13043375_1554929831473639_1311821522810120838_nAmongst the most iconic brands in the history of trance, Godskitchen announced earlier this year that it was going to bid us all farewell after one last dance, or rather four last dances, in Sydney, Melbourne and twice in Birmingham. It’s impossible to overstate the importance and influence of the Godskitchen brand on the history of trance from its origins in the 1990s. Its passing will confirm the opinions of those who say that trance is dead, especially after the unseemly crash and burn of the other iconic brand, Gatecrasher, a couple of years ago. However, with so much good music being produced these days and huge audiences for trance still apparent in many parts of the world, including Australia, I think there’s life in the genre yet.

And yet we were somewhat reluctant to attend the Sydney segment of the funeral rites, partly because the venue is a difficult trek out west for us beach-folk, but also because the overall feel of the line-up and the fact that sets would not be longer than one hour failed to inspire us sufficiently. But I’m glad we relented and gave way to the gentle arm-twisting we received in the weeks leading up to the event, because it was a spectacular farewell and we really enjoyed ourselves on the night as both music and production surpassed expectations.

Having studied the set times carefully, we opted to arrive for the end of ATB‘s set, and as we walked in, we heard him dropping Rank 1 – Airwave, a great classic, but before we could catch breath he had picked up the mic and was exhorting everyone to put their hand in the air, or something similar, for his last song. I don’t know anyone who responds well to this kind of intervention from the DJ, but I know it’s integral to ATB’s style. Let’s just say that I’m glad we missed most of his set!

Next up was Susana, the wonderful Dutch singer, to perform a few of her songs live, including RAM – RAMelia, Susana – Closer (sung as a mash-up over Ferry Tayle – Lozza) and Armin van Buuren vs. Photographer – Airport Shivers. I know I wasn’t alone in bemoaning the fact that it wasn’t the original version of Shivers, but overall the 20 minutes of Susana’s was most impressive. Not many singers can perform so well in the live environment, but she really belted out the songs without dropping out of tune. It was also nice to see her mingling with the crowd after her set, although not many people seemed to spot her presence near the back!

After Susana, it was time for Super8 & Tab, the Finnish duo, and they put together a pretty good set, including some classics as well as a good few of their own tunes. They dropped BT & Super8 & Tab – Aika (Rafaël Frost Remix), BT – Flamin’ June (Ashley Wallbridge Remix), Above & Beyond feat. Justine Suissa – Little Something (Super8 & Tab Remix), Super8 & Tab – Mega, Super8 & Tab feat. Julie Thompson – No Frontiers and Super8 & Tab – Moonbow. And they closed their hour with Luminary – Amsterdam (Super8 & Tab Remix). Although I do prefer the Smith & Pledger remix of this great tune, it was the perfect way to finish and overall, I really did enjoy this set.

Along with the great music, the visual experience was simply stunning. With an enormous circular screen projecting images and surrounded by lights and lasers dancing around the Godskitchen angel, the whole production was quite breathtaking. The sound was really good too and taken together with the visual show, this production was better than anything I’ve seen before by some distance.

The next set was from Cosmic Gate, the German duo, who swung between hard trance and trouse over the years. Tonight’s set was much too close to the latter for my tastes, with tunes like Above & Beyond – Black Room Boy (Club Mix), Cosmic Gate & JES – Yai (Here We Go Again) and Ilan Bluestone – Big Ben. The remix they played of Cosmic Gate – Exploration Of Space was quite hard to listen to, so far from the original’s pace and emotion, and including electro-style elements. But they redeemed themselves slightly with the Alex Di Stefano remix of Cosmic Gate – So Get Up, before closing with Dash Berlin with Cerf, Mitiska & Jaren – Man On The Run (Nic Chagall Remix).

Just two hours left, and the first of these from Simon Patterson, who had played his part in a fantastic open-to-close set back-to-back with John Askew at Voodoo so recently. A solitary hour wasn’t really enough for him to demonstrate his talents to the full, but he played a great set, even if I find some of the breakdowns in psy-trance a little too much of an interruption to the musical flow. There was a good selection of his own tracks in his set, including Evoke (with Magnus), Now I Can Breathe Again (with Lucy Pullin), Apex and Thump. He also dropped the classic tune by The Prodigy – Voodoo People.

So now we had just one final hour to dance and there’s no doubt that the Godskitchen white angel had held back the best till last. I’m a big fan of Menno de Jong, the tall Dutchman, who never lets you down and has an incredible versatility, whether opening an afternoon boat party in Miami, or closing a massive night such as tonight in the small hours. He managed to marry some of the very best tunes of the here and now with some of the ultimate classics in a perfectly judged set that truly befitted the Godskitchen brand. So we heard Menno de Jong feat. Noire Lee – Creatures Of The Night (Adam Ellis Remix), Allen Watts – Meteor, Ludovico Einaudi – Two Trees (John O’Callaghan Remix) as well as Ayla – Ayla (Omar Sherif Remix) and Marcel Woods – Advanced before he finished with the blistering trio of Veracocha – Carte Blanche, William Orbit – Adagio For Strings (Ferry Corsten Remix) and Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan – Silence (DJ Tiësto’s In Search Of Sunrise Remix).

It was a triumphant end to the night and now it’s time to say goodbye to Godskitchen (although some of my friends will be at each of the last three events, that’s it for me). There have been so many great nights out for Godskitchen and the memories will obviously live on in the music. But I have to confess that I’m secretly hoping for a comeback in a few years! Why not?

Congratulations to Genesis for making it all happen. It just seems to get bigger and bigger for these guys!