Idris Elba and insatiable bass entertainer Melé.

Spinning - or backspinning - with reckless abandon British selector Melé bent scandalous 90s hip-hop into the arms of jittery chart hits. His style, characterised by epileptic mixing and a refusal to play even half a track out had the crowd slightly taken aback - although admittedly it would be hard for anyone to match such soaring energy levels. High-octane synth cannons a la Hudson Mohawke sat amongst rosy garage numbers as Idris Elba - amiable regular at the Hotel - took up a mic and welcomed himself to the stage. Elba is somewhat of an oddity on the island - in a single summer he has experienced a curious rise to relative notoriety. After playing at IMS earlier in the season, along with notable appearances at San Antonio's Pike's venue, I was intrigued to sample this oddity - and was certainly surprised. Beginning with an acid touched techno line Elba quickly dropped into a slew of popular hits, touching on the Arctic Monkeys, various indie smashes and 'old skool' garage gems. His constant MC-ing and spirited gestures succeeded in spurring the crowd from their muggy stupor - the sweat dripping from Elba's brow a sign of his love affair with audience interaction. Encouraging collaborator Doorly to jump in and out of 'the mix' the selections continued to fly at a frantic pace before DJ Wire - precursor to the party's headline act - took up the hand-clapping mantel. Throughout the night we were treated to a pleasingly vibrant visual show courtesy of the stage size LED screens - lending the night the vibe of a bigger festival sibling. A snippet of Zombienation's Kernkraft 400 swung into play before being side-lined by the gravelly instructions of Fatman Scoop's Be Faithful. After setting up MTA Records with Chase & Status in 2008 producer Sam Wire has enjoyed international gigging fame after tackling remix work for - amongst others - Example, Ellie Goulding and Kids in Glass Houses. Since 2011 Wire and Example have performed at festivals and clubs around the world as a duo - one record selector one MC - bringing British singer-songwriter Elliot Gleave's electro infused pop to the masses. Although the idea of MC-ing falls slightly short of a full electronic performance, shifting from one lively hit to the next Gleave's - remote mic in hand - traversed the stage with the skips and an adept party starter. Even though the Ibiza Rocks courtyard is no small space, Example seemed to swell against the imaginary rafters - beckoning beneath the dusky Balearic night.

In this its second year W.A.R! is tentatively forging it's own identity and own path through Ibiza's diverse crowd. Each event promises a lively, energetic performance from a collection of Britain's homegrown finest that calls all to arms.

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