Transcend In Ibiza 2014 - Ben's Review


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As part of the continuation of the forum mates, partners in crime, friends and general lunatics, myself and Phil Dickinson (Phil_Dicko) decided to do a double review of our escapades in Ibiza. I've been looking forward to this holiday since the end of July, particularly after the antics of my 25th had died down and I'd pulled myself together post Ibiza in June, which was my 7th trip to the island.

For myself and my group, we've always followed my numbering system for it, which is based on my visits (as I go more regularly than the others) This, at least for my clan who attended Ibiza with Phil's inmates, made the trip Part VIII. My eighth trip on the island. My second of the year. I do love going twice a year, but it isn't half costly.

Summer 2014 has gone down as one of the best, if not these best summer of my life so far. I've been employed, I've had two Ibiza trips, I've had my 25th and the madness around St Paul's Carnival that followed, and a couple of epic nights out. I've had multiple gigs, including an 8 hour marathon set with Phil at a field party, and finally get to play with the Journey boys in a full venue (last time was a disaster for them due to issues with their venue at the last minute). That gig was again another back to back with Phil. I was also asked as a very last minute stand in for Adam White for a night based in Bristol which is trialling Classic Trance in room 3, a night I'm playing again for in October. I've got closer with my friends, with my family, and also at the start of the summer, decided to finally make the decision to move forward with my life post the ex girlfriend. The day after landing back from Ibiza in September, I moved to London.

It was good to have a large contingent of my own group joining Phil's, especially the last minute step in of RS due to an unfortunate break up with his ex. However, and I stand by this, it's entirely her loss and he'll come out of this stronger than ever. It also meant I had someone who was on my level for getting on it. As for the group Phil was bringing, while I'd met them a few times, I never felt I knew them. I feel we all bonded over the course of the week. As I said in June, Ibiza will make or break a friendship. I've seen (and heard) friendships fall apart outside our group while in Ibiza. I'm certainly not one of those people. Holidays are a shared experience, a bond that will last you for the rest of your life. Anyway, I digress.

Monday 8th September 2014

Waking up at the crack of dawn is never a good experience. Nor is dealing with a nicotine withdrawal because you don't want to smoke in front of your parents while you are on holiday with them. Dragged myself up, then woke up AG. We were staying at his parents place in mainland Spain and our parents took us to the port. A croissant, some tea and a few hugs goodbye later, we were on the walkway on, waiting to board the ferry to Ibiza. That first cigarette of the day was beautiful. Discovering that the fast cat had no smoking deck was not. This meant no drinking on the ferry, as I'd want to smoke! Bit of a rocky start.

After a somewhat... long ferry ride of three hours from Spain to Ibiza, we were in Ibiza Town, on the far side of the port (not where I expected to disembarque). One bus ride later, we were in central Ibiza Town at Burger King awaiting Phil, who eventually turned up looking a little worse for wear. Turns out they'd been out to We Love last night (And not Schulz Closing which surprised me, although I think We Love was probably the right choice). After a walk up to Phil's apartment, I cracked open the first can of the day and enjoyed the sunshine.

Around 2.30pm, I tried to gather everyone to head to Itaca in San Antonio, to head to the Driftwood pre-party. A lot of promoters, agents and some international DJs were there. Caught up with the guys who run OTR, Journey, had a chat with Signum about his vinyl set on Tuesday 9th for Captured, had a word with Darren Porter & Manuel Le Saux's agent and just a general chinwag with whoever was around. One of the things I love about Island of Trance week is the sheer amount of friends I have on the island at the same time. Found out from the Journey boys that two of them were playing the opening set in the Seal Pit tomorrow for Captured so assured them we'd be down to support from the getgo. Myself, AG, NE, JC and Phil had a jaeger each, then after the Driftwood pre party crowd headed to the boat we headed to the taxi rank. Absolutely gutted I couldn't do this party, but checking in to the villa was more important.

Got a taxi as far as the Es Cuco supermarket slightly north of Port Des Torrent. After that, the route march from hell started. Phil asked us to get out the taxi far too early, in the blistering heat, while we carried both our luggage and NEs' as he was unable to carry his due to the crutches. Phil lead us to the top of a hill before realising it was the wrong hill. Let's just say I was less than impressed and absolutely exhausted by time we finally got to the villa, only to find the guys who had checked in had gone out.

