Last week, the fifth successive year of DJ Harvey’s esteemed 8-week residency at Pikes Ibiza came to a close. Mercury Rising is described by many as the best party on the planet and the coveted guest list is guaranteed to be sold out in advance every week.
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Pikes and DJ Harvey are a match made in Balearic heaven. The space celebrates total hedonism, and when Harvey rolls through with his magical records spanning across the decades, the feeling of freedom is infinite.
From the moment you step into Pikes’ fabled club Freddies (named after former rather famous regular Freddie Mercury), you embark on a voyage.
Check out 10 uplifting records we heard on a visit to Mercury Rising below.
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Sister Sledge 'Reach Your Peak'
Sister Sledge boast one of the most impressive back catalogues in disco history. With so much gold in the vaults, this soulful, slow groove record is one of the family outfit’s more under the radar records. Nevertheless, it is a proper party starter and gets spirits soaring high.
Paolo Di Nicolantonio 'Close To Me'
Paolo Di Nicolantonio has made a name for himself by running the YouTube channel Synthmania where he displays his expert production skills using home studio synths and drum machines. This dreamy, progressive deep house track possesses a quality that embodies the hours he spends in the studio. It is perfect for building the atmosphere.
Phenomenal Handclap Band 'Judge Not' (Ray Mang Reprise)
Released on Toy Tonics, the German label dedicated to jazz-infused disco house, NYC’s Phenomenal Handclap Band meets the magic touch of supreme London producer Ray Mang. A deep, funky rhythm is embedded in this gorgeous gospel house track.
Jex Opolis 'Cairo Nights'
Harvey is known for unearthing unusual but wonderful records, and Canadian musician Jex Opolis’ ‘Cairo Nights’ is exactly that. The Egyptian melody and sinister progressive beat takes you on a wild trip.
The Eagles ‘One Of These Nights' (Pete Blaker’s edit)
Pete Blaker's sacred edit of this phenomenal Eagles classic is used to cleanse the dancefloor. Harvey articulately places it in the middle of the night to slow the tempo and give people a chance to breathe, whilst also providing euphoria with those legendary guitar riffs and Don Henley’s memorable lead vocals. It's a moment for his dancing disciples to treasure.
Rufus & Chaka Khan 'Live In Me'
‘Live In Me’ is exactly what’s needed to pick up the pace again after the cleanse. Chaka Khan’s stunningly smooth vocals accompany a groovy, enchanting disco rhythm provided by her long-time collaborators Rufus. The result makes you dance uncontrollably.
The Trammps 'Can We Come Together' (Joey Negro Philly Dub Excursion)
Arguably one of Joey Negro’s best edits. This Philly dub excursion of ‘Can We Come Together’ sends dancefloors into a frenzy anytime, anywhere. As Freddies’ magnificent circular mirrored disco ball spins reflecting laser beams around the room, you can feel the spirit of Mercury Rising in the air.
Charlie 'Spacer Woman' (Cantonese Cover Version)
Orchestrated in 1983, this space-age number is a masterpiece. Way ahead of its time, it still sounds like a transmission from the far future when we listen to it now. Robotic vocals cry out for love over wicked Italo synths. Harvey possesses a rare Cantonese cover version that we will no doubt never get our hands on.
Edwyn Collins ‘A Girl Like You’ (Jack Priest edit)
Jack Priest brings out the best features of Edwyn Collins’ original sleazy 90s pop anthem. The edit is driven by a thumping beat, and the introduction of the shredding guitar throughout blows you away. This young Bristol-hailing producer has plenty more Harvey-favoured edits in his discography. Get digging.
Queen ‘You Don't Fool Me’ (Pete Blaker edit)
Played at the end of the night to pay homage to Freddie, this is music made from the heavens. Perhaps one of the best Queen records, it possesses a mesmerising guitar solo and Freddie’s ever-sensational vocals. Pete Blaker has said that his marvellous edit is strictly for Harvey and will never be released. Get saving for next summer’s residency, and in the meantime, enjoy the original above.
Harry Franklin is a freelance writer, follow him on Twitter
DJ Harvey's 'The Sound Of Mercury Rising Vol II' compilation is out now, get it here
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