Archives for posts with tag: Indecent Noise

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As my sister’s birthday clashed with the open-to-close set by Indecent Noise in Sydney, we decided instead to make our third (and final) FIFO clubbing trip of the year and travel to Melbourne for the corresponding event. This was a little easier on us than the two previous (Solarstone and The Thrillseekers), which had also been back-to-back … with the Melbourne night following straight on from the Sydney one (which we’d also attended). Nevertheless, it’s still a big effort to catch an evening flight to Melbourne and a 7am flight back the next day. At least we didn’t need a hotel room!

It was a fairly busy night at Room, in Hawthorn – although the club wasn’t packed out, so we didn’t get too hot. The club itself has a certain charm, not having been updated since – at a rough guess – the mid 1970s. With lots of mirror balls, a couple of podiums and even a cage, it looks like it doubles as a strip joint and I would recommend avoiding the carpet as much as you can – the stickiness underfoot suggests three decades or more of split beer has soaked in! And yet the lack of pretension of the space is a refreshing change from glitzy, sparkling venues that risk putting less important aspects ahead of the music and dancing. My only gripe is that it’s pretty hard to find a spot where the sound isn’t muffled by too much bass.

img_4030Unfortunately, my phone only managed one video and one photo before throwing a wobbly and refusing to capture any more moments. So you will have to get a flavour of the night from the tunes I managed to ID, as follows. Da Cool – Meet Her At The Love Parade, Faithless – Insomnia, Ratty – Sunrise, Ferry Corsten – Beautiful (Aly & Fila Remix), Binary Finary – 1998, Sunscreem – Please Save Me (James Dymond Remix), Marco V – Godd, Faithless – We Come One, Veracocha – Carte Blanche, Saltwater – The Legacy (Alphazone Remix), Jurgen Vries – The Theme, The Thrillseekers – Synaesthesia, Rank 1 – Airwave, Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan – Silence (DJ Tiësto’s In Search Of Sunrise Remix), Tiësto – Suburban Train, Armin van Buuren feat. Justine Suissa – Burned With Desire, Ayla – Ayla,  Paul van Dyk – For An Angel and Tillman Uhrmacher – On The Run (Ocean To Shore Club Mix).

As well as such memorable classics there were whole sections where I didn’t recognise a single tune – some of these I enjoyed more than others, but over the course of seven hours, there was more than enough great music to wear out our legs dancing, and some good time to chat and catch up with friends. Lastly, I don’t really want to go into too much detail publicly, but there were some fairly eye-opening sights to behold at times, as we observed the stark differences between the Sydney and Melbourne crowds. It’s safe to say that there were things happening that you simply wouldn’t get away with in over-regulated Sydney!

Overall it was a great night and certainly a good way to see out the year’s clubbing (if it weren’t for the small matter of a very big New Year’s Eve coming up).

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Last year’s May Goes Mental night at Home nightclub had been such fun that this year’s instalment had been on the must-do list ever since it was confirmed. And what a way to finish off the mental month of May, that had included the double dose of Solarstone open-to-close and the Outburst night, where I had enjoyed Alex Di Stefano’s set so much!

Mental Asylum is the brainchild and label of Poland’s Indecent Noise, known for his uncompromising, no-holds-barred style of trance. This year he brought Lostly and Eddie Bitar with him to complete the bill and we arrived just as Lostly began his set. Hailing from South Africa, but now based in Germany, he’s not a producer I know well, or a DJ I’ve seen/heard before. So it was interesting to discover his sound and it was one that definitely appealed to me.


There was a lot about the set that wasn’t familiar to me, and I was distracted at one stage, chatting to Aleks (Indecent Noise) about our top 100 tunes. But I did recognise Kyau & Albert – Kiksu, Dogzilla – Without You and Underworld – Born Slippy.NUXX. As ever, the sound and visuals were spectacular and this really got me in the mood for the night’s main event.


