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Richie Hawtin’s takeover continues…

The black dot brigade have dominated Ibiza’s party scene. And this year’s (gourmet) icing on the cake was definitely ENTER.SACCA…. This special one off event, hosted by Hawtin, was to introduce the collaboration between Hawtin and Masaaki Fujioka, owner of the Fujioka Sake Brewing Company in Kyoto (who was also in town especially for the occasion), the ENTER.Sookuu series.

Teaming up with Ibiza’s hottest high-end dining destination, SACCA Ibiza, for the event was almost a no-brainer, as the delectable menu is brimming with cuisine combining subtle Asian flavours alongside hand-picked superior Chinese, Thai and Japanese foods. Just add sake! Did I mention sake guru Hawtin was personally invited to select the restaurant’s sake menu?

I had been looking forward to this event for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, you may remember my slightly unhealthy obsession with Enter and Richie Hawtin. Secondly, I had yet to experience the upscale Sacca experience and had heard nothing but rave reviews about the food. And last of all, I actually LOVE sake!

As I wrapped up my work for the day and carefully plotted the perfect outfit (you know the typical ENTER. dress code is black, black and more black – so obviously I opted for leopard), the heavens opened and it POURED. Thunder bolts and lightning, very very frightening… at one point I seriously thought it would be impossible to get from Ibiza town to San Lorenzo, so intense was the storm.

But like all good Ibiza storms, it blustered and blew for about an hour before shimmying on over to another island, and the temperatures started to rise once again. Into the White mobile we went, and trekked (oh OK, smoothly cruised) up the San Juan ‘restaurant road’ in anticipation of what was to come.

The rain did indeed stop play, as the majority of Sacca’s table settings are outdoors – although by the time we arrived, it was balmy enough to sip a sake cocktail beneath the beautiful cherry blossom bar. As you’d imagine, Richie Hawtin wasn’t going to let anyone (literally) rain on his parade, and the event was cleverly rescued by swiftly transforming the indoor KURO lounge bar into a slick, modern dining destination… I felt as though I’d entered a cool New York sushi lounge, as we were ushered into the bustling space by a gorgeous geisha, chock full of Ibiza’s cool crew and with more A-list DJs than a festival in attendance.

Speaking of DJs, Japan’s ambient music maestro Kazuya Nagaya, was playing his own unique style of dinner music, fusing the sounds of sacred instruments, used in Buddhist or Hindu rituals, with modern instruments. Twinkly, pretty, ambient, eclectic… a music reviewer I obviously am not, but I know I liked it!

The atmosphere was buzzing, with a very social, table-hopping feel all night long… and with ultra-professional waitstaff topping up your sake before you’d even realized your glass wasn’t full, it was easy to get carried away in the moment and forget where your original place was. Richie worked the room like a true professional, all smiles and sake… and I couldn’t help but wonder just how much sake can this man drink? Does he get hangovers? Or is it stunt sake in every glass he toasts with a guest?

But I stayed put. I was in it for the food and the sake (and some occasional eavesdropping on Seth Troxler and co) – a specially paired tasting menu that had my mouth watering from the word Edamame.

A tasting selection of melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, delicate nigiri and perfectly packed maki followed, accompanied by ENTER.Sookou Silver (with slight fruity overtones and well-balanced umami sweetness according to those in the know… my own personal appraisal was: YUM).

Next up was a sweet prawn tartar, heavenly yellowtail sashimi with a spicy jalapeño on top and a cute little bowl of silken tofu that made me feel like I’d died and gone to Japanese fusion heaven. ENTER. Sookou Gold was the tipple of choice here, boasting notes of pear and yellow peach perfectly balanced with a sense of coolness and lingering sophistication. Again, I simply nod and say, YUM

The next course for me was bar far the absolute winner, and in fact, a week later I still have not stopped raving about it! Lush and perfectly seared beef tataki bites, prawn and vegetable tempura that was crisp on the outside, yet juicy and firm on the inside (juuuust right!) and the most sensational black cod I have ever eaten. Oh, to be back there, now!

