Archives for posts with tag: Amy Parnell

img_3249Back from an extended break in London, The Netherlands, Italy and Ibiza, it’s now time to get back into writing my reviews. But first things first, I need to catch up on what I did while I was away. Finding time to write up every event proved too much this year, and once I’d let it slip, I decided that the best thing would be to write up a single review covering every event of the summer in Europe.

img_3256First up, of course, was Luminosity Beach Festival, of which so much could be written. As always, it was the perfect blend of wonderful music, amazing sunsets, meeting old friends, making new friends and dancing to trance across three stages. So many highlights, as always, but there were a few that I have to mention.

  • The Thrillseekers, who opened with Sasha – Xpander (a bold move), and just got better and better, over three wonderful hours.
  • Orkidea, of course, who opened the new stage on the Saturday, warming us up perfectly for the day’s musical treats ahead.
  • Signum, who played another brilliant set and surprised me when he dropped the wonderful London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years (Solarstone Remix).
  • Liquid Soul, whose deliciously melodic psy-trance was perfect for the time of day.
  • John O’Callaghan, playing possibly my favourite tune of the year so far: Ludovico Einaudi – Two Trees (John O’Callaghan Remix).
  • John 00 Fleming, ripping apart the new stage as only he can do.
  • Paul van Dyk on classics day as the sun set. How good it was to see him back in action!

The festival gets bigger and bigger each year, and perhaps as it does so it loses a little of its charm and intimacy. But it’s still streets ahead of anything else in the world for trance fans and next year’s tenth anniversary, with an extra day’s music to enjoy, has been put firmly into our diary (tickets and accommodation already secured).

Back in London we had the chance to catch the latest dance:love:hub night, at Brixton’s Club 414. Sadly, The Digital Blonde had to cancel, but we still had a great time dancing to some warm, melodic psy-trance, courtesy of Jon Cockle, Façade and others. These events are notable for the friendly vibe and the brilliant decorations of the intimate 414 really made for a special night.

Our annual pilgrimage to Ibiza took us to Amnesia for Cream and what a great night it was too! Without a doubt, Amnesia is my favourite club in the world, despite the ridiculous bar prices. Jordan Suckley played a really good warm-up set, which I probably enjoyed more than I would a peak hour set in his normal style. Paul Oakenfold relied a bit too much on EDM drops over old Perfecto classics in the first half of his set, but got it spot on in the last 45minutes – so much so that I forgave him for what had gone before!

Paul van Dyk
, in his element as the Cream resident, played even better than his Luminosity set and showed that his remarkable recovery from the life-threatening fall at ASOT750 is all but complete. And then Aly & Fila tore the roof down with a brilliant set that showed Fadi at his absolute best. What a moment when he dropped The Thrillseekers – Amber (ID Remix) and we got to hear the other contender for tune of the year on the sensational Amnesia sound system!

At the other end of our Ibiza trip we were hugely disappointed when the news came through that Solarstone had broken his ankle in Majorca and was unable to play either the Connect Boat Party or the Connect Pure Trance night at Es Paradis. Still, the show must go on, and Sied van Riel was flown in to cover. He played back-to-back with Alex Ryan on the sunset boat party, which is definitely one of the best things about Ibiza.

Version 2The Pure Trance night went ahead without Solarstone, and there was a disappointing turnout for what proved to be a night of superb trance. Orkidea opened with a wonderful 90-minute set, Sied van Riel played a wonderfully trancey set and John 00 Fleming played one of the best two hours I’ve ever heard from him, closing with Tiësto – Suburban Train and Brainbug – Nightmare. With plenty of room to dance, we had a brilliant night.

In between the big events that bookended our week on the white isle, we managed several trips to the wonderful Tropi bar, making friends and dancing to tunes played by DJ Ange, Nathia Kate, Amy Parnell, Paul Stone and others. There really is no other bar like it, anywhere in the world and we even left Eric Prydz at Café Mambo early just to get back to Tropi!

Back in the UK and there was time for an overnight trip up to Manchester for the last ever Majefa night, at Sound Control. The main room of the club was absolutely rammed and, with little ventilation, it was a real sweatbox. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed John 00 Fleming’s set – very different from the tunes he played three days earlier in Ibiza and I’d really love to know whose remix of Binary Finary – 1998 he dropped.

After J00F it was time for M.I.K.E. Push Live – and despite the heat and the short amount of time he had to play (55 minutes), what an incredible set he delivered, including Plastic Boy – Silver Bath, Push – The Legacy, Push – Strange World and finishing with an amazing live rendition of Push – Universal Nation.