I’ve seen Indecent Noise several times over the last few years and always enjoyed his music. This time was definitely my favourite set of his I’ve heard live – and not just because he dropped a few of the tunes we’d been talking about earlier!  He played Ernesto vs. Bastian – Dark Side Of The Moon, Sunscreem  – Please Save Me (James Dymond Remix), Kaycee – Escape, Cosmic Gate – Fire Wire (Indecent Noise Remix), Simon Patterson & Magnus – Evoke, Tiësto – Traffic, Energy 52 – Café del Mar, Salt Tank – Eugina mashed with Age Of Love – The Age Of Love, Armin van Buuren – Communication, Solarstone – Seven Cities, Ferry Corsten – Beautiful (Aly & Fila Remix), Sunlounger feat. Zara – Lost and Ayla – Ayla (DJ Taucher Remix).


We didn’t catch much of Eddie Bitar before we decided to call it a night. After such a wonderful month for trance in Sydney, not forgetting our FIFO* trip to Melbourne for the eight-hour Solarstone set, we were sated and exhausted. We will definitely take our foot off the accelerator for a few weeks at least, before the fun of Luminosity Beach Festival at the end of this month. But yet again, Voodoo and Mental Asylum had combined to deliver a really good night and I’m already looking forward to next year’s opportunity to don our straightjackets!

 

*For my non Aussie readers, FIFO stands for Fly In Fly Out.

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Is trance dying in Ibiza? I hope not. We all know how trance is thriving in Australia, but I wonder whether it still has the power to pull the Ibizan crowds? We had a lovely time spending ten days on the island, relaxing as well as dancing and we were lucky to hear some great DJs, but the events that were so good could have been better attended. Perhaps it was because we were going right at the start of the season? Perhaps additionally, the new events (Connect) or the re-scheduled ones (Driftwood and Sunk) need more time to establish their reputation and timing? Whatever the reason, both Driftwood and Connect are great events and deserve to succeed.

We arrived in Ibiza fresh from Luminosity. Or rather, exhausted from Luminosity! So it was nice to spend the first few days chilling and enjoying the sunshine. Our first big night out came on Thursday, with Cream at Amnesia, featuring Above & Beyond. Amnesia is my favourite club in the world and I’ve always had amazing nights at Cream. So it is all the more difficult to say how much I hated it this time around. The club was pretty much the same as always and it was very busy, if not absolutely rammed. The problem was the music. Jono Grant was representing Above & Beyond and the tunes he played were really not to my taste. Once upon a time, Above & Beyond could do no wrong in my eyes (or should I say ears?). But I’ve long realised that they are not playing the same style. Having said that, I managed to enjoy myself reasonably enough when I saw them at Amnesia a couple of years ago. Sadly, this was by a long distance the worst set I’ve heard from them. The trouse was bad enough, without butchered remixes of Oceanlab – Satellite and Above & Beyond – Alone Tonight that simply made me weep.

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A couple more days relaxing, visiting Formentera and, of course, Tropi Bar in San Antonio, were the perfect antidote and set us up nicely for the next few days of sunset boat parties and after-parties. First up was Driftwood. Driftwood promoter, Sam Mitcham got things going well and then handed over to Alex di Stefano, who played a wonderful blend of techno and trance that really set the afternoon up. Next was Fred Baker. I have to admit that I hadn’t really heard of Fred, but it seems that’s partly because he uses so many aliases as a producer and partly because he’s only just back DJ-ing after a lengthy break due to illness. Happily he seems to be over the illness now and that can only be good news because he is a great DJ and we absolutely loved his set. Indecent Noise played in his inimitable style and was the perfect DJ for a sunset boat party, with tunes such as Indecent Noise feat. Noire Lee – Glitches and Madonna – What It Feels Like For A Girl (Above & Beyond Remix). The afterparty at Club Summum sadly failed to bring in many clubbers, which was a real shame as Alex di Stefano, Fred Baker and Indecent Noise played some great tunes in their back-to-back-to-back set.

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The very next day we were back on the same boat, now with Connect branding, for another Ibizan sunset cruise. Opening up was Will Atkinson presents Darkboy, playing some dark progressive psy tunes to get things under way. Connect promoter Alex Ryan was next and things got trancier. As the sun got lower in the sky, it was time for the headliner, Jordan Suckley to play but the surprise of the day was when he decided he needed some help behind the decks and got Mark Sherry to take over for the climax of the sunset, which he handled perfectly by dropping Above & Beyond – Sun In Your Eyes (Mark Sherry’s ‘Argentinian Sun’ Remix). And to finish things off, there was a short back-to-back-to-back set with Will Atkinson and Jordan Suckley joining Mark Sherry as the boat returned to shore.