ENTER.Sookou Black took the sake level up a notch (soft and silky with sweet rice-like notes) , as did ENTER.Sake resident DJ Hito, who took over on the musical duties to deliver a slowly rising, pulsing, Enter-esque tempo… a hint at the party vibe that was to follow dessert.

Ahh, dessert. I am sorry to say, but I had to desert mine, as I was beyond full from the truly incredible cuisine that had preceeded the lush looking baklava ice cream and SACCA signature cheese cake. But don’t you worry… I’ll be back to report on that one night soon. Very soon. Perhaps even tonight.

Put that sake on ice, dearest SACCA. I’m coming home!

The power of the pink dot

Who’d have ever thought that a little pink dot could cause so much hype and excitement in Ibiza? Well, for starters, anyone who’s familiar with my blog – and my ongoing obsession with Luciano and my newfound love for Richie Hawtin – not to mention the legions of Cadenza and Enter fans who’d been eagerly awaiting the ‘top secret’ line-up announcement for September 13 at both Ushuaïa and Space. Enter.Cadenza. Cadenza.Enter. Whatever way you look at it, it just seems so… right… up my alley!

Of course, I was beside myself with excitement for the entire week leading up to the double header event. Please allow me to walk you through the proceedings as I relive the magic of the pink dot…

[Some photos by Sofía Gómez Fonzo and others unashamedly nicked from Richie Hawtin’s Facebook page among others!]

1. It started with a little comic. A tongue-in-cheek flashback to the shared history of our heroes (sorry Sven, I’ve relegated that title to someone else from hereon in) and the very first viral hint as to the merger ahead. Ahh, those were the days, when Luciano sported the sexy handlebar moustache and Richie played seven-hour back-to-back sets with the DC10 gang. My heart leapt.

Enter.Cadenza

2. Then came the video. Richie Hawtin’s Enter.Pool videos have been a constant source of entertainment for me this season. Cheesy? Sure. But cute nonetheless. And definitely different to what every other club promoter in the world does with their promo videos, that’s for sure. It’s like techno comic relief! So from the minute our Rich started waffling on about loving the colour pink (just like me!), I knew this was going to be a pretty darn special edition. But don’t just take my word for it, watch it for yourself. As you may imagine, my heart soared.

3. The flyers began to appear. Knowing my fondness for all things Luciano, a clued-up member of the Ushuaïa team flippantly passed the first flyer under my nose on the Friday night before the party. So fresh you could smell the pink ink drying. So exciting I quickly stashed it in my bag to add to the pinboard – not a shrine, honestly it’s not – behind my desk. It was well and truly official. Enter would be sharing a stage with Cadenza at Ushuaïa and vice versa later at Space. The signature Enter black dot was pink for this momentous occasion. My heart skipped a beat – a techno one of course.

Enter.Cadenza

Of course, no one was buying the silly question marks against the headliners… Club politics at work perhaps, remembering there is that other club our Luci is heavily involved with too…

4. They built a tunnel between the clubs. Well, actually, they built two, due to the fact even local powerhouses like Space and Ushuaïa can’t stop traffic just for one party, so there was a pink tunnel leading out from Ushuaïa to the pedestrian crossing, with a matching black tunnel starting on the other side and leading to Space. You’ve gotta love our boys and their concept. The flyer said building musical bridges with friends, but I guess technically a tunnel was a bit more practical for one night. My heart was aflutter.

Enter.Cadenza at Ushuaia: 13.09.12

5. The pink promo went full steam ahead. The geniuses behind the Enter marketing and promotions got hold of those quirky Vagabundos and had them pinked out and back on the streets of Ibiza in no time. We’re talking t-shirts (where’s mine?), posters, flyers, costumes… and (my favourite element) even the famous black dot Enter temporary tattoos were given a vibrant makeover for the week. The entire island was in full pink mode – you could have been mistaken for thinking it was gay pride week in some parts – and I for one couldn’t have been more excited. My heart was full of joy.

