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Friday 31st, August 2007
South West Four Afterparty

Luke's Review

It was our trance.nu-co-sponsored After Party that made my night. We were all exhausted by 9pm, but as soon as we walked into Brixton Academy and gawked at the size and atmosphere of the main room I felt my energy flooding back. I got out to the front of the
crowd and started dancing to Judge Jules, who, to my surprise, was actually much better than I imagined. I'd never properly experienced any of the DJs who were playing tonight, so it was all exciting, with its ups and downs. I have to say I was disappointed by PvD, I don't know if it was the club acoustics or if he just plays tech trance when he's out, but I am not the biggest fan of tech. So my DJ of the night, especially when he dropped an unknown remix of Ayla - Ayla, was Jules!

It was difficult to keep energy levels high throughout an 18-hour trance event, but Brixton Academy was amazing for chilling out when we needed to collapse thanks to the rows of seating up in the gallery. However, because so many were up in the gallery, this also meant there was extra personal space down on the dance floor. Watching PvD from up in the seating area, surrounded by amazing design around the walls - with fake verandas and balconies - made it feel like we were watching an outdoor trance show. A very nice experience. I'll definitely be going back to Brixton Academy again in the future. It was a perfect venue to end the day, my only complaint, unfortunately, being the music itself.

Moment of the day: I'm not sure if any of us here on the staff can discount how well-placed and fitting the trance.nu banner was beside the no.1 DJ in the world in front of 3,500 people at the after party. - Luke

Jon's Review

After a bit of a mission involving much travelling, queuing and a few strong words with promoters, we were in to the massive confines of Brixton Academy! This is the perfect venue for trance, the cavernous main room of this converted theatre a perfected home for the overblown, theatrical nature of trance music. Pushing open the double doors to the main room, we were greeted by the breathtaking sight of our trance.nu banner placed right in the heart of the light show, on the main stage with Judge Jules spinning in plain view of everyone. We stood there for about ten minutes, our jaws on the floor as we took it in. The next surprise was even more unexpected – Judge Jules played a good set. I mean really good!

He was followed by that man again Paul van Dyk who really pumped it up this time playing a driving, rock hard techno focused set. Some might say too hard – I say there’s no such thing! Up on the balcony we had the perfect view of the stunning laser show as PvD shook the Academy to its very foundations!

By this point I was starting to tire, but then Astrix came on. He was nothing short of a revelation – pure, driving psy/goa trance, a relentless express train of energy that suddenly gave me an injection of adrenalin! Astrix – you get a gold star for the best set of the day/night! He was followed by the brilliant Ronald van Gelderen who, despite playing a few Durand tracks, rocked it and kept the crowd captivated right till the end, including a random Oceanlab moment, which was strangely fitting. He ended the night with the perfect track and a great moment of trance theatre – the 2007 mix of Marcel Woods – Cherry Blossom. As the strings dropped away, he paused the record, the white lights came on, he held it for a few seconds, then BANG that riff blow a hole in the Academy roof! The perfect end to an awesome night of music! We stumbled out into the, shall I say, slightly wrong streets of Brixton, weary, but happy, clubbers. Roll on next year! - Jon

Kev's Snapshot

The Club: Brixton Academy's converted theatre atmosphere is as Jon said, absolutely perfect for trance. People often joke about the genre being a bit theatrical and overly dramatic at times - Will and I definitely had a laugh while sitting in the seats on the Balcony as one DJ finished; golf clap in full effect. Having a stellar sound system and well-trained light-jockeys putting on the finishing touches left us all a bit awestruck.

The DJ's:

Judge Jules: Why the hell have I not heard him play before? Have I been living under a rock? The man is pure energy - both behind the decks and with the tracks he plays. He definitely impressed me. Track of the night: Joop - The Future - I'm still a sucker for this one, even be it a touch overplayed.

Paul van Dyk: The last time I saw PvD play was in Central Park in New York City a few years ago for The Politics of Dancing 2 release - I was quite dissapointed. Let's just say that after seeing him rock Brixton Academy for what seemed like hours - it was like two entirely different DJ's. Uplifting. Driving. Hard. Relentless. I couldn't believe my ears! Reminded me a bit of how Mark Oliver sometimes plays after 4am in The Guvernment here in Toronto. I loved it!

Astrix: How on earth could you possibly follow the wake of destruction left by PvD? Ask Astrix. Beautifully tough melodic psy-trance at it's best. Not quite as techy sounding as PvD's set but he kept the energy going full tilt until it was time to pass the torch to RvG.

Ronald van Gelderen: As Astrix's set slammed to a close, Ronald took the stage. I've been interested in seeing him play for quite some time now, being a fan of his production work for years. Definitely a great set, well placed for the time of morning it was. wink There were a few tracks that didn't quite agree with me, but he definitely got away with them given how well placed they were. His grand finale was nothing short of epic, and everyone still left dancing at Brixton Academy certainly walked out into the morning sun with sore feet and a smile on their face.

Written by:
Kevin Turner

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