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Our last night out was a trip to Privilege’s Vista club for the onshore version of Connect. The line-up was similar to the previous day’s boat party but with the addition of Mark Sherry (who had played unofficially on the boat), Photographer and Bryan Kearney. We were convinced that after the Luminosity no-show, Photographer would again have visa issues and fail to make it to Ibiza. Sure enough, there was no sign of him all night, but that didn’t matter because I loved Mark Sherry‘s warm up set – not at all like his usual style, but showing great versatility and setting things up perfectly for Bryan Kearney. Every time I see him, I become more of a fan of Kearney’s. This set was not the equal of his tour-de-force at Luminosity; nevertheless it was a great set, filled with surprises, including finishing with Craig Connelly & Christina Novelli – Black Hole, no doubt as a tribute to Christina Novelli, who had been involved in a serious road accident earlier that day.

There’s plenty of good trance music available on Ibiza, but sometimes you won’t find it in the traditional places – like Cream Amnesia – and there’s a nagging worry that the audience for real trance isn’t really there in sufficient numbers, at least early in the season. I’d certainly be interested to see how the rest of the season progresses and wish all the real trance promoters on the island well as their efforts really deserve to succeed. And of course, there’s always the Tropi Bar in San Antonio’s West End, where great music is guaranteed – just watch out for the Gas Chamber cocktails!

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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!

20140719-171905-62345633.jpgNearly a fortnight has now passed since the festival finished and we bade farewell to the United Nations of trance families. Old friends and new, from countries as diverse as USA and Finland, Australia and South Africa, Israel and Iran, The Netherlands (of course) and Brazil. And all assembled on the edge of a windswept North Sea beach to celebrate a common love of trance. If you are a fan of real trance music, this is quite simply the best festival anywhere in the world. Which is why people travel from far and wide to share their passion for the music.

20140719-172123-62483383.jpgThere are so many things that set it apart from other festivals – think about the things that you don’t like about the festivals you’ve been to recently … well Luminosity is free of these irritations, whether it be commercial EDM or roided-up bogans (to use a great Australian term), causing mayhem with their showy, aggressive posturing and inability to control themselves after a few beers. There are some things that are annoying … the toilet wristband principal among them … but it’s silly to whinge about minor issues when everything else is so good.

Of course, there are two stages and fantastic trance DJs playing simultaneously on both, so inevitably you miss out on lots of great music, the consolation being that you hear great music and sets on the other stage. The list of DJs whose sets we missed would make a great festival line-up on its own. Sean Tyas, Menno de Jong, Simon Patterson, Lange, Andy Moor, Oliver Lieb, Eddie Bitar, etc. And we couldn’t catch all of the sets of many DJs, drawn by the rival attractions on the other stage.

20140719-235354-86034586.jpgFriday 4th was the day everyone was gathering from around the world. Meeting friends at Schipol Airport and catching up as we caught two trains out to Zandvoort and checked ourselves into the hotel. Only just time to unpack before heading to Club Fuel on Bloemandaal beach, the festival site. Switching strategically between stages we managed to catch some of Allen & Envy (yes, they did drop Silhouette), Activa, Christopher Lawrence, James Dymond and John 00 Fleming.

20140719-172702-62822236.jpgEarlier we heard the whole of Signum‘s set, which was, perhaps unexpectedly, the highlight of day one for me. It was hard to pull ourselves away from J00F’s excellent set, but we were so keen to see Angry Man over on the Sunrise Beach stage that we left before the end. And after Angry Man, we stayed for Bryan Kearney, who played a fantastic set to close the Sunrise Beach stage that night.

