After a six month hiatus, Trance Sessions came back this past Friday at ONE LOFT, introducing their new InTheDark series. Featuring a Pharmacy Music takeover, Pharmacy head and heavy-hitter Christopher Lawrence and Magnus took the headlining spots. Personally, I was delighted to hear that Trance Sessions was going to be bringing more Trance to us Torontonians. It’s not like we’ve had a drought, far from it in fact, but I always welcome more trance nights in my calendar! I was even more delighted to hear that a new venue was going to be used – one that I had never been to before.
My group and I arrived to the venue around 11PM. I was oddly pleased with how much of a hole-in-the-wall ONE LOFT seemed to be from the outside – this usually means to me that underground and great vibes will be experienced. We entered with no line, and took a few glow sticks to wrap around our wrists that were available at the door. I thought this was a charming touch, as glow sticks aren’t seen much anymore.
ONE LOFT has an interesting layout, being a somewhat large “hallway” type venue with a smaller dancefloor surrounding the DJ booth at the front. At first I began to worry about feeling cramped in what seemed like a tiny area, but I didn’t have an issue with space for the entirety of the night. I brought my fibre optic whip in hopes of having at least some space at the beginning to use it, but I actually used it as I pleased throughout the night. As of late, a highlight at raves for me has been whipping, and watching others try it (after asking nicely, of course). It’s quickly becoming a passion of mine, and it’s even more fantastic that such a simple object can bring so much joy to people. But I digress. Enough about me, back to the music!
As my group walked in, Brian Longmire and Nick Brzezinski (aka M45) were in the middle of their B2B set to open up the night. I’ve seen these guys spin a few times, although am less familiar with their style than other local talent, which is why seeing them was so refreshing! They were throwing down some dark progressive tunes – a perfect way to begin a Pharmacy label night, as we were in store for some heavy progressive Psy Trance for the rest of the night. Some of the more progressive tunes they played included Stan Kolev’s Mad as Hell (I can’t get enough of the dialogue in this tune) and Tim Penner’s remix of No Regrets with Darin Epsilon. They threw in some uplifting here and there as well, with Orla Feeney and Kristina Sky’s Crestfallen. When you watch them together, it’s clear why they always play as a duo – it’s obvious that they feed off one another, which translates into great vibes on the dance floor for everyone else. They also laid down tracks such as Transwave’s Land of Freedom (Liquid Soul’s remix) and Simon Patterson’s remix of Neelix’s Leave Me Alone to give us a taste for the rest of the night’s banging tunes.
Next on the docket was long-time Pharmacy Music recording artist Magnus. This was his Toronto debut, and he certainly did not disappoint. I wasn’t previously familiar with his music (other than the iconic Evoke with Simon Patterson), but as soon as he came on, I knew I was in for one helluva ride. His one and a half hour set absolutely flew by, leaving me in a whirlwind of hard, hard Psy Trance. I paused several times to relish in the relentless beats he was laying down, and he was super focused while he did it. Being a label night, he played a lot of his Pharmacy Music releases, as well as unreleased music for the crowd. He played a few tracks soon to be released on IONO MUSIC: one of his own titled Transcend, as well as an ID that he collaborated with Dimibo on. He also gave us a special treat by playing a new track that doesn’t even have a release date or label yet, called Voided Realm! How do I know all of this, you ask? Magnus was gracious enough to share these details with me after the show, which was super nice of him! I will definitely be looking out for these releases in the future, as well as keeping my eye out for the next opportunity to catch him on stage, as I feel I only got a taste of what this talented DJ can do behind the decks. Listen to another recent Psy set from him below.
Throwing down Altruism‘s Colours (James West remix), Vertical Mode’s Human Experience, and his own remix of No Comment’s Ooga, you can get a sense of how relentless his track selection was. There were no pauses or breaks, and the crowd was living for it. Of course he also played his newly released tune Ajna with Fergie & Sadrian to the delight of his true fans on the dance floor (listen below).
As if this event wasn’t enough, Trance Sessions gave us a taste of what’s in store with flyers littered around the venue announcing Factor B on May 26th! Check out the event details here, and get tickets here. Supporting serious trance bookings in Toronto!
Amber Wilkinson – EDM TOR