EVENT REVIEW: Sneijder (Afterdark) @ ONE LOFT 20-07-19

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On Saturday July 20th, 2019, Irish DJ/producer Sneijder brought his Afterdark concept to Toronto’s ONE LOFT to celebrate 3 years of Trance Sessions. Attendees were greeted with 4 hours of everything dark, raw and underground. Even though I’ve listened to his Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, and Melbourne Afterdark sessions, I still don’t think I was prepared for what I was about to experience.

As I rolled into Toronto on Saturday evening, dark clouds amassed above the city. Lightning cracked and split the skies above the harbour. As I headed towards ONE LOFT, rain gushed from above. The sky was dark. Ominous. Perhaps an omen? I arrived at the club around 11pm to see Trance Sessions resident DJ Brian David behind the decks. Usually around this time of night, things are just starting to warm up, but already the air was electric. Bass pumped through the speakers as the dancefloor crowd began to thicken. Around 11:30pm, M45 joined Brian behind the decks and we were treated to an incredible b2b set featuring some familiar gems as well as some stand-out tracks that I had never heard before:


As I waded through the crowd towards the bar to grab a drink, I can hear the familiar pulse of Gaia’s freshly-pressed track Europa and realized I had chosen exactly the wrong moment to leave. The crowd is thick well beyond the furthest reaches of the dance floor. The club is packed to a level I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed before at ONE LOFT. Despite its intimacy and the humidity outdoors, the club managed to maintain a cool breezy atmosphere. I found a comfortable spot underneath one of the many fans in time to hear one of Orjan Nilsen’s early tracks, Amsterdam. I’ve seen these two go back to back a number of times before but they’ve really brought their A-game tonight. I hear Audrey Gallagher’s voice ringing out through the sound system as they drop her track with Omnia, I Believe. Much to the dismay of the people around me, I’m singing along. I can’t help myself! Another vocal classic follows with Marco V’s I Feel You. It’s about 12:20am at this point and I know this incredible set is about to come to an end. They close out with Peter Steele’s Elysium; a bittersweet finale. But I know what is coming next…


Shortly after 12:30am, Sneijder appeared behind the decks to a chorus of cheering ravers. The warm welcome is punctuated by a rapid-fire drum fill as Sneijder launches headfirst into his remix of Team Argentina’s Alpha Omega. The sound levels are on point tonight – it’s loud! I can feel the bass thumping in my chest. Energy levels are building as the tempo dials up to 140 bpm. His collaboration with Bryan Kearney, Killer Instinct, slays the room. Everyone is dancing. He follows up with his tracks Jackknife and Violate before launching into an unexpected and hard-hitting Key4050 tech remix of Ruben de Ronde & PROFF feat. Deirdre McLaughlinFade Away With Me. Punching kick drums and throbbing bass take this ethereal vocal track to a whole new plane of existence; someplace dark, deep and underground. We are only a half-hour in but I can feel the heat building inside my body as my feet tear a hole in the dance floor. My focus is locked on the beats as the music takes over. I have lost all sense of time and the outside world has completely melted away. I have been “tranceported” to a realm outside of time and space. All I have is this moment.

I snap back to reality as I hear the familiar pulse of Giuseppe Ottaviani’s 8k. I have been listening to his album “Evolver” essentially on a loop since it was released earlier this month. This track marks the beginning of a gradual shift in the atmosphere. Over the course of the next few tracks, Sneijder takes us from the deepest darkest reaches of the trancefloor and uplifts. I find the effect of uplifters so much more powerful after my mind and body have been assaulted by relentless dark and heavy beats. The crowd is bathed in blue light. I close my eyes and raise my arms to the sky as Sean TyasCandida echoes through the venue. Waves of euphoria pulse through my bloodstream as I feel the key start to shift. The melody is distorted as the rhythmic tension builds. The beat drops into Sneijder’s dark, angsty track Viper as he gets ready to take the sound back to the underground. 

As we made our way into the latter half of the second hour, the sound was dark and raw. Sneijder brought us heart-stopping tech and hard trance. He even threw in a bit of psy for good measure with tracks from the likes of Simon Patterson and Astrix. The second half of the night showcased some of his label’s standout releases. I recognized some tracks from his previous Afterdark sessions in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, and Melbourne; Billy GilliesOpen Your Mind and David ForbesPhenomenon are two that come to mind. Euphoria came in waves as the throbbing bass and ultrasonic drum beats were punctuated with bursts of uplifting. Although the vibe fluctuated throughout the night the energy level remained at peak over the course of this masterfully-crafted 4-hour set. 


