Ozmozis Productions and Toika Lounge were back at it again for another successful edition of Foundation Fridays, with Trance DJ/Producer’s Sied van Riel and Arnej spinning an extended four hour back to back set. Anyone who was in attendance was in for a treat because it’s not very often that we get a chance to hear a set like this, even though it’s a great way to keep things fresh and innovative, especially when two very talented producers come together. Not only do we get to see our favourite DJs get creative and spin together, we also get to enjoy the best of both worlds at the same time.
Excited to see everyone, we arrived at Toika around midnight and were welcomed by the sounds of Shelley Johannson – a possible new Resident DJ for Ozmozis events. Making her debut at Toika Lounge, Shelley delivered an awesome opening set and made her first impression to everyone a solid one. By the time we got there the cozy lounge was already fairly busy, and growing by the minute with a crowd that was buzzing with excitement for Sied and Arnej’s extended b2b set. The Toronto Trance Family was in full attendance and making their presence known inside; everyone was interacting and seemed to know each other which gave the atmosphere a very friendly and welcoming vibe.
Hearing one of your favourite DJs live is always something special, but it becomes much more personal when it is someone local that everyone also knows and loves. Arnej is no stranger to Toika and the Toronto native DJ has grown a reputable name for himself as one of the best Producer/DJs in Trance and often showcases his talents there when he’s not travelling around the globe for other events. Pairing up with well-known veteran Dutch Producer Sied van Riel, everyone was in for a treat as these two put their heads together to give us a night we wouldn’t get over for a while. Observing the friendship and chemistry between Arnej and Sied before they even started the show, I knew we were in for a set that would be full of high energy and enthusiasm; something that should be essential if you’re going to combine your sets to go back to back for an extended show.
When Sied and Arnej came on around 12:30am they wasted no time getting right into the good stuff playing Mark Sixma’s new track Requiem, followed by a solid mashup of Invasion vs. The Code by W&W vs. Ummet Ozcan and W&W. Continuing with the hard hitting beats, not even twenty minutes in we were all dancing so hard that the heat was coming on ten-fold. As no stranger to Toika anymore, I knew regardless of who was there we were in for a hot and sweaty night; you pretty much learn to embrace it because it’s inevitable with the size of the venue and amount of people dancing nonstop. Not slowing down by any means, Arnej and Sied continued to go back to back feeding off of each other’s energy and throwing out some major bangers like Orjan Nilsen’s newest track No Saint Out Of Me, Mammoth by Dimitri Vegas, Moguai & Like Mike, and a huge favourite right now among many DJ’s and fans, Fisherman & Hawkins Apache. Half way through the set while keeping the beats fast and uplifting Sied and Arnej took turns playing a lot of amazing tracks that were slightly older but still sounded so fresh live. They graced us with tracks like: Tunnel Vision by Sied van Riel, Armin van Buuren’s 2009 hit Fine Without You, Tiesto’s Falling, and one that hit home for myself As The Rush Comes (Gabriel & Dresden Sweeping Strings mix) by Motorcycle. When Arnej dropped that track, it sent shivers right down to the very bone as every single person joined in to sing along to the beautiful lyrics of the song – a truly memorable moment showing the unity and love of Toronto’s Trance Family.
By 3:00am Sied and Arnej started throwing out the really dark and dirty beats, tying in a lot of Coldharbour Recordings sounds with tracks from Producer KhoMha and his remix of The Expedition an Armin van Buuren & Markus Schulz original, in addition to Fire Wire vs Dark Knight (Arnej mashup) by Cosmic Gate vs KhoMha. I had noticed by this point that the dance floor that was once packed, had begun to slowly empty out and the troopers remained to hear the set right to the very end. Playing a few more back to back, the last we had heard from Sied van Riel for the night was an epic W&W track called AK47 (Chris Schweizer Bootleg mix). The last half hour of the set ended up running the show slightly over four hours, and was led by Arnej finishing everyone off and burning whatever remainder of energy we had with a few Psy Trance tracks like Leave Me Alone by Neelix, and Smack by Simon Patterson. Arnej ended our night off with Jochen Miller’s track ironically named Brace Yourself – something I feel they almost should have played in the beginning as a warning to us all about how crazy the night would be.
Leaving the venue to go home at 4:30am I was very content with what I had witnessed and gained even more love and respect for Arnej and Sied van Riel, not only for how well they played, but the fact that they pulled it off so perfectly together. Gathering from people who were leaving at the same time as well, the overall impression was very positive and everyone was happy with the way this night turned out to be. A very special thank you to Oz from Ozmosis Productions and everyone at Toika Lounge for making this unique b2b set an overall amazing experience, I’m already looking forward to the next event!
Monika Sobota – EDM TOR