Cadenza Vagabundos Packs a Punch at Pacha, Ibiza


Finally, a Pacha bash with grit. And we wouldn’t expect anything less from a night with DJ-of-the-moment Luciano at the helm.

THE Ibiza super club wisely snapped up the luminary Chilean DJ/producer following his enduring residencies at Amnesia and DC10, and shortly before his sudden exit from beach club Ushuaia this summer. But the controversial move didn’t come without criticism, and now the poster boy for all things underground bats for Pacha’s commercial empire; a club that, to some hardcore ravers, represents all that glitters, and might be interpreted as a sell-out move.

So does the transfer mean the ex-Cocoon golden boy’s gone glam? Hardly. Luciano and the crew from his record label Cadenza – which includes house music dons Mirko Loko, Michel Cleis, Robert Dietz, Cesar Merveille and Reboot – have relocated their techno party Vagabundos to Pacha on Sunday nights for a 17-week season and they still manage to keep the anarchic vibe alive.

On this particularly momentous evening spirits couldn’t have been higher: just hours before Spain ruled victorious in the World Cup final, later Cadenza comrade Dani Casarano successfully stirred up the festive crowd pre-Luciano, before the headliner – performing an exclusive live set as Lucien-N-Luciano for the first time in five years – clutched a Spanish flag in the country’s honour to vociferous applause.

Devotees below almost decked his laptop vying for the star attraction’s attention while a well-trained posse of hangers-on crowded the DJ booth swilling shots and lighting Luciano’s cigarettes as hundreds became unhinged to his deep, minimal reverberations and signature Latin loop samples. The surprisingly stout belly of this musical maestro was visible only to those behind the decks, but such trivialities would not have mattered to the hordes below – Luciano could make flipping burgers look cool. And like everyone else in the room, he was clearly having a blast.

For those uninitiated, the Vagabundos night is a spectacular affair that’s cleverly jumping on the cabaret/gypsy/Balkan bandwagon. Burlesque-inspired dancers in feathers, fishnets, corsets, lace and lingerie cavorted on a bed, while Amy Winehouse-esque lasses and punters in Romani get-up would have looked more at home in a back street London speakeasy than Ibiza Town’s harbour. But if you’re seeking a club night with a more outlandish, unpredictable vibe to the usual Pacha offerings this has got to be it. Vagabundos blows the Balearic socks off anything else happening on the island today.

First published on I Voice, Ibiza, July 2010.
© Abbey Stirling