After a few late vodkas back at the hotel, we dragged ourselves up in the morning and went in search of lunch. Finding a friend celebrating her birthday, it was the perfect opportunity to start the day with some prosecco and blow away the cobwebs from the night before. We hurried to the beach to make sure we didn’t miss any of Driftmoon‘s set. I’m such a fan of the Howl At The Moon track that Solarstone picked out for his Pure Trance Volume 2 CD that I really wanted to hear what a full set of Driftmoon tunes would be like.

20140719-172826-62906042.jpgAnd while all the women were commenting on the eye-candy factor, I was bewitched by the ear-candy. It was such a great set and when we met him later, we discovered that he’s a really nice guy too, clearly enjoying playing his music to appreciative trance lovers.

Driftmoon handed over to Re-Order (a fellow Slovak and one half of Skypatrol with Ian Standerwick). What a great time he had, and so did we, as he played a rollicking set of tunes and having a great time behind the decks – obviously a real character.

20140719-234348-85428044.jpgAs the end of Re-Order’s set approached, we moved across to the Copacabana Beach stage for Arctic Moon. The start of his set was assailed by technical problems, but he soldiered on and soon hit his stride, jumping around with delight as much as the crowd when he dropped Armin van Buuren – Communication. I’m not a huge fan of the way he brings indie tunes into the trance arena, for example his mash-up of REM – Losing My Religion with Arctic Moon & Bryan Kearney – Dreamers and Dreams. But I’m obviously in a minority as most people loved the way he drew the set to a close.

Ferry Tayle took over and we enjoyed the half hour or so we heard before switching stages to catch Aussie Matt Bowdidge. Perhaps because he’s a friend, I sometimes feel slightly reluctant to shower too much praise on Matt, but I think we have very similar tastes in music and I always love his sets. This time he played a number of new tunes of his, but the fact that they were unfamiliar to me hardly mattered as I just loved everything he played. He even managed to drop one of my favourite trance classics, Sean Tyas – Lift, perhaps in acknowledgment of the fact that by dancing to his set, we were missing out on seeing Tyas himself. As I said, I always enjoy Matt’s sets, but this was the one I enjoyed most so far.

20140719-234548-85548856.jpgAfter Matt’s set, we caught Manuel Le Saux on the main stage and the end of Johan Ekman on the smaller stage. But we were just killing time before Adam Ellis, whose productions and “The Void” podcasts have really caught my ears in the last 12 months. And I wasn’t disappointed – even though I had been warned that his mixing wasn’t top notch, the choice of tunes was so good I didn’t even notice and against tune selection, mixing skills matter far less, anyway. His remix of the Thrillseekers feat. El – The Last Time was great to hear, as was his remix of John O’Callaghan feat. Audrey Gallagher – Big Sky. And it really didn’t matter that he didn’t play his own Napalm Poet. It was a great conclusion to another wonderful day.

Sunday was all about the classics on the main stage and we knew we had to be on time for the start at midday, so that we wouldn’t miss a note of Orkidea‘s 1991-2000 opening 2 hour 45 minute set. We duly arrived to hear Chicane – Saltwater (The Thrillseekers Ambient Remix). It was the first of many great moments as we heard so many tunes that brought us out simultaneously in goosebumps. He moved from New Order – Blue Monday into Three Drives – Greece 2000. From Armin van Buuren – Blue Fear into BT feat. Jan Johnston – Mercury & Solace. From Bedrock – Heaven Scent into Sasha – Xpander. And finally from Energy 52 – Café del Mar into Orkidea – Unity.

20140719-234733-85653241.jpgThe whole set was mixed beautifully and as the crowd grew and everyone became more and more beguiled, it became apparent that we were sharing one of those special moments that don’t come along very often. I’d go as far as to say that it was the best set I’ve ever heard live. I was completely transported and utterly blown away by Orkidea. In a festival of the quality of Luminosity, it’s hard for one DJ to stand out so clearly above the others, but this was one of those occasions that you know will live forever in your memory.

After Orkidea, we had to do something very different and luckily we could switch away from the classics stage to hear Jaytech on the Sunrise Beach stage. We enjoyed his progressive tunes and, together with a break from the music while we chatted and caught up with Jimbo once he’d finished, this gave us suitable refreshment to return to the classics stage for Airwave‘s Bonsai Classics Specials set.

