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Review: Afterlife opening party, 7 July 2016

Dabbling with the dark side at Space Ibiza

Do you know what's not ideal when you go to one of the most crowded opening parties of the season? A broken toe, that's what. Because believe me, you're never more aware of being incapacitated than when you're fighting against a tide of ten thousand techno fans eager to get a slice of Tale of Us action - they'll stop at nothing to get what they want, and if you stand in their way, you'll be sorry. That's much how the story went last night as Afterlife finally popped its Space cherry - they provided the beats, I provided the screams and between us we made merry music all night long.

Much fanfare was made about Afterlife when it was announced it would take the Thursday night slot at Space, and not without reason - with a collection of artists from Life and Death, Innervisions and Dystopian uniting to form the bill, it was packing hefty promise before it even reared into action. So it was no surprise that last night half the island turned up for the inaugural event, with Space being transformed into a dark and cavernous techno realm to mark the occasion.

As you might expect, the night was characterised by an awful lot of crushing, guttural bass reverberating around the terrace walls. Initially it came thanks to Mind Against, who matched it with chugging, chunky beats and the kind of drum rolling that sounded like troops were being rounded up ready for battle. The achingly cool crowd - Jamie Jones among them - diligently responded to the call, marching rhythmically in unison as each tune unfurled. Recondite took charge next, his set littered with the kind of filthy drops that leave you feeling winded, wounded and ever so slightly weak at the knees. He ruthlessly tore through the crowd with his own tunes, ‘Drgn2' and ‘Osa', which worked perfectly on the darkened Space terraza.

Tale of Us eased into the final slot with the kind of casual coolness that was in marked contrast to the fervent anticipation oozing from the crowd. It was a set that characteristically built in intensity - we were put through our paces with ‘North Star', in all its dark and gloomy glory, Sunhatch's shuddering ‘Come Feel The Love' (DJ DIg Dub Mix) and Guy J's remix of Twice As Nice's ‘Overture', a track with the kind of silky smooth build up that has you climbing skyward before ruthlessly crashing back down. And, just when you think you've got Tale of Us' card marked, they throw in a curveball like Acid Pauli's ‘Nana', a tune with the kind of melodic delicacy that has you replacing stomping with swaying for one brief, beautiful moment. We powered through with the Italian duo until 7 AM, when it was time to hobble home having been at the mercy of bone-crushing in all its aural and literal forms. We may not have fully crossed over to the dark side last night, but Afterlife certainly took us one step closer there.

WORDS | Abby Lowe PHOTOGRAPHY | Julián Farina

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