In a city positively brimming with talent during the recently christened 'OFF-Week', FACT's three pool parties still stand out from the crowd thanks to the sheer scale of the line-ups on offer. Barcelona's majestic La Carpa venue sees Anja Schneider and Ralf Kollmann touch down alongside their Mobilee cohorts on Thursday, Friday is all about Ellen Allien, Guy Gerber and his many weird, wacky, wonderful and eccentric friends, while on the Saturday, DJ Mag decides to get in on the action, as we side up alongside a heavyweight roll call that features Mark Fanciulli, Kaballe und Liebe, Ryan Crosson & Shaun Reeves, Timo Maas, Joris Voorn and Steve Lawler. Such line-ups, it's fair to point out, are the type that demand your attention.
When DJ Mag enter, we're immediately impressed by the venue. Sure, the giant swimming pool might be the main attraction, but the views, the sprawling hills and the venue's propensity for chilling and/or dancing instantly mark it out as one of the better destinations during OFF week. Visionquest pair Ryan Crosson & Shaun Reeves are proving adept during the warm up too, dropping stripped-back, sultry house fare to a small, albeit growing and receptive crowd.
As the crowd begins to grow in size, so too does the magnitude of the music on offer. Timo Maas – at one time such a prominent fixture on the 'circuit' – is reminding us why he's still a force to be reckoned with, as his hour-and-a-half set made space for intricate techno and melodic jams alike. With Joris Voorn up next, Maas plays with a conscientious nod to the Dutch producer, playing sensibly and expertly but also in a manner that ensured he takes nothing away from one of the day's headliners.
Voorn capitalises on the crowd's increasing yearning for more peak-time fodder too, laying down a set brimming with rollocking, punchy tech-house and more considered moments alike, with andhim's 'Hausch' earning one of the night's biggest cheers. The current We Love... Space headliner makes way for one of the old guard as the night begins to draw to a close, with VIVa boss Steve Lawler bringing his A-game, tantilising the crowd for over half an hour with standard rollicking tech-house before letting The Jungle Brothers' 'I House You' out of the bag – or at least, of the laptop. A few notable technical issues don't halt the night's momentum, with Lawler showing us exactly why he's now being spoken of as one of the UK's finest such DJs. My only gripe? That it ends so early due to the restrictions of the venue. DJ Mag can speak for all in attendance when we say that we could so easily have danced for hours on end.