Archives for posts with tag: Voodoo

menno-solo-event-poster
I’ve heard Menno de Jong play deep, cruisy, progressive opening sets, I’ve heard him play peak hour uplifting trance and I’ve heard him bring nights to a close with psy trance and with classics. But until now I’d never had the chance to catch him do the lot in a single night with one of his renowned Menno Solo events. So, knowing that his supreme versatility with all forms of trance makes him one of the most capable of playing open to close, I was really looking forward to this night.

img_3952
The production these days at Home nightclub is seriously impressive – sound, visuals and lasers all of the highest standard. But what makes a night is always the music and Menno gave us a tour de force as he played five and a half hours taking us from more progressive sounds before midnight towards a suitably banging finale with plenty of classics thrown in.


It was Halloween and there was a big crowd of university students, many in fancy dress and I wasn’t sure if they’d be sufficiently into trance to stay the distance, but in fact the dance floor remained busy right to the end, as Menno put together a superbly paced set and I loved every moment.

img_3955Some of the tunes I enjoyed most were: Mekka – Diamondback (Adam Ellis Remix), Menno de Jong & Adam Ellis feat. Kate Louise Smith – Set To Sail, Menno de Jong feat. Noire Lee – Creatures Of The Night (Adam Ellis Remix), Lost Tribe – Gamemaster, Ludovico Einaudi – Two Trees (John O’Callaghan Remix), John O’Callaghan – Stresstest (John Askew Remix), John O’Callaghan – The Forging Of Steel and Rank 1 – Airwave.


As 3am approached, the night reached its climax with Tiësto – Suburban Train, Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun (DJ Tiësto Remix) and the encore, System F – Out Of The Blue. I didn’t want it to finish and cursed yet again at Sydney’s ridiculous lockout rules that wouldn’t allow the fun to continue. If only Home was on the other side of Darling Harbour!

I’ve really enjoyed the recent run of open to close nights, which are a breath of fresh air compared to the nights with so many DJs on the bill that they only get an hour each. So long may this happy trend continue!

13884521_10153771853353806_1843335484_n-1
After the fun of doing the double (i.e. both Sydney and Melbourne shows) for Solarstone earlier this year, we were excited to be doing it again, this time for The Thrillseekers – one of the very best producers in the game and a DJ who is guaranteed to deliver a great night, mixing classics and current smashes to great effect.

This was also our first visit to Voodoo at Home since late May, as we’d been away in Europe for most of the intervening period. Sneaking in just before the doors opened and finding the club with the lights up, we could see that a few changes had been made – the DJ booth is now closer to the floor, with a much narrower “stage” separating the crowd from the DJ. And the large stack of amps (or blocks of something) at the back right has gone, opening up the space behind. Minor improvements, I guess – but the video screens also appeared to have had another upgrade and the sound system has been overhauled too (although I had no complaints about the old system).


The set started with a progressive feel – not something that you expect with The Thrillseekers, but appropriate to the early part of the night. We heard tracks like Above & Beyond feat. Gemma Hayes – Counting Down The Days, Matt Darey presents Urban Astronauts feat. Kate Louise Smith – I See The Sun, iiO – Rapture and even Paul van Dyk – Another Way blended in with less familiar tunes that fitted the progressive groove as the club filled up.


It wasn’t long before the pace had picked up and we heard The Thrillseekers presents Hydra – Amber (surely the tune of 2016?!), The Thrillseekers feat. Stine Grove – Anywhere With You, Simon Patterson & Magnus – Evoke and The Thrillseekers – Just Because. The night went by almost in a blur as we were dazzled by great music. I was listening out for new tunes from the as yet unreleased album, Escape – but I don’t think I caught any of them! The night ended with Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan – Silence (DJ Tiësto’s In Search Of Sunrise Remix) and Chakra – Home. But the highlight for me was the unexpected treat of hearing Ferry Corsten feat. Betsie Larkin – Made Of Love for the first time in about 7 years!

img_3792
The next day we flew down to Melbourne for round two. And, as with Solarstone previously, we enjoyed the Melbourne set far more than the Sydney one. Perhaps it was the additional time (none of the NSW lockout/curfew nonsense in Victoria) allowing for a much longer set? Whatever it was, I enjoyed the progressive early part of the set more and there was no doubt that he dropped some wonderful classics, not all of which had made it into the Sydney set.


