The time has come to reflect on what has been an incredible few months of parties for Defected In The House and Glitterbox as Defected's Ben Lovett looks ahead to what the Closing Parties have in store. Plus we’ve also put together a list of the biggest White Isle records from a summer of jaw-dropping house music.
Suddenly it’s September and if you’re anything like us, you’re probably experiencing that feeling when all of your favourite Ibiza parties begin to wind down after another full-throttle year. Defected’s own two parties, Glitterbox and Defected In The House will be especially missed if season-long reactions on the White Isle are anything to go by.
Glitterbox, relocating from Booom to Space, has enjoyed a revelatory sophomore year. The opening party reviews were exemplary and things have only kicked on from there. Glitterbox’s unique fusion of classic and contemporary soulful dance, backed by imaginative theming across everything from Mark Wardel’s glamorous promotional artwork to the arousing dance moves of Sink The Pink (one of a number of rotating crews), has fitted Space perfectly, like manicured hand to sequined glove. After so many years of hosting legendary party We Love... (now at Sankeys), the Playa d’en Bossa superclub looks to have a new history-making partnership on its hands. The Glitterbox crowds have happily swelled whilst the Friday night soundtrack continues to impress.
That’s in no small part down to line-up. From the crunchy, anthemic highs of Todd Terry’s opening party set back in June to more recent travails with Fatboy Slim, shaking some serious disco booty, and Basement Jaxx, whose energetic double-act this August reached absolute fever pitch upon final play ‘Where’s Your Head At’, Glitterbox has constantly surprised and delighted. It’s ‘anything goes’ flamboyance harks back to Ibiza’s earliest dancefloor beginnings; a mission statement warmly embraced by other star performers this season including Joey Negro, Roger Sanchez, Hercules And Love Affair, Purple Disco Machine, Norman Jay, Julio Bashmore, The Revenge, Kings of Tomorrow and so the list goes on....
As do the parties. There is still life in Glitterbox 2015 yet. Upcoming dates with Soul Clap and Opolopo paving the way for a magnificent Closing Party on 25 September featuring, fittingly, Todd Terry once again, not to mention Gallic groove master Dimitri From Paris, edit king Greg Wilson, Horse Meat Disco and DJ Pippi. Expect the crowd to leave screaming for more in 2016.
Meanwhile Defected In The House’s rendezvous with Tuesday bass fest Together at Amnesia has enjoyed similar success. That ravers have been able to enjoy both Defected’s robust focus on quality house music and the manic main room warbles of key Together performers Chase & Status, Rudimental, Sub Focus, Diplo and Skrillex this summer has propelled the night forward with fierce momentum.
For Defected’s part, affiliated heavyweights including MK, Noir, Dennis Ferrer, Hannah Wants, Gorgon City, Pete Tong, Groove Armada, DJ S.K.T and Detroit Swindle have bossed the infamous Amnesia Terrace; cutting their 4-4 with uplifting melody and funky, lowdown fire in equal, assured measure. Whole crowds have been swept along by everything from Gorgon City’s already vintage ‘Ready For Your Love’ and Wants’ bass monster ‘Rhymes’ to feisty cuts via Dirtybird faves Justin Martin, Ardalan and Claude VonStroke. According to numerous reports this summer, the Terrace has more than matched Amnesia’s main room for head count, body shake and magical Ibiza atmosphere.
Defected In The House throws its own Closing Party on 22 September. Together regulars Chase & Status go back-to-back with fellow drum & basser Shy FX in the main room, further voltage supplied by Sigma, Gotsome and Wilkinson. But the Terrace, once again, offers equivalent sonic chutzpah. If it wasn’t enough to have the edgy dub-house of MK on board, then how about the dense, no nonsense thrusting of Shadow Child and Sonny Fodera, the melodic, soulful kick of Inner City offspring Dantiez Saunderson and soaring uplift of Ms Sam Divine? Ibiza’s original nightclub will be jumping like never before....
The countdown to the end of summer has begun then. Here, in turn, is our own countdown – a bundling of 10 tracks that capture the very essence of Defected’s Ibiza 2015....
Gregory Porter ‘Liquid Spirit’ (Claptone Remix)
Classic house remix of a classic voice refreshing dedicated dancefloor souls at Glitterbox and several other key Ibiza parties all summer long. To think, Claptone’s slap-tastic, piano-tinkling slice of heaven nearly didn’t happen – he originally turned the commission down.
Hannah Wants ‘Rhymes’
Incendiary bass-house as only Birmingham sorceress Wants can conjure (alongside regular partner Chris Lorenzo). ‘Rhymes’ has thundered loud and proud during each of its author’s appearances for Defected In The House. Her drawn-out tease of the track during her 14 July set was a particular high. It has even pounded Glitterbox, as keenly demonstrated by Basement Jaxx last month. And most other clubs.... Wants’ in-yer-face, bottom-end juggernaut has proved truly unstoppable.
Seven Davis Jr ‘Friends’ (Detroit Swindle Friends On Acid Remix)
Flying Dutchmen Detroit Swindle reboot Davis Jr’s 2014 gem in compelling fashion – bump ‘n’ hustle becomes bump ‘n’ muscle, the Swindle’s funky acid burning all floors before it.
Tommy Bones ‘Love & War’
Native New Yorker Bones has killed it in the studio this year. First the deep jazz of ‘Black Concept’, then moody pianos and undercurrents of tech via the sublime ‘Love & War’. Title track of a summer EP also featuring crisp jack attack ‘Get Down’, it has massively intensified the Amnesia Terrace on several occasions.
Kings Of Tomorrow feat. April ‘Burn So Deep’ (Sandy’s Disco Burn Edit)
Sandy Rivera, the ‘King’, officially declaring disco loops back in business. But ‘Burn So Deep’ is much more, April’s seductive vocals, those majestic strings and a whole heap of driving beats adding to the soulful adrenaline rush. Rivera’s alternative ‘Deep Burn’ edit is of similar hue and quality.
Sam Holt and Gavin Mills mesmerize us with this timeless thrust of key stabs, deep diva wails and scything four-to-the-floor. ‘Diva’ has continually delighted at both Glitterbox and Defected In The House.
Claude VonStroke ‘Barrump’
VonStroke’s particular blend of bass-house craziness has suited Ibiza to a tee over the past few weeks, older cuts such as 2014’s gloriously wound-up ‘Eye I Eye’ (a fave at Defected In The House) and, of course, May release ‘Barrump’ working ravers into rabid frenzy. ‘Barrump’’s bass, beats and insanely catchy vocal are pretty hard to beat in the anthem stakes.
The Juan Maclean - A Simple Design (Purple Disco Machine Remix)
The definitive Glitterbox anthem of 2015 came via a sublime reworking from Traxsource's No.1 house artist of the year Purple Disco Machine, who incoporated a huge breakdown into The Juan MacLean's stunning original. The result? Pure disco-edged, dancefloor fire.
Sonny Fodera feat. Kwame ‘Roll With Me’
Aussie Fodera’s status as one of Ibiza’s artistic standouts for 2015 is assured thanks both to summer smash ‘Roll With Me’ and its predecessor ‘High’’ (alongside Cervendos and featuring Lauren Faith). ‘Roll With Me’ has generated serious heat in the Ibiza season’s final weeks, channelling the classic spirit of Robert Owens via an arrestingly nasty, up-to-the-minute house production. We’re rollin’....