Dennis Ferrer thrills Insane at Pacha Ibiza

Deep tech house label boss Dennis Ferrer is a mainstay on the underground circuit. His Objektivity label has been running since 2006 and he’s a man still in demand on the biggest stages. A resident at the low gimmick, maximum music exploration of Insane Friday’s at Pacha Ibiza, it’s fitting the music policy at the famous White Isle venue is geared towards a crowd looking for more than just the glitz and glamour many DJ residencies offer on the party island. We were on the White Isle for the party on Friday, September 5th featuring guests Reboot and Hong of Singapore’s Zouk club alongside Ferrer and fellow resident Digweed to check out Ferrer’s set.

Despite being a tech house night which can take a while to get going, Reboot’s early doors set was already getting the crowd excited. A packed Pacha Ibiza was hard to navigate around and space on the dancefloor came at a premium. Not quite ready to really get into the grooves, we used the terrace to get ourselves into club mode and found plenty of chatty music-heads keen to discuss their time on the island this summer, particularly their best nights out normally accompanied by over-enthusiastic acclaim for their favourite DJ. Energised by the clubbing talk, we got back involved halfway through Hong’s set who was keeping the pace up until Bedrock head John Digweed appeared in the booth.

Digweed has never strayed far from the progressive house he pretty much helped create as a genre, and tonight he was in the mood to get deep and twisted as his intricate mixes rewarded his captivated fans with a set driven by subtlety. By the time he dropped a set-closing stormer, he’d hit such a slow stroll of a beat that we were taken by surprise – one of his old tricks but an effective one. He handed over to Ferrer as inflatable letters were being punched around the room, no doubt a familiar scene at Insane for its two most regular residents.

Ferrer kicked off his set with one of the hottest tunes around right now: Caribou’s latest “Won’t Do Without You”. Its mix of high and low vocals plus a thickly-layered accompanying tune has all the hallmarks of a Ferrer set, getting us in the mood for two hours of atmospheric house. He kept it proggy with more haunting vocals initially, then, just as he toughened around the hour mark with some driving basslines, he switched it up in dramatic fashion with a blast of disco stylings.

In came a no-vocals “Thriller” to energise us and then Ferrer set about bringing in a hefty dose of sub bass to his house, shifting back to the vocal-led tunes as he reached the end of his set. Throughout he had the look of a man locked into his music, a satisfying shoulder pump greeting every bass stab. He was in confident mood, and the Insane crowd were locked into his underground stylings. Good to see away from the glitzy, over-produced weekly shows of Ibiza, there’s still clubnights focusing on the music over celebrity.

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