They thankfully turned up a few minutes later, whereby I got myself some drinks and cracked on. We had a BBQ cooked for us by WH, who offered to do the majority of the BBQing during the holiday while he was there. The rest of us took turns in cleaning. It was so nice having proper BBQs in Ibiza compared to the usual kind of food like pizza and pasta. And far better than Burger King. We cracked on with a game called drinking Uno (A version of Ring of Fire but with more cards, thus more card meaning and more booze consumed). Finally hit the sack around 3am. I'm normally down for a mad night the first night, so it felt odd having it relatively constrained.


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Tuesday 9th September 2014

Today was the day. Captured and Sunk. For me, the big prize was Captured. For those who don't know, Sam Mitcham is the primary promoter of Captured, Sunk and Driftwood in Ibiza and both Re:Format and Wax Format in the UK. His UK night, Wax Format, was hosting the Seal Pit at Captured. As the name suggest, it's a vinyl event. Watching my favourite DJs play on vinyl has always been such an experience for me, I think because I got into Trance after the switch to Digital. Watching DJs keep everything so perfectly in time to me is just incredible. No samples, no tricks, just a 12" record playing.

Myself and Phil popped into San An to pick up tickets for both Captured and Sunk. As I have done for the majority of my trips, popped into Solo Records in the West End to get them. Got a couple of posters thrown in which was good. The guy who runs the store is a personable guy, it must be said. After that, and a cigarette run, we headed back to the villa to get some food in us. With this being a double header day without a break, we decided to have a BBQ before we headed to Captured as it would help sustain us. We sorted out a mini bus for collection, and away we went.

The first Captured of the season (June) was quiet, which made it a struggle to get in to. Back in June, the Island had been quieter for clubbers, and Captured itself was empty. This event was different. At 16:30 it was already busier than at peak in June, which was great to see. The group headed straight to the Seal Pit to see the Journey boys in action, had a catch up with them then the fun started.

We chilled alot for the first few hours. This was a marathon not a sprint. Making 14 hours clubbing would be a tough one if we went too mental too early. Caught up with Signum & Manuel Le Saux's Agent again, someone I met in the scene before he became an agent and I become a DJ \ promoter. Incredibly nice guy, and always have time for him. A few vodka oranges at a reasonable (for Ibiza clubs) price, and as the sun was beginning to lower in the sky, we started dancing properly. Everyone we wanted to see was on from 7pm. First up in the Seal Pit was Orkidea. I'm a massive fan of Orkidea, but this is the first time I can ever recall seeing him. Watching him on vinyl, particularly as a vinyl DJ myself, was mesmerising. The crowd were already building up an electric charge. '7pm and it was nuts already? Excellent!' I thought to myself. After Orkidea came one of the most underrated DJ / Producers in the Trance Scene, Menno De Jong. You could tell most of the crowd were here for him. The Seal Pit was suddenly filled and it was difficult to move.

Menno, as always, played an outstanding set. And again, technically flawless as well. After that was a particular hero of mine, Signum. After we booked him in February, he's always had a bit of time for me whenever I've seen him at gigs across the UK. Speaking to him at the driftwood boat party, he was nervous for this gig. He had no need to be. Again, another amazing set. He also played Godd, which is one of the first times I can recall hearing it on a night out. Incredibly proud of myself that I figured it out within the first bar of the track, way before anyone else in the Transcend or Journey party did.

After this, we had a break for a lil while and headed back to the main arena, where we caught the end of Solarstone's set. Would of loved to have seen it all, but what I heard sounded good. Possible Transcend booking in the future? I think so, just not sure when. Had a chat with Orkidea, Menno De Jong and said a brief hello and congrats to Signum for his set. To find out this was Menno's first time on vinyl without practicing really shocked me, as he was just so onform. If I don't touch my vinyl turntables for even a month I get rusty. After Solarstone came Will Atkinson. He started off slower than I expected, but soon picked up the pass. The track we decided to leave on was Three Drives - Sunset On Ibiza (Will Atkinson 10000 Fans Remix)

We headed to the bus stop for the bus direct to Privilege.

