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Review: Solomun + 1 warm-up at Pacha, 26th April

I'm back, you're back, Solomun's back... let's start this summer with a bang shall we?

As my first night out in Ibiza for the summer, this was the official reuniting of the island and myself. We each held our own proudly, the vibrant return of a close, slightly turbulent, co-dependant relationship in the form of a preview party for the Solomun + 1 season at Pacha.

It was a busy night for April. As the party was free for residents and island workers it had drawn in a large number of Solomun-starved folks positively gagging for a taste of the summer party schedule. The night started with a bit of a bottleneck at the entrance, as everybody seemed to have decided that the first and most crucial thing they needed to do once through the club doors was have a cigarette out front. But once through the squeeze the crowd inside spread itself out and I was thankful to enjoy a busy, but not peak season busy, Pacha.

Solomun's + 1 for the evening was his close friend and Diynamic Music partner in crime, H.O.S.H. The two are old hands at playing together and looked extremely comfortable in the booth. Better than comfortable actually – the pair egged each other on and the crowd in turn, ensuring there would be nothing luke-warm about this particular season warm up. Behind their heads hung the neon Solomun + 1 sign, looking very striking against the blue lights that coloured most of the evening.

The two were already hammering it out when we arrived just after 2am so it was straight to the dance floor to get our winter bones moving again, the collective creaking of rusty joints just audible above the booming bass. The crowd was a nice international mix, with a strong Spanish contingent and genial vibe, with the exception of a young man up on the balcony raving like the world was about to end. We - and much of the dance floor - gawped and gaped at his frenetic jerking, unsuccessful crowd hyping and generally overbearing messiness for a while, then decided to name him. He was young, very blonde and a bit of a tit, so we named him Joffrey (in reference to a Game of Thrones character who is also young, very blonde, and a massive tit).

The tunes got heavier after 3am, with the pair roughing up the melodic deep house sound with a dark and dirty electro push for a while. There were nasty-ass bass lines like Patrick Topping's latest release Forget or Veerus and Maxie Devine's The Sound and industrial bangers like Borderline's Make Me Crazy. Solomun's sound has progressed a lot in the last few years and this party seemed to suggest plans for a heavier, dirtier direction this summer, though Solomun is sure to shake it up a lot from week to week; if I learnt anything from Saturday night it's to never try to predict the many faces of Solomun. Saturday night had it all - there were big tunes from last season for us to latch on to like Ross Evan's Cinnamon, plus hints of the hits for the summer to come, like the Maceo Plex remix of GusGus's Crossfade or Solomun's remix of Broken Bells' Holding On For Life.

Around 5am H.O.S.H. hit the bench and Solomun took over the final hours on his own. For this end of the night a more traditional Solomun sound emerged with vocal led, bouncy bass songs like Noir and Haze Around the Bane. Once alone on the throne, King Solomun let loose even more, throwing himself about, head thrown back in the breakdowns and whipping out his signature conduct-the-crowd hand move. My friends and I called it a morning just after 7am, by which point the dance floor had thinned only slightly and was still covered in bodies feeding off Solomun's uncheckable energy (Joffrey was long gone – what a tit). We charged out with grand intentions of a kip then the after party, but perhaps we over-estimated our pre-season party reserves… baby steps now.

There were too many brilliant songs to keep track of that night, but I'm going to give track of the evening to a new original from Solomun himself, the atmospheric monster, Medea. You should have seen Solomun's face when he dropped it – pure bliss.

Words: Jordan Smith, Images: James Chapman

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