The club itself, Studio 3 (part of the Crown Casino) was a good space, overlooking the Yarra River, if you could be bothered to look outside. The sound system was good and the laser show fantastic. Perfect for dancing to tunes like Who.Is – We.Are, Bedrock – Heaven Scent,  Solid Globe – North Pole, Solarstone – Seven Cities, The Thrillseekers presents Hydra – Amber (Skylex Remix), Stoneface & Terminal – Blueprint, The Thrillseekers vs Es Vedrà, Chicane – Autumn Tactics (The Thrillseekers Remix), The Thrillseekers – Synaesthesia (Factor B Remix), DJ Tim & Misbah – Access (John Askew Remix), John O’Callaghan – One Special Particle, William Orbit – Adagio For Strings (Ferry Corsten Remix), Push – Strange World (2000 Remake), José Amnesia – The Eternal (Pulser Remix), Solar Factor – Urban Shakedown, Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun (DJ Tiësto Remix) and Paul van Dyk – For An Angel (E-Werk Club Remix). This time around, my personal highlight was Energy 52 – Café del Mar (Three N One Remix).


Overall it had been a wonderful weekend – thanks to Genesis, Trancegression Events and, of course, Steve Helstrip – the one and only Thrillseeker! These open-to-close events are certainly proving to be a great antidote and far preferable, in my humble opinion, to the “pack ’em in”, “too many DJs” events that are becoming all too common these days. So let’s hope that they prove as successful for promoters as I think they are for the serious trance fan.

 

13076761_10156941352290601_5707457212286580647_n
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.

13177537_1034143493339352_1193864223324271293_n
After last weekend’s marathon Solarstone adventure, we needed a quieter weekend. Nevertheless, with Mark Sherry bringing Alex Di Stefano to Voodoo for his Outburst label tour, we couldn’t miss Friday night at Home. We’d enjoyed Alex Di Stefano’s sets in 2015, on a boat in Ibiza’s San Antonio bay and at Voodoo in October, so much that we weren’t going to turn down the opportunity to see him again. Mark Sherry has also played some really good sets recently.


With both DJs scheduled to play extended sets, it was another early start for us and we arrived just after 10pm, in time to see Alex Di Stefano. With a style that blends techno and trance, Di Stefano has been a growing name on the scene in recent times. Whilst this probably isn’t my naturally preferred variety of trance, I have found his sets to be most enjoyable. He builds beautifully and naturally, with flawless mixing and perfect tune selection and one again, his music on the night was simply fantastic.


Amongst the tunes he dropped were: Chris Schweizer – Scorpion, Gaia – Inyathi, Sean Tyas – Unleash (Alex Di Stefano Remix), Alex Di Stefano – I’ve Got The Power (Signum Signal Remix), Will Atkinson – Subconscious, Ferry Corsten – Beautiful (Aly & Fila Remix), Marcel Woods – Cherry Blossom and Bryan Kearney & Will Atkinson – The Game Changer. I enjoyed his set so much that I was thinking how good it would be if he could come back and play open to close. I really think he would give a masterclass.


Next up was Mark Sherry, the label boss of Outburst. Mark is probably best known for the higher tempo style of tech-trance and his set began in this vein with some really good tunes. Aly & Fila with Giuseppe Ottaviani – Brilliant People (Mark Sherry Remix), Mark Sherry – The Pillars Of Creation, Sunscreem – Please Save Me (James Dymond Remix), Tiësto – Lethal Industry, John O’Callaghan feat. Clare Stagg – Lies Cost Nothing and Mark Sherry meets Space Frog & Derb – Follow Me (Psyburst Mix).


But perhaps the crowd wasn’t responding as hoped, because I felt the music took a turn for the more commercial as Sherry dropped a Coldplay remix, shortly followed by Above & Beyond – Sun & Moon. Around this time, we decided that after last week’s exertions, we’d prefer to get home early rather than stay for the rest of the set and, unusually for us, we ducked out early.

 

voodoosydney
What a wonderful weekend we’ve just had! When news first appeared that Solarstone would be heading to Australia in May to play two open to close sets – one in Sydney, the other in Melbourne – we resolved to go to both. I’ve been a big fan of Solarstone’s for as long as I can remember and each time I hear him play, I seem to like his music more and more. I still have sad memories of the night in Sydney nearly five years ago when his three-hour set was cruelly cut short after just one sensational hour, when the police had to close the club due to a stabbing. I’ve seen him play in London, Sydney, Miami, the Netherlands and Ibiza and he’s never disappointed me.

