EVENT REVIEW: Electric Star Productions (ESP) presents Tranceformers: The Next Level Trance Battle @ Club 120 – 15-07-16


Electric Star Productions (ESP) pulled out all the stops last Friday night for their latest Tranceformers event – Tranceformers: The Next Level Trance Battle. In the biggest Tranceformers event yet, six DJs composing the two Hard Trance Autobot and Psytrance Decepticon teams battled it out across the decks and the dancefloor for supremacy of the Trance genre.

Taking advantage of the multi-levelled venue, this was certainly the most colourful and spacious Tranceformers event. The laser array was in full operation and, combined with glowsticks and blacklight-sensitive facepaint and clothing, created a moving matrix of colours and lights that brightened the whole club. Unlike previous venues such as Tota and Bassline, there was also always enough open space for both dancers and flow artists to move around comfortably. Club 120 provided ample room for poi spinning, allowing more artists to join the usual glovers – and one individual wielding a fiberoptic lightwhip! – in entrancing the crowd with light shows. Check out this awesome video recap, courtesy of Tim Haynes.

DJ Tinc opened up the night with some upbeat hard trance. Although the night was starting out slow and the crowd was thin, everyone present seemed to be on the dance floor during this set, only stepping off to grab a drink and quickly return! The sound ranged from lighter wooden-percussive ambient cadences to quicker, more deep and rolling progressive rhythms. New to ESP’s lineup, this DJ is one to watch – what a great debut!

Next up, a return favourite and veteran who has been spinning for Tranceformers events since the beginning, DJ Davide Ferrara took the decks for the Psytrancing Decepticons. Beginning his set with Sway (Much Mambo) – Mellow Trax vs Shaft, I was immediately swept up in the slightly Latin feel and the catchy, bouncy melody that simply dragged me back to the dance floor. Despite the musical switch this set represented, moving from Hard Trance to Psytrance, the transition was made virtually seamless via skilled mixing and artist talent. This adept blending of sets from the very beginning cultivated a night that was beautifully immersive.

DJ Decibel Canada stepped up next with some very psychedelic hard trance. With some quick and heavy basslines and a great old school grunge feel mixed in, combined with a skilled movement about halfway through to a slower but more melodic feel, it was hard to believe that Decibel doesn’t regularly spin Trance. Treated to his first Trance set in a decade, I loved the flow and sound and hope it won’t be another decade before he returns to Trance again!

Another veteran of previous Tranceformers events, Audi Etoffe entered the booth just after 1am. Audi has built a well-deserved reputation in Toronto as a Psytrance artist. He has an innate talent for reinvigorating a crowd – and tonight was no exception. Spinning his way through some energizing upbeat Psytrance, tracks like Talamasca’s Twilight Zone and Panick’s Black Sensations pulled everyone back onto the dance floor and packed it out.

Despite his place on the Hard Trance Autobots team, DJ Fraktl’s bouncy, high-energy Trance played with – if not outright crossed – the subgenre lines, blending into some sublime full on night Psytrance. Everyone who wasn’t grabbing a drink or some air was on the dance floor, enjoying the musical journey from bright and upbeat, through techy builds and heavy vocals that created, particularly near the end of the set, an atmosphere that almost felt like an echo-filled old castle, deep and dark and full of secrets.

Without a doubt though, my favourite set of the night was also the final act. A newcomer to the Tranceformers lineup, Djenerator took Fraktl’s techy sound and ran with it, adding haunting vocals and almost a wolf howl beginning that grabbed attention and continued into some lovely driving Psytrance. I recognized Blast From the Past – Vibe Tribe & Spade, and Dapanji vs Brain Attack – Illusion, before a unique silent drop switched the tempo over to a more bouncy, almost crystalline percussive sound with an anime-like break at the halfway point. The rest was just magic, with tracks like Out of Your Love – Sesto Sento Remix, Like Bam Bam Bam – Mystical Complex, and Fynalyze Remix – Toxic Waste. I’ll definitely be looking out for a return performance!

As if the incentive of some of the most spectacular Trance music in the city wasn’t enough, ESP also dropped four Pokemon Go lures throughout the night. A brilliant bit of marketing, that recognized the fact that many ravers who had grown up on the original Pokemon games had not been able to resist picking up the new game app, the move was a great icebreaker and conversation starter for the night, with introductions and conversations flowing around the game that is uniting people on a global level. The lures, combined with the overhead screen that played old Tranceformers episodes all night, created an open, friendly vibe that was evident throughout the night.

With this latest chapter still lacking a clear winner in the musical battle between the Hard Trance Autobots and the Psytrancing Decepticons, I look forward to the next installment, with great anticipation ESP! Personally, I feel like the true “winners” of this event were all the attendees tearing it up all night on the dance floor, and anyone who caught at least one Pokemon. See you next time on the dance floor!

Happy Raving!



Electric Star Productions (ESP)
Club 120

DJ Tinc


DJ Decibel


Audi Étoffe


DJ Fraktl


DJ Davide Ferrara




Jade – EDM TOR


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