Dancing Astronaut Does Ibiza: Sankeys celebrates 20th anniversary with Tribal Sessions party [Review]
Amid a backdrop of blistering sunshine, sizzling tapas, and a beautiful Mediterranean coastline, Dancing Astronaut has officially arrived in Ibiza. We’ve previewed the parties, broken the headlines, looked on with envy as our Spanish compatriots danced until sunrise to the world’s top techno, and now we’ve been there to experience the madness firsthand. Through a series of narratives, we’ll be reviewing some of the biggest parties in Ibiza as part of our running feature Dancing Astronaut Does Ibiza.
If Space and Amnesia are the glittering diamonds of Ibiza clubbing, Sankeys is its thriving underground life. You won’t find VIP-tethered sections or pretentious bottle service here, but rather a patented lo-fi style that has locals raving about the atmosphere.
The international club brand celebrated its 20th anniversary last week, having opened its inaugural club in Manchester back in June of 1994. To commemorate the milestone, Sankeys is hosting twenty iterations of its world famous party Tribal Sessions throughout the summer.
Last week’s Tribal Sessions party was something of a history lesson in house music with legends Toddy Terry and DJ Sneak in the building. As always, Sankeys resident Darius Syrroissan was on hand to end the night in style.
Before the classroom was called to session, new talents Gorgon City were on hand to stir the main room with their boisterous collection of jackin’ house. With the room packed to a brim and a mixture of sweat and steam coagulating on the room, Foamo and RackNRuin went back to their roots, showing off their tenacity for clanging hi hats and trembling basslines.
Back in the Lab, DJ Sneak was just getting to work, bringing his patented Chicago house sound to the White Isle. Throughout the set, I couldn’t get over how raw everything felt in comparison to the modern club experience. In the dimly lit room with no visualizers or fancy lasers, it felt as though we had been suddenly transported back twenty years. At the crux of the experience, there was DJ Sneak, shredding through tracks like it was still 1996. The mixing wasn’t tremendously clean, nor was the music pristinely mastered, but that didn’t matter — the vibe was on point.
When Todd Terry stepped up next, I knew we were in for something special. Having been one of the most iconic dance producers of the ‘90s, Terry’s reputation preceded him. For the next hour and a half, Todd treated fans to the classic Chicago and UK house sounds, with plenty of piano-driven tracks to lift the mood. His background in disco and hip hop was supremely evident throughout as he sampled records and acapellas with noticeable ease. While he may not be the most expressive DJ, his music spoke for itself, as he moved through genres like garage and French house seemingly without a hitch. Despite nearing 50, Terry’s abilities proved as fresh as ever. I left the set feeling like I had just received a proper education in house music.
At 5am on the main room, Darius Syrossian was just taking over. It had been made explicitly clear to me that the Sankeys resident was one of the island’s unanimous favorites. The packed early morning dance floor substantiated the claim. Opening with his brand new remix to Green Velvet’s “Bigger Than Prince,” Syrossian embodied the underground spirit of Tribal Sessions. As fog drifted through the darkened room, tireless dancers with painted bodies and faces demonstrated their enthusiasm for Syrossian with audible cheers. With drawn out mixing and a dexterous late night selection of house, Syrossian led the remaining 2000 attendees through a journey of rugged beats and psychedelic soundscapes.
If you’re looking to find some true house music on the island, Sankeys is the place to be. With a warehouse aesthetic mixed with avant-garde club technology, the Ibiza club is the perfect emanation of its revered Manchester predecessor. Check out all the upcoming parties from Sankeys for the rest of the summer.