By Kaivan Adjedani, Senior Editor. It’s hard to exactly pinpoint what makes Electric Island so special. It’s easy to brag and boast about everything that makes the summer concert series superior to any events and festivals your friends have ever attended, but it’s hard to put into words that special Electric Island feeling. It starts when you take your first step off the ferry, though we suggested the water taxi, and hear the feedback from the speakers over the crashing waves by the water’s edge. It continues as you wait in line for your security search, your body unable to keep still as you hear the music clearly and are reminded of what awaits on the other side. Once you’re in; either among the excited crowd, grabbing a bite from the food trucks, or playing ping pong for God’s sake, at some point or another, the feeling hits. It’s a type of nostalgia that you can somehow foresee again. It’s an excitement you can’t help but squeal to release. I’m here. It’s back. Anyone who has ever been to Electric Island before knows this feeling all too well. There’s something special about returning to the island, and there truly are no words to describe the feeling of being apart of something so special and unique.
The all star line-up responsible for opening the 2016 season consisted of Job Jobse, DJ Tennis, Jamie Jones, and Sven Väth. Electric Island would welcome the first three artists to prove themselves to the crowd for their first time at this event, while made a very anticipated return after a heavy set two years ago during the very same weekend.
Electric Island has grown increasingly in popularity with each of one of it’s successful party. Job Jobse, who was first on the bill, came out to a full island at 4PM . The young Dutchman rose to the occasion and delivered a stellar set, despite the increase in pressure from the largest Electric Island audience to date. He kept his performance light yet funky with touches of disco and even an ode to the late Prince as he managed to throw in the legend’s track Controversy into the mix. Jobse could have played the entire island and he would have been met with no complaints. When he did step off, he was met with a roar of applause and cheers, the only thing the audience could do to show their appreciation for the past ninety minutes.
Following Jobse was Life and Death label owner DJ Tennis, whose set came as a nice surprise. The L&D founder often promotes records and releases off his label throughout almost every one of his sets, which makes him at times sound as redundant as he is consistent. At the island however, the Italian resembled an actual DJ rather than just the prefix in his moniker. Tennis focused his efforts on playing a stellar tech house set for the crowd, and less on the promo of his signature label. Diehard Life and Death fanatics weren’t disappointed though, as the label head still managed to pull in some of the labels finest releases throughout his time on the decks.
Once the iconic UK DJ, producer, and label boss Jamie Jones took over, he wasted no time in raising the tempo of the music. His very first track was a hard techno bassline that immediately changed the mood from a casual daytime summer event to a full fledged techno party. Jamie‘s set seemed to last but a minute as the entire time the crowd had no idea where they were and when it was. The sun quickly set as the entire island was hypnotized by the techno that only Jamie Jones could dish out. As quickly as his set began, it seemed as though it was just as fast that his time was over. Raising and clapping his hands together to signal the end of his set, Jamie threw out one last banger that had at least a hundred Shazaam logos floating high in the air. Every single one came down in disappointment, one of few downfalls to hearing an eclectic DJ with an arsenal of not yet released tracks at his fingertips.
Expectations were high for Sven Väth due to his legendary status and the high standard he set for himself during the same Electric Island weekend two years ago. However if the Cocoon Recordings boss felt any pressure, he sure didn’t show it as he started steady and ended steady with a solid set that rocked the island all throughout. Shuffling through his vinyls and throwing one on techno anthem after another, Papa Sven spent two hours reminding the audience of the reason behind his legendary status. Many after party and potential morning after plans were cancelled as a result of the beat down Väth had delivered to the bodies of those in his presence.
Electric Island ended just as it had started; with energy, excitement, and a nostalgia incurable save for five times this year. The very minute the ferry left the dock, the countdown to Canada Day begun. Every single time we leave, we ask how they can possibly top this. Every single time we return to an answer. Until then..