Archives for posts with tag: Matt Darey

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.

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It’s hard to say how much I was looking forward to Luminosity Beach Festival. For several years I’d wanted to go and been told how good it was by friends who’d been. I’d seen the line-ups and listened to downloads of recorded sets and thought just how perfect this festival always seemed to be. But it had always been held in June, when we’re in Australia, so I just hadn’t been able to go.

So the news this year that the date had been shifted to late August was music to my ears. And with the Future Sound Of Egypt 300 party the night before, it promised to be one hell of a weekend. Especially when we discovered that we would be joined by friends from the USA, France and Australia, as well as from England. And the only worry was the inevitable clashed between two stages, both offering a line-up of the best trance, with not a hint of trouse in sight!

We arrived for the first day at around 2.30pm. A short delay, while we were fleeced €5 for our weekend toilet wristbands, and we were inside the small beach club, called Fuel, and faced with a choice between the end of Sebastian Brandt‘s set on the Papaya stage, or seeing Matt Darey on the Caribbean Beach stage. We opted for Sebastian Brandt, as we wanted to catch Arctic Moon, who was playing immediately afterwards.


We were enjoying the great setting and the relaxed crowd and exploring the small festival site and after Arctic Moon’s set and the beginning of Matt Bukovski‘s, we tried out the other stage, where Paul Oakenfold had drawn a large crowd. Now Oakey can be a bit hit or miss these days – last year I loved his set at Ministry Of Sound in August and was distinctly underwhelmed by his Four Seasons set at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. We didn’t really stay for long enough to make a fully considered judgement but as we weren’t immediately grabbed, we headed back to the Papaya stage for James Dymond, who we’d seen recently in London and were very keen to see once again.

Sure enough, James Dymond played a fantastic set and really got me in the mood to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening. He was followed by a back-to-back set by Manuel le Saux and Ferry Tayle. I’ve never heard either of these two play before, but have heard good things about both and, sure enough, they were fantastic. Displaying a real enthusiasm for the music they were playing and the dancing trance fans in front of them, they played a brilliantly uplifting set, without getting too dark or heavy for the early evening time-slot they had.

We moved across to the main stage for John O’Callaghan and the vibe was now electric. At the front of the stage, three steps were filled with people dancing facing the crowd rather than the DJ and this contributed to the atmosphere generated by people with a truly shared taste in the music being played. We snuck right to the front and loved the set from beginning to end, but we left at the end, missing John Askew in order to take the opportunity to see Angry Man and curious to see if we could work out who he is!

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Well he was wearing a black mask and black hoodie, so we couldn’t tell who he was. The theory that he was John Askew was easily disproved by the fact that Askew was playing the other stage at this very point in time. I liked the idea that he was, in fact, David Guetta – but the skill with which he mixed tunes like Adam Ellis – Napalm Poet (Angry Man Remix) into Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun (Angry Man Remix) was enough proof for me that this wasn’t true either! In fact, it was a really good set and possibly the best of the day for me.

With just 90 minutes of the first day left, we had to choose between Bryan Kearney on the main stage, or Sneijder and Will Atkinson on the Papaya stage. We’d enjoyed Sneijder so much at Futire Sound Of Egypt 300 the previous night, and knowing that Bryan Kearney would be playing the after party the next day, we opted to stay put. Although they were billed as playing back-to-back, in fact they took it in turns and the first 45 minutes was from Sneijder, who delivered a set in true uplifting 140 style. We were curious to see Will Atkinson and he played a great set to bring the day’s proceedings to a fantastic close and leave us hungry for more the next day.

There followed a long wait in the cold wind and rain for our pre-booked taxi to take us back to the warmth of our hotel and a few hours winding down before a good night’s sleep in preparation to do it all again. The first day of Luminosity had been so good and the fact that there was still another day left me with a warm glow as we drifted off to sleep.