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Review: Wax Da Jam opening at Las Dalias, 2015

Wax Da Jam trilogy, part one... featuring Massive Attack's Daddy G!

Over the years Wax Da Jam has been somewhat of a permanent fixture in my calendar. Starting from humble beginnings at Aura, the Wax Da Jam crew have matured their party into a small-scale festival at the local hangout of the North, Las Dalias. Yesterday saw the first part of the Wax Da Jam trilogy, and really my only complaint would be that they aren't hosting a weekly residency this summer. Oh, and the lack of Stevie and his soul kitchen. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

Wax Da Jam has always been known for its laidback, funky grooves and from the get go, that's exactly what was provided. Resident DJ Negghead (half of Acid Mondays) was laying down some soulful atmospheric beats, whilst I nibbled on my yakitori and sipped on my caipirinha at the Sky Bar providing a birds-eye view of the dance floor filling up below.

Las Dalias is an idyllic place to host this urban tinted fiesta, a bohemian playground with multiple bars, indoor and outdoor dancing, a restaurant, food trucks, and even a juice bar (which you may or may not want to spice up with a nip of rum). It's one of Ibiza's oldest nightclubs and as I looked on, the usual familiar faces of Wax Da Jam followers, Ibiza residents, local heroes and alternative hip hop lovers mingled through the crowd. As Nightmares on Wax frontman DJ Ease aptly put it “everyone turns up as individuals, but everybody leaves as one”.

Following Negghead on the outdoor podium was one-man-band Adam Baluch hailing all the way from Dubai. This talented multi-instrumentalist stormed the stage and captured the crowd with classics from Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Angie Stone and several other sing a longs. Far from a one-trick pony, he also added a depth to his set with alternative soul music, mixed with rap and beat box – all whilst simultaneously playing guitar and keyboard layered harmoniously with his loop station. Now that's some serious talent!

As the outdoor live music came to an end, a mass exodus to the inside stage ensued, where Daddy G - half of the infamous trip-hop masters Massive Attack – took over the dimly lit, suitably grimy main room of Las Dalias. The darkness of the room that engulfed us was perfect for the underground feeling of Wax Da Jam with the music being layed on thick and heavy for us to get our grind on. Daddy G's stage presence was cool personified, as he effortlessly mixed in some serious break beat with Spanish instrumentals to hip hop classics without breaking a sweat - in contrast to the crowd who were drenched by the crazy dance moves the sound of Daddy G was forcing us to make.

In the midst of our hectic dancing it soon became time for main act Nightmares on Wax to take the stage and show us what Wax Da Jam is all about – a night full of live music, experimentation, percussion and soul music. DJ Ease smoothly maneuvered through his almost tribal beats, strengthened by Shovel the percussionist, the extra live element adding a layer of energy to the mix. DJ Ease took over with full control, including some epic live reworks of his own tracks and successfully kept the crowd hungry for more, constantly creating and evolving his sound. Intelligent music I can relate to.

Later o'clock I looked around me to see that the dance floor thinned out slightly, yet there was no less energy on the floor and I left with the thought that maybe it's a good thing they chose to do only three main events after all. Instead of spreading their strengths wide and thin, these will be three banging editions to write home about.

Words | Maya Dupont Photography | James Chapman

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