Ibiza’s leading underground brand closes out 2019 with some of techno’s most foremost selectors.
Large and in-charge… a very appropriate opening line in terms of describing RESISTANCE’s third summer campaign at Privilege Ibiza. Following on from a wildly successful sophomore season, ULTRA WORLDWIDE’s esteemed underground brand has exceeded expectations once again.
Given the current state of decreasing tourism levels in the party capital, hosting a residency at the world’s biggest super-club could be considered quite the unenviable task, especially when it means filling the venue with 10,000 die-hards on a weekly basis, however, this is something RESISTANCE have taken in their stride. Privilege, quite simply put, is huge. Formerly known as KU, it is typically divided into five areas, three of which have been closed after being deemed unsafe by San Antonio council back in May. Despite this, the enormity of the Main Room and the intimacy of the Vista Club have made the San Rafael structure one of the island’s most interesting once again in 2019, especially on Tuesday night’s during the summer’s peak-time months.
The winner of Best Ibiza Night by the DJ Awards last year, RESISTANCE’s statement of intent for this summer was clear – to provide ground-breaking production value, outstanding music and of course, reignite that genuine passion for underground music which has sometimes been lost within an ever-increasing VIP culture on the island, and boy did they deliver. This has been further underlined by their commitment to constructing festival-sized line-ups every week too – a testament to their status as Privilege’s flagship show.
It only feels like yesterday when Adam Beyer and Maceo Plex closed out Main Room operations at the grand opening back in July. Since then, revellers have been privileged enough to experience regular outings from exclusive RESISTANCE residents like Charlotte de Witte, Eats Everything, Hot Since 82, and long-term favourites, Sasha and John Digweed. Not to mention further stand-out showcases from the likes of Drumcode and PLAYdifferently, and whilst expectations were sky high, the closing was no different.
Starting off one last techno marathon within the cosy realms of the Vista Club, Drumcode’s rising star, Luigi Madonna, was up first behind the controls. With the Terrace filling out relatively quickly early on, the Campani native felt right at home. Exploding with infectious enthusiasm, Luigi commanded the booth with a strong-yet-graceful presence with a smile on his face stretching from ear-to-ear. Serving up a uniquely fluid taste on techno, such apt inclusions as Reset Robot’s ‘Is That A Big Word?’ and Matrixxman’s Highway Remix of Erol Alkan’s ‘Spectrum’ truly brought out the acid and killer bass in his modern, yet ever-evolving sound.
Stepping up to dictate dance floor proceedings next in the Terrace was fellow Italian native, Deborah De Luca. Despite a bill complete with some of techno’s biggest heavyweights, De Luca was in demand from the word go. Blessed with a unique ability to transfix and elevate crowds with her electrically charged, technically nuanced sets, the Sola_mente boss had the Vista Club in the pam of her hands throughout. In signature fashion, she fused together her trademark blend of fast-paced techno with minimal grooves and melodic soundscapes to devastating effect. Perhaps the highlight of her performance came during her insertion of ’19 Calls’ – another unrelenting slice of warehouse techno from her creative locker defined by stripped-back kicks and frenetic hi-hats with a trip encore of dark, arpeggiated synths.
After easing ourselves into RESISTANCE’s final fiesta of the season, it was time to brace ourselves for some pulsating action in Privilege’s cavernous Main Room. With thousands of Drumcode loyalists squeezing themselves onto the dance floor, all attention was directed towards the always exceptional Adam Beyer. Fresh off the back of the label’s special at Privilege last month, Beyer was in good spirits. Decisive and resourceful, the Swede always comes with a dance floor-focused artillery and with A-Sides Volume 8’s release fast approaching, he wasn’t short of options. Setting the tone for his only Ibiza season performance with Carl Cox later on, he worked in Layton Giordani’s stirring chord-driven number, ‘Chrome’, along with the retro-tinged ’Can You Feel It’ – Joey Baltram’s first Drumcode outing in 11 years. Continuing to escalate adrenaline levels further, Beyer demonstrated his remarkable expertise with such shimmering highlights as Ilija Djokovic’s ‘Aura’ and Wehbba’s ‘Mantra’ – a combination of techno classicism and future-focused groove.
Following on from Beyer’s enthralling episode was the king of dance music himself, Carl Cox… oh yes, oh yes! And as expected, with those very words bellowing around all four corners of the Main Room, a jam-packed dance floor ensued with sweat cascading from wall-to-wall. Jockeying for space near the front became near impossible, but once settled, Coxy’s pure energy and captivating selection took the crowd to new heights. Full of life from the very first kick, Carl sent onlookers into an early frenzy by pumping out Floorplan’s ‘I Feel Him Moving’ before igniting a tidal wave of fist-pumping fury with Drumcomplex’s ‘Over You’. A man of many accolades, Carl exercised some material from his own label, Awesome Soundwave (a label specifically for releases from live electronic acts). The best of which came from exciting UK live performance, Saytek, with ‘Last Night’ – a throbbing, acid-filled slammer and a firm favourite in many of Coxy’s sets this summer.
Elsewhere, it was Belgium’s Charlotte de Witte closing operations over in the Vista Club. In what has hands down been the most successful year of her career so far, her fast-paced trajectory reads very much like a novel. Amply proven both behind the decks and in the studio, the KNTXT chief charmed the remaining techno heads with a natural ease, composure and expertise. Setting the tone with three minutes of suspensory synths and expansive ambient sounds, Charlotte opened with ‘Song of the Wood Nymphs’ filling the Terrace with drama and tension. Championing her own style of headstrong, uncompromising techno, the new RESISTANCE favourite then burst out into her signature spine-tingling, hypnotic take on techno. Blending together icy hi-hats with eerie dark vocals, A.P.’s Remix of Sopik’s ‘Don’t Mind’ followed before dark moods are further emphasised by Atze Ton’s thumping ‘Proper Limbo’ and her inaugural KNTXT label collaboration with Chris Liebing, ‘Liquid Slow’.
On a night complete with uncensored, fierce techno bombs and seizure-inducing lasers, its pretty safe too say RESISTANCE have gone above and beyond with their latest Ibiza ride into the oblivion and back. A true testament to the all-star level of talent involved, and the phenomenal production value present, Tuesday nights at Privilege are now the leading reference point when it comes to techno music on the White Isle.