By Airec Sype. and Stephanie Q.
It wasn’t too long ago that we at Phoria celebrated our one year anniversary as a premier trance provider in San Francisco. Even though the party is long over, that doesn’t mean we can’t relieve the festivities. Thanks to some carefully blended words and Afterhours.FM recording of the sets Friday night, we can give those who were not able to attend a quick glimpse of what magic occurred at Ruby Skye.
Mr. Phoria himself started the night off for Mental Asylum. It may have been minimal, but it was a proper opening for a night full of talented DJs who were not afraid to tear up the dance floor. Zografos welcomed us with rhythmic house beats that hypnotically swayed clubbers from the bar and onto the dance floor. Towards the end of his set, Zografos introduced techno elements that slowly ushered in Billy Horn.
Billy Horn, another resident Phoria DJ, picked up where the techno left off. Horn spun those electronic snare that was enticing but still courteous to the headlining DJs as he was careful to stay within a respectful BPM. The consistent groove guided people on the dance floor. It wasn’t till the end of his set that Horn decided to kick it up a notch and play some upbeat trance, setting the stage for tech-trance mastermind Mark Sherry.
When it was time for the craziness of Mental Asylum to start, the lights blacken out as a dark figure approached the decks. The intimate trance lovers immediately knew who it was through the darkness and roared. With that signal, the lights flashed on and Mark Sherry emerged with his hard electronic sound. The speakers produced a haste thumping bass, accompanied with underlying synths and snares. It wasn’t quite techno as the trance elements choreographed the beats into something that was borderline uplifting. There may have been people new to the sounds of Mark Sherry, but at that moment everyone felt his presences as he came out swinging. It could have been that techno style loop of familiar beats, thumping bass or the flashing lights but one could have easily gotten lost as Sherry’s music surrounded everyone in an enclosed musical bubble.
Along with his own production, Sherry played tracks like his remix of “Remember This”, “The Evil” and “Generate”, Familiar tracks like those got the crowd revved up as they displayed their gratitude with claps, cheers and chats of Sherrys name. Amongst the hard beats of tech-trance, Sherry wasn’t afraid to uplift it up a notch. The best part of his set was something you don’t see often from trance DJs. If you pay close attention to the beginning of his set, you can hear Sherry ‘play’ with his tracks. It wasn’t exactly scratching, but he looped some beats and played around with the flow of the music, adding to the raw electronic feel of techno. His interaction with the decks kept us on our toes as we were thrown some unexpected DJing! It’s great to see a DJ actually DJ instead of pushing play. His set was energetic and aggressive all the way into the end. It was grand.
After the robotic trance style of Mark Sherry, it was finally time for the man of the hour to make his way to the stage. Indecent Noise approached the crowd and was met with cheers. Getting straight to business, I.N. turned up the speakers to rush the crowd with the dark eerie sounds of psychedelic trance. Compared to Sherry’s frontal assault, I.N. sound flanked the now packed dance floor with bass, psychedelic synths, and soundbites from what seemed to be from sci-fi movies. Nothing says psy-trance like sci-fi stuff. You didn’t know what to believe as the complex melodies that were carefully layered upon one another with a high tempo riff turned the fantasy of Mental Asylum into a dancing reality.
Nothing was safe from I.N. sound. The fan’s were bopping and jumping fiercely as they heard remixes of “Ping Pong”, “Fire Wire”, and the classic of all classics when you just wanna rave, “Sandstorm”. Our very own Niko Zografos was onstage when the crowd went nuts to this 90s hit. Then it was Zografos turn to go nuts as I.N. played Ferry Tayle remix of our home theme “Phoria“. The tunes this man was playing was MENTAL!
An unexpected remix that I.N. played was “A Thing Called Love”. It was amazing to see the heartwarming lyrics of Above & Beyond transporting the crowd into a euphoric state before I.N. hit the nos button with a harder and darker remix of the crowd pleasr. Even dedicated fans of Anjunabeats appreciated the new rendition of a beloved classic. “I love that these guys are starting to branch out to Ajuna. And I Love it!” Camele, aka Ajunaslut, said.
Not only did I.N. pull classics out of left field, but he also blended the idea of genre. One of the best surprises from his set was when he decided to switch gears and play hardstyle. This pleased professional ravers and weekend warriors alike. It was quite the trip I would say when I think back to his set. So check it out!
As the night started to wind down on Friday night, James Dymond took the stage to a still trance hungry crowd. While still keeping the momentum of the previous two powerhouse, Dymond feed the people below him euphoric trance that was energetic and a flavor only reserved for his own style. His set was musically enriched where only one of a history like his in classical music can deliver. This was definitely the part of the night where fans can hear a style of trance that flowed up and down a familiar euphoric journey.
Hands were in the air and eyes were closed during his set. The club may have lost some attendees due to the late of the night, but everyone who was there was still feeling the music as Dymond conducted the melodies to our ears. If Dymond was a seashell, you could hear the waves of beautiful music crashing into your soul. The highlight of his set was when he played a remix of the trance classic “Castles in the Sky”, adding a few harder bassline in the melody. His set was the perfect way to end a night of hard-hitting music.
And then it was time to bring in the trance legend, Ferry Corsten, for round two with Stephanie covering.
Warming up the dance floor for us was the one and only Niko Zografos. Experienced with opening sets, Zografos nailed his job. He had the perfect opening easing into the night with his cool melodies. Even at the beginning of his set, there were already small groups of people grooving and beginning to get others sitting on the sidelines pumped. As people began to mill into Ruby Skye, I left the floor to meet trance legend Ferry Corsten and I got him to sign my Tomorrowworld flag! Back on the floor, or lack thereof, I couldn’t believe what I had gotten into! I was squeezing through people just to find my friends while everyone was going wild to Niko’s set, the change of pace raising the crowd’s energy and excitement level. Soon Niko closed out his set and it was time to experience a magical 3-hour journey through the night.
Ferry Corsten brought the fire, throwing down some old school trance goodies like “Airwaves” from Rank 1 and surprisingly even throwing in Darude’s “Sandstorm”. The crowd went absolutely nuts! I’ve never heard so many people at once going ‘dudududududu’ and tried stepping on the floor like it was a giant Dance Dance Revolution pad! If you were standing right next to me, you would have probably heard me screaming when Ferry put on his single from 2012 ‘Live Forever’ featuring Aruna. Ferry kept the feels going that night playing sing-a-longs likes his own mix of Kaskade’s ‘Sleep Alone’ and Dash Berlin’s rework ‘Sky Full of Stars’. Then in the middle of the set, Ferry announced that his next track would be the first time it would be played live, his remake of ‘Gouryella – Anahera’! It was truly a moment and night to remember. Ferry continued strong throughout the night, even going past 3am and giving John Beaver only 20 minutes to play before Ruby Skye closed for the night. Beaver continued on strong for his 20-minute set giving it his all.
So there you have it folks, we know it was a thick read but we had to cover four amazing DJs for our birthday party. It was a great night for music and feels. Make sure y’all check out our other events coming up like the Gabriel & Dresden *OPEN TO CLOSE CLASSIC* set. it will be a great one. Before you leave, check out the pictures below of the meet and greet winners of that weekend. Till next time.