EVENT REVIEW: One Loft of Horrors w/ The Thrillseekers (All Night Long) @ ONE LOFT 25-10-2019

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On Friday, October 25, 2019, we saw the return of The Thrillseekers to Toronto for a very special and exclusive open-to-close engagement at ONE LOFT. We were promised so much; a never-before-heard ambient trance epic, a full preview of the new Hydra album, an exploration of all of Steve’s aliases, 7 hours, 20 years of trance music in which to lose ourselves. This is an event I had been greatly looking forward to after last year’s airy euphoric open-to-close set at former dark and moody basement venue, The Bunker (RIP). I had just spent the last two weeks in Prague and Amsterdam for ABGT, Transmission, and the Amsterdam Dance Event and even though it was so hard to return to Toronto after that, I knew I had this night to look forward to. So four days after my return, jet-lagged, sick, exhausted and miserable, I dragged myself to the bus station immediately after work to try and make it in time for the start of the event. I didn’t want to miss a single moment of the uplifting that I so desperately needed.

As the doors opened shortly before 10 pm there were already a few people waiting to get in. It was dark inside One Loft, darker than usual and it really added to the spooky vibes of the night. I was happy to see a number of people showed up in costume despite the event being nearly a full week before Halloween. It’s a bonus when Halloween is mid-week and the adults get two full weekends of spooky parties. Steve (aka The Thrillseekers) started right at 10 pm, opening with a 25-minute long ambient piece that has never been heard before outside of his studio. Rumour has it this beauty will be the final track on the album (scheduled for release prior to the end of the year). For those of you who showed up later in the evening, you missed an incredibly beautiful and moving melodic warm-up. Right from the start, I knew he would be taking us on a journey over the next 7 hours; an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. The track came in waves; an ebb and flow of dreamy melodies and harmonic ambience. Layers of atmospheric strings wafted as a gentle melody rolled across the room. It’s the kind of track you can feel welling up deep inside your heart even upon the first listen. The build is long and slow. Each note is meaningful. It’s the kind of track you can lose yourself to…

And then suddenly a beat kicked in, slow, but rhythmic and driving. The airy vocals of Zara Taylor in Narik’s track Try To Understand bridged the transition back to reality. The key shifted. Things got dark and progressive as some deep house tracks began to warm the bodies on the dancefloor. I recognized the familiar sound of Tinlicker coming through the speakers. Having had the chance to see them twice in Prague the previous week I was thrilled to get to relive a tiny fragment of those moments. He followed that up with Camelphat’s remix of Dirty VegasDays Go By (one of my favourite tracks back in the early 2000s; I’ll never forget that music video) before showing more Anjuna love with tracks by Matt Fax, Yotto, Grum, and even throwing in a bit of CAN-juna content with Dezza’s Law of Attraction.

Eventually, I felt the vibe began to shift again. Gradually the darkness evolved. The beats picked up. The air got lighter. Steve started to dive lightly into the classics. It was time to uplift. Around midnight I noticed that trademark Hydra sound. It was a track he teased on his Instagram later that weekend; a beautifully constructed track called Standing On The Edge Of Space. There was movement. There was harmony. There was bass. A perfect opening track for the new album. It had that kind of melody that goes straight to your heart. I could feel my chest tightening as I closed my eyes and raised my hands to the sky. The second track saw the rhythm pick up and the beats get a little heavier. A gorgeous piano interlude backed by an airy harmony punctuated the track and provided a welcome euphoric break before the slow build, culminating in all individual elements of the track coming together as one. The third Hydra track saw the energy dialled up further. The packed dancefloor was loving every second of it. The rhythmic backdrop pulsed as the melody swelled to a crescendo. An unexpected syncopated 4/4 beat kicked adding another layer into the mix. And layer upon layer, each track is totally cohesive. I am absolutely loving the interplay between driving beats and heavenly airy melodies.


A short classics break and we are back into the Hydra tracks. Warm tones layered over the driving beat is pure bliss. It’s difficult not to shed a tear or two as those long melodic breakdowns unfold, gradually intensifying before the beat kicks back in. Steve made his way through an hour of gorgeous Thrillseekers and Hydra tracks including Amber, Affinity 2018 and The Last Time, and even delved into his back catalogue of aliases with an Insigma track, and then Rapid-Eye track late in the evening. For the last few hours, he turned up the energy and hit us with classic after classic. There were so many singalong opportunities, with an especially epic moment during As The Rush Comes. I’m quite certain the majority of the club was singing along to that one. There is nothing like a chorus of ravers in (sort of) harmony giving love to the classics. He played classic tracks by Ferry Corsten as well as his aliases System F and Veracocha, OceanLab, Push, BT and even Armin Van Buuren. I was also happy to hear his recent collaboration, Immerse, with proper trancer and fellow uplifter, Factor B(ae).

