Ethereal Ibiza

March 27, 2023

Written by Domenico D'aniello.

Domenico D’aniello looks back at a winter edition of Ethereal Ibiza featuring Iban Mendoza, Edoardo Marvaso and Fell Reis.

‘Coloro che cantano tutta l’estate devono ballare d’inverno’, “They who sing through the summer must dance in the winter.” 

Whilst most of Ibiza’s summer population are hunkered down at home in their native lands far from the mega clubs they call home for 5-months a year. There is a strong and thriving community on the White Isle intent on following the old Italian proverb and dancing through the Ibiza winter.

We were invited by Brazilian producer and international touring artist Felipe Reis (who has inhabited the island for the last 6 years) to a December dance at Akasha in Ibiza’s famed hippy market, Las Dalias. As a regular at Ibiza clubs during the summer months I was unsure what to expect. However, Island friends had fuelled the excitement with statements like, “Winter is for the real ravers” or “You will see Ibiza at it’s best tonight.” Nervous and eager in equal amounts I headed for the club.

As we arrived there was the faint hum of smokers conversing in Spanish, clearly excited for the night ahead. We were assured by the door staff we were in for a good night, a sentiment everyone we had asked in Ibiza Old Town earlier in the day had echoed given the party was hosted by visionary promoter Vito Masci. His Ethereal Art Lab is intent on changing perception through the medium of music and visual arts.

The doors opened and we were instantly hit by the warm embrace of Akasha’s impressive sound system. The discerning look and low-mood lighting would not be out of place in London, Berlin or Tokyo. It’s a space not only to live in the moment, but to expand the existence and connect the souls of its patrons through the medium of music.

Iban Mendonza was well in control as we settled at the bar. He performed an exciting and intelligent set, combining his own productions with chuggy, melodic numbers and getting the dance floor prepared for the closing set from Felipe Reis. As Iban Mendonza came to a close there was a rapturous  applause and a real energy vibrating through the venue.

A group of three stood to my side pointed to the DJ booth, with one member of the group animatedly explaining to their friends, “La última vez que vinimos, Fell Reis cerró después de Sasha. El ambiente era una locura,” (“Last time we came, Fell Reis closed after Sasha. The vibe was crazy”). As if he had heard the conversation himself and was set on proving this stranger correct, Fell Reis opened with one of his own productions out on the label Last Night On Earth and from the moment the tune reached its crescendo the crowd were onside. The track almost drowned out by hollering and whistles. The dance floor was on fire.

As someone that is a raver rather than a music maker always appreciating the sounds from the centre of a dance floor, I am always acutely aware of not just the record on the turntable but how the DJ corrals the crowd in order to amplify their experience. Fell Reis is clearly an experienced hand. Constantly lifting his head in between track selections, making eye contact with those lost in euphoria in front of him. In effect he was the composer, orchestrating his throng of party people, them trusting him to lead their dance.

His set was both forward thinking and eclectic. His track selection seemed to be inspired by the past, nodding respectfully to some of his contemporaries, (Sasha, Michael Mayer) while also looking to push a new sonic signature with his own creations. Fell Reis decided to close with his own track 33 Years, which became one of Ibiza’s biggest tracks in 2022 after being picked up by Hï Ibiza (the number 1 club in the world according to DJ Mag) and used to soundtrack their island promotion.

At 3 am the room was full, the only disappointment the party could not go on for longer. I felt content, this feeling seemed to be unanimous as people headed for their waiting taxis with a feeling of satisfaction. The Island people had ‘danced through the winter’.

Fell Reis · Dec 18th, Ethereal – Akasha Ibiza –

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