Solarstone Electronic Architecture 2 gig @ The Family Nightclub review.

Posted: October 22, 2011 in ChDV's life, Music

Solarstone was doing a 3 hour set at The Family Nightclub yesterday (21.10.2011). I couldn’t afford to miss this event, considering the fact that I’ve been listening to his works since I was 13-14.

Solarstone is a name of a project that started in the UK in the first half of 1990s. The group consisted of 3 producers back then: Richard Mowatt, Sam Tierney and Andy Bury. The lass two have left the project after a few years, so now the alias belongs to Mowatt himself. Solarstone has always been known as a pioneer in the UK trance music scene. He was among the first non-German trance-artists who became famous on an international level. His atmospheric downtempo sound made a huge influence on the genre during its peak in the 1997-2003 era.

Sadly, not many people know him here, in Australia. This is probably due to the downtempo nature of his production and mixes, which, unlike fast-paced upbeat electronic dance music, is incapable of getting much attention from the “general public” (those people, who aren’t particularly interested in EDM), plus, Solarastone’s peak popularity fell on the late 1990s and the early 2000s, which was before EDM has hit the mainstream in the US and Australia. Also, Solarstone’s style hasn’t change much since the early 2000s. It is still this nice, very atmospheric downtempo trance music. What esle would a trance-nerd like me need? So I went to the Family nightclub to see him performing live.

The entry cost was $15 at the door, but I came there  before 10 pm, so I got in for free. I was really worried that the place might get filled up with intoxicated 18-years-olds (sounds a little bit snobby and anti-social of me, I know, but they often spoil the atmosphere and occupy free space on the dancefloor, without knowledge and appreciation of the EDM-scene… okay, now that just sounded way too hipster-like!). The Family is a popular destination for people on Friday and Saturday nights, because of the prestige of the place (gosh.. I hate this word!). Interestingly, it didn’t happen. At 1 am, when Solarstone started his set, there were only about 50-70 people, the majority of whom were dedicated fans of his production. The rest left quickly (they probably got spooked away by the smooth beatless downtempo music that he started his set with).

During the first hour of his set, Solarstone was playing music from his Electronic Architecture 2 compilation album (his current World tour is about promoting this work, by the way). It was really nice and atmospheric. Surprisingly, it turned out to be quite danceable in the club environment. The visuals were incredible (start watching from 1:20).

Many people were dancing on the stage, right next to the DJ. There were no security or bouncers, no one was pushing. The conditions were perfect.

As the set progressed, the music started to become more and more upbeat. He was playing many classic tunes, such as “Made of Love” by Ferry Corsten, “Sun & Moon” by Above & Beyond, his own “Seven Cities”. The heat was slowly going up.

Soon, he started giving away free CDs and T-shirts with Electronic Architecture 2 logo. I got both the CD (it was a sampler of EA2) and the T-shirt.

I quickly changed the T-shirt from the one I came in to this new one and continued raving wearing the EA2 logo for the rest of the night. I used my old T-shirt to wipe the sweat off my face and neck. The fun was increasing exponentially.

One guy was sitting on his knees and literally worshiping the DJ! Many people joined him… I did too.

During the last hour of his set, Solarstone was playing epic and euphoric trance produced in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The legendary tracks, such as “Synesthesia” by The Thrillseekers, “Jump the Next Train” by Young Parisians (another alias for Solarstone) and many, many others. Everyone went ecstatic at that point.

He finished at 4 am.

I think that was one of the best clubbing experiences I’ve ever had. Like, seriously, it was amazing. Ferry Corsten’s show, to which I went earlier this year, was also great, but the club was so packed-up back then, it was hard to dance. With Solarstone and only 50 dedicated fans – it was like a cult with real raving to excellent trance music. Many trance DJs and producers have become more housey and electro-like in recent years, but Solarstone is still maintaining his production and live DJ-sets at a pure trance level. And that’s good. It gives you such an amazing experience!

So, to sum up: yesterday, I got into the club for free, got a free CD and a T-shirt, raved for 3 hours non-stop to a pure trance set delivered by very experienced hands and got a chance to interact with the trance legend himself. I left the club at 4:20 am, tired and happy. I couldn’t hide that idiotic smile on my face for the rest of the morning, until I got home and went to sleep.

It was such an Epic night!

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