MTV Festival : Ibiza Privilege

TV-friendy dance music.

It’s a surreal setting. Privilege, officially the world’s largest nightclub and

home to Manumission, looks more like a Center Parc than a haven of debauched

house music. Huge fake palm trees, rubber inflatables and pools of water pack

out the airport-sized arena. Anywhere else and it would be the epitome of

naffness. But in Ibiza – where style and cheese sit happily side by side – it

makes some sort of sense.

Tonight’s festival is all about TV-friendly dance music. With a 10-strong

band up on stage Italian collective PLANET FUNK are the first to make the most

of it. Their one monster single, ‘Chase The Sun’, is a big room tune that sounds

like Pink Floyd jamming with Paul Van Dyk, trancing out on smooth beats,

glistening guitars and wailing female vocals. And although the Funksters spunk

their moneyshot early, the rest of their material – a curious amalgam of indie

rock and dad house – still gets big cheers. Singer Dan Black is a bona fide

superstar-in-waiting, and DJ Harvey throws his best Bez-like poses on bongos –

mad stare, lopsided grin, electrocuted dancing. Hilarious.

They could still learn much fromBASEMENT JAXX, the one act tonight who know

how to paaaarty. Performing what’s essentially a nifty DJ set with knobs on they

wow everyone with hit singles, a full bevvy of show girls/boys decked out in feathers and scanty swimwear) and punk house attitude with Eminem bootlegs.

Still, the Jaxx aren’t helped being sandwiched between sets from ROGER SANCHEZ and TODD TERRY, two of the planet’s most boring DJs. Sanchez – milking the success of his irritatingly catchy single, ‘Another Chance’ – looks like he’s spinning in his sleep while Terry plays a plodding house set that would have been out of fashion in 1993.

Still, like at all festivals, the real treats are to be found at the margins.

In this case it’s in room two where ISOLEE blasts away the cobwebs with 60

minutes of searing bleepy tech-house. His underground smash, ‘Beau Mot Plage’,

is the sort of tune that either clears or packs dancefloors – no surprises

guessing what happens here. The result is one man and his laptop achieving far

more than a bunch of serious-looking session musicians ever will – proof

positive that in dance music less is usually more.

Kieran Wyatt