Have you ever had two close friends that you thought were so different from each other, you thought they would never cross paths? You know what I’m talking about. Then you have to divide your time between the two of them, and you feel like neither have your full attention.
This has been my dilemma the past couple of years. Except these “friends” are actually Trance and Techno.
Sure, all electronic sub-genres share some similarities. In fact, Trance and Techno share a lot of similarities. The difference however, falls in the association with each scene. The beautiful, emotional association with Trance is drastically different than the dark elusive nature of Techno. Never the twain shall meet, right? Wrong.
To start, here’s a little background on Aly & Fila:
Aly & Fila are an Egyptian Trance duo from Cairo. In 2006, they started the brand name Future Sound of Egypt, which has become an incredibly successful radio show, as well as label under Armada. While the two both produce, generally, Fadi is usually the one who travels and DJs around the globe.
As if shows weren’t enticing enough, now throw the word “secret” on the flyer. Everybody loves secrets.
As someone who’s no stranger to the siren lure of Brooklyn’s afterhours, I often find myself in these “secret” warehouses. The last time I ventured to 23 Meadow st. in Williamsburg, was for Len Faki at 5:00AM. I was extremely curious to see how that would differ from Aly & Fila.
As I walked in, immediately there was a very mature, but lighthearted energy inside the venue. I say this as a contrast to the events where people may not know (or care) what’s going on musically, but just want to be out. This was clearly an event where people were passionate and knowledgeable about the genre, and were long past the shallow stage of attending shows just to be there. The crowd was genuine, and that can be such a rare find.
Once I got past coat check, I smiled at the pleasant surprise of a little deep house to get the energy flowing. It was early, and the last thing you’d want for an 8-hour set is too much energy too fast. Something I really appreciated was the length of time Fadi was playing songs for. It’s unfortunately become common practice to transition to another song after barely getting to know the first one, and we forget why we’re listening in the first place. Fadi actually gave each song it’s own spotlight and time to be appreciated.
After the first 20 minutes of warming, comfortable deep house, I heard the dark, directional sound of Yotto’s “Aviate”, and waited to see the direction this was going.
The mood gradually turned darker, and as time went on, the overall sound became more metallic and tech-y, but still leaning towards deep house.
10:36PM: I heard the familiar groove of “This Moment” from Serge Devant’s new EP. I was definitely not expecting tech-house… Fadi officially had my attention.
Roughly 20 minutes later, I heard Gemma Hayes vocals from Above and Beyond’s “Counting Down the Days”. I had to know what this remix was… I searched, so you don’t have to. Here ya go:
The clock struck midnight (a Cinderella reference is at least mildly fitting here…) I was standing at the bar and stopped mid-conversation and looked at the stage in delighted shock… Is this Drumcode? What??
These are just a few tracks he played to give you a good idea…
Nearing 1AM, there was a seamless transition into uplifting Goa Trance…. This was perfect.
3:30AM was the sparkly, emotional trance sound I crave:
As a DJ, I was always taught that when you’re mixing, you’re there to tell a story. For whatever reason the crowd is there, to escape, celebrate, etc. They want you to take them on a journey. Many DJs just mix, but Fadi took us to so many different places.
Those who were fortunate enough to attend Fadi’s 8-hour warehouse set, I’m sure, can attest to the undeniable synergy throughout the entire night. Not to mention Fadi’s flawless execution, and Esscala’s organization and production of the event. This was an absolutely incredible night; I’m so grateful I got to experience it.
If you missed his set, or want to re-live it, here’s the entire thing!
– Written by Bliss Forest for EDM NYC