Friday, 28 March 2014

Secret Garden Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations at Secret Garden, Koh Phangan

"Secret Garden proudly present Niko Deejay & Mirko Paoloni Asian Tour 2014!
In exclusivity on Koh Phangan, at Secret Garden Party, for one night only!"
Secret Garden Koh Phangan 

Thursday night on Koh Phangan. Subtle lighting and lasers create light and space, black light is hidden within geometric string designs, and delicate frescos line the walls. It's a tropical garden atmosphere at the only 'interior designed' place in Haad Rin… 

It can only be Secret Garden Party! Always a favourite among Koh Phangan locals, we all know this Secret Garden Party is going to be a special night from the start.

SunShay is warming up in style as Pablo & I arrive with our two visiting Italian DJs, Niko & Mirko. After flying in from Shanghai & Hong Kong, they are squeezing in one date on Koh Phangan - between performances at Nikki Beach, Koh Samui & Phuket - all to be broadcast on Radio Party Groove, Italy's first '100% pure house' radio station.

Secret Garden Party Koh Phangan
Mirko takes to the decks after SunShay, and is soon making us smile by playing remixes of Nine Toes… Lizzie Curious? Not this time!  He's playing tunes we recognise from the Koh Phangan party season, and the happy shining energy is making people move on the dance floor - these Italian DJs are our kind of people. Funky, bopping house! 

As Niko takes over from Mirko, he has us all in raptures with his first track: 'Sky looks much taller'… Howling! Not only was it one of our beloved island poet's favourite tracks (RIP Alex), it was also Benoit C's opening track at Sandcastle Club's 'Why Not Wednesday' the night before. Uncanny, or what? These guys fit right in.

The crowd is an eclectic mix of Russians, Frenchies and Europeans, straight and gay: anything goes. But as Koh Phangan Veteran Mario says, here on Koh Phangan we are judged not for our sexuality; we just come together to party, full with acceptance and love for each other as we are. "Like one big family!", says visiting Niko Deejay.

 'Niko Deejay & Mirko Paoloni Secret Garden, Koh Phangan 27/03!' 
'For this special party we will also receive the famous Phangan DJ Pablo Escobud and the lovely SunShay from Tel Aviv. It should be a special night enjoying the last beat of Funky House Music. This party will be broadcast on Radio Party Groove. 
Don't miss it!'  - Secret Garden Koh Phangan

'Dance & Free Your Soul! It's the Secret…
Love will be on the dance floor, see you there!'

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life

'Birds flying high, you know how I feel'… We certainly do! The crew from WeLove KohPhangan are in the house, showing great support on the dance floor all night long - good effort! As Niko continues to go funky deep with a hint of Latino, I suddenly remember dancing Salsa with Joe in the early hours at Mer Ka Ba the night before.

It doesn't take long before we are spinning around the Secret Garden dance floor again… 'Like a thief in the night!' All the remixes are coming out tonight! Beautiful percussive grooves, vocal classics, a bit of Brazilian Funk, even. Not many visiting DJs can latch onto the Koh Phangan vibe, but these guys are diving right in, & nailing it on the head.

And then it's time for Pablo. Recognisable smiles on the dance floor show that the crowd is ready to go uptempo with him, as he goes straight into his uplifting funk. 'Take me Higher!' Joe comes up to me a couple of tracks into his set: "He's smashing it!"  
Yep, he likes to do that! 'Cause away goes trouble down the drain!'

Kawee is on the counter by now, conducting us like we are his dancing orchestra, and we are responding to our Lord of the Dance's ecstasy, hands in the air! Niko is as happy with the evening as we are, dancing away as he says: "Thank you for bringing us to this great party with beautiful energy! Good Vibrations!!"

The Last Word
On the dance floor I can smell… Jasmine? Eric leads me around the Secret Garden until we find the petite white, sweet smelling flowers - I wasn't imagining it. Mark is talking dancing etiquette, as we watch the guy twirling around the floor with arms flailing: "Respect the Dance Floor!" 

Meanwhile, the Robert de Niro lookalike, Mirko, is talking Italian, referencing Pablo's set: "Bravissimo!Hallelujah, and Amen to that. That'll do for me! See what Kawee had to say about each of the Secret Garden DJs in his photo album of the evening below:

'Waouuh! Secret Garden is still in a "magic land" or magic mind… You were super and magnific … Keep the world in dance > Thank You so much wonderful DJs, you take us right in the mood and it was SOOOooooooooooo GooD!!!…' 

Robert de Niro lookalike Mirko with Pablo
'Merci SunShay for your long and great warm up - grazie Niko Deejay & Mirko Paoloni, you were right in the secret vibe ;-) - Thanks a lot Pablo Escobud for your amazing talent, it was so good to listen to you in the top of your mastery! ;-)' 

Wow! Nice comments!! Is it a wonder why we love Secret Garden so much? Next Thursday 3rd April is Secret Garden's Anniversary Party… see you there!

NB: Secret Garden Party held their last party on August 28th 2014. 
Photo & artwork courtesy of Mirko Paoloni, Radio Party Groove & Secret Garden.

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