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Review: ENTER. at Space, 21st August

Sven Väth - the master - joins Richie Hawtin at Space Ibiza.

Black lipstick? Check. Black oversized dress? Check. Vegetarian dinner? Check. Facial expressions resembling fresh botox injections? Check. Lungs filled with hand rolled cigarettes? Check. Skinny bike ready for transport? Che.. (not really, but like thinking of it is practically the same thing)…eck. Hipster transformation complete and just in time for ENTER. Richie Hawtin's fiery Thursday night party that locks us away from the world and takes us into a dark descent of deeply multilayered techno infused with art, design and technology.

With all cliches aside and general overuse of this phrase in journalism, Hawtin's presence upon entering the main room was absolutely magnetic. Really, there just isn't any other way to say it. There is an intensity that radiates off of him during his meticulously precise programming and it is something you can feel with every flick of the fader and twist of the EQs. Richie's sound is a balance between new wave technology while still maintaining the respect and purity of his heavy Detroit techno roots. Leading us into his roaring techno was the monstrous track, One Of Them by Racid, with a relentless hard-hitting kick. The sci-fi like sounds lingering in the air were something I've never heard before; your core shakes during the heavy gut-jarring thumping which is somehow completely euphoric.

The Japanese influence behind the night becomes more apparent when taking note at the precision behind the production levels. Three rings sat behind the DJ booth sending out a glow into the crowd with lasers and blinding smoke bombs wrapping every inch of you. Dancers entrapping either side of the stage are fierce and angry. Dressed in all black with high slicked back pony tails, their strongly locked jaw hit every one of the hard hitting bass rips of the newly released track Cladera by Recondite. Rarely the opening act, Hawtin displayed the utmost respect for the guest of the evening, Sven Väth. Echoing synths fading in and out caused Sven to materialize on stage during track Fiery by fellow German producer Recondite. The discoteca erupted as both men stood behind the booth and the big room factor behind the track grew as Sven raised the vinyl record in his hand in the air.

This being the first time I had seen Sven anywhere outside of the Amnesia terrace, I was curious as to how he could take us on a journey into the morning without the sunlight seeping in through the windows giving us all that second wind. Drenched with intricate and eye-popping lighting, the deeply smooth and melodic notes of Up by Benjamin Damage pulsated through the speakers and onto the dance floor. Throwing down track after track, it's quite clear why Papa proceeds his name as he knows exactly when to hold back and push forward leaving the crowd screaming for more. The rather uplifting and melodic rendition of Bad Kingdom by fellow German veteran DJ Koze, melts you into a haze with the richly deep woozing vocals.

Catching the sweet ending of Claude VonStroke's set in the terrace, it was clear that I chose the right time to make an entrance as he was dancing… on top of the DJ booth. Wonderful. The bona fide club wrecker, Get Lost by Pirupa, pounded at the roof with hot hard hitting snares causing everyone to roll their heads back and get lost, even if just for a split second. Sexy electro ignited the floor when Maceo Plex (a personal favourite) took control. A nice break from the main room, Maceo's vocal heavy tracks are bridged with moody and funky bass lines capturing even the most tame soul. His newly released remix of Head's Above by indie rock group WhoMadeWho was delightfully catchy.

The track leans more toward a brighter tech house, which is brought out by enchanting vocals and energetic synths, yet somehow maintaining that deep house cool to it. This effortless dance floor friendly track lit up the room with grins so wide you could have almost assumed this was the track everyone had been waiting for all night. Even now while writing this review (with the track on a continuous loop) my wide spread grin has caused all the waitresses at this cafe to think I'm borderline creepy, seeing as I've been sitting for hours, aimlessly smiling, by myself. Oh and remember Claude VonStroke? Yeah, well he apparently caught the same vibe as me last night, because as soon as this track came on he started dancing, on top of the DJ booth... again.

Back in the main room, Sven had the dance floor in a deadlock stare as they were all eagerly awaiting to be taken into 6am. His sound was definitely a bit more trippy and darker now. Fueling the plunging dive into these moody hours of morning was the slow and emotionally charged chord progression from Epikur by David August. The powerful deep searing groves swell into a beautiful climax transcending the crowd into another realm of exhilaration. These darker notes are what I recognize the most when paralleling back to some of his legendary performances on the Terrace at Amnesia. It really is incredible to watch the progression of his set throughout the evening, the ride he takes you on rolls you through a complete whirlwind of emotions you did not know you were even capable of feeling inside of a dark club surrounded by a room full of strangers.

Looking around at the now intimate dance floor, Sven treated all of us beautifully committed souls to the soft, rolling, trance filled jumps from Superpitcher's remix of The Difference It Makes by The MFA. And boy, when those smoke bombs hit us one last time it caused us all to close our eyes and breath in that splitting period of time. This was finally that electrically charged moment everyone on the island talks about having and the one I have been waiting for all season. That fleeting moment that years from now will have me wishing I could live inside of forever.

WORDS | Sara McNutt PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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