Solarstone @ Pachita Feb 23rd, Presented by Esscala Entertainment
Review by: Elias M.
Buy: Solarstone Presents Pure Trance (Mixed By Solarstone & Orkidea) – Solarstone & Orkidea
When I first found out that Solarstone was bringing his Pure Trance concept to NYC for a 3 hour extended set, I immediately bought my ticket. Having wanted to see Solarstone was years; I knew I couldn’t pass up seeing him in NYC. If I had to walk to NYC from DC to see Solarstone, I most definitely would.
According to Solarstone, “Pure Trance is a feeling, a passion which exists outside of contemporary musical fads and fashions. It is the bringing together of millions of fans from whom this music is a way of life.” As almost a counter movement to the growing disparity in the EDM world, this new club concept (Pure Trance) is intended to provide millions of trance lovers with true, unfiltered trance. In an age when fans have begun to feel neglected by the trance scene, Solarstone is there it provide you with what you crave. Music today lacks emotion and feeling, its lack-luster sound is forgettable. Today’s trance 2.0 is more focused on the groove-driven beat rather than the uplifting, euphoric melodies of more traditional trance. Tempos have been slowed down and song is more about the drop, not the journey. But with Solarstone’s Pure Trance movement, the uplifting, almost religious feeling of trance has returned to the foreground.
In the weeks leading up to Solarstone’s debut, I wasn’t sure how to contain my excitement. Originally, the trip to NYC was a party of two. But after convincing some of my friends, we packed a car and prepared ourselves for a suicide run. For someone who has never been to Pacha, let alone Pachita, I did not know what to expect. Would the crowd be pushy? Would they be uptight? Would they even enjoy Pure Trance? To my surprise, the crowd at Pachita was my kind of trance fans. Pachita’s intimate setting proved to be perfect for Solarstone’s music. The music was loud, but not distorted. Everything that makes a good Pure Trance record could be heard clearly. Though I don’t recommend buying drinks at Pachita. Two drinks for $36 is a little steep. We arrived shortly before Solarstone took the decks. Esscala’s resident DJ Michael Gin provided the perfect blend of true progressive house and trance. His musical selection managed to get everybody in the mood for the pure storm that was coming.
By 12:45, Solarstone took the decks and immediately stepped up the tempo. I remember turning to my friend and saying, “Well here we go.” He opened up with BT’s newest track, Skylarking. From there it was strictly pure trance. One of the main reasons die-hard trance fans will never turn their back on the genre is because of the love felt between people. Walking through the crowd, people were smiling, laughing, dancing and even crying (out of happiness). Rarely do you have such a friendly crowd. Nowadays, it seems as if everybody is focused on the DJ and that they neglect the music that is actually being played. At times people raised their phones to the air trying to ID the songs he played. Luckily there were many of us who knew what was being played. Twice I typed the name of the song on people’s phones. To say I had a blast would be a huge understatement. I remember quite vividly when We Can’t Fly (Solarstone Pure Mix) came on the speakers. I belted out the lyrics and couldn’t stop moving around giving people high-fives and hugs. A tear was shed. Over the next 3 hours, Rich brought the heat. Fire Island, I Don’t Deserve You, Anywhere With You, Please, Quiero and so many more were played. At times he ducked beneath the decks to puff a cigarette because you know “Cigarettes taste good tonight.”
The constant thump of the rolling bassline tied with Rich’s iconic euphoric melodies were infectious. When Solarstone dropped Jump The Next Train (Harris C Remix), Pachita erupted. Everybody, myself included, sang along in unison. It was during this song that the mixer died. The best part though was the mixer died right as the main chorus came in. Everybody sang together thinking it was Rich’s doing. Nobody thought that the mixer died. While the mixer died, it allowed people to catch a much-needed breath. Nobody was upset, though it killed Solarstone’s mood. Sadly once the new mixer was installed, Rich only played two more songs.
Around 4, Rory James took the decks. What I liked about his set was that he didn’t change the vibe of the mix. Why change the style if it is working so well? I have to hand it to him, he kept people dancing and raging well into the early morning. While we left soon after Solarstone’s set, we did manage to snag a picture with him. He is an extremely friendly guy with an upbeat attitude. It was quite evident that he had really enjoyed his debut set at Pachita.
In the end, there is only one word to describe that night: incredible. It was by far the best set I have ever heard. There wasn’t a moment where I felt tired or bored. As a die-hard trance fan, this was exactly what I needed. In an age when people (fans and producers alike) have turned their back on the traditional trance sound of 138+ bpm, Solarstone gives us a much-needed face lift. His music, while echoing the past, manages to bring something new to the table. Rather than pushing the boundaries of production or DJing, he is returning to form with a modern taste. The once beloved rolling basslines and plucky uplifting melodies of 138+ bpm trance are returning. Solarstone’s entourage (Daniel Kandi, Orkidea, Giuseppe Ottaviani, JOOF) is trying to provide fans with a gateway to the past. They want to show fans that the trance they fell in love with is not dead. What makes Solarstone so unique is that he’s not trying to merge genres, like the current trend of trance, rather he is trying to show people what they have been missing and longing for. Trance is not about raging or dancing uncontrollably; it is about getting lost and becoming entranced by the sounds. Listening to trance is about taking a journey. Increasingly though, this style of djing is being pushed to the rear. Most people just want to hear drop after drop and this results in a boring set.
My only problem with the night was I wish more people were there to witness such inspiring music. I don’t care if you’re a dubstep fan or a die-hard electro-house fan, if you can’t find joy in Solarstone’s set, you shouldn’t be listening to dance music. Everything I wished for leading up to that night was met and exceeded. I only hope it doesn’t take him as long to return to the Big Apple.
Catch Solarstone at these upcoming events:
Pure Trance / WMC Special, March 23rd http://ustm.wantickets.com/Events/121740/Pure-Trance-WMC-Special/