20140719-234846-85726086.jpgI’d never heard Airwave play before, but he completely won me over with his great tunes and infectious smile. Many of the tunes weren’t so familiar, but he dropped Push – Universal Nation and Push – The Legacy, two of my favourites, and lots of other great tracks, including many of his own productions and remixes. I loved it. On any other day it would probably have been the standout set, but on this occasion, there was no shame in being second best behind Orkidea.

It was clear that Super8 & Tab‘s Anjunabeats Classics set was eagerly awaited by many of the festival attendees, but as they gathered behind the stage, waiting to take over from Scott Bond, it became clear that many of their fellow DJs were also keen to hear what they would play. This is one of the features of Luminosity, that the DJs hang around to hear each other as opposed to rushing home, or sitting in the green room. But more than any other set, the sheer number of them gathered in the wings indicated that this was the set everyone – DJs and fans alike – wanted to hear.

20140719-234950-85790228.jpgAnd no-one was disappointed. It was a wonderfully nostalgic journey through the great years of the Anjunabeats label. Perhaps the early part didn’t quite catch fire, but the second half was thrilling and everyone was delighted by the way they moved from Above & Beyond pres. Tranquility Base – Razorfish, to Super8 & Tab – Helsinki Scorchin’, Oceanlab – Satellite, Luminary – Amsterdam (Super8 & Tab Remix) and Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford – Alone Tonight.

After the delights of Orkidea and Airwave, this was more wonderful music on the best of the three days of the best festival. If I seem to be struggling to come up with enough superlatives to describe this day, it’s because words really can’t do justice to the experience. Find and listen to these sets, but remember that nothing beats hearing them live, among so many friends and fellow enthusiasts of trance. And make sure that if you ever have a chance to go to Luminosity, you grasp it with both hands. It will be a life-enhancing, if not life-changing experience.

We also caught The Thrillseekers and Jorn van Deynhoven before the end of the festival and Adam Ellis back to back with Jordan Suckley at the after party. We finally called it a day while Indecent Noise banged out some harder tunes because the afterparty venue was too hot and the sound was awful in the only part of the club where we could breathe.

20140719-235530-86130882.jpgThe Thrillseekers had been the highlight of my first Luminosity Beach Festival in 2013, but this time, despite dropping some great tunes, I felt he never quite got into his stride. Maybe I was audiologically saturated by Orkidea, Airwave and Super8 & Tab? While I liked the tunes, the set as a whole failed to excite me as it did last year.

Trying to summarise this festival is an almost impossible task. There are so many great things about it. The music, the vibe, the people, the sense of community, the way the DJs are just another part of the crowd. Meeting friends you haven’t seen for ages. Making new friends you know you’ll keep for good. The absence of idiots out to spoil others’ fun. The sheer quality of the music. This is the best festival in the world for trance fans and if you haven’t been, please put it at the top of your must-do list. I am sure you won’t regret it.

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Many thanks to the wonderful Alan Donaldson Photography for the use of his brilliant photos.

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Back to Home for this Friday’s helping of trance, courtesy of Voodoo and a bill featuring three internationals. We arrived just after Dennis Sheperd started his set at midnight and spent a lot of time saying hello and chatting to friends, perhaps encouraged by the fact that we weren’t really enjoying the music much at this point. Sheperd has a number of great productions to his name, but they didn’t feature in his set. Although he did play a remix of Dennis Sheperd and Cold Blue feat. Ana Criado – Fallen Angel, it wasn’t to my taste and there was no sign of the tune of theirs I much prefer anyway – Freefalling

But when Mark Sherry took over at 1am, things changed rapidly for the better. Upping the tempo considerably, he had us down on the dancefloor in no time. Dropping tunes including Aly & Fila with Giuseppe Ottaviani – Brilliant People (Mark Sherry Remix), his own My Love, Push – Strange World and Above & Beyond – Sun In Your Eyes (Mark Sherry’s Argentinian Sun Remix), Sherry took us on a beautiful, uplifting, high energy journey right through to the end of his set at 2.30am.

