Claptone’s Masquerade at Pacha Ibiza Review

One of Ibizas iconic nightclubs Pacha was our choice of destination in our visit over to the White Isle this week. Pacha is steeped in history hosting some of the biggest nights on the island week in and week out over the primetime summer months.

This year, every Saturday night, the masked legend that is Claptone, hosts his Masquerade evening at Pacha. Walking through the door, we gladly accepted a gold venetian style mask, much like the one Claptone wears, and headed through the foyer and into the famed dance floor.

Supporting the German DJ on the night are Lovra, Dom Dolla and Jacques Lu Cont. Strolling in early, Lovra is on the wheels of steel, getting the crowd warmed up for the evening. Her energy behind the decks is infectious and the dance floor fills before Dom Dolla takes to the decks. The house music producer from Australia treats the crowd through an uplifting set, full of hands in the air tracks right before the main act for the night arrives.

Arriving in his Masquerade attire, Claptone’s gold mask shines beneath the amazing lighting system Pacha has installed on its ceiling. With the main room, now full to the brim and the surrounding VIP tables packed, Claptone takes us on a journey through some of his biggest hits and remixes. Professional dancers wearing all sorts of funky outfits take position on the various podiums around the room and across the DJ booth and groove as Claptone kicks off his set. The headline set starts as expected with a banging house hit Lauren (I Can’t Stay Forever) by Oden & Fatzo, the crowd erupts into cheers, fists are pumping, heads nodding and bodies grooving. This really sets the scene for the rest of the evening, Claptone’s two hour set has the crowd reacting to every single tune. I, along with pretty much everyone else on the dance floor, remain dancing for the entire set, and that is testament to the quality of music that Claptone provided on the night. Towards the end of his set the music was taken up a notch, Claptone’s tech house sound rounding off what I can only describe as musically one of the most entertaining sets I’ve heard live in a long time!

If I’d recommend a night in Ibiza this summer, I’m most definitely going to recommend Masquerade at Pacha. The crowd, the music, and the atmosphere where just right for a night to dance away too.

Claptone is playing every Saturday evening until the 6th of October. Huge thanks to the Pacha PR team for accommodating us on the evening.

More electronic acts join Exit Festival

The impressive Dance Arena line-up gets even bigger and better with it's eclectic line up. Critically aclaimed act Knife Party are first up and will be performing on July 15th. A side project from Pendulum’s Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, this Australian electro-house-dubstep duo launched to stratospheric heights after remixing Swedish House Mafia, pumping their high octane fuel injection to the public sonisphere, they are smashing dancefloors worldwide, and will for sure be tearing up the fortress walls in a similar fashion. Jacques Lu Cont, a man with many names – Les Rythmes Digitales, Paper Faces, Man With Guitar and Thin White Duke, gained the current super-popularity mostly thanks to his decade-long collaboration with Madonna, and whose renowned album "Confessions on a Dance Floor" was produced by none other than him. Jacques Lu Cont’s splendorous career has been crowned with three Grammys up to this date, thanks to his original scores as well as his remixes and will be performing on Thursday July 12th. Thursday will also feature Eats Everything, the British producer who has recently exploded in the underground house scene, made his mark on the famous Essential Mix on BBC Radio1, and is currently under Hot Creations, dirtybird, Hypercolour, Greco Roman to name a few labels. His tour bus will have to make another stop – at this year’s Exit Festival along with label mate American producer Claude Von Stroke, whose tracks "Deep Throat", sold in over 10,000 copies, and "Who's Afraid Of Detroit", turned him into a touring machine. His label, symbolically named "dirtybird" became the primary exporter of electronic music in the United States, with over 50 EPs released since the foundation in 2005. The same night Saturday 14th July, Benoit & Sergio start the proceedings with their inimitable take on house and techno, expect a juxtaposition of pristine production and lyricism which will prove why they are one of the most unique and interesting outfits in dance music today. They will be joined by German and London underground stalwarts, Tobi Neuman b2b Geddes. Stemming both from the uber cool underground scenes in Germany and London respectively, Tobi Neuman resident of Berlin’s Watergate and Weekend and Geddes heading mulletover, London’s biggest and longest running underground warehouse party. Both mix a myriad of music that develops its own soft, dark gravity, balancing on the fine, almost irrecognizable line between house and techno: sexy and friendly, finishing off the Saturday night perfectly.

