Last night, the most anticipated rave party of the summer dropped in San Rafael, as techno don Carl Cox and his Game Over Productions crew launched their One Night Stand concept at Ibiza superclub Amnesia. Coxy's season-defining mini-residency at Privilege set the bar for underground parties in 2017, but would techno's main man be able to generate the same level of primal madness this year? We were in attendance at the first of Carl's three One Night Stand events in order to find out.
DJ T 'The Day It All Started'
And so it begins. Our Discobus screeches to a halt outside Amnesia at 11:30pm. The venue has been open since 8pm. There must be at least 500 ravers stomping around in the low-ceilinged Main Room. It's a little busier on the Terrace, where 1,000 heads are busy engaging Fabio Neural, the talented Italian who has strong links with Coxy's Intec Records insignia.
Hybrasil gains control of the Terrace at midnight. Last summer, the Irishman delivered on the big stage for Pure Carl Cox at Privilege, a performance which brought him to the attention of many island regulars. Playing live at Amnesia tonight, Hybrasil is only going to strengthen his burgeoning reputation as a bona-fide techno selector who thrives under the brightest of lights.
Claude VonStroke 'Who's Afraid of Detroit?' (Wyatt Marshall Remix)
As well as performing back-to-back, Adam Beyer and Carl Cox are also locked down to play solo sets either side of their much anticipated battle encounter. It's 1am and Adam Beyer is the first of the two heavyweight headliners to enter the illustrious Terrace booth.
Beyer sets the scene with a little 'DMT', Terrence McKenna's shamanic, psychonaut ramblings warbling over the festival-sized V-Prof sound rig.
Sanasol 'Tambourine Man'
Meanwhile, back in the Main Room, DJ duo Spokenn are dolling out a sexy house music counterbalance to all the full throttle techno airing on the Terrace.
GusGus 'Featherlight' (Metodi Hristov Remix)
Ravers from the UK, Italy, Germany and Spain are flooding into the venue now, everybody heading to the Terrace to try to find a spot on the dancefloor before Carl Cox makes his entrance. In the booth, Beyer has switched things up a notch, those spooky 'Featherlight' vocals leading the crowd deeper into the inner realms of a party that is poised on the brink of ignition.
Outside, the Amnesia car park has been turned into a chill out area for hundreds of weary ravers necessitating a much needed breather. This is where we meet Dylan, 18, from Leeds, who is spending the summer working in San Antonio's West End. "I've seen Carl play at Parklife, Mint Festival and We Are FSTVL," he says, "but I wanted to see him play here in Ibiza. I like his heavy techno sound and the Amnesia light show is really awesome. I'm definitely going to be the last one to leave!"
Adam Beyer & Bart Skils 'Your Mind'
Now it's the moment we've
all been waiting for - the appearance of Carl Cox, everyone's favourite techno
pioneer. The crowd are losing their minds' at the sight of him, which prompts
Beyer to drops his acid-tinted collaboration with respected Dutch producer Bart
Enrico Sangiuliano 'Symbiosis'
It's peak time now on the most famous dance Terrace in the world and this gig has turned primal. This is no place for hands in the air moments; instead, pump your fists and chow down on strawberry bubble gum like your life depended on it. Like the crowd, you can really tell that Coxy and Beyer are enjoying this recent Drumcode release, that dark, menacing bassline underpinning those rolling arpeggios and a twisted sci-fi lead line.
Steve Mulder 'Akhnaton'
"I'm here because Carl Cox is playing," says Bobbi-Lee, 19, from Belfast, who we bump into at one of the downstairs bars. "My mum brought me up listening to his music and Amnesia is one of the sickest clubs in Ibiza, so I just had to come. I prefer Ibiza's night time venues; places where it's dark and scruffy. That's the way it is back home and that's why I really like it here. Amnesia reminds me of Shine in Belfast. Carl Cox played there a few days ago and all my friends went along. Now it's my turn to make them jealous!"
Christian Smith & John Selway 'Metamorphosis'
4am and Adam Beyer's job is done. He passes full control of the Terrace booth to Carl Cox, which sends the ravers on the dancefloor into frenzy, their brain cells scattered about the room. We're right in the middle of all the chaos - upfront, centre, enjoying a pure rave moment with a crew of randoms from Valencia. We think they're inviting us back to an impromptu afterparty at their villa. "Hierbas around the pool," one of the girls' explains. "And we have lots spare towels."
Christian Hornbostel 'Geo Vibes' (Metodi Hristov Remix)
Fancy a side serving of hip shaking, acid techno for breakfast? Well, why not. After all, few of us are thinking about Rice Krispies right now. Indeed, it's 6am here in Ibiza and a zillion rays of light are punching imaginary holes in the Amnesia roof. On the dancefloor, 5,000 of us are stomping around to 'Geo Vibes', a groovy, acid stomper of truly epic proportions. One more tune Carl? Maybe not. After all, noise legislation is a big deal on the White Isle these days, but at least the unadulterated fun lasted until 6.45am.