IMG_3115First up was Voodoo on Friday at Sydney’s Home nightclub, a regular outing for us, but this time we got there just after the doors opened, rather than around midnight. We would have been there earlier still, if Sydney’s dreadful public transport hadn’t chosen this night to throw a spanner into our carefully timed plans. But it was still early and the dancefloor was unsurprisingly sparsely populated. I noticed that the room seems bigger when it’s packed and you have to take time squeezing past people on your way to your favourite spot.


As expected, the music started progressively and built slowly towards the unmistakeable “pure trance” sound that Solarstone is best known for. This approach, of being your own warm-up DJ, is essential to successful open-to-close sets, but not many DJs are as well suited to it as Solarstone. The music was always melodic and danceable, but restrained at first, so that we didn’t expend all our dancing energies too quickly. But as midnight approached, the tempo accelerated and the energy palpably rose.


The production values at Home for Voodoo nights have long been of the highest standard – sound, visuals, lights and lasers. This night was no exception, although I did hear some complaints that the volume was too loud. As a veteran wearer of custom-fitted ear plugs, I have to say that I didn’t notice particularly. And the quality of the music certainly deserved the highest standard of production.


The music was a wonderful journey, taking in many of Solarstone’s own productions and remixes as well as tunes matching the true spirit of pure trance and a sprinkling of classics. With six hours’ worth of notes on my phone, there’s just too many to list here, but a selection of the music we heard follows here: Solarstone feat. Clare Stagg – Requiem, Synergy – Hello Strings, BT feat. Jes – Every Other Way (Josh Gabriel Remix), Gai Barone – Mr Slade (Solarstone Pure Mix), David Bowie – Space Oddity (Solarstone Tribute Mix), The Thrillseekers – Just Because, Ferry Tayle – Lozza, Aly & Fila with Solarstone – Fireisland (Aly & Fila Uplifting Mix), Paul van Dyk – Nothing But You, Aly & Fila & Aruna – The Other Shore (Solarstone Pure Mix), Ludovico Einaudi – Two Trees (John O’Callaghan Remix), Ciaran McAuley – Maria, Solarstone – Nothing But Chemistry Here, Solarstone & Basil O’Glue – Infatuation. He finished the set with Solarstone – Seven Cities and we hurried home to get some sleep before the next day’s flight down to Melbourne.


We’ve had so many great nights at Voodoo and, for me, this was right up there with the absolute best – perhaps not surprisingly, given how much I love Solarstone and his pure trance sound. The big question now was how would Melbourne match up?

13173457_953421068106705_4730857755280881549_o
Of course, Melbourne has the advantage of a more sensible approach to night-life curfews and, as a result, the night was scheduled to last a full 8 hours, until 6am (the flyer above was created before the extra two hours were added). Getting off the plane we headed straight to a restaurant in Hawthorn to refuel before joining the line to get in as soon as possible.

The venue, Room 680, is a complete contrast to Home. Whereas Home is a multi-level space with a modern feel, dedicated to a multi-sense experience, Room 680 is best described as old school. A relatively low ceiling, a huge mass of mirror balls, seats around the edges, a podium in the centre and even a cage, combined with a beer-soaked carpet at the back where the bar is. Smoke was constantly pumped out of a machine at the front left and the production was more modest in scale than you get at Home, though still impressive. The sound was not as crystal clear, either, but there were sweet spots that we gravitated towards, as well as areas where the reverberation of the bass drowned out a lot of the midrange. The overall feel was very much more intimate and underground.

IMG_3121Early on in the set we got a chance to chat very briefly to Rich, otherwise known as Solarstone, who told us that he was going to play a very different set to the previous night. And he wasn’t wrong. Although there was a core of tracks that he played both nights, they were played at different times of the night and, consequently, it felt completely different to the night before.

Every so often you have a night out that you know you will remember for a very long time. When you just know that in years to come you will still remember how good it was and reminisce with the friends you shared it with. When you know that some friends who couldn’t make it will be devastated to hear about what they missed. Well, this was one of those nights in my book. There’s no point in trying to remember when I’ve heard a better set – if I have done, it was a very very long time ago. Despite the occasional reverb-ing bass and the fact that as the night wore on, the toll on my legs from all the dancing was beginning to tell, I just couldn’t stop dancing.


