Toronto psytrance lovers had reason to rejoice this past weekend as both Friday and Saturday nights brought progressive and full-on psytrance heavyweights to the city. After working late and attending just under two and a half hours of the Friday GOANTAO show featuring Bitkit and Digicult, (both from Belgium, with Dacru Records), I was on the verge of skipping Pyschedelic Babylon’s Saturday night event featuring Phaxe due to sheer exhaustion. What a mistake that would have been! I had purchased two tickets almost immediately following the announcement of the Toronto debut of this psytrance guru from Denmark, and he did not disappoint. The night (well, morning) was packed with fantastic tunes and wonderful energy from beginning to end.
Enjoy the full set from Jkovsky right now on Mixcloud.
When we arrived I was surprised to see that Toronto local DJ and partner/chief operating officer of Electric Escape, DeeCee (Derek Andrew Chen), was still behind the decks. The set times that were posted earlier suggested that he would have finished by 1AM, and Phaxe would be starting. DeeCee was nearing the end of his set, throwing down popular psytrance bangers one after another. Luckily, the bike ride over had warmed us up and we started to dance immediately to Omiki’s – Balkan, one of my current favourites and a staple in many trance and psytrance sets I’ve been listening to lately, including Armin van Buuren‘s recent ASOT 850Utrecht set.
Everyone moved up a bit closer to the DJ booth as Phaxe took over from DeeCee. Spotted in the sea of dancers was Bitkit, joining the crowd from the other side of the DJ booth tonight, grooving along to the progressive psy beats as Phaxe launched into his set. He started off playing a number of his own tracks and remixes, his signature sound being slower and more melodic than a lot of the techier and darker psy sets we’ve encountered lately. It’s really refreshing when the bassline is the backup and not the focus of the track. This is the stuff you can really dance to.
His set was fantastic from start to finish, his masterful mixing skills doing justice to his excellent track selection. An amusing high point was when he played his track with Morten Granau – Beatless. We all danced and laughed at the unexpected throwback to the Beatles classic. Another highlight was the Neelix remix of his track Angels of Destruction. I first heard this track during Neelix’s set at Dreamstate SoCal last November, and it really made an impression on me with its unique and haunting melody.
Even though the BPM was decidedly higher than it had been for the main portion of the night, it was still within the easily-danceable realm of full-on, and just starting to border on dark psy when Nocturne finished his set and handed the decks off to another Toronto local: Adrian Marshall aka The Psyntist. Wearing a custom-made short-sleeve black T with his quirky Psyntist logo on it, he started to bring the crowd back down from the frenzy Nocturne had whipped us into. The second track in his set was Cosmo and Silent Sphere – Moving (Ritmo Remix), a hypnotic track that kept the remaining ravers on their feet. Spotted on the dancefloor supporting Adrian was his girlfriend, Tori, who was wearing a matching Psyntist T-shirt. Starting his set back at 142 BPM, The Psyntist closed out the night with more deliciously bouncy full-on and some progressive. We were so happy to have an event that didn’t segue into dark psy or morning psy at dawn. At just after 6AM we were dead on our feet and ready for the chilly downhill cruise home. All in all a tremendously enjoyable night and one not to be soon forgotten!
Overall, we had an fantastic night. The music was amazing, the deco incredible, and the vibe was lovely. The next psy event we are looking forward to is Resonance 01 featuring Symbolic on May 5th, 2018 at Sound Xchange. Hope to see you there!
Omiki – Balkan
Phaxe & Neelix – Angels of Destruction
Phaxe & Morten Granau – Beatless
Cosma & Silent Sphere – Moving (Ritmo Remix)
Sonic Sense – Vishnu
Avalon & Waio – Shiva
Loud – Small Talk (Ozora Edit)
Aries vs Solaris Phase – Free Your Destiny
Cosmo and Silent Sphere – Moving (Ritmo Remix)
Shannon Cowie – EDM TOR