After 2AM program traditionally welcomes some of the greatest Drum’n’ Bass and Dubstep scene. The second day of our festival features one of the leaders of the new d’n’b talents in Europe, and a star for Hospital Records, Netsky. We have enough time to prepare for his second studio album, starting with his latest single “Come Alive” which is due May 21. Drumsound & Bassline Smith, will also present their work at the festival on the second day. The British production team, consisting of Andrew Wright, Benjamin Wiggett (Drumsound), and Simon 'Bassline' Smith, who release their work under their very own Technique Recordings are BBC Radio 1’s favourites. They released their single “Close“ in August last year, which won the award for the Best Song and Best Video at this year’s “Official Drum & Bass Awards“. Both acts are featured by MC Dynamite, a globetrotter and the jungle, drum'n' bass, hip hop, dubstep and reggae dancefloor preacher. On July 14, After 2AM program hosts the Israeli Dubstep producer and DJ, Asaf Borger, hiding under the alias Borgore. A self-proclaimed “ young man following big dreams, a private beach and the olsen twins.“ classifies his musical genre, a mixture of drum beats with Heavy Metal influences as “Gorestep“. The last, but not the least, we welcome Goldie, on the last day of the festival. Goldie is an English musician, DJ, visual artist, actor and a celebrity, who will be accompanied by one of the most innovative and wanted MCs of the world, SP:MC.

The second-biggest Exit electronic music stage, Happynovisad, hot spot for the alternative electronic acts, is preparing this year’s programme for the fans of the most progressive musical genres. Friday, July 13 welcomes performers from the highly influential, top quality Hotflush Recordings label. The British producer, currently residing in Berlin, Sigha, is one of the leading techno producers of the label. Alongside these two icons, Happynovisad stage is, on Friday, also hosting Tim Van de Meutter a.k.a. Locked Groove, who carries his own signature – an explosive blend of industrial techno and a melancholic deep house which assign a star-status to him. Finally, another Hotflush baby, George Fitzgerald, famous for his original house-garage-techno-dubstep cocktail will make Friday 13th on Happynovisad unforgettable!  Saturday, July 14 will see the dawn of a young Belfast-based producer Jack Hamill, who gained his popularity under the aliasSpace Dimension Controller. Claiming to be born in the 24th century, he returned through time, accidentally crashing his Electropod to be stuck here with nothing but presenting his funky electro sound. He will just have to stick with our outdated airplanes and dancefloors before he gets back to 2352.

Elektrana stage, the place of all jovial electro lovers, announces its marvellous and abundant line-up for this year, alongside the already announced Sneaky Sound System and When Saints Go Machine. Thursday, July 12 will see the appearance of a dancefloor favourite, Christian Strobe, an 80s music baby, who ended up as a child of indie music, cosmic house and nu-disco. A day later, Elektrana stage welcomes Thieves Like Us, a five-piece band who manages to combine post-punk, new wave, italo disco, synth pop, and yet sound so electro-poppish that it makes you wan to dance all night! The same day, the stage welcomes Greek musical genius Nikkon, whose opus is described as a chill-out Electro sound paired with dreamy female vocals who give his music an additional, deep and refined note.

The striking festival day, Saturday, will be reserved for Tapeaters. A Russian Electro-Pop/Funk duo formed in 2009 features a sound created by warm vintage synths, funky vibe and a vocal polyphony all in one big emotion. The same day, something completely different strikes the fortress – DAT Politics, one of the most important electro-exatic bands on the planet. They are characterized by a precisely-sharpened turbo pop mood, while their computers create some of the catchiest melodies you have ever danced to.