So many great tunes, tumbling over each other: Solarstone & Gai Barone – Fata Morgana, Age Of Love – The Age Of Love (Solarstone Edit), Silvermine – Flying (Solarstone Pure Mix), Solarstone & Clare Stagg – The Spell, Solarstone & Clare Stagg –  Jewel, Solarstone – Spectrum, Solarstone – Like A Waterfall, Paul van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix), Factor B –  Sacrosanct, Orkidea – Unity (Solarstone Pure Mix), Sied van Riel & Standerwick – In A Perfect World (Solarstone Pure Mix), Young Parisians – U Write The Rules, Holden & Thompson – Nothing (93 Returning Remix), Peter Steele – Mantra, Solarstone feat. Elizabeth Fields – Speak In Sympathy (Jussi Polet Remix), Solarstone – 4ever, Driftmoon – Howl At The Moon (Solarstone Retouch), London Grammar –  Wasting My Young Years (Solarstone Pure Mix), Will Atkinson –  Subconscious, Betsie Larkin with Solarstone – Breathe You In (Solarstone Pure Mix) and even Dogzilla –  Without You.


As the night wore on towards the 6am close, the crowd was thinning out a little and it was a lot less crowded at the back, but those who remained more than made up for it with their energy and enthusiasm, and Solarstone himself seemed to be really enjoying himself, jumping around and punching the air as the big tunes dropped. Of course, all great nights have to end eventually, and just after 6am, Rich signalled that he was just too tired to continue and gave us one last tune: Giuseppe Ottaviani – Crossing Lights.


We had to hurry out at this point and jump into an Uber to get us to the airport on time. There was no time to say thanks to Rich for two such amazing nights. Sydney had been really good, but Melbourne, for me, was on another level. When trance music is this good, there’s no better feeling than dancing and jumping around. By the end, my feet were sore and every muscle in my legs were telling me to sit down, but I kept on going. What an incredible night!

Through the wonders of the internet, you can relive the Melbourne set on Soundcloud and here are the links:

Part 1

Part 2

12809631_1056270554416669_1482937979094358563_nAfter a couple of weekends enjoying the music of Sydney’s local DJs, this weekend it was back to savouring the talents of some big international names. Celebrating his Open Up brand, Simon Patterson had brought John Askew with him to Australia for some back-to-back, open to close sets, starting in Sydney.

Being an open to close set, we wanted to get into the club early and so we arrived around two hours earlier than usual, and I was pleased to see that it was already pretty busy. Both Patterson and Askew are best known for later night, 140BPM trance, so it was interesting to hear them warm up the room with some dark, progressive tunes. And my jaw nearly hit the floor when I thought I heard a tune from the seventies, Donna Summer – I Feel Love, a track that’s nearly 40 years old, though it turned out only to be a tune that was sampling it or just stealing the bass line, DJ PP – Queen Of The Disco (Hazzaro & Jerome Robins Remix).

IMG_3043As well as spending time in our usual spot near the front, we decided to hang back more so that we could take in the visual spectacle and laser show. The overall production at Voodoo nights is really impressive these days and although you don’t get the feeling of being surrounded by lasers, as we did at Ruby Trance last weekend, the view from the back at Home is pretty spectacular.


As the night wore on, rather than just alternating tracks, Askew and Patterson took longer spells on their own. This didn’t seem to impact the overall coherence or journey of the set, but it did make it clear to me that I was preferring Askew’s trance to Patterson’s psy, although I was enjoying both immensely. We heard Simon Patterson – Dissolve, Simon Patterson – The One, Simon Patterson & Magnus – Evoke, Simon Patterson – Apex, John Askew – Supersonic, John Askew – Can I Be Frank?, John Askew – Shine, Underworld – To Heal (John Askew Remix), Commander Tom – Are Am Eye (John Askew Remix), Bryan Kearney & Will Atkinson – The Game Changer, Sean Tyas – Da Doo Da Dah (John Askew Remix) and, to my surprise, Dogzilla – Without You. 


Great music, a great vibe, plenty of friends, stunning lasers and a really good sound system. It was yet another reminder of how good a Friday night at Home nightclub can be. And although I have been lauding the locals of late, I have to say that when you get a couple of great DJs like these two, they definitely add something special that you don’t get without them. This was the first in a new series of open to close sets at Voodoo and I’d say they are not to be missed, especially as the next one will feature the one and only Solarstone.


