Innovation
"In the Sun 2006”
Tuesday 20st June - Tuesday 27th June 2005
Club Colossus + Xtra
Lloret de Mar, Barcelona
Spain

Tueday 20th June
(Opening Party 1-Xtra)
Wednesday 21st June
(Charge Recordings)
Thursday 22nd June
(Liquid V)
Friday 23rd June
(Breakbeat Kaos)
Saturday 24th June
(Innovation)
Sunday 25th June
(Full Cycle)
Monday 26th June
(AWOL Jungle Special)

Innovation returns back to Barcelona, Lloret De Mar for the Drum and Bass raving extravaganza ‘In the sun 2006’.

Innovation in conjunction with Drum and Bass Arena, Liquid V, Full Cycle, Charge Recordings, Breakbeat Kaos, BBC 1-Xtra, Dogs on Acid, Awol, Moondance, Ravenation and Unification brought a variety of to Lloret de mar with a star studded line-up featuring many of the best artists from the drum and bass / oldskool scene, from back home.

Once again with Innovation you had the option of raving for the weekend at £119 or the full 7 nights with 3 star hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner for £199.
When the dates were finally confirmed and line-up announced we noticed that price of the flights had gone up in price, quite early compared to the previous past 2 years and the cheapest option was to fly from Luton airport rather than East Midlands.

With the trouble caused by some of the ravers at last year’s event at various hotel being trashed we decided to book our own hotel and own transfers from the airport to our hotel.

Our hotel was located quite close to Colossus and within walking distance of the main parade in Lloret and close to the beach. We arrived quite late in evening and once we checked in to our hotel we headed directly to Colossus.

The Innovation staff was located next door in the Dreams Café and after confirming our booking we were able to pick up our wristbands. This didn’t take too long and seemed to be more organised compared to last year.

BBC 1 Xtra was opening the first night of this year’s Innovation in the sun 2006. What I was quite impressed with was that this year the Innovation team had brought from back home a bigger better security team. Faces from the security team that are familiar from the UK who have been employed at various venues including Se One. They were conducting searches in the courtyard towards the club, to people as they walked into the venue.

Colossus is a massive club which is able to hold up to 4,000 people when full. The production I felt was slightly better than last years with massive Innovation banners spread across the venue and a massive projector screen located above one of the bars, displaying the DJ box. Once again the massive there was the massive balcony overlooking the dance floor.

1 Xtra’s DJ Chrissy Chris was on in here getting this bubbling with MC Ridla as Chrissy played last years anthem ‘Feelings’ along with ‘Deep’ and ‘Gangbang’. The night was being broadcasted live back home on 1 Xtra. Gutted for those listening on the radio at home!

DJ Bailey took control of the decks along with the singing MC, MC Fatz. I enjoyed Bailey’s set with him dropping some monster tracks like ‘Everyday’, ‘Redial’, ‘The beginning’ and a favourite of mine the ‘Shadow boxing’ remix. Bailey also played a raga mash up with loads of dancehall tunes midway through the set.
I did notice was that the system in the club was turned down during the broadcast which was disappointing.

Following on from Bailey was L Double, at the font of the stage what I noticed was that a banner had been put on place to remind the MC’s that there were live on radio and were not to swear during the recordings. L Double played ‘Number one’ which I reckon will be this year’s anthem along with ‘Still in love ’and‘ Swan Lake’ MC Fatz was joined by Riddla during the set.

Next up was Technique recordings Simon bassline smith who was joined by MC Eksman. The crowd were waiting for the appearance of Eksman as soon as he took the stage there was mass exodus towards the front as he chatted his lyrics sending the crowd wild!
Bassline smith played a new tune which features ‘Cape fear’ theme along with ‘Slam’, ‘System check’ remix’ and ‘Who’.

Andy C was originally featured on tonight’s line-up but Darren Jay was on, I was assured that Andy will be playing later in the week on the Full Cycle night. Eksman was joined by his New Breed counterpart MC Shortston for this set.
At this point we decided to call it a day and headed back to the hotel.

Wednesday 21st June 2005

Today we decided to head down the beach to check out some of the activities available from the Innovation team and a chance to reflect on last night. We went back to our hotel in the afternoon and after a quick cat nap, freshened up and headed down to Colossus.

