Having not seen Mr. Durand since last year, it was an exciting moment when the new NYC date was announced. Richard Durand’s gigs, promoting his In Search of Sunrise duties, always go off well here in NY. Few complaints ( if any at all) and many happy faces greet the news each time an ISOS event is made public. This year, the event would be taking place at Pachita, the more intimate upstairs portion of Pacha NYC, premiering his ISOS 10 release. For those of us familiar with the venue, there were smiles ear to ear. Many of the trance seniors in the New York City area have been craving more intimate gigs. Pachita was the immediate answer to this, with hopes that there may be more in the works for replacing our smaller venues. Until then we bounce from venue to venue trying to reclaim intimate DJ vs. Crowd. The good news didn’t stop there. The line up was announced to include one of our home town heroes, Rory James. Rory holds a spot in every New York EDM lover’s heart and has become an important permanent fixture in our scene. He not only can bring a very decent crowd but he always brings incredible tunes. As if that weren’t enough to keep this trance lover happy, Esscala and EDMNYC didn’t stop there. The lineup included someone we’ve never even seen live on US soil, Daniel Kandi. Kandi is a true trance artist with remixes dating back to 2002 and productions featured all over Anjunabeats and other well known labels.
Everything about this night started off great; the cool fall weather now upon us had everyone in a good mood. Getting into the venue is always nice and smooth. Pachita has its own entrance, and the line is always much shorter. Once inside, we went straight upstairs to the playful room which holds approximately 300 people and has ceilings of white ribbon and VIP tables and couches lining the far right walls. The DJ booth in this room is almost at floor level and is held up about 3 feet on a pedestal in a corner allowing the fans and DJs to interact all night. The room has no lasers, and the ceiling is low as well, further bringing home the intimate feeling. A full bar in the back with some of the nicest NYC bartenders and beautiful large clean bathrooms to the left is what Pachita is made of. With their own smoking section out on a covered balcony, each Pachita patron is truly immersed in the experience and at no point in time is required to leave the security of EDM.
As mentioned earlier, the senior EDM lovers of the NYC area have been hard-pressed, and deeply craving more intimate venues and shows. Our past history includes a well-known venue, Club Love specifically, that was truly loved by all. It was a smaller basement venue, fully intimate and safe and always encased no more than 300(ish) fans, all of whom either knew each other, or soon would. Each show brought back the same EDM lovers and often their newest friends to the scene. A person could go here alone and expect to see many faces that they knew, as well as meet new friends and at least a DJ or two. Many of us reminisce about our nights with our favorite DJs, gabbing, photo shoots, and jokes all around. Once this club closed, many of us found ourselves lost and missing the intimate setting. Quite frankly, how can you not miss going to see your favorite DJ and be guaranteed a picture as well as a full fledged convo? Club Love is where the NYC trance family was truly born.
On Sat 20 Sept 2012, we all got a glimpse back into the true trance family feeling. This time, with many more new family members, not much different at all from the old days. Everyone was happy, respectful, and excited to meet anyone they didn’t know. The DJs left the stage and went directly to their fans to chit-chat, and each seemed truly interested to hear each of our opinions. From start to finish, the event was full of beautiful music, great friends, and total respect.
Rory James took the booth first and kept it super progressive, with tunes such as Tvardovsky – Path Of Light (Scotty. A Light Chord Remix) and Darin Epsilon – Lapis Lazuli feat. Tom Sela (Lank Remix). The crowd was at almost full mass from the very beginning due to their love of Mr. James. You could see that affection was mirrored right back in his smile. He kept on moving along with more tracks, smiles, and bit of techno to get us ready for the excitement to come. The fact that I missed Deepfunk – Motel At Night made me sad. It was as if Rory was calling in the crowd from the streets like a siren to a lost captain at sea; each time the beats got deeper or faster…the crowd grew two fold. He is truly a master behind the decks and knows how to play to a crowd of any size. After his set he was kind enough to thank almost every fan in the house. There is a lot to be said about being humble-especially in this scene.
Next up was someone who I believe we were all still in shock to have in our home… Daniel Kandi. Each and every fan in the club clearly felt the same way and before he could even fully take stage, the masses were pushing forward as much as possible in hopes to get a hand shake and hello. From the beginning to end, his set was pure uplifting trance greatness. Throughout his set, I was greeted by many people who expressed their excitement for this moment. Everyone was talking about how amazing the set was even before it was over! Mr. Kandi has impeccable mixing talent and the track placement was beyond perfecti
on. When our personal favorite Solarstone w/Aly & Fila- Fireisland (Aly & Fila Uplifting Mix) came on, all bets were off. From that point on, the night went from a blur to a higher state of consciousness which goes right along with the track The blizzard- Piercing the Fog. I really wish I had more tracks to name for everyone, but I was completely into the set the entire time and taken over every moment by trance bliss.
