Archives for posts with tag: Wax Format

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.


While Australia has been enjoying such a rich winter of trance (Future Sound Of Egypt 400, Menno de Jong’s extended set and Pure Trance among the events we’re upset at missing), the pickings in London have been much slimmer. In fact only two events have caught our ears and got us putting on our dancing shoes since we arrived back after our travels in the Netherlands, Ibiza and Turkey. The first of these was Wax Format presents Tidy vs. Nukleuz in London: Vinyl Only at Fire in Vauxhall and what a great night it turned out to be!

We arrived just as Signum started his set and worked our way towards the front of a packed and extremely hot dancefloor. There was more space to dance near the right, but it was much hotter there, so we ended up moving into the centre, where it was heaving, but due to the positioning of the air-conditioning, a little less like the inside of a furnace! It’s easy to see how the nightclub got its name! Signum had played a wonderful classics set at Luminosity and he played some more great classics tonight, while perhaps not reaching the brilliant level of his closing festival set.

Dropping classics like DJ Tiësto – Suburban Train, Tiësto – Just Be, Randy Katana – In Silence and Push – Universal Nation, it was a wonderful set and I would have loved him to play much longer, but the line-up was so long that he only had an hour. I often feel that an event has too many DJs and it would be better to have half as many DJs playing for twice as long. But the great trance continued with the next DJ, Mario Piu, who also dropped some old school DJ Tiësto – Flight 643.

We moved to the other room to catch Agnelli & Nelson, only to discover that they weren’t there (it later transpired that they had missed their flight, although the wisdom of their accepting bookings for a festival in Northern Ireland and a club night in London on the same date has to be questioned). Filling the gap was Sam Mitcham, the Driftwood promoter who we’d seen recently in Ibiza. Sam played a fantastic set – so good that I really wasn’t so concerned to miss A&N in the end, especially when he dropped Agnelli & Nelson – El Niño, although the highlight for me was Lost Tribe – Gamemaster.

I really liked the club, although the main room was too hot for me at times. Overall it was a really good night, with enough trance to keep me going till it was time to head home, and lots of hard trance and hard house for those who are into those genres.

The other event we attended was the Friendz and Trance Sanctuary boat party and what a lovely day this was! It’s not been the warmest London summer, by any stretch, but on this day the sun was out and it was pleasantly warm. Although this was only the third time we’ve been lucky enough to experience Trance Sanctuary, it feels like an old friend and it’s definitely somewhere where we get to meet lots of our friends and always make some new ones too.

After boarding, we soon located the Trance Sanctuary deck, where Jon Cockle was playing a great opening set. It’s easy to see why John 00 Fleming rates him so highly as he seems to have a knack for playing some great tunes at the right pace for the stage of the evening/night. Tristan C was up next with some more mainstream trance tracks that went down well with the crowd. We went upstairs to check out Messy A – a good friend of ours from before he started DJ-ing, and he had the dance floor buzzing with his tunes and his pirate outfit! But we wandered back down to catch Mark Landragin, who played a great set before the headliner took over.

Sneijder is one of my favourite DJs, but I’ve often managed to miss him due to clashes with other events or DJs. We’d missed his set at Luminosity because we were dancing to Paul van Dyk. So I was really looking forward to hearing him now and he did not disappoint. He opened with Andain – What It’s Like (Sneijder Remix) and also dropped great tunes like Aly & Fila with Ferry Tayle – Nubia, Veracocha – Carte Blanche (Sneijder Remix), Plumb – Need You Now (How Many Times) (Bryan Kearney Remix), Delerium – Silence (Future Antics Remix), Orkidea – Purity (Sneijder Remix) and John O’Callaghan – Stresstest (John Askew Remix). What a fantastic set this was, and what a great vibe it created on the lower deck!

My only concern was how hot it was and that unless we were very close to the speakers the sound was very muddy. Overall, though, it was another great Trance Sanctuary night and the Thames does provide a great backdrop to the music. I just wish I could go to these events more often!