Security greeted us after a quick search we were in, tonight was the Charge recordings night. Sub Tera was on warming things up with SP MC. Subetera dropped ‘Defcon 69’ an awesome track and ‘Airplane’ to the eager crowd.

Next up was one of the sets I was looking forward to on holiday featuring DJ Friction alongside SP MC. Friction played an awesome set well worth the wait double dropping and teasing in tracks keeping the crowd lively as this set was energetic. Playing tracks like ‘Bounce’, ‘Gold digger remix’, ’Watching windows’ and ‘Outer space’.

Eksman joined SP MC during this set and was on fire setting he crowd alight, Friction continued to play ‘Follow the vision, ‘Warhead’ ‘whilst teasing in ‘Ska’, ‘ Poison ivy’ and ‘Turbulence’

After Friction it was the turn of Charge’s very own Mampi swift with his counter MC IC3. In true fashion Mampi stepped up the pace with a hi-octane set double dropping and teasing in tunes left right and centre through out his set. Mampi Swift was playing tracks like ‘Rah’, ’Warhead’, ’Style baby’ and ‘Moonraker’ teasing in plenty of anthems like ‘Rah’ ,’The One’, ‘Jaws’ and Dubplate’.

IC3 was immense on the mic doing what he does best and hyping up the crowd getting grimey with the ravers, the energy from both him and swift was awesome.

Following on was the true playa DJ Hype Hype was joined by Det along with the SAS of Skibadee and Shabba. Hype was awesome on the decks scratching up as he does with his scratch mixing as he was dropping in ‘Voodoo people’ ‘Represent’, ‘Jamrock’, ‘Cape fear’ and ‘Dubplate killa’.

Det along with Shabba and Skibadee were getting the crowd rowdy working them into a mad frenzy passing the mic as they were battling on the mic, mcing back to back. Hype continued to play ‘Who’, ‘Number one’ and teased in ‘Body rock’ to finish his set with

Final set of the night came from DJ Blame, Blame is very familiar with the oldskool crowd being responsible for the Moving Shadow classic ‘Music takes you’. These days he is working alongside Swift on the Charge recordings label with his work being showcased on the forthcoming ‘Music Forever’ album.

Blame was joined by MC Five Alive a different style of MCing than what most of the raver used to more oldskool with flow and hype. Blame dropped ‘def con 69’ awesome tune, ‘Rah’ and ‘Style baby’.

Thursday 22nd June 2005

Today we decide to have a wander around the city and ended up spending the afternoon drinking at the Innovation bar on the beach. The Innovation bar is the main meet up point for many of the ravers as there were also few MC’s and DJ’s chilling out here. Also being on the Innovation holiday allows you to get discounted drinks form the cocktail bar.

With it being the world cup rather than heading straight to the club we decided to watch the evening game at one of the local pubs showing the game on a massive outdoor projector screen

Tonight Bryan G and Liquid V were taking over club Colossus, with tonight’s line-up showcased artists off the label, and a bit mellower due to the style of music being played. I arrived to find Jordan V taking control in here ravers just grooving and grinding rather than bouncing around.

Jordan V was accompanied by MC Verse rolling out the lyrics Jordan dropped ‘Love and Happiness’. After Jordan it was the turn of Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial intelligence kept the vibes rolling droppings tunes like ‘Burial’ remix, ‘It’s a jazz things / All crews’, ‘Better days’ and ‘Switch on’.

Next up was Calibre with Stamina MC, keeping the liquid vibe rolling dropping ‘Highlander’, ‘Chinese silk’, ‘So vain’ very uplifting and vocally. Stamina kept the crowd rolling and was later joined by MC Fatz.

Liquid V recordings founder Bryan G took the decks with MC Fatz accompanying him on the mic. Bryan started off the set with a liquid vibe and then played a very upfront set. Brayn played ‘Warning ‘, ‘It’s ajazz thing / All crews’ remix and ‘Bounce’. Skibadee and Shabba took over the mic duties from Fatz.

Fabio was meant to be playing tonight but didn’t turn up so Bryan played for the duration of the evening with Skibadee and Shabba running things on the mic. Bryan continued to play ‘Who’, ‘Number one’, ‘LK’ and ‘Midnight’ obviously digging deep into his collection.

