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‘Amsterdam likes it Pure’ or Pure Trance ADE 2017

Written by Katrina Merca on . Posted in Events, Home, Live

 

Last week Amsterdam hosted many music festivals, but the ‘purest’ one of the Trance related events was probably “Quest4Trance & Solarstone presents Pure Trance ADE 2017“, and not only because of the name, but also because of the music! In a few words: It was the most perfect event to finish ADE with, and even better intro to new Pure Trance Vol.6 compilation.

Intro: Why? Where? How?

When something goes wrong with visuals

Even if there were some other events on that day (AMF, Purple Haze album release party etc.), I never considered going to them, because I’ve heard enough about Pure Trance events during ADE and that really made me want to go there. The line-up was also amazing, and even if I heard most of the artists before, I still wanted to hear them again; especially Solarstone’s set, as his selection of tracks always inspires me. It was not the first time that a Pure Trance event was taking place, since the first one during ADE week happened back in 2012, but this was probably the biggest one, and still with a good and ‘pure’ atmosphere.

Location: KBF Complex, half-way from Amsterdam Centraal to Amsterdam Arena, where you could get by metro (11 min) and few min by walk. It was much bigger than expected (compared to last year’s location), with a perfect size – enough space for everyone, not too crowded, also enough place to chill if tired. At the same time, it was the first dance event at the KBF Complex, which led to some failures with sound and visuals during the festival, but it totally didn’t spoil the mood and even made some funny moments to remember. Many screens were just one part of the visuals, but there were also awesome lasers -even if just few- and flashing lights -which could make you blind too…-, and overall this made a good combination (and helped making good videos xD). Another plus for a good sound.

 

The beginning of the night

Shortly after 20:00, doors were open and people started to come in, with security checking bags carefully. Few minutes went by – and I was inside, waiting for friend and then going to get a locker. First surprise: merchandise. You may think what so special about it? Nothing, just Solarstone as a seller, and soon Robert Nickson and Factor B joined him. Why? Probably because of the new Pure Trance Vol.6, which could be exclusively bought during that night, one week before official release of the compilation, which includes 3 CDs, mixed by the guys who were selling and signing them, also shirts and others stuff. It was… cute?

Can you recognize the legend?

Also it was easy for all incomers to meet and greet them, take pictures and talk, but, of course, it couldn’t last forever, so when it was too full, artists had also some other things to do, especially getting ready for their sets. I also used this chance to take picture with all of them together, for good memories (and I’m not the person who takes a lot of pictures). If you were looking around, you could see also Giuseppe Ottaviani walking around, Misja Helsloot, Basil O’Glue, Neptune Project (who weren’t playing) passing by and so on. Not so small, but quite intimate event – loved it!

Luckily I skipped the part about tokens. Amsterdam is expensive already, and during ADE events the situation gets even worse. 2 tokens (5.80 Euros) for toilets? Good reason not to stay in line, not to drink and save money, which is impossible for many people, when event lasts for 10 h, but for me it was unexpectedly fine. But it’s not so important, because it’s not the fault of Quest4Trance and Pure Trance, but of location which we had to respect.

 

‘Pure’ journey: from progressive and deep to uplifting and psy

Robert Nickson Photo credit: @sharpozz

It all started with Gai Barone and his 2-hour warm-up set, when people were just slowly coming in, exploring and chilling. Slow beats of simple, progressive, deep and melodical sounds, which could bring you to a ‘dreamy’ state, when you think about someone you want to meet or something you want to do. Of course dance floor wasn’t full yet, as it was only the beginning, but still it was much better than I expected, as so many decided to come from the start, which is awesome! Another plus – Gai Barone had enough time to play to get people together.

The atmosphere changed quickly when Robert Nickson started his set. It took a while to get everything ready, as it was not just a regular, but Live set, which meant that he will play not just on CDJs, but also on something else (in this case – keyboard and guitar). I met him a few minutes before he started, and of course I could see that he was getting nervous, which, of course, is normal. But he did great, even with the guitar (at least I couldn’t hear some big mistakes), and even if he had to concentrate a lot, he was also enjoying that. Isn’t that awesome? “Heliopause“, “Airwave” as classic and many other old and new tracks mixed together into not just a set, but a journey.

The host by the decks!
Photo credit: Frederik Giot

Even if I thought that Robert’s set was amazing, next one was my highlight of the night – as expected, I loved Solarstone’s performance the most. Beginning with beautiful vocal tracks (his remix on “Find The Sun” by Raz Nitzan and Moya Brennan), playing some other new and old amazing pieces with unforgettable melodies and breaks… Really, for me his musical taste is the best when it comes to playing live. Maybe they are not the ones you can dance crazy to, but you can enjoy them not just with your ears, but also with your soul. His remix on “Anywhere With You” by The Thrillseekers, “Choosing His Angels” and other tracks, who could make your heart stop for a second. It was all beautiful… and pure.

