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Review: Music On at Amnesia, 22nd August

Cox and Carola: techno's bread and butter of Ibiza

Recently I feel like I've seen Carl Cox more times than I've seen hot dinners. Not content with his weekly Tuesday parties at Space, he has become the special guest of the moment, making an appearance at Loco Dice's birthday bash on the 10th August and now at Amnesia's Friday fiesta, Music On.

I'd had pre-warning that this would be the busiest I've ever seen the venue and by 3am revellers were already spilling out in to the smoking area from a packed out Main Room. However, instead of being jammed in like a tin of sardines (which I had mentally prepared for), the full turn-out only added to the atmosphere which was thick with anticipation.

Carl Cox was dishing up his usual trademark big room techno but the airy Terrace and clarity in the Amnesia speakers renovated the sound to something innovative and unique. The upbeat tempo of Ryme's N'nowww pranced around the room contrasted by the bubbling crescendo of Primate Instinct by Sergio Fernandez that catapulted the clubbers in to an inevitable climax of cheers and shrieks as the chill of the co2 cannon blasted through the crowd. Cox's consistency has to be applauded; in a completely diverse venue to his home turf Space, he still manipulated the ravers expertly. Oh yes, oh yes Coxy! Although he rounded off his set with Gunman's The Loco Zoo around 4ish, this was not a night for Cox to have an early exit and hit the hay…unbeknown to us party-goers there were more surprises to come…

Italian supremo Marco Carola took to the decks immediately after and the switch in styles was obvious. The severe bassline sliced through the auditorium laced with an acidic beat and sour tones but, with a teeming Terrace and a long night (morning) ahead of us, we slunk in to the Main Room to catch a bit of air. And hooray that we did! French mademoiselle, Miss Kittin made multi-tasking an art as she took to the turn-tables while smoking a cigarette. Commanding la fete with her futuristic grooves, she skilfully dominated the Main Room which is known for its tougher sounds. The crystal clear tunes pounding from the colossal speakers provided a soundtrack to two acrobats suspended from the ceiling, doing all sorts of impressive gymnastics while clinging on to a huge Music On ‘M' for dear life. Guess Miss Kittin wasn't the only one who could multi-task…

As the room appeared to peter out around five, we put our game faces on and headed back in to the main attraction. This is the time when the strong is divided from the weak and leads in to my favourite part of the night. As I peered over the crowd, I saw a dancing Carl Cox bopping about the booth, playing back to back with the Italian techno tyrant. The styles weaved in and out of straight techno to a very funky tone, complimenting both house and techno giants equally. A hint of sleazy minimal was thrown in for good measure as a sign of things to come.

Shafts of light began to creep through the Terrace ceiling to the sound of Sean Random's Get High (Original Mix) and Carola was once again a one-man show around six. But, naturally, this is his night, his arena and in my opinion, he stole the night. Snake effects slithered out the speakers, coiling in to the heavy bass of Alive by Daft Punk. As the sun began to rise, creeping in to the sky, the hums of the Terrace meandered to a more minimal lowness with Hermanez's Whatcha Gonna Do enticing the atmosphere in to head-twister territory.

One thing I enjoy about Music On is that it is worlds away from the big EDM nights Amnesia also hosts with their colourful stage props and elaborate theatrical production. Although I am a big electro fan, it's a refreshing change to see the DJ only armed with their music; no podium, no platform, no pretence. As the beaming sunshine began to stream through the roof top, taking us from night to morning, Johnny Dangerous's funky and soulful techno track Beat That Bitch enlivened the hard core revellers.

But it's a sad fact that all good things must come to an end although Carola kept us guessing until the very end. Mausingtrap (by Abity)'s bassline swayed from loud to soft as Carola tampered and twiddled (albeit slightly heavy-handedly but we will cut him some slack, it was twenty to ten in the morning). As soon as the clubbers thought the music had perished, he breathed life back in to the beat, back and forth, back and forth like the music's puppeteer toying with the record's strings. After much pantomime play, (has it finished? Oh yes it has, oh no it hasn't…) the static symphonies lead in to his farewell track Two Flip by Cascandy. It was a case of the boy who cried wolf though, and if it wasn't for the doors bursting open in to the car park, I'm sure we would all still be there now, waiting for Carola to resuscitate the bassline again. Music On's tag line is “It's all about the music” and after a hefty shift in Amnesia I can vouch that both Cox and Carola stayed true to this mantra right until the very end at 10am. McDonald's breakfast anyone?

WORDS | Francesca Evans PHOTO | Amnesia

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