Friday 23rd June 2006

Tonight was the first night of the weekender with the rest of the ravers arriving today and also the start of the Moondance weekender at club Xtra

Headed straight for the Moondance arena in club Xtra and was greeted by DJ Snypa. I managed to catch the tail end of Snypa’s set as he was playing some jungle anthems in here. Snypa was playing ‘Arsonist’ ,’Fire’ and ‘Warp ten’ ( rocky tune) he finished the set with some nu-skool breakz as he played a remix of Alien eye’s ‘Found a café’ with vocal fom ‘Silence’ over the top.

Next up was the Godfather and voted best Oldskool DJ the one and only DJ Slipmatt, Slipmatt was joined by his trusted MC the one and only Charlie b. I really enjoyed Slipmatt’ set really uplifting playing plenty of early hardcore classics from 91-92 with tracks like ‘Mr Kirk’s nightmare’,’ Move ur body’, ‘Dance the dream’, ’Take me away’ and ‘Sounds of Eden’.

Into the main arena of Colossus and things were changed around in here, as they closed the balcony off and used that as the DJ box. Breakbeat Kaos’s Adam F was on with MC’s Rage and the SAS of Shabba and Skibadee. The layout reminded me of the one of the times Slammin Vinyl used to stage the Hardcore arena at the Fastrack arena back home at the legendary Sanctuary complex.

The main arena was rammed and there was hardly any room to move in here being the weekend the rest of the ravers were over here partying. Adam played ‘ Number one’, ’Warhead’ remix, ’Voodoo people’, A remix of ‘Original nuttah’ and ‘All that jazz’.
Grooverider was on next but with the heat and the arena being rammed to capacity I decided to head outside and cool off in the Moondance arena.

DJ Squirrel a familiar face at Raindance, Moondance and various other London based oldskool events with the legendary MC 5ive-0. Squirrel kept the party rolling in here with 92 set playing anthems from the yesteryear’s like ‘Rockin down the house’, ’Far out’ and ‘Closer to your dreams’.

Back in Colossus and DJ Fresh of Dogs On Acid was on with the SAS of Shaaba and Skibadee, the vibe in here was good. Fresh’s set featured plenty of his own material along with others as he played ‘Tombraider’, ‘Everyday’ and ‘X-factor’. I managed to locate my friends and had good brock out with them, the dance floor wasn’t as busy as before as many had retreated outside in the courtyard to cool down.

Baron played the last set tonight with 5ive-o making an appearance in the main arena with his infamous torch glasses making sure everyone can see him whilst spreading a vibe of peace and unity onto the dance floor. Baron did started of the set with ‘Golddigger’ and carried on with ‘airplane’, ‘The beginning’

For the remaining 30 minutes I headed back into the oldskool arena to find Devious D on. Devious was playing a jungle classic set plenty of anthems which kept the party rocking.
He was working from 96 back to 93 as he played ‘The message’, ’Nuttah / Bambatta’ and ‘This style’. Devious threw in a couple of raga tunes for good measure with the likes of Barrington levy’s ‘Under mi sensi’ remix, ‘Jah sunshine’ and ‘Lover to lover’

The atmosphere and vibe in here was electric very intimate really enjoyed raving in club Xtra. With Colossus being shut 5ive-0 sneaked in here and mc’ed.a 5ive-0 demanded a lock in as we managed to get an extra 20 minutes raving in here! Devious finally finished the night with the jungle anthem from General Levy ‘Incredible’ a Devious D dubplate I might add!!!

Saturday 24th June 2004

Today the town was heaving with tourists as Lloret is a massive resort similar to that of Blackpool but without the pleasure beach. There are plenty of shops and attractions of offer. We didn’t bother with the go-karting due to an incident involving someone breaking their leg last year.

Managed to find a nice restaurant and sampled some of the local cuisine before retreating back to the beach. Tonight was also the first game featuring the knockout stages of the world cup met up with the rest of the crew from home at the Queen Vic and watched the game and few beers before heading to the club.