12512313_961411510612551_6938725241016848547_n
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!

Version 3
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.

Unfinished-Business_Simon_V1
At the start of last year, the early curtailment of ASOT700, resulting in Bryan Kearney’s set being cut short after 20 minutes, led directly to Kearney’s return to Sydney to play a three-hour set at Voodoo in Home Nightclub. What a great night that was too – easily one of my favourites of the whole of 2015.

And in much the same way, the shutdown of the Subculture night at the Hordern Pavilion in October, just as Simon Patterson was settling into his closing set of the night, resulted in the booking of Patterson for a three-hour set as the centrepiece of the first Voodoo of the new year.

IMG_2463
I’d really enjoyed Simon Patterson’s three-hour set at the Oxford Art Factory in July 2013 and his three-and-a-half-hour set at Voodoo in February 2014, I’d not seen him much since then. So as an antidote to new year blues, I was really looking forward to this event.

Not for the first time recently, there was quite a long queue when we arrived. It seems that the ID scanning and photographing of everyone who wants to go in causes some delay and is yet another sign of the increasing pressure on nightlife in Sydney. And while you can’t blame venues and promoters for yielding to it all, the amount of trouble that I’ve witnessed at Voodoo nights is so small that it feels completely over the top to treat all clubbers in this way.


But I must give credit to the security guys for keeping the line moving swiftly and we were inside in time to catch the majority of the warm-up set from Thomas Knight. The club was very busy and it took a long time to work our way through to our normal spot, partly the difficulty of squeezing past so many people and partly stopping to chat with friends we passed on the way.

Simon Patterson‘s set had been brought forward from 1am to midnight and he wasted no time in setting the scene for a hectic three hours, with a high energy techy feel to the early tunes. I wasn’t too sure about some of the early breakdowns, which combined silence with some spoken parts, but the room was buzzing and the production – visuals, sound system, lasers and ice cannons completed the spectacular feel to the event.

IMG_2450
After a while, we decided to check out one of the other rooms – something we should maybe try more often, although the superior sound and visual experience in the main room, combined with the international DJs makes a powerful pull to stay put. We found Danny JW playing a John 00 Fleming style of trance in the TMAS room, which was definitely to my taste and, coupled with the fact that there was more air and less heat upstairs, we decided to stay through to the end of his set.

Moving back downstairs for the remainder of the night, Patterson’s set was building towards the climax, with tunes like Simon Patterson – Northern Lights, Simon Patterson – Smack, Reverse – Distant Destiny, Synsoniq – Bomb Of Sins and Simon Patterson – Dissolve. Overall, this was not my favourite Simon Patterson set, but I can’t deny that the crowd loved it and everyone was clearly having a great night.

Nick Arbor and Simon Lovell took over at 3am and wasted no time in dropping classics, with Cosmic Gate – Fire Wire and Commander Tom – Are Am Eye (John Askew Remix). But our energy levels were rapidly diminishing and the NYE exertions the night before were catching up on us, so we called it a day and left a still-packed nightclub to take our shattered selves home.


It was a good start to 2016, even if I didn’t feel it quite lived up to Patterson’s previous extended sets in Sydney, but there’s no doubt that Voodoo is continuing to push the bar in terms of all aspects of production. I’m really looking forward to seeing who they bring out this year.

12208551_998148796895512_2411729008854829096_n
The last time the sounds of psy-trance took over Voodoo, at the beginning of the year, Christopher Lawrence delivered a wonderful set to a transported group of clubbers and the only slight disappointment was that there weren’t a lot more people there to experience it. I’d been excited about seeing Liquid Soul, one of my favourite psy producers, but I guess I was a little bit concerned that not enough others would share my enthusiasm.


And although the Darling Harbour area was very busy, I put this down to the start of the party season, and I wasn’t really expecting the very long queue we found when we arrived at Home. So it was a real pleasure to find the club very busy and with a definite buzz in the air when we got inside and found Nick ArborSimon Lovell playing tunes somewhat outside their usual repertoire.


It turned out that Liquid Soul had been delayed at the airport and he eventually started his set about 40 minutes late. But it was well worth the wait as he took us on a delicious journey in his progressive psy-trance style. Dropping great tunes like Liquid Soul – I See The Spirit, Liquid Soul – Anjuna and The Overlords – God’s Eye On Goa (Liquid Soul Remix), his 90 minute set seemed to go by in no time at all.


