I raised my hands to the air, my feet sidestepping up and down, left and right, my hips gyrating, my pulse thumped through my veins, my senses were firing on all cylinders; seeing, hearing, feeling everything. The bass line pounded through every cell of my being. The crowd vibrated around me with the same ecstatic energy. As a collective of thousands, each bouncing to the tantalising melodic beat, enthralled in the incredible visual displays above the DJ box, we knew we were witnessing something special. I shout to a stranger next to me “HOW FUCKING GOOD IS THIS?!” He looks at me, drenched in sweat, his eyes slightly wild and yells back “MATE, THIS IS THE BEST I’VE EVER SEEN. I guess he is forty, maybe slightly older, he’s quite a bit shorter than me, he has a Northern English accent, and he is in a state of rhythmic ecstasy. I can tell this guy is a seasoned pro in the rave game, if he says it is that good, then it confirms what I’m already thinking, I don’t think I’ve seen better either.
It was our last night in Ibiza, me and five of my closest mates, some of whom I’ve known since we were slightly wary eleven year olds walking into Secondary school for our first day of being ‘bigger boys’. This was our last night on the White Isle, we’d done all the raving we needed to do in the previous 48 hours, so instead we opted to head into Ibiza Town with four fellow Brits we had befriended at the hotel (4 of them, 6 of us, 9 of the 10 married, odd one out over here).
Ibiza town, if you haven’t been, is beautiful. A medieval fort towers over its picturesque cobbled streets laden with buzzing tapas bars and boutique stores, which as per Spanish custom stay open seemingly all night. We stood around a high table, guzzled Sangria and chomped down delicious Tapas. I love the Med, for me, this is what it is all about. Being with friends, old and new, on warm evenings, feasting, drinking, laughing. A magician even came over at one point and produced some of the best magic I’ve ever witnessed that isn’t on a Dynamo YouTube vid.
Time flew past as the wine dwindled, the clock ticked way past midnight, and from somewhere came the suggestion that we step things up a notch and hit up Pacha, the legendary and oldest club in Ibiza. We all had planes and boats to catch early the next morning, surely not? Lads? Really? Fuck, we’re doing this aren’t we… Oh I’m in a cab. Oh I’m in the club. How did that happen? Excellent. Let’s fucking do this!
I’ve heard it claimed that Pacha is the original superclub, not just in Ibiza, but in the world. It was built in 1973, and was designed to look like a farmhouse. Let that sink in, it is a 46 year old night club. It should, by the very nature of its age be shit, but let me assure you, it definitely is not shit. It has charm and character in droves. I absolutely love it. When you first walk in it should feel like a quaint old Spanish tapas restaurant, with white walls, tiled floors, and trinkets hanging on the walls. Except it doesn’t, because when you walk in you get hit with the deepest baselines and the most dazzling lights.
I was dressed completely inappropriately for the venue, I had on chino shorts, a smartish short-sleeved shirt and canvas espadrilles with a very thin rubber sole. You know, perfect attire for a nice civilised meal in the town square.
But none of any that above mattered on Sunday night. A Bosnian DJ who goes by the name of Solomun was playing the entire night’s set, all 6 hours of it. And fuck me, it was INSANELY GOOD. It wasn’t even my type of music! I love Trance music, music that builds layers upon layers, interjects the occasional melodic vocals, music that slows down unexpectedly to shock you into life, and then just as you get comfortable, explodes into massive bouts of heart-bursting euphoria. That is my music of choice, but what this Bosnian nutjob was spinning on Sunday just blew my bloody head off. I went off to google later to find out how to classify what it was that almost sent me over the edge and into Heaven. Wikipedia states: “house music, but with deep, ultra funky basslines, euphoric melodies and emotionally charged vocals”.
To be honest with you, dear reader, classification of the genre doesn’t really matter, what matters, is that as I stood on that dancefloor at 6.30am, my clothes drenched in sweat and my shoes ruined, I looked up to the darkened roof of the club and felt nothing but exhausted, blissful, unadulterated joy. We, the collective masses, gave that historic dancefloor everything it, and this incredible DJ deserved. Together, the thousands of us pounded ourselves like madmen and women into a higher consciousness. I don’t know, maybe I’m getting a tad carried away there, but as I sit here in the chill zone of a surprisingly swanky Barcelona hostel and reflect, four days on, I feel that something special happened on that dancefloor. Part of me stood there as the night drew to a close and felt like exploding with joy. I had this overwhelming sense that the joy was within me. I didn’t need a dancefloor or a superstar DJ, or 3000 other ravers, or the best nightclub in the world to find this joy. The joy was us, the people, a collective consciousness.
The joy is within all of us, sometimes we just need a little help reconnecting with it, and with each other.