Back at club Colossus and it was the Innovation special didn’t head down till late and Mickey Finn was on in here with Bassman and Spyda. Been ages since I’ve seen these two mcing back to back, working the mic and getting the crowd lively excellent stuff from the shadow demon! A bit of teaser for Bassman’s birthday in the middle of the summer!

Found out that Kenny Ken was on early in the oldskool arena so quickly heading in here and found the rest of the raver’s retreating to his oldskool selection. Kenny was playing an oldskool jungle set with MC Gesture doing the mic duties. Kenny played plenty of classic tunes like ‘Gangster’, ‘Intelligent woman’, ‘Woo-haa’ and ‘Superhero (my knight)’ to name a few.

I really enjoy raving in club Xtra even though its quite small the intimacy makes the vibes in here 2nd to none plus I noticed many faces from back home who used to rave at the que club for flashback Kenny carried onto play ‘Worries in da dance’, ‘Full phenomena’, ‘Original sess’ and ‘Diagnostic’.

Nicky Blackmarket was on next in the oldskool arena knowing he’ll carry on with the oldskool jungle I headed into Colossus. I caught the tail end of Brockie who was playing ‘Fruit X’, ‘System check’ and ‘Represent’ remixes, MC Skibadee was on the mic. The set up was similar to that of yesterday with the DJ box being moved to the balcony.

Skibadee was mcing on the podium that people were dancing on mcing in the middle of the dance floor. Next up was Shy FX who was replacing Dillinja with Fearless doing the mic duties.

Like Skibadee, Fearless was mcing on the podium in the middle of the dance floor hyping up the crowd. Shy FX played ‘Feelings’, ’Still in love, ‘Your mine’ and ‘Turbelence’. Fearless was alter joined by Shabba D they decided to go back to back for the remainder of Shy’s set and were down on the dance floor getting rowdy with the ravers.

Nicky Blackmarket was on closing the night in Colossus tonight with the final set of the evening. In true Nicky blackmarket fashion he played a party set keeping the ravers rocking in the early hours. Fearless was joined by GQ on the mic the pair were mcing back to back awesome stuff from these two but they didn’t hang around for too long. Nicky dropped ‘Dark solider’, ’Warhead’, ‘Bounce’ and ‘girls’.

Shabba and Bassman took over the mic duties for the reminder of the set as Nicky continued to play ‘ Number one’, ‘Your mine’, ‘Trippin’, ‘Outerspace’ before finally calling the night with ‘Jamrock’

Sunday 25th June 2004

With England qualifying comfortably in the group stages of the world England take on their first opponents in the knockout stages meeting Ecuador. Headed down to Dreams Café which was next door to Colossus, it seems that were everyone was watching the game here as to my right was Brockie and to my left was Five Alive. Everyone here watching the football and with banter between the DJ’s and MC’s all added to the fun inside Dreams.

The atmosphere in here was marvellous and you couldn’t ask more when David Beckham slotted home the winner!!! Headed back to the hotel to get changed at people were dancing in the street cheering and chanting as England made there way through to the quarter finals of the 2006 world cup. It was important that England won this match as it would definitely boost the atmosphere tonight in Colossus.

Tonight was the Full Cycle night at Colossus the full cycle crew were here in full force. Warming up the jubilant crowd was DJ Profile and MC 5ive-0, with many of the ravers being English the crowd was decorated in red and white England shirts.

After Profile was the turn of oldskool legend Jumping Jack Frost with MC Darrison. Frost started the set quite mellow with a liquid vibe with tunes like ‘Love & happiness’, ‘It’s a jazz thing / All crews’ and ‘Warning’ remixes. It wasn’t too long before upping the tempo with ‘Gang bang’ and ‘Take me all the way’.

I would expect Darrision to have been accompanied by fellow MC Dynamite but unfortunately Dynamite wasn’t booked this year. To be fair tho Darrison did do a wicked job hyping the crowd his style reminded me of Fatz but a hyperactive version of Fatz.

After Jack Frost it was the turn of DJ Die with GQ and Fearless on mic duties. Unlike yesterday GQ and Fearless were hyping up the crowd from the stage rather than the podium on the dance floor like the previous night. Die played ‘Who’ and ‘Number one’ at this point I decided to wander to the Moondance room in club Xtra.