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It’s worth mentioning that the sound system at Home, which has been getting better over recent months, is now really good and not just in parts. Everywhere I spent time, near the front, along the side, at the bar and even at the back, the sound was really impressive.

Indecent Noise came next and after some technical difficulties with the mixer, he gave us a typical tour de force of his unique 140+ approach to trance. I loved every minute of it as he mixed new tunes like Armin van Buuren – Ping Pong (Simon Patterson Remix) and John Askew – Mechanism with classics like Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes, System F – Out Of The Blue and Armin van Buuren vs System F – Exhale. I really didn’t want this set to end, but at 4am it drew to a close and we had to leave. 

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This was another great night organised by Voodoo, who have really hit a golden streak recently. With the sound and production at a high standard and a regular supply of great international trance DJs, it’s providing plenty of great nights for Sydney’s trance faithful.

 

Once again, a big thanks to Luke Davids Photography for the awesome pictures!

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After such a wonderful first day, I wondered whether it could get any better. But with a stunning Day 2 line-up and the official after party to come, I wasn’t unduly concerned. We planned to arrive earlier for Day 2, so that we could catch Agnelli & Nelson – but a mix-up over taxis meant that we only reached the beach in time for the start of M.I.K.E. Push‘s set on the Trance Classics stage (the day’s main stage). But it was still early and I felt that he was playing rather too progressively for my taste – certainly in the first half hour there wasn’t a hint of Universal Nation or Strange World. So we migrated towards the Flamingo stage for Menno de Jong.

We’d seen Menno in Miami and more recently at the Ministry Of Sound and we’re big fans of his. So hearing him play yet another great set was the ideal way to set up this second day of Luminosity for us. But once he finished, we headed straight back to the Trance Classics stage to see Steve Helstrip, aka The Thrillseekers. Opening with Delerium – Silence (Tiësto’s In Search Of Sunrise Remix)he took us through a succession of cleverly chosen classics, perfectly mixed.


Chakra – Loves Shines Through, Reflekt – Need To Feel Loved (The Thrillseekers Remix), Ferry Corsten – Sweet Sorrow, DJ Tiësto – Flight 643, Solarstone – Solarcoaster and Art Of Trance – Madagascar (Ferry Corsten Remix) were just a few of the great tunes he dropped. And showing such tremendous enthusiasm for his task, he really got the crowd going. With the sun making an unexpected appearance, this set was simply wonderful and unquestionably the best of the weekend so far.


The Thrillseekers finished in time for us to wander back to the Flamingos stage for one of my favourite DJs: Solarstone. It was a tough act to follow, but Solarstone played a great set, covering all the bases from his new Pure album, through classics like Orkidea – Unity and his own Solarcoaster and Seven Cities, closing with the New Parisians – Jump The Next Train, which had the whole arena bouncing and punching the air. It was another brilliant set and right up there with the Thrillseekers. The weekend was maintaining the amazing standard set from the very beginning at Escape nightclub for Future Sound Of Egypt 300. Trance heaven.


We’ve seen Alex M.O.R.P.H. a number of times and he’s always opened with the Star Wars theme – until now. In fact he really surprised me with his set, which was quite unlike anything I’d heard from him before. Clearly he was inspired by all the uplifting trance at this festival and he played a set fully in keeping with all we’d heard so far. I was delighted when he dropped Binary Finary – 1998 (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix), but it was just one of several great tunes, such as Veracocha – Carte Blanche, Armin van Buuren – Shivers (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix) and Simon Patterson – The One. Some friends were saying it was the set of the festival so far – and although I wouldn’t go quite that far, it was definitely amongst the best.

Next up was Sean Tyas and I have to confess that I wasn’t excited about seeing him play. He’d not been good at the Judgement event in Sydney in February, nor in Ibiza when we saw him at Es Paradis in 2012. But today he was a revelation. Wonderful uplifting trance that completely changed my opinion of him. It was only a pity that we’d missed the early part of his set, partly to have a break and partly to see what was happening elsewhere. But I was happy in the knowledge that he was going to play one of the after party sets and I resolved not to miss a beat of that.