Franz + Shape, Detachments and A Terrible Splendour will crown the festival on the last day, Sunday, July 15. The unique sound of Franz + Shape is created from a mix of acid wave and electro music. Their live performances are packed with a great electro sound combined with synths, drums and samplers, and the crowded dancefloor is their natural habitat! The Detachments, led by a creative mind – an artist, graphic designer, DJ and actor hailing from Lancaster, Bastien Marshal, is an interesting post – post- electroclash specimen. Currently, they are preparing a new album which will be mixed by none other than Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order). Finally, tales of blackmailing, desperation, cruelty and hopelessness will be told by London’s MM Lyle and Martin Block, who are served together under the name A Terrible Splendour. They call their genre “new romantic cabaret“, and are inspired by the artistic creations from the likes of Automelodi, Fisherspooner, Visage and Gina X. It shouldn’t take a long time to figure out their sound – under a dark and gloomy synth pop veil.

Guns N’ Roses, Duran Duran, New Order, Erykah Badu, Plan B, AVICII, Richie Hawtin, Gossip, Wolfmother, Luciano, Laurent Garnier LBS, Knife Party, Miss Kittin, Hercules & Love Affair, The Toy Dolls, Skindred, Little Dragon, Felix Da Housecat, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Azari & III, Buraka Som Sistema, Sneaky Sound System, Claude Von Stroke, Netsky & MC Dynamite, Goldie & SP:MC, Jacques Lu Cont, Art Department, Maceo Plex, Borgore, Reboot live, Thieves Like Us, Brodinski, Kenny Larkin, Drumsound & Bassline Smith & MC Dynamite, Robert Dietz, Citizens!, D.R.I., When Saints Go Machine, Eats Everything, Tobi Neuman b2b Geddes, Benoit & Sergio, Maayan Nidam, Street Dogs, Space Dimension Controller, George FitzGerald, Sigha, Lone, Pariah, Teengirl Fantasy live, The Chain, Locked Groove, Nikonn, The Tapeaters, DAT Politics, Franz + Shape, Detachments, A Terrible Splendour, Christian Strobe

Friendly Fires, The View and more added to Rockness 2012 lineup




Fresh from winning ‘BEST SMALL FESTIVAL’ for the second consecutive year at this week’s star studded NME Awards, and hot on the heels of MUMFORD & SONS, DEADMAU5, BIFFY CLYRO, ED SHEERAN, JUSTICE plus many more already having been announced, the good times keep on rolling as RockNess today confirm the latest names for the award winning line up.

The ViewFirst up and with tunes that say ‘party’ in a way this year’s RockNess audience will find hard to resist, FRIENDLY FIRES bring together a sound coated in melody with nods to nu- and old rave, the right measure of poppy brevity and slick vocals by disco dancing frontman Ed MacFarlane. Like a bringing together of all the great parts of an indie disco in one place, expect the perfect Loch-side soundtrack.

Joining the RockNess bill as special guests, THE VIEW are one of the most exciting young rock bands of their generation.  A debut album that blasted straight into number one, multi million sales and two excellent follow up albums, massive radio and media coverage, Mercury Music Prize nominations…and a level of notoriety that only adds to their authentic bona fide star status. With a hugely anticipated fourth album set for release this summer – rumoured to be their finest yet and recorded in Nashvile with Angelo Petraglia (Kings of Leon) and Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys) – Loch Ness is officially on standby as THE VIEW prepare to unleash their electrifying sound to a guaranteed rapturous response.

Tim MinchinTIM MINCHIN is a comedy rock superstar whose sell out live performances are a juggernaut of potent, grandiose showmanship. As one of the most commanding figures on the global comedy circuit, Minchin’s unique signature of intellectually provocative wit set against a sweeping musical backdrop, led by the barefoot balladeer on his grand piano, is irresistible. Expect a suitably huge affair at Dores as RockNess continues to offer outstanding comedy across the weekend.