I arrived in club Xtra to find the legendary Ratpack rocking the crowd in here. The Ratpack are normally found at this time of year rocking the various holiday resorts around Europe so coming out here was no different from their busy summer schedule. Everson Allen in true form was rocking the mic with his sing-along lyrics to interact with the crowd.

Mark was finishing up a jungle selction with ‘Valley of the shadows and ‘Champion sound’. Mark finally switched back to the predominant ‘92 selection that the Ratpack are well renowned for. Mark started up the ‘Snowman tune’ wicked stuff not heard this tune in a very long time, and then onto ‘Tribal base’, ‘40 miles’, ’Edge 1’ and ‘Closer to your dreams’. Everson was singing over the tune with lyrics of various rave / house classics with ‘You used to hold me’.

Back to Colossus and Andy C was on, Andy was originally scheduled for the opening 1-Xtra night but arrived tonight instead, though I was left wandering where was Roni Size?? Back to business and the crowd was rocking to Andy with Skibadee virtually calling a rewind on other track that Andy mixed in. Andy dropped ‘Voodoo people’, ‘Deep’, ‘Airplane’,’ bounce’, whilst teasing in a few classics like ‘Nosher’ and ‘Alien girl’.

Skibadee was mcing for a majority of this set though was joined for a few minutes by 5ive-0. Andy continued to play ‘True romance’ also a remix of the classic rave anthem from T-99, ‘Anastasia’

Monday 25th June 2006

Today was the final day for Innovation in the sun 2006, for the final day me and some friends decided to meet up and have dinner at the local steak house. Before heading out for the closing party at Colossus as tonight was hosted by the mighty AWOL.

This was the night I have been looking forward to, since the line-up was announced earlier in the year. A night truly dedicated to oldskool jungle and the fact that my flight was quite late the following day I knew I wasn’t missing this for anything, especially after missing out on the sell out event at the Ministry of Sound earlier this year!!

We finally arrived at Colossus after tucking into a gammon steak and DJ’s Profile and Funky Flirt were on playing a back to back set. It was quite odd as I entered the arena and was welcomed to he sounds of Shy FX’s ‘Feelings’… hummm well seeing as this was the warm up set I guess was just to get people into the party mood being the last night. Funky and Profile were playing a mixture of both old and knew as when ‘Buck rodgers’ dropped the crowd went electric. They continued to mix it up with ‘Truly one’, ‘Golddigger remix’,’ The message’ and ‘Drop it down’

Next up was DJ Swan-E along side MC Bassman. Bassman and oldskool jungle you can’t go wrong!! Swan-E started the set with a jump up selection from 96. Swan-E started the set with ‘Badass’ and rolled onto ‘Trick of technology’, ‘Circles’, ‘Night flight’. Bassman was lighting up the crowd being in his element and really on top during this set. Swan-E continued with ‘Warhead’, ‘2 Degrees’ and DJ Hype’s ‘Peace love and unity’, for the latter part of his set he ended up playing upfront.

Following on from Swan-E was one of the original AWOL DJ/MC combo Kenny ken and GQ. With Kenny playing an oldskool set on the weekend I was wandering what he will come up with for tonight’s set then again he did have GQ mcing for him so you know it was going to be something special.

Kenny started the set with ‘Set speed’ and moved onto ‘Intelligent woman’, ‘Ready or Not’ and then the twisted anger remix of ‘Dark soldier’ from this point he started to play upfront with Shy FX’s ‘Everyday’, this is where Bassman took over from GQ.

After Kenny it was a back to back special featuring Darren Jay, Mickey Finn, Chrissy Chris and DJ Die. Was quite mad seeing all four DJ’s crowding round the DJ box whilst they were mixing Die started of the proceedings with the gnarly remix of ‘Watching windows’. You could tell the tunes that the various DJ’s were playing as Darren and Mickey were adding a 96-97 flavour to this mash up of a set with ‘Better than dem’, ‘Special dedication’ and ‘Special treat’.

Die played ‘Trouble’ and ‘Alien girl’ whilst Chrissy was playing a more upfront selection. The four DJ’s continued to feature more upfront tunes within the set with ‘redline’ ‘ it’s a jazz thing / all crew’ remix and still in love. The night had to finally come to an end and 2006’s Innovation in the sun finished with Shy FX’s ‘Everyday’.

