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Round 2 of my birthday celebrations coincided with Digital Therapy’s birthday. Over four years, the DT team has built a loyal following and has become one of the best nights out in Sydney, especially since they moved to the Civic Underground – my favourite venue in the city. Well laid-out, intimate and with a simply wonderful sound system, there is little not to like about the Civic – and they even seem to have fixed the “holes” in the dancefloor (unless I miraculously avoided treading in them)!

On arrival, Adam Byrne & Jezza were playing, while we greeted the seemingly dozens of friends who’d turned out to celebrate one birthday or another (most likely both) and warm up with a few drinks. And while I didn’t catch much of what they played, they finished up with the simply awesome Push – Universal Nation (James Harcourt Remix), a progressive house twist on the trance classic.

We were deep in conversation as Nick Arbor & Thomas Knight, the guys behind Genesis and Voodoo, took things forward, upped the tempo and guided us towards trance territory before it was the turn of Big J to warm up the room for the night’s international artists with a mix of old and new tunes, including Filo & Peri – Anthem, Solis & Sean Truby with Audrey Gallagher – Skin Deep (Standerwick Remix), Iko – Heart Of Stone (Solarstone Pure Remix) and Tillman Uhrmacher – On The Run (Ocean To Shore Club Mix). It was a really good set and made me realise that I haven’t heard Big J play much recently – perhaps because the focus of Digital Therapy is much more on international DJs these days.

Now it was time for Neptune Project. I’ve been wanting to catch a Neptune Project set for some time – they’ve been top of my must-see list ever since their extended four and five hour sets started hitting the internet last year. Tonight was only going to be a one hour set, but I was still very keen. And nor was I disappointed. Even though he was limited to just 60 minutes, Dan (playing on his own, as Jules had stayed behind in the UK) followed the usual formula of playing their own productions, mixed with some real classics (and not just obvious ones).

So as well as hearing the new remix of Neptune Project – Aztec, we were also treated to Randy Katana – In Silence (mashed with Kyau & Albert – Velvet Morning), Above & Beyond – Far From In Love and the wonderful Tiësto – Suburban Train, which brought down the roof, as it had done at the Chinese Laundry when John 00 Fleming dropped it last year.

And before we knew it, it was time for Matt Bowdidge to take over. Matt is a regular Digital Therapy favourite and this must be the third or fourth time he’s played at DT. He also only had an hour to play before he was joined by Neptune Project for a very special hour where they played back to back. In my experience back to back sets don’t always work well, but this seemed like a natural fit as the night climaxed to the sound of some fantastic trance.

Above & Beyond – Sun In Your Eyes (Neptune Project Remix), Sean Tyas – Lift, Tiësto – Lethal Industry, Neptune Project – Lost All My Tears, Pink Floyd – Shine On The Dark Side Of The Moon (Neptune Project’s Out There With Pluto Remix) and Indecent Noise feat. Noire Lee – Glitches (Matt Bowdidge Remix) – what a way to finish a fantastic weekend of trance in Sydney!

It’s hard to pick out a highlight from such a brilliant night of music, but I think hearing Suburban Train and the Pink Floyd remix on the Civic Underground’s awesome sound system were the best bits for me. But there was so much to like about this night – great music, lots of great friends and the wonderful vibe of a Digital Therapy night. Let’s hope there’s not too long to wait until we can do it all again.

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