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Review: Love The Underground Records at Destino (Tox), 27th June

Mikaela & Friends' Saturday night residency is a new kid on the Balearic bloc burying itself deep into the deepest recesses of techno and house.

The Love The Underground Records Ibiza parties as ‘Mikaela and Friends', with label founder and DJ Mikaela at its helm, is a new kid on the Balearic bloc. The Saturday night quest through the underground realms of techno, tech-house and deep-house within the enclosure of Destino's dark, underground and music focused club chamber, Tox, was in the third session of its sixteen-week residency. On an island inundated with an army of the biggest and the best in the dance music industry, Mikeala is geared to carve her own niche by slamming down a showcasing of the foremost purveyors of house and techno with a new generation of exciting fresh talent.

Typical habits of the Ibiza clubber has them push through the doors in their droves around the 2am mark with the diehards staying until the sunrise doused end. It's of no reflection on the quality of the dynamic musical ammunition of the night that, on this occasion, during the heralding all important hour, the intimate club was not at its capacity and unfortunately it didn't gain strength in numbers in the final hours. The label set the tone for the season ahead with a big bash warm up at Sankeys with legendary Stacey Pullen, Torino native and Desolat affiliate Yaya and season residents Artslaves and Reelow. The first two parties at Tox drew in the likes of revered Israeli mainstay Shlomi Aber and Cocoon Recordings legend POPOF and capacity was well filled.

As stated, I couldn't fault what I heard emanating from the sound system which fell directly in-line with its no frills, sound solo focus premise. No gimmicks, no fancy décor, merely an intimately sized space shrouded in darkness with the music pushed to the forefront of our consciousness. For nights new to the scene, contending with underground heavyweights, such as Space Kehakuma's ventures below the upper crust, dips in numbers are to be expected. Let's not forget that Ibiza is not yet in the crux of its tourist clubber voyage of the season.

On grabbing a quick chat with Mikaela, she passionately repeated what she has already become noted for – her devotion to the music, the artists and lavishing this onto anyone that passes across the dancefloor. While she has an appreciation for Ibiza superclubs, it was Tox's intimacy and the close proximity of the booth to the people that drew her to launching ‘Mikaela & Friends' here.

Tonight she was joined by fresh new tech-house talent from her label, Samu Rodriguez, who is already a very familiar name with El Row aficionados with his craft being recognized by the likes of Marco Carola and Joseph Capriati. Out with the label, the crowd had Parisian-born, Berlin-based, Cesar Merveille, who has recorded for Wolf + Lamb and worked on material with Visionquest with label co-founder, Ryan Crosson, and Ramon Tapia who has remixed for Monika Kruse, DJ Sneak and Umek to name a few. I caught the latter two in action and they were both excellent – a barrage of romping basslines boomed from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall.

For Mikaela the underground scene embodies “people having fun and loving the music. Never bad vibes, just love.” With a strong social media presence connecting her to her large fan base and a strong line-up, I think her parties of “just love” will grow in strength this season. It might be a little off the beaten track but that is exactly what an island based on musical discovery is all about.


WORDS | Aimee Lawrence PHOTOGRAPHY | Lighuen Desanto

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