Blurr is a San Francisco trance DJ and a Phoria team-member
By David Lewis (aka Blurr)
Some of you have been wondering what I was going to say about last weekend. Only one word could describe it: EPIC.
Its been forever since I wanted to write a review, and thought last weekend would be fitting. Also had to download all the photos and videos from my phone took a while =)
The amount of awesomeness started on Friday, and ended on Sunday morning. I had known Thrillseekers would be in town, but didn’t know he would have the chance to hang out with us for the entire FSOE show. It was good to hang out with him both the night before, and then the night after with all of us attending. Starting off with Roger Shah and Thrillseekers at Phoria was a great idea.
I had never attended an event here at the San Jose Civic and was very pleased. Accommodations, FREE water in the smoking areas, Full Bar, Lots of space to move, mingle and walk around, and full A/C for the venue. The seats in this place were not crappy plastic, but plush foam. Way different than other venues with stadium seating. Aside from parking in a garage so my car would be safe, there was parking all around the venue.
For once, some of us who were hungry got to eat without breaking the bank. I think the price of a hot dog, drink and some nachos cost a total of like 12 bucks.
The Stage array was spectacular with a full on Triangle with Lasers, smoke, fog and HUGE LED screen. Some attendees were saying there was not enough sound, while others say there was too much. Those who were directly in the middle of the room for the night probably got to hear the best sound, I stayed out there for a few hours before slipping backstage to hang out for the rest of the evening.
Backstage was pretty dope. Got to hang out with Djs and Producers I have not seen in ages that we had booked in the past and are now superstars in their own rights. Bjorn Akkeson, John O’callaghan, Sied Van Riel, Jordan Suckley, Giuseppe Ottaviani, John O’Callaghan, Artic Moon, and of course, Aly & Fila. I also got to catch up with Trancefamily LA co-founder Jeff Su. I met Jeff in the past but like all my past adventures cant put my finger on where. Either way we got some time to chat and experience the event together =)
Hats off to Niko Zografos and Justin Duke (Mitka). It took us some time to get into the venue, but it was worth the wait. I am really glad I came early to capture you guys, and there are videos and photos I’ll upload, a lot of them here in this post.
HUGE thank you to Midnight events, Benjamin Rosenberg and FSOE. Thank you for your hospitality and for throwing such an awesome event for all of us to experience. I look forward to the next one and was pretty happy it was only 15 minutes away from my house for a change.
Aside from the Talking Voices, The MUSIC still connects us. It was really GREAT to hangout, see you, and be a part of the weekend with all of ya. Its a Blast to call all of ya my friends =) Videos will be posted soon as well, stay tuned.
See all of you for Bryan Kearny, Jorn Van Deynhoven, Photographer, me & Emerge on August 14th!
After recharging your dancing shoes, make sure to join Phoria this Friday (tonight) as we host PhoriaDark with legendary DJ Simon Patterson and John Askew. If you want to hear the darker side of trance, then these two men are not to be missed. These two UK DJs will blow your mind with their sharp techno infused sounds, bringing out the more dangerous side of trance!
Derek Pryce 10-11
Simon Patterson 11-1
John Askew 1-3
Erika K 3 – Close
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.
Phoria has one more bash for y’all trance fans before we take a break till July 10th with Gabriel & Dresden. This Friday, Coldharbour Recordings will conquer the clubbing scene in San Francisco as Phoria presents Coldharbour Night with KhoMha, Grube & Hovsepian and Mr. Pit with Niko Zografos opening and closing the event.
For those of you who don’t know, Coldharbour Recordings is a record label ran by “yours truly” Markus Schulz. My feelings of admiration for Schulz aside, Coldharbour is one of those truly underrated trance labels as it houses DJs that have the abilities to explore different genres of trance that isn’t limited big room and uplifting.
So let me introduce you to some of them.
Mr. Pit was one of the first DJs I had the pleasure of experiencing when I first entered the dance scene in SF. His hit track “Shana” echoed everywhere during my early dance days in 2008. But this Romanian producer has been “discovering music production since 1996,” according to his bio. He even released tracks under his real name, Adrian, before he became known as Mr. Pit. His path as a DJ didn’t stop there. Coming off his hot Coldharbour hit, “Exposure”, Mr. Pit has recently been taking down nightclubs with a progressive trance storm. In his recent sets, you can hear the Coldharbour influences that drives his sets as his sound weaves in-and-out of the limitations of trance and progressive. This man will be sure to keep your head bobbing Friday night as you dance away.
Tim Grube and Mike Hovsepian are the two heads of the dragon Grube & Hovsepian. The two Miami based DJs found each other from across the nation during their solo-careers in 2008 to become a force to be reckoned with in the trance scene. Two heads are better than one right? It wasn’t long until the two found their sound as they teamed up with Elevation to produce the hit “City of Angels”. That track showed the two’s ability to produce a tune that is not only epic but simultaneously deep. Their producing skills didn’t stop there. The two were able to remix pop hits like “Lights” and “One More Minute” that kept the originality of the songs but were also appeasing to trance fans across the world. It wasn’t long after that this double headed dragon started to drop fiery tracks like “Venom” and “Trickster”, which have been supported by Mr. Coldharbour himself in numerous shows. Schulz even praised the two as he said that “they have become the most exciting duo to come along in the last 3 years.” Well, you heard it from the man in charge, check them out!
If there is one thing to be said about Colombia, it’s that they know how to make you move and groove as you dance like no one is watching. And KohMha does not fall short from that expectation. This man may be 23 years old, but he is already a star as he is supported by legends like Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten and of course Markus Schulz. Schulz even hand-picked him as Coldharbour’s first artist of the year in 2011. It’s hard to describe and pigeonhole his style into a genre. His tracks such as “Hydra” and “Cyclone” are raw and energetic that makes you just wanna jump up and down in an endless PARTY!
KhoMha really flexes his production muscles with his mash-ups. For example, a perfectly combined mash-up of his was with his hit “Asylum” and “Mr. Brightside”. When he wants you to dance, he will spin his style of progressive-tech-trance. But when he wants you to feel the beats and enjoy the moment, he will play techno influenced tracks like “Elektrikute”. You cannot predict what he will play this Friday, you just have to open up your mind and embrace the “KhoMha style” of music as it takes you for a thrilling ride. No wonder his victims of the dance floor have said that they feel “KhoMhatized” after experiencing his exhibition of music. Ruby Skye will be his world in two days as you play his musically charged game. So get ready for this one because just like his country, it’s gonna be HOT!!!
Friday is going to be an EPIC night folks, so be sure to join us. Being that this is my favorite trance record label, I already know that I’m gonna have a hoot! I’m excited and I know from KhoMha’s recent post that he is too!
This Friday, Phoria will be hosting 3 Coldharbour DJs for a special Coldharbour Night. KhoMha, Grube & Hovsepian and Mr. Pit will be taking the decks at Ruby Skye for a night of power driven trance that will be sure to take you on a musical journey into a deeper side of trance while also energizing you on the dance floor. Our Niko Zografos will be also joining the party as he will open and close out the night!
This is your last chance to enter to win a meet & greet with KhoMha, Grube & Hovsepian and Mr. Pit two days from now, Friday, June 12th, at Ruby Skye before the show! Click on Schulz Army link to enter for a chance to meet these three trance powerhouse handpicked by Mr. Coldharbour (Markus Schulz) himself. It’s pretty simple and VERY easy to do!