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Luciano & Cadenza - Sundays at Pacha - Why?

Yes, that's right, Luciano is set to take his Cadenza extravaganza to Pacha for a Sunday night residency in 2010.

.............It's been about the worst kept secret on the island for some months and it's hard to believe this hasn't slipped out earlier, but now we've reached the agreed "you can let the cat out of the bag" date, we've actually had several months to mull this one over.

In the course of those months, I've generally been asked the same question, which was, in summary: "what is the former dc10 don of the underground doing in that flash club with the cheesy electro and VIP culture?"

Well, time to debunk some myths.


Firstly, the idea that, unless you like Guetta or the Swedes, you can't have a good night at Pacha is ridiculous. Not only are the Funky and Global Rooms two great clubbing spaces in Ibiza, with crackin' sound and eclectic music policies, but the fact that MANDY, Justice, Dubfire, Trentemoller and Circo Loco (yes!) have appeared in recent years seems to be all too conveniently forgotten. Fast forward to 2010 and the club's opening weekend alone has Gui Boratto, MANDY again, as well as new monthly Pure Pacha residents Justice, Busy P and Mehdi

      Flashy Justice thing!!!    

The absurdity of people's feeling toward Pacha is seen in that, where the music is concerned, there has been an ever growing bridge between the true house sound of Pacha's heritage (think Ministry's Fridays, MAW, Made in Italy, Renaissance and the like going back 10 years) and the general trend towards house, even where places like Cocoon or Monza are concerned. To put it simply, you need to get real if you don't think DJs at Pacha are playing records from Cécille, Oslo, Get Physical, Cadenza, etc, etc. It might not be all of them, or even a majority, but there is more of a crossover than many would care to give credence to. Reboot's Caminando was being played by Ricardo Villalobos and Tiesto at the same time in Sep 2009, that's how much this music has crossed over!

Secondly, away from the music, the club itself comes under fire on accusations of no atmosphere, shit soundsystem, VIP is too big (and growing), crowd is full of posers, drinks too expensive. Sorry to say, but the same could really apply to many clubs in Ibiza. Most of these allegations come from people who've never been to Pacha and never will, just because its not cool. Sorry to burst the bubble, but standing in the middle of the floor at Pacha, with crystal clear sound, possibly watching your favourite DJ.........what wouldn't be fun about that!

Amnesia is rightly heralded as one of the world's finest clubs, but the sound on the terrace has always been average, at best. Recent improvements have helped but when muting the DJ's monitor speakers means the front third of the room loses volume, it kind of points to the limitations of the rig. Privilege has well documented sound issues.

As for the VIP culture, this is Ibiza! 10 years ago, Space Terrace didn't have a single VIP table, now its half full with them. At Cocoon, the VIP at Amnesia (which is massive if anyone hadn't noticed) is ready to burst every week. Of course, I agree, I think the VIP areas at Pacha can be oppressive at times, particularly when you trying to get into it alongside some jetset types chilling on a sofa, but Cadenza will try to change that. The DJ booth will be switched for the Cadenza parties, it will face towards the entrance of the club, rather than away from it and the rig will get a tweaking.

What else, the music policy will be the greatest extension of the bridge mentioned earlier, as aside from Luciano, Reboot and the other Cadenza family artists, you can expect DJ Koze, DOP and maybe even Seth Troxler or Carl Craig. Only the grumpiest of bastards would be prepared to cut their nose off to spite their "I'm not going to Pacha" face for something like that.

But the crux of the matter is this, this move says a lot more about Luciano, than it does about Pacha. For Pacha the idea is fairly straightforward; take biggest DJ in Ibiza from last 2 years, put in medium size club, add support guests, publicise and wait for the inevitable masses to descend on your party. Simple!!

This move also totally reinvigorates Pacha's somewhat predictable, yet successful, programming of the last 2 years, freshens the sound and to go back to that bridge, provides the means to access, what has been for them up until now, a relatively untouched area of the scene.

For Luciano, the story isn't so simple. A highly respected commentator said to me recently describing the Swiss, "how could we all have got it so wrong". In essence, this move is some kind of final nail in the coffin of old Luciano - the moustachied warrior of dc10 who produced inspirational stuff like Artamis, Madre and Orange Mistake - and therefore the official beginning of a new story and a 'new Luciano'.

Iconic stuff, Luciano at dc10

A regular recent criticism has been that he always plays the same records, which, whether true or not, is a double edged sword anwyay because in many cases, the crowd/club/promoter actually want to hear him play those same records. Luciano has been taking his underground sound to the masses, he has popularised this, but by definition that means that unless he suddenly decides to turn everything on its head, you cannot be popular and underground simultaneously. Rest assured, those heading to Pacha will be expected more of the Luciano of the last year, rather than a return to the Lucien of 5 years+ ago.

For him, it's not that this matters of course, he is doing his thing and fair fucks to him, you can't begrudge him the success and I'm sure he fully expected a bit of mud slinging on release of the news, which has admittedly come from those that knew him since the dc10 era rather than those perhaps only discovering him recently.

Will it work? Ibiza is perhaps the only place on earth where success can never be guaranteed, but the day of the week is ideal, Luciano is about as big a draw as they come in Ibiza at the moment and I believe there is too much mileage in what is essentially a 'new Luciano' brand for it to be anything other than a big pull.

Artwork for Luciano's 2009 artist album, A Tribute To The Sun, which received mixed reviews

BUT, there are a couple of factors in play. The first is the Cadenza preparty at Ushuaia taking place every Sunday, which could swing either way in whether it results in more or less people to the club. Secondly, to reach Circo Loco/Cocoon/Manumission/Cream/We Love levels of hype takes a long time, it can't be built or bought overnight, instead it is organically grown over years until it reaches the point that on Monday every knows you go to Cocoon, on Thursday you go to Cream, etc, etc. Changing the habits of Sunday party people heading to Space won't be easy. Finally, there is the element of the unknown, in that, as discussed earlier, many of the people who have followed Luciano in the last few years, may be reluctant to take the step with him to Pacha, hence the need for a new audience, the 'new Luciano' audience.

The party starts on Sunday 6th June, with Ushuaia Opening with a special Cadenza party featuring Luciano on Saturday 29th May. See you there!

Luciano with Marco Carola at Ushuaia Closing Party 2009

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