Near the end of the night, the Trance Sessions team brought a birthday cupcake to the DJ booth (it was his birthday the previous night – Happy Birthday Steve! Thanks for sharing it with us!) as well as a birthday card signed by a number of the attendees. We were rewarded generously with more trance. As the set came to a close I was slightly feverish, a little delirious, but feeling total bliss. This was my second year in a row being blessed with the opportunity to see The Thrillseekers play open-to-close in a small intimate club in October before the snow starts, all thanks to Trance Sessions!  I can only hope the trend continues and this is a yearly endeavour. I expect to see you all there next time!

Check out the photos from the event here!

Next up: Trance Sessions presents John Askew (All Night Long) on Saturday, November 9, 2019

Partial Tracklist:

Narik feat. Zara Taylor – Try to Understand
8Kays – Rainbow
8Kays feat. Diana Miro – Inside (Jerome Isma-Ae Remix)
Miika Kuisma – Tri-Be
ARTBAT – Aquarius
Tinlicker – Soon You’ll Be Gone
Dirty Vegas – Days Go By (Camelphat Remix)
Fuenka – Ricochet
Dezza – Law of Attraction
Matt Lange feat. Kerry Leva – Every Word
Matt Fax – To The Ground
Yotto – Radiate
Solarstone – Solarcoaster (Gundamea Remix)
Stoneface & Terminal – Dreamscape (Gundamea Remix)
Grum – Stay
Humate – Love Stimulation
Aurosonic & Kate Louise Smith & Denis Karpinskiy – They Wait For Us
RNX – Atoms
BT – Skylarking
Matt Darey, Kate Louise Smith & Urban Astronauts – See The Sun (Aurosonic Remix)
Chicane – Offshore
The Thrillseekers pres. Hydra  – ID (Standing On The Edge Of Space)
Hydra – ID
Hydra – ID
Der Dritte Raum – Hale Bopp
Sasha & Emerson – Scorchio
Hydra – ID
Hydra – ID
Solarstone – Seven Cities (Pure Mix)
Armin Van Buuren – Communication
Sinead O’Connor – Troy (The Phoenix from the Flame) (Push Remix)
The Thrillseekers pres. Hydra – Affinity 2018
Insigma – Open Our Eyes (Sean Tyas Rework)
Hydra  – ID
The Thrillseekers pres. Hydra – Amber
The Thrillseekers feat. Fisher – The Last Time
Hydra – ID
Ascension – Someone (Thrillseekers Remix)
Forerunners – Lifecycle (Amir Hussain Remix)
DT8 Project – Destination (Above & Beyond Remix)
OceanLab – Clear Blue Water (Ferry Corsten Remix)
Luminary – Amsterdam (Smith & Pledger Remix)
Matti Laamanen – Flakes
Paul Oakenfold ft Carla Werner – Southern Sun (Tiesto Remix)
Vadim Zhukov – Moscow Morning
Billy Hendrix – Body Shine
Push – Strange World
Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes
Art of Trance – Madagascar (Ferry Corsten Remix)
System F – Out Of The Blue
Reflekt ft. Delline Bass – Need To Feel Loved (Thrillseekers Remix)
Ferry Corsten – Sweet Sorrow (Thrillseekers Remix)
The Thrillseekers & Factor B – Immerse
The Thrillseekers – Just Because
BT – Flaming June (Paul van Dyk Remix)
Blank & Jones ft. Bobo – Perfect Silence
DJ Misjah & DJ Tim – Access (John Askew Remix)
Rapid Eye – Circa-Forever (Aly & Fila Remix)
Sneijder – Resonate
The Noble Six – Prophecy
Ferry Corsten – Radio Crash
Veracocha – Carte Blanche
William Orbit – Barber’s Adagio For Strings (Ferry Corsten Remix)
Chakra – Home (Above & Beyond Remix)

LINKS:
Event Page

The Thrillseekers
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Trance Sessions
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Anna Middleton – EDM TOR

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