With the wealth of talent on offer in and around Barcelona during Sónar, it was difficult to decide which ‘Off’ parties to attend. Villalobos on a beach could have been special and I was upset to miss the Bpitch showcase and Tiefschwartz live. Before getting to Barcelona, I had already decided to give boat parties from the likes of Mobilee a miss, due to their astronomical cost and my lack of sea legs. Sunday called for a dose of Sónar Off, even though my body was starting to complain after three days and nights of music and partying. Sónar Off took place in the beautiful environment of Mondo, a chic waterside retreat. The event was put together by Your Only Friend, Lost My Dog and Vizual, which meant that the only musical dish served was supreme deep and technoid house. After the diversity of Sónar, it was odd to just hear one type of music all night. However, once I’d got into the groove, I managed just fine.
This intimate and friendly party began within the confines of the jet black walled terrace. Here, Rhythm Plate, Luke McKeehan and other DJs treated listeners to a solid selection, whilst they sipped pricey drinks in comfy surroundings. Later, the music moved into the resplendent white main room and the patrons followed. By the early hours of Monday, the space was in full on club mode and the was atmosphere exciting with the whole room acting as a dancefloor. The large number of record spinners on the bill stifled selections to an extent, but it did bring a slightly greater musical diversity to the table.
Two DJs stood out with their selection and command of the crowd. The first was International Bitch aka Vanessa Rodriguez, who provided an excitable presence behind the decks and delivered a near perfect mix of deep and techy musical morsels. The Bitch had an excellent rapport with her dancers, knowing exactly how to increase their pleasure with every track. A highlight of her set was a version of Dennis Ferrer’s Hey Hey. Vanessa's set eclipsed that of her partner and DJ teacher Tres Manos, and in fact there was only one other spinner who came close. The DJ in question was Joshua, a current Chicago resident and member of deep house royalty. Joshua offered the sort of fizzing deep and techy grooves that have come to be associated with his own Vizual imprint. He had the crowd grooving along to cuts such as an awesome revision of Naked Music’s It’s Love and a beautiful Marvin Gaye looping track.
This small but perfectly formed party rounded off my Sónar weekend nicely. After being amongst 80000 or so punters at the official Sónar events, it was nice to be at a more intimate soiree, where losing friends was not possible. Musically, I couldn’t have coped with only these grooves for the whole weekend and prefer parties with a wide variety of grooves. However, it was good to be reminded of how thrilling deep house and techy tunes can sound in the right environment. The brilliant atmosphere at this party once again showed me why clubbing in Barcelona can be such a brilliant experience. I was distraught when the party finished at 5am, because it marked the end of my Sónar 2010.