Enter.Cadenza at Ushuaia: 13.09.12

6. Even the ticket prices were intertwined – and affordable! In keeping with Hawtin’s power to the people type policy in 2012, the clubs offered a two-for-one ticket offering entry to both clubs for just 70€. When you think about another party across town that charges the same just for entry to one on a Thursday night, that’s amazing value – and even more incentive to attend both parties of course. It’s at this point that I would take my hat off to whoever signed off on this incentive, as it would have been oh so easy to charge double and run their hands together in gleeful greed as the entry queues continued down the street (although I’m sure the amount of money going over the bar in each club would have lined the coffers sufficiently anyway). Oh, and spare a thought for anyone who actually worked in either club on the day – with the amount of desperate calls/texts/emails/posts/tweets/psychic messages I was receiving for guest list requests, (impossible – luckily for me, I had a trusty old press pass), I can only imagine how it must have been. My heart bleeds.

The golden ticket – or pink as the case may be. Not that I needed one!

Now THAT’S the ticket. Well, press pass.

7. The big (pink) day arrived. Staying put at my desk until 5pm felt a little like a kid on Christmas Eve – thankfully I had plenty of Richie Hawtin and Luciano Soundcloud mixes to get me in the mood – and as for concentrating! Impossible! Basically, I spent most of the day trying to think what I would wear – for those who are wondering, OF COURSE I opted for pink and black, accessorized with pink dot tattoos, it would have been rude not to – and also (between you and me) wondering if I really did have the stamina to surivive both parties. I have a history of crashing and burning with overexcitement you see. My heart was pounding with nervous excitement.

Enter.Cadenza at Ushuaia: 13.09.12

8. Cadenza.Enter at Ushuaïa. Thankfully, the aforementioned press pass meant I could bypass the ridiculously long queue of people clamouring/begging/pleading to get in to the famous open-air venue, as I could hear the Latin-esque rhythms fused with techno beats thundering across the airwaves, through the pink lasers and over the pink neon signs into the Playa d’en Bossa atmosphere. After a quick battle through the surging crowds – seriously, this felt bigger and better than the opening party – I decided it would be better to be up on stage, a little closer to my boys who were TOTALLY having a serious bro-mance as they played for hours. Pink streamers flew from overhead, dancers clad in pink tulle and lace writhed across the stage, but for I only had eyes for Luciano and Richie. It was just like old times. But with pink hair. My heart was seriously about to implode.

Enter.Cadenza at Ushuaia: 13.09.12

9. Enter.Cadenza at Space. After Richie made his exit from the Ushuaia stage, although I wanted to stay until the end, I also really really reeeeally wanted to make the most of the Enter.Sake experience (aka, stalk Richie) at Space before the main party was in session. So across the road we went – unfortunately without being able to Enter the tunnels, which weren’t being opened until Ushuaïa had closed (although thankfully, White Ibiza photographer Sofía Gómez Fonzo stuck around to capture all the pink and black acrobatics on camera for me – thank you!) but it did mean we completely missed the ensuing queues, which I heard took up to two hours to get in. That’s dedication. But I digress. So, after crossing over to the Dark Side, with my first (of many) Minus sake cocktail in hand, I immersed myself in the world of Enter, which had undergone a pink transformation all the way down to pink dots on toilet cubicle doors, pink lasers and even metallic pink confetti sprayed out of cannons onto the crowd when our heroes were finally reunited on stage in the mighty Space Discoteca. My boys played back to back (let me just say the fusion of techno, minimal, organic house and pretty girly anthemic beats was my dream come true, but I’ll leave the musical reviews to other websites) until around 7.30am to a crowd that showed no signs of slowing down. My heart felt as though it was going to explode out of my chest (though that may have been the Red Bull).

