If we could sum up last nights party into three words, it would be this: chaotic, explosive and very very lively. OK so we may have given you more than we promised, but that's exactly what Dance Or Die did on Wednesday as Nic Fanciulli threw a couple of curveballs at us to keep us on our toes as we reach the end of the seasons hottest month.
With a residency title hopefully not an instruction you are meant to take literally, the soundtrack of the evening fit the concept thoroughly with a relentless selection of bouncing beats and drop-heavy house anthems having everybody dancing from start until finish. Perhaps the infectious energy came from behind the decks or maybe it was the sheer excitement of entering a party with no specific expectations yet leaving compeltely blown away.
Artists confirmed for the event included island favourite Jamie Roy, who did a great job of warming up the crowds as they filtered inside the gates. Horse Meat Disco follows on at 18:00 with pumping psychedelic house and luscious funk-filled disco. It was time for the final quick changeover of the evening before the big-name selectors take to the decks.
As the dancefloor slowly began to fill, Paul Woolford made his Ushuaïa debut and dropped persistent high-energy house bombs including a couple of more commercial tunes he has recently become known for including 'You Already Know'.
Let's not pretend otherwise: Solardo's name on the lineup was a definite crowd puller. Tuesday nights at Ushuaïa's sister venue Hï Ibiza have without a doubt been the talk of the White Isle this summer, and on the evening before, Nic Fanciulli performed an unannounced back-to-back at BODYWORKS with CamelPhat in the Theatre.
On Wednesday, it was time for CamelPhat to return the favour as one of the surprise guests. It may be the second week in a row seeing the boys at Dance or Die - but who are we to complain? As two of the most consistent performers in the game, we just can't get enough of them.
Too many highlights came from Solardo and CamelPhats powerful back-to-back. The night was in full swing and the highly danceable selection of tunes showed no signs of slowing down. Take a look at some of our favourite tracks from their set.
Too many unreleased gems from this set leave us hungry for more! Watch out for two exciting remixes from newcomer SOSA; Roberto Surace's summer anthem 'Joys' and Ciara's old-school jam 'One, Two, Step' went down a treat overlayed with upbeat percussion and that groovy rhythm renowned with Solardo's sound.
The venue may not have been as busy as we are used to seeing it at ANTS, but it was just the right amount of space to dance freely without working up a sweat in a squashed crowd. In fact, the audience was one of my favourite factors of the evening. No pretentions, no mooching around and no bad vibes. With a nod to the hedonistic days of rave, DANCE OR DIE is a no-nonsense event which is all about the dancefloor
Ushuaïa Ibiza is transformed into a post-apocalyptic, neon-playground – the production, lights, lasers and stage set is second to none. Unable to leave the dancefloor for a toilet break without the fear of missing an absolute banger, we stayed grooving ready for the final b2b of the evening.
Admittedly, it wasn't a huge shock to see Andrea Oliva back at his stomping ground. Nic and Andrea have been locked into the same kind of rhythm for several years and built a strong relationship. You can always count on Andrea Oliva to provide a fantastic closing set at the epic open-air venue, something the artist is very familiar with following on from his huge success with ANTS.
It was impossible not to notice the bobbing outline of Fisher and his trademark flick of the wrist appear behind the decks as we approach 21:30. Noticeably forming a friendship with Nic Fanciulli recently, we had an exciting feeling he might make an appearance, whether it be just to watch or to play. To the crowd's enjoyment, it was to play.
Dance or Die had turned into a BODYWORKS/ANTS takeover and we were loving every minute. With three residencies merged into one and a jam-packed roster filled with some of the most in-demand tech-house floor spinners in the industry at the moment, we knew this night would be of the most talked about this year.
All five big names jumped together behind the decks, taking shots, hugging, high fiving and enjoying the moment just as much as we were.
Happy Birthday, Nic Fanciulli, we had a blast!
The remaining three dates of the season include Carl Cox, Guy Gerber, William Djoko, Alex Kennon, Cassy, DJ Seinfeld and more.
Words: Holly Woulfe