We also caught a bit of Matt Darey’s set in the downstairs room and really enjoyed listening to Ryan Hamer in the bar, especially when he dropped Sean Tyas – Lift. The after-party was a bit of a let down, because instead of the billed 4-hour set by Akira Kayosa, he shared the DJ’ing with at least three others and it was such a mess that between them they managed to mix from one tune back into the tune they’d just played.

Our final event of the year before we flew back to Australia was Wax Format at the Magic Roundabout at Old Street roundabout in London. A mostly outdoor venue meant that the sound lacked a lot of punch, but it’s actually a great setting and has a bit of the feel of Sydney’s Greenwood, without the religious buildings! It was a good chance to see lots of our London trance family and friends for the last time this year and the only slight disappointment was that Richard Durand’s set, whilst full of classics, such as Veracocha – Carte Blanche, Armin van Buuren – Communication and Binary Finary – 1998 (Paul van Dyk Remix), didn’t really live up to its In Search Of Sunrise billing. After Richard Durand finished, Sam Mitcham played a really good set to call a close to our musical tour.

So that wraps up the last three months. Hopefully I’ll be getting things back to normal now, with a dedicated review of each event I attend.


Friday night and time for some trance at Home nightclub to balance out the house of last weekend’s festival. And who better than the up-and-coming British DJ/producer making a name for himself on the Future Sound Of Egypt label, Dan Stone? With a strong supporting cast of local talent, I was looking forward to a good night’s dancing and the usual high production values of a Voodoo night.

Too late to catch the night’s opener, Tonto, we arrived as Dejan was warming up with a lovely set including classics like Armin van Buuren – Control Freak (Sander van Doorn Remix), Super8 & Tab – Helsinki Scorchin’ (possibly mashed up with something: I wasn’t concentrating as I was ordering drinks) and Lange vs. Gareth Emery – This Is New York.

Shortly after midnight, Dejan handed over to Dan Stone and he delivered a clear statement of intent by opening with Above & Beyond vs. Aly & Fila with Ferry Tayle – Good For Nubia (Ferry Tayle Mashup). An amazing tune and a perfect start to a set that was a perfect blend of modern uplifting trance and one or two classics. It wasn’t long before he dropped his big smash from last year, Matt Darey feat. Kate Louise Smith – I See The Sun (Dan Stone Rework) and the Voodoo crowd responded enthusiastically.

We also heard Ferry Tayle – The Way Back Home (Dan Stone Remix), Amir Hussain – Ethica, Greg Downey feat. Bo Bruce – These Hands I Hold (Sean Tyas Remix), Dan Stone – Mirzam, Cressida – 6AM (Billy Gillies Remix), Sneijder feat. Christina Novelli – Love Of My Control, Dan Stone feat. Victoria Shersick – Only The Memories, James Dymond – Deep Down Below, John O’Callaghan vs. John Askew vs. Nadia Ali – Stresstest Rapture (Shura Vlasov Mashup). After two hours, he finished with Oceanlab – On A Good Day (Above & Beyond Club Mix), which was a great way to conclude a set that I can best describe as being nothing more or less than good old-fashioned trance, and I simply loved it!

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Next up was Amy Parnell, bringing the night to close with a 140BPM, Subculture-influenced set, including John O’Callaghan – One Special Particle and Ernesto vs. Bastian – Dark Side Of The Moon (Dogzilla Pure Filth Remix). This wasn’t the busiest night at Voodoo, compared to some I’ve been to recently (like Simon Patterson on New Year’s Day), but it was busy enough, just not packed to the rafters and the little extra breathing space was appreciated (apart from an unfortunate incident when a good friend and my wife were knocked to the ground, and although it was almost certainly an accident, the callous bastard who did it was too cowardly to apologise or check how his victims were).

I’m certainly very keen to see Dan Stone again, hopefully not too long into the future.

With our trip to Melbourne and two great night of trance still fresh in our memories, we were back on the trance train again for the Mental Asylum tour, presented by Voodoo, at Home Nightclub. Mental Asylum is the record label run by Indecent Noise and he had assembled a great line-up for the night, featuring four DJs whose sets I have always greatly enjoyed.

Because of Sydney’s ridiculously limiting licensing laws and the 3am bar closure enforced by killjoy politicians responding to knee-jerk press campaigns, it’s difficult to schedule four international DJs into one night. Thus, after a great warm-up set from Amy Parnell, the first of the night’s main sets began at the early time of 11.30pm and saw James Dymond playing back to back with Matt Bowdidge.

Never mind that it still felt quite early, the dancefloor was packed and James and Matt played a great set including numerous reworked and remixed classics: Tiësto – Adagio For Strings (James Dymond Remix), Nu NRG – Dreamland (Chris Metcalfe Remix), The Doppler Effect vs. RAM & Jorn van Deynhoven – Beauty Hides In RAMsterdam (Chaim Mankoff Mashup) and John O’Callaghan vs. Jase Thirlwall & Allan Morrow – Big Sky Thunderflash (James Dymond Mashup). I really enjoyed this set, which was a nice blend of their distinct styles and something different from hearing them play individually (which I have often done before).