As I heard the first few notes of Sneijder’s much-revered remix of Ben Gold and Sivan’s Stay, I knew the night was coming to a close. Hands raised in exaltation, tears streaming down faces, a chorus of voices harmonizes a familiar melody:

“When all that you want
Is to make it through the day
When all that you want
Seems so far away
I swear it gets better
You’ll have all that you want
But you’ve gotta stay”

The crowd erupted into a sea of cheers as the lights came up. Chants of “one more song” filled the room, and Sneijder obliged. He closed the night with his collaboration with Bryan Kearney, Proper Order.

Trance Sessions events are known to the Toronto Trance Family as dishing out some of the best trance nights in the GTA, and this anniversary event was just another incredible party to add to that list. The EDM TOR team is waiting patiently for the next Trance Sessions event to drop very soon so be sure to follow their page on Facebook. Also, don’t miss our full photo album by our Manager Adele, click here!

I left One Loft sweaty and stiff but feeling like I had been a part of something incredible. The pre-dawn air was cool and refreshing, with the lingering scent of the night’s rain. I floated blissfully into Sunday morning as my journey came to an end.

Tracklist:

  1. Team Argentina – Alpha Omega (Sneijder Remix)
  2. Sneijder & James Dymond – Deadline
  3. Lustral – Everytime (Sneijder Remix)
  4. Sneijder & Bryan Kearney – Killer Instinct
  5. Sneijder – Jackknife
  6. Sneijder – Violate
  7. Ruben de Ronde ft. Deirdre McLaughlin – Fade Away With Me (Key 4050 Remix)
  8. Stephen Kirkwood – Stroller
  9. DMCK – Aigha Bas
  10. J.O.C. – Marshmallow
  11. Cybersonik – Technarchy (Sander van Doorn Remix)
  12. Simon Patterson – Thump
  13. Giuseppe Ottaviani – 8K
  14. Thomas Bronzwaer – Sundown (Sneijder Remix)
  15. Sneijder & Karen Kelly – Be With You (Craig Connelly Remix)
  16. Marcos – Cosmic String (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)
  17. Paul Denton – Formula One
  18. Sean Tyas – Candida
  19. Activa – Affirmation (Tom Colontonio Remix)
  20. Bryan Kearney – Adrenaline
  21. Sneijder – Viper
  22. Sneijder – Polarize
  23. David Forbes & Paul Denton – Blizzard
  24. Paul Denton – Revolution
  25. Will Atkinson – Harvester
  26. ROBPM – Double Slap
  27. David Forbes – Spheres
  28. Simon Patterson & Greg Downey ft. Bo Bruce – Come To Me
  29. James Dymond – Mandalore
  30. Sean Tyas & Niko Zografos – Drop Two
  31. Billy Gillies – Evolve
  32. Bryan Kearney & Will Rees – Prime Example
  33. Simon Patterson – Apex
  34. Astrix – Take A Shot (Simon Patterson Remix)
  35. Billy Gillies – Open Your Mind
  36. Billy Gillies – Disturbance
  37. Iain M – Serotonin
  38. James Dymond – Stay
  39. Sneijder – Resonate
  40. Sam Jones – Brainstorm
  41. Giuseppe Ottaviani & Marc van Linden – Until Monday (Sneijder Remix)
  42. Starparty – I’m In Love (Sneijder Remix)
  43. Sam Jones – Keep On
  44. Sneijder – Neutralize
  45. Sneijder & Nick Callaghan – Collision Course
  46. Orkidea – Purity (Sneijder Remix)
  47. Smith & Brown – We Got The Funk
  48. Sneijder – Vaporize
  49. Alex Di Stefano – Split
  50. ID – ID
  51. Sneijder & David Forbes – Flashback
  52. David Forbes – Phenomenon
  53. Sneijder & Nick Callaghan – Marching Orders
  54. Mark Sherry & Scot Project – Acid Air Raid (Sam Jones Remix)
  55. Iain Cross – Diss U (Scot Project Remix)
  56. Iain M – Odysseus
  57. Sneijder – Decimate
  58. Ben Gold & Sivan – Stay (Sneijder Remix)
  59. Sneijder & Bryan Kearney – Proper Order (Outro Edit)

LINKS:

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Trance Sessions
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Sneijder
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Brian David
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M45
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Anna Middleton – EDMTOR

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