ONYX’ project at Space Ibiza boasts an impressive line up that will allow some of the best artists of the techno scene be heard on the island through a Berlin-inspired high-octane program.

12 sessions, two rooms, 3D mapping, nearly 50 acts including the best names of the genre, supporting live acts, never seen before back-to-backs and exclusive acts for Ibiza. Mondays in Ibiza this summer will be darker than ever…

The next edition of ONYX will go down on Monday, July 4 with Gaiser (live), Karotte, Dense & Pika, CW/A (Clockwork & Avatism, live) and Mikaela on duty. Ahead, we spoke with ONYX promoter Luke Farrugia in depth on ONYX, it’s 3D mapping live component, Ibiza Mondays, and more.

“…a programme which moved away from the cliché party scene on the island, and refocus attention on the musician, and the music; the darker side of techno.”

As ONYX has evolved from last year’s Love the Underground, can you explain some of the events similarities and differences?
2015 was our first season on the island, so naturally it was always going to be a learning curve for us; programming a 16-week event series in Ibiza doesn’t come so easy. And whilst on the one hand there has been an almost entire transformation from what we presented last year, we couldn’t have achieved what we are with ONYX, without taking that initial step.

Last year’s series was held at Tox, an intimate underground bunker located in the underbelly of Pacha’s Destino. Being just a 300 capacity club, it is a far cry from the legendary Main and Sunset Terraces at Space, which will become our home every Monday between June 27th and September 12th this summer. So that would have to be the most obvious difference I’d say.

As for the concept itself, well last year’s objective was quite simply to put on a nice party. We assembled some really cool artists, which attracted like minded people who just wanted to come and dance, and we had a lot of fun together, whilst providing the island with a more intimate alternative to the somewhat domineering super clubs. I mean you got to see the likes of Sam Paganini, Butch, Valentino Kanzyani, Francisco Allendes and Yaya, to name but a few, all spinning records up front and personal. These are the same guys you will only see at Cocoon, Ushuaia or Circo Loco this summer, so the party definitely served its purpose to everyone who made it down.

But with ONYX, the narrative behind the series of events is what makes it so special. I tried to curate a programme which moved away from the cliché party scene on the island, and refocus attention on the musician, and the music; the darker side of techno.

Unlike last year, ONYX is very much about the big room sound and visual production, with the fundamental aim of delivering a fully immersive clubbing experience. With 20 exclusive performances, 14 live shows and 13 Ibiza debuts, I am quietly confident that we will provide Ibiza with a completely different level of experience proposition compared to last year.

Nonetheless, I am still very grateful that we have been welcomed back on the island, and that we are able to build upon what we achieved last year with Love The Underground.

I truly hope everyone will enjoy what we have to offer over the next 12 weeks.

Why is Space Ibiza Terrace the right venue for ONYX? How does the concept and the venue complement each other? How did your relationship with the venue form?
I am unsure whether the first part of this question is rhetorical or not?! What I am sure of though, is that anyone who knows their techno will be salivating as much as I am over the prospect of hearing that throbbing sound echoing from those savage Funktion 1 speakers.

Its like a match made in heaven, when you combine techno heavyweights such as Dave Clarke, Function, Ben Sims, Surgeon, Perc, Gary Beck, Oscar Mulero, Karenn, Dasha Rush, with arguably the most famous club room in the World, the outcome is only going to be a positive one.

As far as my personal relationship with Space is concerned, that goes back almost ten years now, when I first graced the venue as an overzealous, fresh faced clubber. Since then I have shared many a special memory stomping furiously on almost every square foot of dance floor the club has to offer, whilst listening to some of my biggest dance music heroes.

From a professional capacity, I have our Event Manager, Mo Chaudry, to thank for opening the door to the other side of the dance floor. Mo is one of the island’s most esteemed residents, as far as dance music events are concerned. Having lived in Ibiza for 20 years Mo has promoted and managed at almost every super club on the island, with events from Cream to Tiesto, Armin van Burren and most recently Do Not Sleep. If it wasn’t for Mo then the ONYX proposal would never have found its way onto the desk of Juan, Pepe’s right hand man. It’s a real honor working with Mo, at Space during the venue’s final year of an emphatic 27 year tenure. Very humbling indeed.

On a similar note, describe Mondays on Ibiza? Why is Monday the right day for ONYX?
Hmmm, I am not too sure that I would say Monday was necessarily the ‘right’ day for ONYX. If you asked me to choose from a blank canvas there are probably other days which as an event organizer I would’ve chosen as a safer bet, on paper that is, because you never know what will happen on any given night, right…

There is a lot of competition in Ibiza, none more so than on a Monday, but beggars can’t be choosers, and to be honest we only had the option to do Mondays at Space, otherwise I would’ve chosen Tuesdays, but some other geezer called Carl had it locked down already, so I am told… Besides Space, we did have a few other offers on the table for more preferable days but different venues, so we’d have been foolish to turn down Space just because it was on a Monday.

Obviously me made our decision fully aware that Circo Loco and Cocoon already dominated that space for many years. Alas, there comes a time when you have to throw a cat amongst the pigeons, and I think for that reason exploring the darker side of Mondays with ONYX is on course to achieving just that. It kind of has a ring to it now too, which in a crazy way gives me some reassurance that we are on the right path to bringing people to Space to explore our exciting new concept together.

Lets just hope my sixth sense is right on that one!

Describe your approach in curating the lineup? It is described as a showcase for the “darker side of techno” and for artists who may not frequently appear on the island. Can you give us some specific examples of this?
Well I had to think both logically and strategically when curating the programme. I certainly wasn’t going to go after the same obvious names who quite rightly deserve their prominence at the forefront of the Ibiza circuit, but who equally don’t allow much room for newcomers. I wanted to create a line-up which had never been seen on the island before, something which would entice, intrigue and fulfil the needs of techno lovers from across the globe.

But it wasn’t so easy as it sounds of course, and there are obvious reasons why many of the artists whom I have booked rarely, if ever play in Ibiza; ‘darker techno’ just hasn’t fit in the narrative of clubs here, everyone navigates towards the lighter, housey, Balearic side. So I had to make sure the experiential programming wouldn’t come at the detriment of the event’s success. An empty room with an intelligent line-up wouldn’t benefit anyone, least of all these amazing artists who deserve this platform with a commendable audience, at arguably the World’s best club.

Obviously whilst I am writing this ONYX has yet to experience its first event, so I may end-up eating my own words, but I have real faith in the artists who are coming to the island to ply their trade for us. Let’s look at just a few of the line-ups we have in store… Dave Clarke, Surgeon & Lady Starlight LIVE, Rebekah and Benjamin Damage Live for the opening party. Another favorite has to be Paul Ritch, Function and Answer Code Request Live on July 25th, and Ben Sims, Dave Clarke and Rebekah on August 8th with PoleGroup showcase featuring Oscar Mulero and Pfirter b2b Jonas Kopp on the Sunset Terrace, all on the same night!

In fact, in the year when techno was the most downloaded genre on Beatport, I have to believe our programme is going to excite a lot more people than just myself! It really is quite simple, if you want to come and listen to techno, then Mondays at Space is the one.