EVENT REVIEW: Escape 138 – A Journey Into Trance @ Sound Academy 20-08-16

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Electric Escape gave us a reason to look forward to the tail end of summer. The Toronto Trance Family from near and far eagerly flocked to the docks for a brand new trance event – Escape 138: A Journey Into Trance. This was Electric Escape’s debut event which was hyped up for several weeks prior, and I’m happy to report it lived up to my expectations!

Escape 138: A Journey Into Trance @ Sound Academy - August 20 2016

Escape 138: A Journey Into Trance @ Sound Academy – August 20 2016.


The newly renovated Sound Academy has some fairly large shoes to fill – it is Toronto’s megaclub replacement after the closure of the legendary Guvernment a year and a half ago and they’ve already hosted some major parties since the upgrades. Several EDM TOR members, myself included, were there for Markus Schulz‘s inaugural marathon set back in June and had a preview of what changes Ink Entertainment had been making. The dancefloor space had a fresh new and promising layout but there were still many areas sectioned off due to in-progress construction.

There was hardly any lineup at all when I arrived at the venue; I expected a long and crazy line for an event of this size. Security and guest list were quick and efficient and I was inside within ten minutes. Many more changes had been completed inside the venue since my last visit – the most impressive change being the new video screens. Instead of a large singular screen behind the DJ booth which they had at the last show I attended here, there were now three massive and incredibly bright screens positioned in a semi-circular shape at the back of the stage. These large monitors were used to display artist names for the majority of the night while the lighting grid directly in front primarily waved coloured lights up and down. The official grand opening of the new complex will take place on October 1st, 2016. This still gives the lighting and visual teams more time to work with and design more of the new technology to its full potential. I’m hoping for amazing panoramic graphics that meld the screens as one instead of operating as three separate screens.

escape 138 - line up

The event itself was very unique to me because I’m used to arriving at an event and enjoying the climb up the BPM ladder as the night progresses. Escape 138 lived up to its name by having fast beats right off the bat, and kept it up for the entire event.

After a bit of a delay, the doors opened to start around 10:15PM. Toronto local DJ DEECEE warmed up the room for the early arrivals. His bright and melodic mix was a sample of what to expect for the rest of the night. It was nice to see such a good turnout early in the evening to support our local trance talent. A number of people were already shuffling while others ordered their first drinks of the night.

Next to follow was Darren Porter, the first headliner. The dancefloor was starting to fill up at this point, making it harder to find people in the crowd. This set comprised of many popular uplifting trance tracks, such as a crowd and personal favourite of mine – his remix of Gouryella‘s Anahera! He also played us Spanish ArmadaLeyanda, to the delight of many. The amount of energy in the room was unusual for that early in the evening, but it was entirely welcome. Thank-you, Darren Porter!

Darren Porter live @ Sound Academy - August 20 2016

Darren Porter live @ Sound Academy – August 20 2016.

Next up was Arctic Moon, who took the stage around 12:30AM. The best part of his set happened at the beginning when he dropped his first bassline and a simultaneous “Ohh!” erupted from the crowd. Arctic Moon’s set had more bass and psy-trance in comparison to those before him. The crowd seemed to enjoy the change of style, overall, but his sound was a little too intense for me at this point in the night, maybe because I’m used to more of a progression as opposed to diving head first into it. I got more into it as the set proceeded, especially when he played his tracks We Burn Like Stars and Data Ghost. You can check out the set from Escape 138 on Arctic Moon’s Soundcloud.

Arctic Moon live @ Sound Academy - August 20 2016

Arctic Moon live @ Sound Academy – August 20 2016.

My favourite set of the night goes to the third headliner – Ferry Tayle. His set primarily consisted of uplifting tracks that had the entire room moving. I was thrilled when he played Nubia, a song he collaborated on with Aly & Fila, which was immediately followed by one of my favourite tracks, Evoke by Simon Patterson and Magnus. There was a special moment of the night around forty-five minutes into his set when Ferry Tayle played a remix of Above & Beyond‘s Thing Called Love and cut the audio to allow the voices of the crowd to sing together as one. It was a unifying, almost peaceful moment for all in attendance before he brought the audio in and the high energy back. I began to fully appreciate the new spacious layout of the renovated venue with the powerful air conditioners during this set because he had me dancing the entire hour! Unfortunately, he had to wrap it up around 2:30AM after he dropped Napoleon, but he left me wanting more. I will definitely present at The Wizard’s next local appearance. I was very happy to find he had posted his entire Escape 138 set on his Soundcloud! For those of you that missed out or want to relive the night:

Ferry Tayle live @ Sound Academy - August 20 2016

Ferry Tayle live @ Sound Academy – August 20 2016.

The next DJ is no stranger to Toronto crowds, having played here at A State Of Trance 750 in January and Fly 2.0 in April. Toronto just can’t get enough of Standerwick! He mixed a lot of different sounds early into his set that kept the crowd on the edge. There were unexpected dubstep and trap elements that didn’t seem to fit the trance theme of the night, but eventually he moved the set back into his regular sound and the energy picked up again. For anyone that knows me, it will come as no surprise that hearing his remix of Reckless live was a highlight of my night! I adore Gareth Emery and Standerwick’s remix of the single is amazing. He closed his set around 3:30AM with another one of his fantastic remixes, John O’Callaghan‘s Find Yourself.

Standerwick live @ Sound Academy - August 20 2016

Standerwick live @ Sound Academy – August 20 2016.

Mark Sherry was the final artist of the night up on deck. His set was different as he played a heavier trance set with psy elements; a darker and more techno driven setlist of all on the roster for this event. He played a variety of tracks including his latest release, Gravitational Waves. People had started to clear out about half an hour before Sherry came on, but the remaining trance fans carried enough energy to fill the room. They didn’t want the night to end, and their chanting received several encores into the early hours of the morning before the final track of the event, Will Atkinson‘s Pat Butcher, rang out through the speakers. He even jumped onto the dancefloor with the remaining crowd!

Mark Sherry live @ Sound Academy - August 20 2016

Mark Sherry live @ Sound Academy – August 20 2016.

On behalf of EDM TOR and all of the Trance Family in attendance, I want to congratulate Electric Escape for such a successful event and thank them for putting this event together. We look forward to future events from this new team of trance promoters in Toronto inside this exciting improved venue! Check out the rest of the photos in EDMTOR’s and Electric Escape’s Facebook albums!

LINKS:
Arctic Moon
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud
Instagram
YouTube

Darren Porter

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud
Instagram
YouTube

Ferry Tayle

Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud
Instagram
Mark Sherry
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud
Instagram
YouTube
Standerwick
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud
Instagram
YouTube

Ashlyn Doughty – EDM TOR

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Ashlyn Doughty

It was love at first drop. Ashlyn became intensely drawn to rave culture after her first show, a passion which has continuously blossomed ever since. Attending Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival in 2015 was a magical, life inspiring experience. You'll always find her dancing in the middle of the crowd, connecting with the music, the lights, and the atmosphere. Dream on little dreamers.

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