At 1am it was time for the headline act, Indecent Noise. We’ve seen him quite a few times in recent years, in Sydney and at the Luminosity Beach Festival. There’s no doubting his unique, uncompromising style and of all the times I’ve seen him play, this was probably my favourite. The great tunes and mashups flowed perfectly and the crowd responded enthusiastically. Marco V – Godd, Faithless – Insomnia (Ferry Tayle Remix), John O’Callaghan vs. Cassandra Fox – Touch The Saw (Indecent Noise’s Luminosity Mashup), Coast 2 Coast vs. Tiësto – Coming Home on Flight 643 (I think this may be an Indecent Noise mashup), Barthezz – On The Move and Indecent Noise feat. Noire Lee – Glitches. He mixed these perfectly and even included some psy-trance, with Juno Reactor – Pistolero (Astrix Remix) and Vini Vici – The Tribe.

After such a sensational set, there was a huge buzz in the room as Standerwick came to the decks to take over. We’ve been big fans of Standerwick since we first downloaded and listened to his set at ASOT650 in Utrecht on the Who’s Afraid of 138?! stage. We’d managed to catch him at Ministry Of Sound last August and had really been looking forward to hearing him again. And we weren’t disappointed as he smashed out a fantastic sixty minutes of driving, uplifting trance. Opening with ReOrder & Ian Standerick pres. Skypatrol – Sailing Airwaves (In Memory Of Matt Trigle), the set included lots of his own great tunes, collaborations and remixes: Standerwick feat. Jennifer Rene – All Of Us, Skypatrol – Skyres, Standerwick – Vanaheim, Standerwick – Valyrian, Standerwick & Phillipe El Sisi feat. Ana Criado – Magic Light, and John O’Callaghan feat. Jennifer Rene – Games (Standerwick Remix).

And to round off such a fantastic night, at 3.30am, Standerwick was joined by Indecent Noise and Matt Bowdidge for a three-way half-hour of fun, starting with Darude – Sandstorm (which took everyone by surprise), including Gareth Emery feat. Christina Novelli – Concrete Angel (John O’Callaghan Remix), Armin van Buuren feat. Susana – Shivers, Armin van Buuren feat. System F – Exhale, Oceanlab – On A Good Day (Above & Beyond Club Mix) and finishing with Armin van Buuren – The Sound Of Goodbye.

It had been a fantastic night – as good as any other at Voodoo, in my opinion. Great music, awesome production and a euphoric vibe in the club. Sydney really has had some fantastic nights of trance in the last year and this was right up there with the very best of them. If only the club could stay open later and we could have danced till dawn!

Digital Therapy used to be Sydney’s best kept secret. But in recent months, it seems like the word is getting about and these days you can expect a packed house and a great atmosphere generated by some of Sydney’s more discerning fans of trance and progressive music.

As its reputation grows, so it seems Digital Therapy is able to attract some fantastic international acts. This weekend it took a break from my favourite Sydney venue, the Civic Underground, and returned to a former home, the 122 Bar on Pitt Street. This is a small underground venue, much smaller than the Civic but perfect for creating an intimate vibe.

Of course, Digital Therapy is somewhere we can expect to run into a lot of our friends, so we arrived in good time to catch up with them before the room filled up. We just caught the end of Adam Byrne‘s set before Zac Slade and Pablo Anon took over for a back-to-back set.

As the clock turned midnight, it was time for Tonto‘s set. I’ve heard him play a few times before, but this was easily his best, I feel. He really turned up the heat, dropping Push – Strange World (Dan Thompson Rework), Giuseppe Ottaviani feat. Amba Shepherd – Lost For Words (On Air Mix), Lange feat. Hysteria – Unfamiliar Truth (John O’Callaghan Remix), Airscape – L’Esperanza (Jordan Suckley & James Rigby Remix) and Ian Standerwick & ReOrder pres. Skypatrol – Folding Your Universe. A great set and perfect way to leave the scene ready for the night’s headliner, France’s Ferry Tayle.

It has to be said that the French aren’t noted for their contribution to the trance scene, but Ferry Tayle – touring Australia to promote his new album, The Wizard – is the exception to prove the rule. I’ve seen him twice before, at Luminosity Beach Festival, but this was my first chance to catch him in a club setting and I was pretty excited about it.

With high expectations sometimes comes disappointment, but not on this occasion. Over the next hour and a half, he proceeded to tear the roof down and leave everyone wanting more. It was an exhilarating journey through pure, uplifting trance music at its very finest.