Next up was Vini Vici, noted for their tune, The Tribe, which has featured in so many DJ’s sets this year, to the point of becoming a bit hackneyed. Anyway, their style is much less my cup of tea than Liquid Soul’s, so I wasn’t too surprised that I didn’t really take to this set and was happy to leave before the night ended.


With the usual fantastic sound and production at Home, this was a really good night of psy trance and any worries I had early on that the room was full of people who wouldn’t “get” psy-trance proved completed unfounded, so when we left just before 3am, the dance floor was still pretty busy.


Another excellent night put on by the Genesis/Voodoo team and an encouraging sign that they are willing to go outside the mainstream. Even better is that it seems that there is a good audience for music as good as this.

11049588_992369804140078_1177995762314815822_n
This was the second time this year for The Thrillseekers at Voodoo, after his set back in February, when he shared the bill with ReOrder. This time it was for an extended, four-hour journey through the last 15 years of trance – and, knowing The Thrillseekers’ credentials when it comes to playing classics, it was a tantalising prospect for Sydney’s trance devotees.

2015.11.13-23.36.35.0011.copyright*It was an early start, to fit the four hour set into Sydney’s nightlife curfew, so we arrived around 90 minutes earlier than usual, slightly concerned that there might be a long queue delaying entry. Happily the queue didn’t hold us up for too long and soon enough we were inside and catching up with friends as Tonto and Toby Matrix warmed up the already busy, if not yet absolutely packed, dance floor.

2015.11.13-23.44.56.0016.copyright*The four hours of The Thrillseekers‘ set flew past as he delivered a tour de force of sublime trance from across the last 15 years. As well as a few tunes from the recent past, he dropped classic after classic, but not always the most obvious ones and it was a superbly constructed journey through progressive, melodic, vocal and uplifting trance, with even a small helping of psy!

And it wasn’t simply a chronological sequence, but a wonderful blend, swinging back and forth over the years. A mere tracklist of the tunes I made a note of cannot really do justice to how good this set was, but I’m going to give you the list nevertheless, together with a lot of videos and hopefully together they will provide some flavour of the magic spell that was cast!

2015.11.14-00.02.51.0025.copyright*John O’Callaghan feat. Audrey Gallagher – Big Sky, Holden & Thompson – Nothing (93 Returning Mix), Cressida – 6AM (Kyau & Albert Remix), The Thrillseekers feat. Fisher – The Last Time, Andain – Beautiful Things, Tilt – The World Doesn’t Know, Andain – Summer Calling (Airwave Club Mix), Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes, The Thrillseekers – This Is All We Have, Oceanlab – Satellite (Original Above & Beyond Mix), Chicane – Autumn Tactics (The Thrillseekers Remix), Oceanlab – Breaking Ties.


Above & Beyond vs. Andy Moor – Air For Life


Super 8 & Tab feat. Julie Thompson – My Enemy


Ferry Corsten feat. Betsy Larkin – Not Coming Down


Vertical Mode – Deep Vibrations (Astrix Remix)


The Thrillseekers vs. Aly & Fila – Es Vedra


Reflekt – Need To Feel Loved (The Thrillseekers Remix)


Above & Beyond – Far From In Love


José Amnesia – The Eternal (Pulsar Remix)

Above & Beyond – Sun In Your Eyes (The Thrillseekers Remix), Skypatrol – Skyres, Plumb – Need You Now (How Many Times?) (Bryan Kearney Remix), Solarstone – Solarcoaster (Midway Remix) and William Orbit – Barber’s Adagio For Strings (Ferry Corsten Remix).

2015.11.14-01.26.06.0048.copyright*And for the “one more tune”, we heard Delirium – Silence (DJ Tiësto’s In Search Of Sunrise Remix) – a classic that never seems to tire.

2015.11.14-01.24.33.0046.copyright*With the usual fantastic production at Voodoo – great visuals and lasers and really good sound – and a wonderful vibe in the club, this was a truly memorable night and a reminder that Sydney can still put on a top night out for clubbers who like their trance. Another hour (or even two) would have been nice, but come 3 o’clock it was time to go home and start wondering if a trip to the Gold Coast or Melbourne for either of next weekend’s shows is somehow possible.

2015.11.14-02.18.03.0060.copyright*Thanks to Sylvain Whissell for the great photos – the shaky videos are all mine!