Ten massive tunes that ruled this summer in Ibiza

A summer spent in the dance music paradise of Ibiza should be on the bucket list of every dance music fan, and as the closing parties of the 2013 season draw near, the time has come to look back on the season that was and ask: What are the tracks that will be near inescapable during the Australian summer to come?

Because every year a handful of tracks come to epitomise the island’s summer, being played everywhere from DC10 to Space and Amnesia (and, afterwards, around the world). After a full summer in Ibiza, inthemix writer Johnny Lee chatted with White Isle icons like Loco Dice and Carl Cox to find out which records they think will linger in the memory.

1. Sonny Wharton – Rain Dance

Who better to weigh in on the defining track of the season than Ibiza icon Carl Cox? “It has to be Sonny Wharton’s Rain Dance,” the Space stalwart tells inthemix. “It takes me back to 1988/89 when the sounds of rave music were flying high. Sonny’s done an amazing job of combining rave music and pumping house and tech-house sounds. This is top class.”

In recent years, traditional Chicago house sounds have made a comeback on contemporary dancefloors. Now it seems as though the hardcore era is ready to be revisited. Indeed, if Wharton’s Rain Dance really is a sign of things to come then the future sound of the underground dance scene will be flush with old school pianos, acid stabs and retro vocal samples.

2. Ten Walls – Gotham

Showcased by Sven Väth at Cocoon, and also supported by the likes of Art Department, Luciano, and Danish house music originator Kenneth Bager, Gotham is a haunting, tech-house future classic underpinned by an uncompromising bassline and a captivating synth lead.

“It is a very unusual record with a strange hook,” Bager explains to inthemix after dropping Gotham at both Ushuaïa and also at Café Mambo this summer, “but it is still very catchy in its own way. Gotham has been cleverly put together.”

3. Francesco Rossi – Paper Aeroplane

A timeless, esoteric composition that combines elements of deep house, techno and pop music, Francesco Rossi’s beautiful Paper Aeroplane (a reworking of Angus & Julia Stone’s 2006 folk hit) was rightfully honoured at last week’s Ibiza DJ Awards ceremony at Pacha. Obviously Rossi’s airy masterpiece is best served outdoors, which is why Be Crazy label boss Jean Claude Ades has been dropping the record all summer at Ushuaïa Tower.

4. Foals – Late Night (Solomun remix)

Once again, Diynamic superstar Solomun has been one of the brightest stars in Ibiza this summer. His deep and moody house remix of Late Night by English indie collective Foals is truly epic, combining Martian lead lines with his trademark growling bass roars. Understandably, Solomun’s reworking of Late Night has received support from Pete Tong, John Digweed, and just about everyone else on the island.

5. Tiger Stripes – Sisters

“My tune of the season is Sisters by Tiger Stripes,” Desolat head honcho Loco Dice tells us. “It’s an epic, uplifting tune with an irresistible groove and vocals by Leroy Burgess. Every time I played it people were hugging each other and raising their hands in the air with tears in their eyes.” This emotional, rumbling house tune has been going down a storm at Dice’s Ushuaïa residency Used + Abused, but you’ll have to wait a few weeks until it is finally released.

6. Ninetoes – Finder

If anyone knows exactly which tunes have been rocking Ibiza this summer, it’s Pacha Destino Resort’s Musical Director Michael Hibbert. “Finder is one of those songs that feels like it was made for the island,” Hibbert explains to inthemix. “If you get off the plane and turn on the radio and hear this song, you will feel like, ‘Yes! Now I am in Ibiza!’” This summer, Finder has received major support from Carl Cox at Space, Eats Everything at DC10, Luciano at Ushuaïa and Kenneth Bager at Café Mambo.

7. Green Velvet – Bigger Than Prince

Dominated by that sleazy, but shamefully infectious spoken vocal, Green Velvet’s powerful tech-house room filler Bigger Than Prince is one of the most instantly recognisable tracks of the summer. Supported by apex artists like Carl Cox, Loco Dice and Seth Troxler, the original version of Bigger Than Prince is a bass-led, ‘80s-styled synth classic, while the Hot Since 82 remix has been designed for large, peaking tech-house rooms. The Martinez Brothers also weigh in with a notable reworking, their production flaunting a more jumpy, nu-Detroit-styled sound.

8. Anything by MK

U.S. production legend Marc Kinchen has had a massive Balearic summer. His house and future garage remixes have been tearing up dancefloors across the island, particularly at DC10, Sankeys and also on Fridays at Ibiza Rocks. Standout tracks include his gorgeous remix of My Head Is A Jungle by Wankelmut & Emma Louise and his dub version of Look Right Through by Storm Queen. We’ve also heard MK remixes of Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey, So Good To Me by Chris Malinchak, and Turn It Around by Sub Focus broadcasting across the island. Anticipate an Ibiza residency for MK next season.

9. Joris Voorn – Ringo

A poignant house track brimming with lush, almost trance-like melodies, Ringo is alive with Balearic vibes, working perfectly at sunset or peaktime at Pacha. When Voorn dropped this at We Love…Space in August, the dancefloor melted. Ringo has received seasonal support from Sasha, John Digweed, Fritz Kalkbrenner and the posse of sunset DJs spinning at Café del Mar.

10. Mano Le Tough – Primitive People (Tale of Us remix)

After dropping a mind-blowing, peak season set at Enter for Richie Hawtin, U.S. production duo Tale Of Us are currently the talk of the island. Their haunting, sci-fi-styled techno belter Another Earth is superb, but it’s not as exceptional as their remix of Mano Le Tough’s Primitive People, which is being supported by Maceo Plex and Damian Lazarus. If you’re a fan of electronic music that caters to the darker side of the dancefloor, this 2013 DC10 anthem is for you (and a perfect send-off to this playlist).