Known as The Baron Of Techno, a moniker given to him by the late great John Peel, DAVE CLARKE is a bonafide veteran of electro and the first headliner announced for this year’s much anticipated SOMA RECORDS proposition at RockNess. With peerless sets that straddle tracks from the dawn of house through to gothic punk, the man in black’s gritty rock n roll anarchist energy is second to none. Revered by techno connoisseurs the world over for his sonic integrity, as Clarke says, “I may be established but I’ll never be establishment”.

Glistening tunes and insanely catchy riffs have made New York indie rockers THE DRUMS one of the most brilliant breakthrough bands of recent times, largely due to excellent second album Portamento. Fronted by Jonathan Pierce, and with a sound of carefully constructed gems that draw influence from a gamut of artists most notably The Smiths, 2012 promises to see the band’s career trajectory continue.

JACQUES LU CONT (aka Les Rythmes Digitales, Man With Guitar, Thin White Duke, Pour Homme, Zoot Woman, Paper Faces…and Stuart Price) is a three-time Grammy-winning electronic maestro who counts New Order, Madonna, Missy Elliot, Scissor Sisters and The Killers as fans who have enlisted his sublime production expertise. He is also one of the most respected names in electro, devoid of pretension but never failing to deliver killer beats. LU CONT’s contribution to the Fabriclive series is widely regarded as one of the finest ever, and awesome new track ‘Church’ – the first we’ve heard in a long time – marks a stunning return to form.

THE RAPTURE were forerunners of the early 2000s post-punk revival, mixing influences from acid house, disco, electronic and punk rock.  A stream of excellent releases and high profile tours followed  – most notably as the support for Daft Punk’s wildly successful North American assault. Now, after a five year hiatus, the New York trio are back and in rude health.  Recent fourth album In the Grace of Your Love sees the band underpin their art-rock credentials but still with ample funky slabs of synth to keep the RockNess crowd dancing.

Zane LoweAlways guaranteed to deliver the very best parties, RockNess is delighted to welcome BBC Radio 1’s ANNIE MAC and ZANE LOWE back to Dores. As two of the nation’s foremost exponents of cutting edge new music – Annie with her magnificent ‘official start to the weekend’ Friday night dance show and Zane with his fast paced nightly unleashing of the freshest new sounds – both are sure to be given a rousing welcome when they hit up the festival.

It is with huge excitement that RockNess can announce the appearance this June of an artist who will without any doubt be one of the festival’s highlights, MYLO.  In a very special treat, MYLO will, for one night only, be bringing his famed EPP party to The Highlands. With a host of guest DJ friends to be revealed, expect a full scale hip wiggling, nu disco inferno mixed up with trademark genius throwbacks from the beat loving electro wizard.

KNIFE PARTY – the side project of Pendulum’s Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillem – has been touring and tearing up dancefloors in clubs across the world for the last year playing remixes of Swedish House Mafia, Nero, Porter Robinson as well as a load of their own heavy hitting material with Skrillex and Mistajam.  Recently released EP No Modern Talking is a smash, brimming with energy-packed madness and the wackiest beats you’re likely to hear. RockNess kids get ready!

Also confirmed are Glasgow rockers KASSIDY. The guitar wielding, four piece’s joyous harmonies draw on a range of influences most notably Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Grateful Dead, and their part folk, part hippie sensibility, captured to gorgeous effect on debut album Hope St unashamedly spans evocative and rousing Americana in equal measure.

Scotland’s ADMIRAL FALLOW know what they’re doing. Songs that are heartfelt, honest and as pure as the Scottish snow, harmonies that can’t help but raise a smile, melodies that blossom into glorious anthemic hooks, debut album Boots Met My Face, recorded at Glasgow’s famed Chem 19 studio with Paul Savage (former Delgados drummer) is probably the best example of orchestral indie folk-pop as you’re likely to hear. Magnificent.

