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This was the second edition of Rise after December’s launch of the brand, featuring Craig Connelly, Harmonic Rush, Photographer and Binary Finary. That night had been one of my favourites of 2014, and with a great looking uplifting trance line-up in place for round two, we were definitely looking forward to this night.

I really like the Oxford Art Factory as a venue. It’s a great, intimate space; although it’s important to find a good place to dance, to catch some air-conditioning and a sweet spot for the sound, which can be rather muddy if you’re not careful about where you are. Although busy enough, the event hadn’t sold out, unlike the first Rise, so getting a good spot was pretty easy, in fact.

We arrived just as the openers, Dejan and Tonto, were handing over to Pinkque. A rising star of the Melbourne trance scene, I gather, Pinkque was completely new to me but I enjoyed her set, while we caught up with friends, got some drinks from the bar and settled on our choice of where to spend the night dancing. As well as tunes such as Paul van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix), Dash Berlin feat. Roxanne Emery – Shelter (Photographer Remix), Armin van Buuren feat. Aruna – Won’t Let You Go (Standerwick Remix) and Aly & Fila vs. Sneijder – Full Throttle, she also dropped her mashup of Luke Bond feat. Roxanne Emery – On Fire with her own tune – Reborn.

The room was filling up now as Manuel le Saux took over. Despite a Spanish first name and a French surname, he is, in fact, Italian, as I had to explain more than once through the night! It was his first visit to Sydney since he played at Voodoo in September 2013 and the change of setting allowed him to play a less commercial trance sound than he had back then (although it had been a good set, it was perhaps not particularly distinctive).


He was touring to mark the 400th episode of his podcast: Extrema, so the Extrema anthem, James Kelly – 400 was among the tracks he played. We also heard Manuel le Saux – Precious, Standerwick and Phillipe El Sisi feat. Ana Criado – Magic Light, Sneijder – #acid, Talla 2XLC, Manuel le Saux & Ferry Tayle – Now And Forever (Club Mix) and Peter Santos – Under The Same Sky (Aly & Fila Remix) before he brought his set to a climactic close with Veracocha – Carte Blanche (Sneijder Remix). It had been a really good set and made me realise just how much I enjoy dancing to proper trance in a small nightclub.

Next up was Darren Porter, who I’ve never seen play before, although some would say that his bald head is as close to a guarantee of good trance as you’ll get! In fact, Porter took the night to another level and played some amazing trance. For me it was undoubtedly the set of the night and the 90 minutes he had just flew by.


As well as his own tunes, Porter has developed a reputation as a great remixer and tonight we heard exactly why. Tunes such as Re-Order & Darren Porter – The Void, Tiësto – Lethal Industry (Darren Porter Remix), Johan Gielen – Physical Overdrive (Darren Porter Remix), Darren Porter – Terraforming and Lange feat. The Morrighan – Follow Me (Darren Porter 2012 Rework) were mixed beautifully and Porter seemed to get an even better sound from the speakers.


I could have listened to this for hours more, but sadly, after an hour and a half, he finished and gave way to Zac Slade and Pablo Añon who carried on long after we had to go to catch our bus home. It had been a great night from Rise – so a massive thanks is due to all the organisers for yet another top event. I certainly look forward to seeing who they have lined up for the third instalment later this year.

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