Dense + Pika, what can I say!? There’s no words for these guys… They just have something no one else does. Like, no one. When I saw the Do Not Sleep lineup for Sunday 26th July I almost fell off my seat!!! Marquis Hawkes as well!!? Total bad boy line up!
I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, I – Karen Jane Brown – am a massive self-confessed beat junkie. I know what beats I like, I know what I love and I sure as hell know what beats make me feel funny!! Dense + Pika are a couple of artists who I’ve followed since the moment I discovered them and I’d been awaiting this night of doin’ what I’m told and being awake at Do Not Sleep since I caught a glimpse (see what I did there! – Chris Spero of Dense + Pika is production dynamo Glimpse ☺) of this particular line-up on the Do Not Sleep events.
Do Not Sleep is by far one of my favourite events on the island this year, fuelling us devoted techno fans with a solid helping of exactly what makes us move. Darius Syrossian, Sidney Charles and Sante are the beat-world’s hottest trio – playing a trademark BANGIN’ b2b2b – that can carry on for over 4 hours – weekly to round off their party alongside their guest artists & have made one of the biggest impacts of the entire summer after touchin’ down on the red hot Ibizan soil and inviting some of their fellow artful music genius’ to be a part of the Sunday night delight they hold in the Vista Club of Ibiza’s Privilege…
I’m a gigantic fan of the Vista Club & it’s layout with the metal grids above the dancefloor + bare warehousey feel that’s contradictory laced with glass exteriors on 2 full sides of the room with it’s panoramic views of Ibiza as far as the old town & medieval Dalt Vila and way into the mountains where the sun rises. I love that as much has changed about Ibiza in years gone by, Privilege has stayed put in its original casa up on the hills and was purposely built there back in the day to be the Ibizan eye that looks onto the absolutely dazzling sunrise while the music you’re lost in graces your morning for a brand new day. You can’t imagine how powerful it is to see the colossal pinky-orange ball of fire rise up behind the decks until you’ve experienced it. UNREAL!
Anyway… enough about the venue & back to the music!! Hello Marquis Hawkes!! The Berlin-based techno boy has had me intrigued since I heard George Fitzgerald talk about him & use his track ‘Can’t Find A Reason’ in one of his radio shows in 2014 – his only description of himself and his productions as ‘just me and my machines’. I’d never seen him play and he keeps his personal details in the shadows so my brain went into overdrive when I wanted to know who this guy was that was making music that I loved. This was a mega-treat for me and his beats were like my welcome fanfare on arrival to the Vista Club. Right up to the front of the dancefloor where I belong, I wanted to see every coming minute of mysterious producer Marquis work his magic and really wrap my ears tight round his sounds. I wanted to know more… His no-frills approach to the raw techno he makes and plays, fused with classic-sounding house is a sublime backdrop to the dancin’ crowd I’m lost in and Vista Club vibes for the set he played before Dense & Pika. Even after delving deep into Marquis Hawkes set at Do Not Sleep, I’m still massively intrigued by him and his work and I definitely haven’t heard enough. I’ll be creepin’ in for more of him at his next appearance at Do Not Sleep on August 9th and I can’t wait!
Right… When Dense + Pika open their sets let me tell ya, you know all about it. They’re bangin’. Every single set. I’m sure I’ve let on already that I love these guys. This was their debut as Do Not Sleep guest artists and I’m delighted to say they’ll be back on August 16th for another round. The techno masterminds had everyone’s attention. The tension as I could see them set up was immense. Maybe that’s cos’ I knew what was to come. I’m pretty sure everyone in the room did. The two spectacled-up dudes, Chris Spero + Alex Jones aka Dense + Pika, turn whatever venue they’re playing at into a complete techno utopia and the Vista Club was no exception. They have a real passionate excitement about them and the Do Not Sleep crowd adores these guys! One of my fave things about this set were the buildups + drops they hit us with – full-throttle basslines with uncompromising warehouse bangers and a real Drumcode heaviness but keepin’ to their unique Dense + Pika personality and quirky twists. Bjarki – ‘I Wanna Go Bang’ – a summer techno favourite of mine – they must have read my mind – I told you they were genius’!! Alex looks up and scans the mob of beat-lovers dancin’ in front of him from left to right with a big proud smile, making everyone who saw him smile back at him (most were smiling really hard already cos the music had done it to them!).
I was officially lost in the music – as usual the guys had things just where I wanted them and I was on top of the beat world! They seem to know how to keep every track more exciting through the whole set no matter how long it is and oh man, those Dense + Pika drops!! Definitely one of the best things in my special little music loving world!! It’s no wonder they’ve made such a serious name for themselves and their dub techno in the past couple of years. They’re absolutely wicked to watch play together, bouncin’ off each other and their fans as well as the complete thrill of their music and the wee adventure I go on through every single one of Dense + Pika’s sets!
I almost melted when they closed in on the end of their Do Not Sleep debut with the track that was a turning point for the 2 friends, ‘Colt’. The crowd let out a loving cheer when they heard ‘Colt’s’ piano melody, a belter of a tune with the piano riff riddled with an industrial bassline that was such a perfect choice to finish with. High five Dense + Pika, you topped it yet again. My only protest’s that I didn’t hear the acid house-twisted techy track they’ve smashed out more than once before ‘Throw Your Hands’ by Ignition Technician, and that they didn’t play for long enough!
The DJ booth at Vista Club has an intimate positioning where people can surround it, pumpin their fists in the air right up the front of the dancefloor or boppin away behind the guys playin and looking onto the crazier dancers on the floor in front… There was people everywhere by the time the three troopers Darius, Sidney and Sante appeared for their usual b2b2b, Sidney & Sante messin’ around with each other in jokey proposals to one another and Darius kicking off the session. The guys are perfect together – they bounce off each other like I’ve never seen before when people play back to back sets and their characters are on full show as Darius hosts the show, Sidney wows the crowd and Sante has the funny, laughable characteristics as he fools around with Darius & Sidney up there on the booth as they fire at us the best house and techno of the minute. I danced the night away right through until morning rose behind the guys. This is always one night I don’t want to end.
I may aswell sign a no sleeping contract on Sunday nights for Do Not Sleep this summer… cos’ this one’s a belter!
photos by phrank photographics