Mystery JetsInheritors of Britpop and exponents of what could be loosely termed British guitar indie, London’s MYSTERY JETS are that…and so much more. Their inventiveness and output of ideas means they operate on a plateau far above most of the competition, with their most obvious peers being Super Furry Animals and British Sea Power. Three albums in, culminating in the triumphant third Serotonin, and a much anticipated fourth due for an April 2012 release, RockNess awaits their Highland arrival with fervour.  

Minimalist and menacingly reggaetronic, JAKWOB transcends the genres of dubstep, electro, ghetto-tech and breakbeat and is one of the hottest new producers and DJs around. Aged 22, he is already one of the go-to guys in remixing – Lana Del Rey, Little Boots, Empire of the Sun, Frankmusik, Lily Allen, Coco Sumner, Temper Trap and Ellie Goulding have all received the JAKWOB magic. However it is for his forthcoming album that expectations are high. Using his multi instrumentalist skills (he plays nine), and collaborating with writing and vocal partner Rocky, a sound rich with variety and inspired by flavours from his life so far is anticipated.

On the party trip CLAUDE VON STROKE is a name synonymous with good times, and is announced as the second SOMA RECORDS act for 2012. Expect genre busting grooves, wonky beats and gear changing brilliance from this San Francisco-based maestro as he asserts control of the sensory extravaganza that is the ARCADIA AFTERBURNER.

ANIMAL FARM are four friends Darren Quail, Chris Lamb, Charlie Turtle and Ronin Vallelly. Influenced by early Detroit and Chicago techno, the boys have spent the last seven years perfecting their sound as residents at one of the planet’s most revered clubs, the SUB CLUB.  The boys have brought many of their electronic heroes to Glasgow including Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Regis, Sandwell District, Ryan Elliott, Marcel Fengler and Mark Henning to name a few…plus a host Glasgow’s young talent including Harvey McKay, Gary Beck, BCR Boys, Mr. Copy and Simon Stokes. ANIMAL FARM also broadcast weekly on the city’s lead student radio station, Sub City.

Championed by Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens amongst many others, LITTLE COMETS are an indie-pop troupe to behold. Hailing from the North East of England, marvellous debut album In Search of Elusive Little Comets was a joyful collection of some of the catchiest tunes of 2011 and shining follow up EP Worry should see this excellent young band move into well deserved regular playlist territory.

Hailed by VOGUE as one of indie’s breakthrough stars of 2012, LUCY ROSE is an English singer songwriter whose full capacity, live performances are fast commanding a proper sense of occasion. Likened to Joni Mitchell and tipped as an English Suzanne Vega, ROSE, who has contributed vocals on Bombay Bicycle Club’s two most recent albums, exudes a quiet determination with a clutch of deceptively sweet songs that make her appearance at RockNess well worth the effort to check out.

Often called a prodigy of the electro genre, PORTER ROBINSON is a 19 year old producer who has rapidly ascended the ranks of the international electronic music scene, captivating audiences with his ability to skilfully blend genres into his own unique sound that's complex yet catchy, and classic yet cutting edge. He’s performed with Deadmau5, Moby, Afrojack and A-Trak. Check him out at RockNess to see why.

By all rights, BASTILLE should have a record deal and chart success such is the beautiful potency of their material. Festival slots at Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, Glade and Great Escape aside, the four piece from London have been marching on and growing their fanbase. Through this steady promotion, and the recent release of a thoroughly decent EP containing notable gems Icarus and now finally looks like BASTILLE’s moment could be arriving.

With a one off single released on the Communion label of Ben Mumford of RockNess headliners MUMFORD & SONS, and a well received EP My Crooked Saint, rousing folk rockers TO KILL A KING are an exciting new five piece whose poetic lyrics and gritty music has them as ‘ones to watch’ this year.