Sunk for me was a bit of a blur. Before we knew it, it was 2am and Matt Hardwick had finished playing. He played on a black label track by Anna Nalick called Breathe (2AM), the Blake Jarrell remix. This never made it beyond test copies, but sounded incredible.

After that came The Space Brother. Now, was not overly impressed by their technical skill. Or indeed some of their tracks. A lot of their tracks had the more elctro sound which is permeating through Trance at the moment, which was a shame. On next was Menno, who absolutely smashed it. Very different set to his classics set, but absolutely pumping which is what was required. Another potential booking for Transcend going forward? It was at roughly this point we met VK out in the smoking area. After Menno, we all decided it was time to head back. Myself, NR and RS decided to power through the morning at our villa, eventually going to bed after the PhoneGate scandal around 10am. Not that I slept.


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Wednesday 9th September 2014

Survival day. I think I slept for 20 minutes. Eventually got myself up at midday. An absolute struggle to do anything. So... what can you do in moments like this? Get yourself a vodka coke and go down to the pool. Received a text from one of the Journey lads regarding playing at Kanya Thursday lunch time. After a brief pause for thought (about half a second), myself and Phil accepted. All I can say is I'm glad I've been spending time looking for proper progressive music the last few months. Can't be banging out the Trance at midday. It was also at this point that I realised I'd spent my budget. Whoops.

After another lovely dinner, and an evening of chilling it was myself, RS and NR up with everyone else in bed. Knowing the day I had ahead of myself, I hit the sack about 2am.

Thursday 10th September 2014

Woke up to a horrific noise. The noise of my alarm. I only set an alarm in Ibiza when I have an early morning flight, so hearing it at any other time is bleak. After a relatively cool and decent night's sleep, got myself up, showered, and ushered people along to taxis and headed to Kanya. Eight of us went in total. Rocked up, straight to the bar for some cider (at last, cider!) and had a chat with the Journey boys about the plan of attack while the mixer and CDJs were set up outside. A six way back to back was on the cards. One track each. What a beautiful way to spend an afternoon. DJing in the sun, with your friends and colleagues, looking out over the Mediterranean. Honestly a memory I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.

Those four hours flew by. Before we knew it, the taxi had turned up to take us home. Just crazy. Said our goodbyes, and headed back to the villa. And straight to the pool. After another BBQ, we all started getting ready then headed off in to San Antonio for Tropi, for the Cream Pre-Party. As always it was busy. Sorted out tickets from the Ibiza Trance Family promoter, Dave and got chatting to Tropi \ ITF resident, Paul. He had a gig tomorrow at Space and needed cover. So myself and Phil stepped in, likely we'd be on the most if not the whole night.

We tried to get the bus to Amnesia, but one never turned up so we sorted out taxis up to Amnesia. As we walked in, Gareth Wyn was on. I'm not a fan of the kind of music Gareth tends to play, and it was just house music in what was meant to be the Trance room. A sign of things to come for the rest of the night? Up next was Above & Beyond. Incredibly disappointed with them. Only one of them turned up (Tony), usually it's at least two of them. And out of the three, Tony is better at the production and song writing side of things than he is as a DJ.

I used to love Above & Beyond, used to love their uplifting fast paced sound. Now adays, with their watered down and tame approach to music, I struggle to see them play. Looking back, I don't recall any of their set. I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing. Up next were Super8 & Tab. Much preferred these guys, but with them, I still found them hard to proper loose myself to. I couldn't help but think the better lineups for Cream were the week before and after. Cream really did get this line up wrong with the Island of Trance week. After this came Pete Bromage. He's the resident for Rong, a night in Manchester. I've seen him play a few times up north at Off The Rails and other events, and he's an incredible DJ. And at Cream, he proved it again. This is what I was looking for from Cream. Shame it was now 5.30am and I'd run out of steam.

Post Cream, we went back to the Villa. Most of the group went to bed but myself and RS stayed up a bit longer watching the sunrise before I hit the sack myself around 9am, physically and mentally exhausted.