After a short break to make sure I was still breathing, along with some mingling time, I was back on the dance floor. By now, the crowd was at its peak and still comfy as can be due to the massive AC that Pachita boasts. I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: every person here was so happy! It’s been a while since I’ve seen such happiness, intermingling, and attention from DJs to the crowd. Just as I was wide-eyed and looking around the crowd, I saw him sauntering into the DJ booth as if he thought he could sneak up on us (actually, he almost did because we were all so into Daniel’s set that either our eyes were closed or our hearts were beating too hard to notice.) As soon as he was in plain view, Durand was waiving, smiling and laughing with us all. He had a childlike grin, so full of innocence and happiness that it was hard not to answer with a smile right back (I imagine his family had a hard time saying the word “no” to him as a boy…just a guess).
With a big hug to Mr. Kandi and many hand shakes and hellos, the decks were gracefully handed over to Richard Durand. Quickly, he dropped bass and melody and the only competition were the loud screams from the excited crowd. Not too long into the set, I heard him drop In and Out of Love (Richard Durand Mix) which had me screaming the vocals as though I was singing to Armin himself. Quick note: the last time I heard this song in Pachita was at its debut from Armin in 2008. I was quickly brought back to that night, and was almost lost there, but Mr. Durand safely brought me back to reality when he pulled out a song that I was not expecting, Kyau & Albert- 6am. I’m not sure which mix this was (may very well have been the original). This song is right about where I lost all recognition of time and reality.
Next up, was another unexpected tune, The Killers- Mr Brightside (Marco V Treatment), a song I adore. I was in pure elation. Jumping, singing and interacting with everyone there, there was not a soul who had a thing on their mind other than the greatness of this evening. With a proper installment of Audrey Gallagher – Big Sky (Ben Gold Festival Remix), the night was complete. Or so I thought. One more song was thrown at me that I had completely forgotten about. It was a song that I should have been prepared for, but all the tunes prior to this had put me in a state of too much excitement. The tune was Richard Durand & Pedro Del Mar ft. Roberta Harrison- Paint The Sky. My first instinct was that of many old timers: ATB! With no disrespect to the actual producers, I have no choice but to note on the voice. Roberta is best known for her earlier work with Andre, aka ATB. To many of us, her voice is like coming home (no pun intended). That smooth, mellow strength makes your knees weak and your heart pound to the bass. It took me in, and I’m still waiting to be spit out. If you have never heard it, it is something I highly recommend you go listen to.
It was hard to get everyone to leave Pachita, but as we all did you could hear the compliments and words of gratitude. I did not see one person who seemed dissatisfied with the event. After a bit of recovery, I made a point to talk to as many people as possible and get their post-gig opinions. I received feedback on everything from “the awesome atmosphere” to “holy crap I met Daniel Kandi” as well as comments like “we all miss Club Love!” We were all very glad to be thrust back into a night of pure trance family, total respect, and amazing music.
We're really excited to see Rory again for his opening set with Bjorn Akesson and Paul Webster on November 9th @ Sullivan Room!
- Samantha Scroxton and Eleazar Nun for EDMNYC
Want more? Here are some links to the guys who changed our lives that night:
Partial set lists:
Tvardovsky -Path Of Light (Scotty. A Light Chord Remix)
Epsilon -Lapis Lazuli feat. Tom Sela (Lank Remix)
Deepfunk -Motel At Night
Above& Beyond – Can’t Sleep (Daniel Kandi remix)
Markus Schulz feat. Seri -Love Rain Down
Motorcycle -As the Rush Comes
Boom Jinx & Daniel Kandi –Azzura (Rafael Frost remix) vs. Sander van Doorn –Love is Darkness
Skytech – Lights Out
Tritonal –Sometimes I Wish
Andy Moor & Ashley Wallbridge -World to Turn
Armin van Buuren – In & Out of Love (Richard Durand remix)
The Killers-Mr. Brightside (Marco V Treatment)
Ummet Ozcan vs. Tiesto, Richard Durand – The Lethal Box (Richard Durand mashup)
Emma Hewitt – Miss You Paradise (Shogun remix)
Armin van Buuren feat. Ana Criado – I’ll Listen
Kyau & Albert -6 AM
John O’Callaghan feat. Audrey Gallagher -Big Sky (Ben Gold Festival remix)
Elevation vs. Grube & Hovsepian – City of Angels
Art of Trance – Madagascar (Richard Durand remix)
Richard Durand & Pedro Del Mar Ft Roberta Harrison- Paint The Sky