Archives for posts with tag: M.I.K.E. Push

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!


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, 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.

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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!