The day was now nearing its end, with the sun sinking in the sky over the sea. Just two more sets before it was time to head to the after party and two that I’d been eagerly anticipating. Firstly it was Jorn van Deynhoven. My friends have heard me time and again say how unbelievably wonderful his 5 1/2 hour set at Nevermind in Sydney in 2012 was. I won’t go into the details here, but it was a truly memorable set, the work of a real trance genius. Jorn had only just over one hour at Luminosity, so this set couldn’t be the tour de force that he’d given us at Nevermind, but it was not a disappointment. Photographer – Airport, RAM – RAMsterdam (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix), Jorn van Deynhoven – Headliner were among the many great tunes he played as the sun set over the beach and it was dark by the time he finished with Daniel Kandi – Symphonica and handed over to Indecent Noise.

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I only had the pleasure of hearing Indecent Noise play for the first time in February this year and this was only my second chance to catch him.  Of course I’ve heard loads of his sets that I’ve downloaded or streamed, thanks to the magic of the internet, but nothing ever compares to being there. I loved his set in Sydney (see earlier blog post) and he seemed like pretty much the perfect man to close the festival. And opening things up by dropping what must surely be the tune of the European summer, Adam Ellis – Napalm Poet, to start his set gave a clear message that he was not going to mess about. Sure enough, his set was the usual high-octane mix of uplifting tunes and the remixes for which he is so well known. Among many others, we heard Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun (Angry Man Remix), Commander Tom – Are Am Eye (John Askew Remix) and Matt Bowdidge – Still By Your Side. He also dropped several of his own tunes and it all combined to make for a great set to finish the day.

It was hard to believe it was all over. Two wonderful days of great music, in a great setting, with friends old and new from all over the world. Quite simply it was the best festival I’ve ever been to and providing it doesn’t get switched back to June, or another date that falls when we’re still in Australia, we will definitely be back for next year. Saying farewell to the beach, we headed off in search of the free shuttle bus to the after-party at Westerunie nightclub.

An hour later and more friendships made on the bus, we were at Westerunie just on the stroke of midnight. The first surprise was that Solarstone was not playing solo, but had been joined for a back-to-back set by Daniel Kandi. This wasn’t a partnership that I would have expected, but they were having a lot of fun and it seemed to work fine. Some of the tunes that hadn’t made the cut for Solarstone’s set at the festival made it into this set and the addition of some Daniel Kandi tunes and remixes made a really enjoyable hour – and probably exactly right for the after party.

At 1am, Sean Tyas took over and carried on pretty much exactly where he left off at the beach three and a half hours earlier. About ten minutes into the set he dropped Sean Tyas – Lift and from there on it was just a sublime, uplifting set. My conversion to being a fan of his was complete. Let’s hope it marks a permanent shift away from the style we heard from him on the previous couple of occasions we saw him play.

Flutlicht was due on next, but he’d clearly agreed a swap with Bryan Kearney. This was the first time I’d seen a Bryan Kearney set and he was really good, playing at a very high BPM, yet keeping the tunes audible above the beats. Unfortunately he had some major technical issues about 15 minutes into the set, but he managed to recover his poise and keep the dancers going right through till 3am and his handover to Flutlicht. We’d missed Flutlicht at the festival and I have to confess to knowing next to nothing about him. And on this occasion, the tiredness was really kicking in and we decided to call it a day and walk back through the park to our hotel.

Finally exhausted by the most incredible three days of music and partying, but with a warm feeling inside, we relaxed over a glass of wine and reflected on how amazing Luminosity Beach Festival is. The last festival we’d been to was Ultra Music and the contrast could not be greater. From the mega-sized, massive production but oversold event in Miami, where the other festival goers were either a complete mess or on the edge of aggressive, to this intimate event, where everyone was friendly, into the same music and the vibe was awesome from beginning to end. Watch out Amsterdam, we’ll be back for more Luminosity in the future. Next time we might plan a longer stay and relax in the city afterwards and actually see some more of what Amsterdam has to offer!

Well it was a weekend of contrasting nights out in Sydney.  From a fantastic night of real trance at Havana club, courtesy of SonarAxe to the worst set I have endured in many years, at Space (but more of that later).