Enter.Cadenza at Ushuaia: 13.09.12

10. Exit. The end. It’s over. Fast forward to today, and I feel like partying will never be the same (although rumours of a 2013 merger between the two brands are already doing the rounds – Enterbundos? Cadenter?). I have nothing left to give. What will I ever look forward to (apart from the forthcoming Enter and Cadenza closings) again? My heart is breaking and my pink dot tattoo is still refusing to wash off. Seriously.

Richie Hawtin

Move over Luciano. There’s a new king of clubs in town. Enter Richie Hawtin. The artists formerly known as Plastikman has firmly made his mark on the Ibiza clubbing scene in 2012, making Space on Thursdays – sorry, Enter.Space on Thursdays – THE place to be. If you’re only going to go out to one party in a week in Ibiza, make it this one.

But how did he do it? How did Richie Hawtin – who let’s face it, was always highly influential and super famous for his musical prowess but had never really been fashionable flavour of the month a la Luci – go from ultra geek to über chic in just a matter of a few parties?

I have a few theories…

1. It’s all in the marketing. Behind every great man is a great marketing team. And Richie’s are the bomb. That black dot is everywhere you look around the island – from the obvious billboards, flyers, magazine advertising and t-shirts to wristbands, semi-permanent tattoos (give it time, some geeky fan will no doubt get the real deal inked up), black dot confetti exploding over the Space Discoteca (see end) and giant circular balloons hovering over the sea at Salinas. Yes, you heard me. Salinas. The ultimate marketing pre-party. Check it out here.

2. Ibiza needed a new hero. After years of worshipping at the altar of self-proclaimed hero Papa Sven or jumping on (and off, and then on again) the Vagabundo bandwagon, it was time for someone else to shine. Hawtin has made himself accessible to ‘the people’ in a way none of his predecessors have. Bringing big names to the most intimate room in club early in the night, walking around the room and offering Sake to one and all (more on that later), hanging with his fans at the pre and after parties (see above and below). Offering all night long guest list to island workers so they don’t miss out, issuing special access all areas wristbands to a select crew of islanders (yes, I have one!) to hang with him behind the booth and offering discounts to those who get into the Enter spirit by wearing dots to the party. And above all, posting his every move on his official Facebook page – complete with obligatory ‘chuffed face’ photos – so we can share in all of Richie’s glory. Honestly, it makes my heart swell, really it does.

Richie Hawtin, Enter. Space

3. He’d been masterminding this move for oh, about 12 years. Of course, the beauty of a geek is that we all know they are super switched on, watching and observing quietly until the time to strike. After years of watching all the other DJs in the spotlight, Richie realised the time was now to claim his title, as Ibiza’s club scene was ready for a revitalising revamp! ‘After an incredible and life-defining relationship with Sven and the Cocoon family on the island, I felt the time was right to develop my own vision on what an Ibiza experience might be. Ibiza is a destination for people from all walks of life looking to escape and celebrate. This year we will give people an entry into a world that connects many of the things that I love: music, technology, Japanese sake, art, entertainment and design. As Ibiza is a crossroads of people from all over the world, ENTER. will be a crossroads of experiences!’ Geek translation: ‘I’ve been plotting this for the last 12 years. Watch me swoop in and do it better than any of you could have imagined.’

Richie Hawtin, Enter at Space

4. The Sake made him do it. ‘The Sake community reminds me of our electronic music scene, a small, independent tight knit community filled with creative people trusting their intuition and following their feelings to produce something truly unique.’ Geek translation: Like all geeks, Richie – obsessed with Japanese culture – just wants a chance to justify indulging in his tipple of choice, namely premium Japanese Sake shaken, stirred and even smoked into selection of cocktails, specially created for the ENTER.Sake room (aka El Salon). And he should know – like every good geek, Richie is currently studying to become a fully professional sake sommelier. My advice? Don’t give up your night job!

5. It was only a matter of time with that haircut. Because he’s worth it. Just like Skrillex, Luciano and Guetta before him…

Richie Hawtin, Enter. Space

There are only four Enter.Space parties left folks. Do. Not. Miss. Them.

P.S. Luciano, I still [insert heart symbol] you.

Richie Hawtin, Enter. Space