If you travel across the middle of the island of Ibiza you will notice a great big Viva Warriors logo graffitied onto a wall next to a roundabout, half way across the motorway. You see it each time you visit the big clubs (which is most nights of the week, obviously) and it belongs to Steve Lawler and his crew of warriors.
Sankeys Ibiza is the place he has chosen to host this new project, and in early July he marked the start of an eleven week Wednesday night residency at the club. Three weeks into the plan, Lawler and his team brought good friends M.A.N.D.Y and Martinez along to spin some tunes; naturally, we went down to check it out.
Label mate Darius Syrossian was first on the bill. Syrossian is known for his involvement with Lawler's Viva Music imprint and will play the night each week throughout the season. From the off, it was going OFF, as Syrossian wasted no time in smashing out plenty of energetic tech house to the rapidly increasing number of heads in the crowd. He wowed us with a remix of Missy Elliot's 'Lose Control' and took us right to the place where we wanted to be for the rest of the night through what we thought was a very powerful warm up; something which isn't always as quick to come by so soon into a night!
Moon Harbour's Martinez was up next, picking up the pace with a series of belting beats that reflected everything that the label is all about; fun and pounding tech house polished off with a range of the biggest build ups that give a pretty constant rise of hands in the air from the buzzing crowd. In the words of one of my clubbing companions, “Martinez is not too shy to chug it out...” This sums the set up quite nicely and I couldn't agree more; Martinez absolutely smashed it.
Next up was the man behind the magic, Steve Lawler himself. This wasn't our first time at Viva Warriors and we knew what we were in for, as Lawler threaded together a selection of the finest in party techno house to the now bulging Basement room in the club. He never fails to take the party to its limits, and talking to fellow clubbers throughout the night it's clear that Lawler has quickly become a favourite with not only the Sankeys regulars but also those that were experiencing the joys of the club for the very first time. Not surprising really. As his set came to a close, he dropped Marshall Jefferson's classic 'Move Your Body' to round it off in style, just in time for this week's guests M.A.N.D.Y to take over with their own sound.
M.A.N.D.Y kicked off their set with some dark-tinged tech house in the form of Chemical Soldiers' 'Beautiful People', before wasting no time in pumping out the dark, mechanical techno they have become so well known for. Build ups of the sounds of machinery being driven to its limits work with trippy, squidgey bass clattered with smashes of white noise and sense-heightening effects, enough to pull out crazy shapes into your dancing to say the least. The tunes take you to a wicked place and what was left of the crowd were lapping it all up, as we all got down to the dirty beats. They rewarded the appreciative crowd with one of their close pals Booka Shade's biggest hits 'Night Falls'; enough said.
The Viva Warriors had absolutely smashed it tonight. Both the residents and the guests had all done their utmost to provide a belting soundtrack to the night from start to finish without a single dip. It's not every night that you remain locked in for the entire duration, but down at Viva Warriors it's safe to say that you will.
Words: Jack Law
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Originally published: 2nd Aug 2012