- Koh Samui
- Koh Tao
A South East Asian tropical island - white sand beaches, palm covered jungle, turquoise waters - a jewel in the Orient, where a sub-hippy culture came to party under the Full Moon over 30yrs ago.
A fusion of cultures and musical influences continues to simmer in this vibrant melting pot 3 decades later, growing now into what is, in 2013, one of the most progressive dance scenes on this planet.
This is our home; this is our island: this is Koh Phangan.
LOI LAY - A MUSICAL JOURNEY
After an early evening 'disco nap' I'm on the back of the bike with Pablo, holding on tight to his Traktor S4 case as he manoeuvres us over the Haad Rin hills, through the shop-lined palm groves of the next village and on to Loi Lay's Sunday Boat Party on Ban Taai Pier.
As we turn the corner the thatched roof silhouette of the Floating Bar comes into view against the star filled sky.
We walk the gangway over the water and step down onto the floating dancefloor, already filling up with an eclectic mix of Farang
- a melee of interesting faces amidst this young & funky crowd up for a good Sunday night out.
Across the party tech house princess J'adele
- of 'Made in Shoreditch' fame - is majestically holding court over her decks: I'd picked up on her vibrant energy as soon as I'd stepped onto the floating bar this evening, catching sight of her confident smile bobbing through the crowd. Now she's deep into her groove, dancing away behind the decks, bringing forth the deep soulful edgy tech that seems to personify her so well. She has her arms in the air in unison with the crowd as she finishes off her set... handing over to Loi Lay's much loved musical maestro Darragh Casey.
Mixing impeccably into J'adele's last track, Darragh allows himself a brief smile of satisfaction as he brings her CDJ highs seamlessly over his incoming digital beats, effortlessly continuing on the deep banging house vibes of the evening so far.
Behind the bar the classically beautiful Kate is rocking the sailor girl look tonight in nautical striped jersey, while bartenders Mike & Max are mixing up fresh fruit cocktails: tonight the special is Ginger Caprioska - ginger, vodka, lime & soda - Loi Lay's cocktail of the week.
The crowd continue to respond to Darragh as he brings the vibe up from deep to funky, bringing in more vocals as we hang out at the back of the party to watch the lively dance floor and soak up the atmosphere; the myriad of beautiful girls smiling for the Phanganist camera this evening!
And now it is Pablo's turn to heat up the tempo.
He goes straight into his big vocal tunes of the season, notching the funkiness up to the next level as our heart rates adjust to the faster beats and we dance on into the early hours, to the point where we are all shaking our individual thing to the euphoric tech house beats of Pablo Escobud.
By 4am in the morning the crowd is thinning out, but EVERYONE who is left - crowd, DJs, owner & bar staff alike - are all funking it up to the happy playful vibe permeating the Floating Bar tonight!
"This is it!", says Mike as I make my way to the bar, "Funky & Sexy!! This is it! *THIS* is funky & sexy!".
He nods in recognition of owner Lek's vision for Loi Lay all along: Deep Funky Sexy Tech House - feel good music!
And then to finish the night we are in for a treat - Lek himself is taking to the decks with the quiet professionalism he applies in all his ventures - restauranteur, bar owner, or aspiring DJ - looking calm and at ease as he takes over from Pablo, bringing the tempo back down to deep while retaining that feel good funkiness.
A musical journey!
Bring on the next Loi Lay!
And with Darragh & Kate's new Floating Nights @ Loi Lay every Wednesday as well as the Sunday Boat Party, we don't have long to wait!
See you on the floating dancefloor!