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But let’s start by saying just how brilliant Friday night was.  We arrived towards the end of the set by the Genesis guys, Nick Arbor and Tommy Knight, giving us time to find and say hi to all our friends there before Arctic Moon started just after 11pm.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I have to confess I wasn’t really familiar with Arctic Moon’s style.  But right from the start, he had me gripped … within a few minutes he’d dropped Photographer’s tune of the moment, Airport and swiftly mixed in the Giuseppe Ottaviani remix of Paul van Dyk’s I Don’t Deserve You. I could tell at that point that this set was going to be a special one and so it proved.

While the club was not massively packed out, nearly everyone was on the dance floor, so good was the music – and this added to the intimate feel and connection between the DJ and the dancers.  Arctic Moon’s two-hour set flew by and when he closed with Oceanlab’s classic, Satellite, the crowd went crazy – the singing along almost drowned out Justine Suissa’s voice!

This set the scene perfectly for Indecent Noise.  I’ve been a fan of his from listening to his Radio Bosh show/podcast and from a few live sets I’ve come across on the internet.  Clearly a leading exponent of the “life begins at 140” school, this was the first time I’d seen him play, having failed to last the night at Global Gathering in the UK last year, when he closed the Godskitchen stage back to back with Bryan Kearney.

Sometimes there’s a danger that having very high expectations of a DJ can lead to a bit of disappointment when they are only very good and not absolutely blow-you-away awesome.  This wasn’t one of those nights.  I probably had a slight dip in energy after the great set by Arctic Moon, but after 30 minutes or so, I was back in full swing and being taken on a journey towards euphoria as Indecent Noise packed in tune after tune after tune.  The atmosphere on the floor was electric and everyone was clearly having a great night – uplifting, hands in the air, fist-pumping stuff.

This is what real trance can do and what the new fashionable slowed down trance/house crossover that we hear all too often these days simply doesn’t do for me (and many others).  Then, like Arctic Moon before him, Indecent Noise closed his set with an Oceanlab classic, On A Good Day – refreshingly not the mash-up with Gareth Emery’s Metropolis that has become so overplayed.

The Poles gave way to Matt Bowdidge.  Matt is a true blue Aussie, of course, but these days he’s billed as a U.K. DJ, as he has moved to London.  And there’s nothing wrong with having a foot in each camp, as it were, as far as I’m concerned!  Unlike Arctic Moon and Indecent Noise, who I hadn’t seen play before, this was my fifth time seeing Matt play, so I’m pretty familiar with what he does and knew that it would make for an ideal way to close out the night.

In typical Sydney fashion, the club was beginning to thin out as 4am approached but those who remained were still having a fantastic time as Matt kept up the tempo and spirit of the event.  While I wouldn’t say the set was at the level of the Trance Sanctuary show in London last September (see earlier post), that would have been tough to achieve and I was still having a great time and unable to leave the dance floor.

And as a nice little treat to end the night, for the last half hour, Indecent Noise came back behind the decks and played back to back with Matt.

I was going to write a separate note about the weekend’s other event, Judgement Australia, with Judge Jules and Sean Tyas.  But in truth, the least said about it the better.  Judge Jules was simply awful beyond description.  Seriously, how can any DJ think that a trance crowd wants to hear Ummet Ozcan’s The Box mashed up with Europe’s The Final Countdown?  Yes, really.  But that probably wasn’t the worst of it.  The whole set was garbage and the room which had been fairly busy (though not packed by any means) for DJ Ange’s warm-up set, got emptier and emptier as people either went to the other room (with a hard trance line-up), downstairs to watch Premiership football on the TV, home, or on to an early after-party.

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We only stayed to the end of Judge Jules’s set because we hoped that Sean Tyas might save the night.  And perhaps there was a disbelief that it could continue to be so nasty – or a ghoulish sense of enjoyment from witnessing the grim scene of a disaster unfolding. But by the time Tyas had played 20 minutes, we realised that the mood had left us, and his start hadn’t convinced us to stay.  If anyone stayed the course and wants to offer an opinion, please add a comment.  What a complete contrast from Friday night.  From the sublime to the depths in 24 hours.  At least we had fun at the pre-drinks.