The only way I could describe this night was with one word, “vibrant”. It was a beautiful night for a party. The weather was perfect, not too hot (but also not too cold) and there was a hint of mystery in the air. Progressive Monkey went to all extents to make an unforgettable day in Toronto Psytrance history – they brought the rare and legendary act Vibrasphere, supported by an incredible lineup of talented DJs. The deck was set up by the Progressive Monkey crew and various art that was purchased from the world-renowned artists Space Tribe decorated the scene.
Before entering Club 120 I had spent most of my day running around with personal business; as a result my energy levels were low and I didn’t think I could survive to the end of the night, but I didn’t give up hope. As I climbed the stairs, I could hear the thump of the psychedelic beats and feel the smile on my face grow with every step I took. I opened the door and was immediately greeted by the organizers and waves of music. My energy shot from nothing to wanting to break through the floor with stomping! I immediately recognized the sound that was playing and so I predicted that when I got to the stage, I would see a very dear friend of mine. I quickly greeted familiar faces as I approached the front of the room. With one glance at the DJ on decks, I confirmed my prediction was correct – Ina Matrix was shredding it to pieces.
Ina Matrex went full blast and didn’t let anyone stop him. He mixed track after track of pure psychedelic genius, adding in some of his own samples which spiced up his set and made things a little more interesting. He had the crowd roaring and pumped up all the way through and finished off his set on a funny note with a sample of Alan Rickman leaving himself a voicemail that was taken from the series Family Guy. Ina Matrix said goodbye to the Toronto Psyfamily as his set was closing down, and then he presented the next act, Planet B.
Planet B played an impressive set consisting of his own produced tracks, slowing down the tempo to about 120BPM. He presented his first album ever “MIDIval Tourist” which, as the album is titled, had medieval-like melodies and ethnic percussions that you would hear in African and Indian music. In addition to that, there are psychedelic swooshes and downfilters in the background to keep the psychedelic element present in the music. It was a fine set and presentation of a first album indeed. I found the production to be quite solid and stable, with a lot of technique used in the mixing. Planet B finished his set as Vibrasphere took over.
Vibrasphere performed a downtempo set with tracks that were beyond sound, and dragged you into a visual spectrum. It was very spacial and ambient with a lot of sounds that reminded me of being in a wild forest with waterfalls and bright green trees all around. The sounds could capture the least imaginative parts of your brain and help them expand into amazing stories you never thought you could imagine. After an hour of such imaginative journeys in our brains, Vibrasphere picked up the tempo and moved into his more progressive tracks. The style was very similar to the downtempo he was performing before but with a swift fast kick and rattling bass added to it. I could still take myself to the visual spectrum but stomp my feet to the beat while I did it. Instead of a peaceful wild forest, now I was picturing an adventure through space that would take me to the moon and back. I realized this night why Vibrasphere are the legends that they are, and because we can’t see them very often, it left a mark on all of our hearts.
After such a beautiful and mind-bending set, I was beyond exhausted and on my last breath. I had contemplated leaving at this point, but before I could give it a second thought, Ron Elf started his set off with the hottest Psytrance track that is out right now (and an all time favourite of mine) Free Tibet by Hilight Tribe. Yet this wasn’t the original track, it was the remixed version by Vini Vici. Everyone lost their minds and ran to the dancefloor. Everyone danced away to the hardcore bassline while chanting “Om Mani Pedmeo, Padama Sanbhava, Om Deilai lama and Llamatashide” along with the voice from the track. After getting everyone’s attention, Ron Elf transitioned into some hard progressive Psytrance that had some techno elements in it. It was perfectly balanced, unlike any progressive Psytrance I had ever heard. I could also hear some hints of morning melodies that I would normally find in goa trance. Ron Elf managed to keep me long enough to catch my second wind and make it through to the end of the night.
The honour of closing the night was given to Magic Mushroom, a very talented DJ who has made a name for himself in the past year, playing at festivals and multiple clubs around Toronto. He opened his set with the track Trylodine by Bizzarre Contact, Phanatic and Electro Sun and kept the vibe consistent with that of which Ron Elf had left off on. Magic Mushroom played for only half an hour as the time slots had been shortened due to endless encores that the crowd wanted, and Vibrasphere couldn’t resist giving out. Although it was a short set, the crowd applauded Magic Mushroom as he stepped off the stage and thanked the crowd. Prog Monkey and Club 120 thanked the guests for coming and invited all to return for the next event in March with Mad Maxx. The Toronto Psyfamily said their farewells and many hugs were being exchanged outside the club.
Upon reflection of the night, I noted that it seemed an odd occurrence when Ina Matrix ended his set and Planet B began his. The crowd had seemed to trail off into the background, and the vibe had changed. Everyone was hyped up to dance after Ina Matrix’s powerful set, but the tempo slowed down with the downtempo beats by Planet B. This made things feel very strange for a lot of people. I spoke to some of the crowd and some of Toronto Psyfamily commented that Ron Elf plays a lot of techno and could have fit better as an opening act, while Ina Matrix could have taken the set after Vibrasphere since his style os more hard-hitting (which is perfect for pre-closing or closing sets). Aside from that, the night was very entertaining and the turnout was, as it always is, a huge hit. Above all, Prog Monkey provided a successful event and friendly family atmosphere once more to our delight.
EDMTOR photographer Eduardo Carvalho snapped photographs throughout the night – see the rest of the album on our Facebook page!
I hope to see more faces for Mad Maxx in a few weeks. Until then, find me on the dancefloor.
Phillip Pereira – EDM TOR