So many great tunes, all immaculately mixed, including Skypatrol – Skyres, Ferry Tayle feat. Poppy – The Way Back Home, Above & Beyond – Sun In Your Eyes, Nu NRG – Dreamland, Simon Patterson feat. Sarah Howells – Dissolve, Sneijder & Bryan Kearney – Next Level, Aly & Fila with Ferry Tayle – Nubia, Oceanlab – Satellite (Original Above & Beyond Mix) and even Underworld – Born Slippy.

After that wonderful set, it was time for Amy Parnell to bring the night to a close and for us to hurry to catch the bus. Hopefully it won’t be long before Ferry Tayle returns to Australia, because you won’t get much better than that for a night out in Sydney.

After last weekend’s visual extravaganza at Genesis White, this was at the other end of the scale in terms of production, but with a decent sound system, a busy dancefloor and enthusiastic crowd, nothing could get in the way of the wonderful music making it a brilliant night. I’ve always enjoyed Digital Therapy, but this was easily my favourite so far.

Thanks to Luke Davids Photography for the great photos.

Our first night of clubbing after our return to Sydney was at one of Sydney’s better venues, the Oxford Art Factory, featuring a couple of acts we’d seen recently as part of the Luminosity Beach Festival. In the Netherlands, we’d caught a bit of Allen & Envy at the very start of the festival, when the crowd was still arriving and at a time to which their uplifting style is not really best suited. And at the other end of the festival, at the after-party, we’d seen Jordan Suckley playing back-to-back with Adam Ellis in an overcrowded club with no ventilation and shockingly poor acoustics. I say this only as explanation of why we were a little unsure how much we’d enjoy this night.

We arrived in time to catch Tonto playing back-to-back with Amy Parnell, dropping some great uplifting trance tunes – classics and more recent tracks – such as Paul van Dyk – For An Angel, Fictivision vs C-Quence – Symbols (Will Atkinson 5000 Remix), Paul van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix), Neptune Project – Lost All My Tears (Noble Six Remix) and ReOrder & Ian Standerwick pres. Skypatrol – Folding Your Universe. It set things up very nicely for the night as we caught up with friends we hadn’t seen for a couple of months or so.

I really like the Oxford Art Factory – it has a bit of the feel of a live music venue, but adapts well to being used as a dance club. The sound is generally pretty good, although you sometimes have to move around to hear it at its best, and there are seating areas at the back at mezzanine level if you need to take a break. Added to which are friendly and efficient bar staff and security. All in all, it’s definitely one of my favourite Sydney venues.

After Tonto and Amy Parnell, it was the turn of Jordan Suckley and he quickly turned up the heat with his technical skills on the decks and mixer. At first I thought that he should let the music speak for itself a little more and keep the wizardry to a minimum, but it didn’t take long for me to stop worrying about that – and by the end I was completely won over. Perhaps it was when he dropped Ferry Corsten – Radio Crash that I first began to sense I was really enjoying the music, but by the time he had mixed from Ferry Corsten – Beautiful into Andain – Beautiful Things, played Armin van Buuren feat. Aruna – Won’t Let You Go (Standerwick Remix), John Askew – Plush and Binary Finary – 1998 (Jordan Suckley Remix), I knew that any doubts I’d harboured about him had been completely misplaced. It was a fantastic set and I’m definitely looking forward to the next time I can see him.

That was a tough act to follow, but at 1.30am it was time for Allen & Envy. This duo has shot to fame recently, on the back of their remix of Silhouette by Dart Rayne & Yura Moonlight feat. Sarah Lynn, which was definitely one of the best tunes of 2013. As DJs, they clearly have a lot of fun, dropping nothing but uplifting trance – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Perhaps their set featured too many extended breakdowns and was less well structured and mixed than the journey that Jordan Suckley had taken us on? But you can’t complain when everyone is having so much fun and they are playing tunes such as ReOrder & Darren Porter – The Void, The Thrillseekers & Standerwick – Like They Used To, Flynn & Denton and Audrey Gallagher – Say My Name, Standerwick – Valyrian, Ferry Tayle – The Way Back Home, Will Atkinson – Victims, Aly & Fila – Laily (Photographer Remix) and, of course, Dart Rayne & Yura Moonlight feat. Sarah Lynn – Silhouette (Allen & Envy Remix). Whilst I think I’d have to say that Suckley’s was the better set, I enjoyed Allen & Envy nearly as much.

We had to leave, but it was quite a wrench leaving as Scotty G opened his set with Aly & Fila – We Control The Sunlight. But it was time to rush for the bus home and reflect on a really top night out. Hopefully there will be many more 140 nights to come from Genesis. It’s a great formula – uplifting trance at the Oxford Art Factory – and with a good crowd in, it looks like the Sydney trance family agrees.