Was 2006 better than 2005??

This year the atmosphere and attitude from the ravers was far better than experienced at last years in Colossus, everyone was well behaved. There were no fights or any skirmishes going on and with a strong presence of the Innovation security team they were making sure no one was going to be causing any trouble through out the week, with full body searches and metal detectors being implemented when people were entering the club.

Everyone was on a real friendly vibe and was very welcoming, the ravers seemed to have paced themselves and prepared themselves for the week. When the weekenders came over the place was rammed and unlike last year there was no fighting especially as the club reached boiling temperatures.

Once again the crowd was mainly from England but there was were plenty of people from overseas travelling out talking to people from across the European states from countries like Germany and Switzerland to name a few. I also met some people who travelled out as far as New York City. Proving how international Drum and Bass has become and with an event like this united people from across the globe under one roof raving as one!

It was good for Liquid V to host the main arena of Colossus bringing a different vibe and sound very mellow and chilled out in comparison to the rest of the week. I was very disappointed with the AWOL night to be honest. As like many others I was expecting a full oldskool jungle / drum and bass classics in the main arena. But a majority of the sets were upfront.

Don’t get me wrong this didn’t spoil the holiday but it would have been nice to have had a night of oldskool jungle drum and bass classics in the ain arena of Colossus a bit of a history lesson for the younger ravers.

I do think it was a bit odd that there were number of people missing from this years line-up especially with the likes of Navigator, Foxy and Fatman D not being here who have featured at past events. I can only assume that they had commitments back home or else where. Listening to Shabba and Skibadee each and every night did get quite tedious, fair play for having the enthusiasm, stamina and energy that they do posses but no need for them to be on virtually every night and every other set.

I do think that hardcore not being featured at this year’s Innovation was something that would of made my holiday complete. Last year Hardcore was featured within the line-up but was close to the Hardcore Heaven weekender which was in the middle of May very close to the Innovation week in Barcelona. Where as this year the Hardcore Heaven weekender was in the early part of March plenty of time to prepare and come out this year, compared to last years.

Set’s of the week for me has to be Friction with both SP and Eksman energy and mixing was electric, Shy FX with Fearless, well SHY was a replacement for Dillinja and what a fine replacement he was, awesome set and the bonus of having Fearless setting the crowd into an ecstatic frenzy too !!!

The Moondance room had some great sets too as I enjoyed a number of sets in here with these being the best 3. Devious D purely for vibes with the bonus of having the lock in at the end, Kenny Ken oldskool jungle set tune selection was heavy and never fails to disappoint! Slipmatt’s oldskool ’91-92 set just something different and nice to hear some classic house and hardcore under the warm sunshine!!! Anthem of 2006 for me has to be ‘Who’ really loved that tune made the crowd get rowdy and wild!

Overall it was a massive success like last years, I still think you won’t be able to beat the first weekender back in 2004 purely on the vibes and the fact it was the first one, with very open minded people who were prepared to try something new!

I will definitely be back for 2007 bring it on!!

Massive shouts to Lloyd, Mickey Finn, Ollie, Gav, Will and the Innovation team, Fearless, Kenny Ken, Five Alive, Slipmatt, Brockie, Friction, Nicky Blackmarket , Eksman, GQ, Food Junky, Chrissy Chris, Mampi Swift, Bryan Gee, Jordan V, Fatz, Stamina, Bassman, Spyda, 5ive-0, Live-0, Darren Jay, Swan-E, IC3, Jack Frost, Die, Darrision, Snypa, Reckless, Gesture, Everson Allen, Lipmaster Mark, Alex and Ryan at ATM Magazine, The AVIT Dancers, Sparxx and Mark ‘The Beast’ Epstein.

Big Respects to Zoë, Collette, Helen, Jessi, Escape, Amy, Zack, Scott, Max, Nicola and the Stourbridge crew, John Resolute, Jaime Stanza, Carasel, Insight, Brian BK and Sean, Vicky, Mags, Elaine, Mainframe, Bassrat, Mark, Amy, Manny, Sam and Danielle and the rest of the Birmingham crew, Joanne, Heidi, Mog Mog, Subterra, Clarke, Maddy and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognize.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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