But time was running, and this ‘pure’ sound needed a change, and this is what next DJ did. Giuseppe Ottaviani gave a more uplifting note to the music, starting with his latest release “Lumina“, then keeping the same style with “Home” and some other of his (and not only his, of course) tracks. Since it was also a Live 2.0 show, from time to time he was playing the melodies on a keyboard, adding some magical feeling to the music. Maybe it’s not perfectly synchronized with the track sometimes, but still – it’s live. Also, at some point you could hear the new remix by Pure NRG on “Sunny Days” by Armin van Buuren, and if the original is a little ‘popsy’ (pop sounding) track, this version made it more ‘trancey’ and people totally loved it (including myself)!

Next was John O’Callaghan, who brought even more uplifting and banging sound to the night. Last time I had heard him was during Transmission Festival in 2016, and this year I enjoyed the set again. Same dreamy sound, with the best choice of vocal tracks to play (as “Stay With Me” and his remix on “How Can I” by Craig Connelly). And, of course, as expected, he finished his set with “Two Trees” – track, based on a melody by Ludovico Einaudi and which took a lot of time to be finally released in May of this year. Even if people knew this track for over 1.5 years, everyone still loves it because of the goosebumps it gives.

View from behind

Of course festival was not over yet, and next was Bryan Kearney to “destroy” the rest of the crowd. Even if some had already started to leave, still many stayed till the end. Bryan loves to play a lot of banging stuff, even psy, but time to time you can hear some tracks with stunning breaks and vocals (and it is always the best part for me from his sets). Remix on “Statues” by Bryn Liedl, remix on “Out There” by Masters & Nickson, and, of course, “All Over Again” with Plumb – track, which has a huge chance of becoming The Tune Of The Year. I even waited for it to stream live on Facebook, because I knew I will hear and love it even more! But also this set had to come to an end, but there were 30 min left for some… surprise?

As I had a chance to be behind the stage at that moment, I knew that surprise act was no one else than Factor B – the one who was selling merchandise in the beginning and who mixed one of the Pure Trance Vol.6 CDs. He was having fun even before he began to play, joking around with Robert Nickson and trying to hide from the crowd, with the purpose of not spoiling the surprise moment when he took his place from Bryan on the decks.

Well, the dance floor was not so full anymore, but the ones who stayed enjoyed the last minute for sure! I’m certain that not everyone was able to recognize the artist playing, but it didn’t bother them. After Bryan’s banging sound he went back to typical Pure Trance sound, to end the night with the right atmosphere.

Factor B started with his intro mix of “Proteus” by Neptune Project, who was also there, quickly recognized the track and started to record it. I am bad at remembering names of tracks, but this was the time when I wanted to Shazam each of them, although I knew that most of them wouldn’t be recognized. Of course this set had to finish at 6 am, so I was waiting for the last track, but… it wasn’t so simple, because at that time he just put a new track, remixed version of “On A Good Day” by OceanLab. Well, fine, we can make the event few minutes longer, and this is probably a good choice for a final track. But was it really final? Nope! Factor B just decided to start another one, saying to the people behind the stage “F*ck, I’m gonna keep playing!“. But of course it couldn’t last for too long and soon someone shut the sound down. As I heard later, DJ just didn’t want to stop, and of course 30 min is not enough to play, but enough to tease the artist. It was a nice memory anyway, for everyone, who was there, and the end of the festival.

That ‘pure’ feeling in your heart

Yes, this is what I had during that night. Everything also seemed to be possible. If I wanted to hear good music – I needed to go to the dance floor. If I wanted to meet friends – I could easily find them. If I wanted to talk to artists – also quite easy, compared to other events. And there were many things I really loved.

First of all – just one stage. It’s so good to be able to stay at one place, with no need to run around with a purpose to hear as many artists as possible, not wasting time on that. This fact really made me enjoy the night more and more.

Second – longer sets. Not the usual one hour, but 1.5 and even 2 hours for the warm-up. I know how difficult it is for artists to pick and choose what to play, and one hour is usually not enough for everything, but with longer time it is possible to build not just a set, but a story.

Third – the atmosphere. It was the best one from the events I’ve been to during ADE. Relaxed, chilly and peaceful. Maybe it was because of the music, which was all about melodies, not just beats and ‘bang bang’?

If you weren’t there, some sets are already available on SoundCloud, but I would suggest every Trance music lover to listen to the new Pure Trance compilation, which includes 3 CDs with 45 beautiful tracks, because many of them have been played during this event. Every disc has a slightly different sound, so you can easily choose which one you like the most. In my opinion, all of them have a soul, and this is one of the most important parts about the music.

Huge thanks to Solarstone and Quest4Trance for organizing this event, and let’s hope that it will grow into something even bigger in time!

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Katrina Merca

Trance Lover from Latvia
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