EVENT REVIEW: Electric Escape presents U4RIA AVA Recordings 10th Anniversary @ Nest 25-02-17


Following the successful debut of Electric Escape‘s U4RIA series, we here at EDM TOR had high expectations for the follow-up show, and I daresay we were not disappointed! The second event in the series celebrated the ten year anniversary of Andy Moor‘s label AVA Recordings, and featured several DJs and artists from said label. Once again, I arrived too late to catch much of the opening set, but by all accounts DeeCee, as usual, played a solid warm up set, which included a trance favourite from Cosmic Gate, Be Your Sound. Deecee superbly primed the growing crowd for the following acts.

First up to bat from team AVA was Ottawa’s own resident trance hero Sheridan Grout. In my opinion, Sheridan’s set was reminiscent of a Gareth Emery set, featuring a distinct blend of electro-leaning sounds and trance sounds. I recall hearing one of my favourite tracks in recent memory: Gareth’s Far From Home.


In the latter half of Grout’s set there was a technical hiccup which caused the sound to drop out for a minute, during which time the sounds of the bass kick came from the club below, and the crowd enthusiastically chanting. The issue was quickly corrected and Sheridan proceeded unfazed. There were a good number of Ottawa trance fans there front and center for Sheridan’s set, holding up a flag and yelling his name. One of those was Caitlin, one of the admins for the FSOE 500 Toronto campaign page on Facebook. She had won a pair of tickets from our team on social media on Valentine’s Day and was happy to be able to come out to support a local from her home area.


Sheridan closed his set with his as-yet-unreleased single The Last Word which is slated to debut on AVA Recordings on March 13th, 2017. Make sure to grab your copy of it!

Somna was next in line to regale us with beautiful trance music, and he did it with gusto and aplomb. This set was noticeably harder than the preceding one – always a move in the right direction as far as my tastes go. This isn’t to say that Somna necessarily had a better set, but rather that a large number of Toronto trance fans subjectively prefer their music on the harder end of the spectrum. I’d like to say how pleased I was with the overall progression of the night. The time slots were perfect for a natural rise in energy from the music as well as the crowd present.


At one point in Somna’s set he played his own masterful mashup of Temple One‘s Love the Fear featuring the vocals of Neev Kennedy, Porter Robinson‘s Fellow Feeling, and Cosmic Gate’s Yai (Here We Go Again). This mashup, as I understand, is something of an ace in the hole that really gets a crowd’s enthusiasm up.

Michele C made her appearance just after 1AM and bridged the gap beautifully between Somna  and Andy Moor. Her sonorous, crystal-clear voice lent itself well to the evening’s proceedings.


Michele’s performance, though brief, was powerful and resonant. To the delight of the Toronto trance family, she sang a handful of songs, one of them being her own collaboration with Andy Moor titled We Can Be Free.

After Michele C’s vocal interlude, Andy Moor took over the decks and delivered a magnificent set from start to finish. Featuring classics and recent releases alike, this performance quickly showcased why Moor is a legend in his own time.



A couple of surprising and delightful track selections were Cosmic Gate’s classic Exploration of Space and Gareth Emery’s most recent release Saving Light.  An additional high point for a number of revelers were the bouncy tones of Faces, Andy’s classic collaboration with Ashley Wallbridge featuring the vocals of Meighan Nealon.

Alex M.O.R.P.H. easily had the most aggressive and high energy set of the night. He treated us to liberal doses of the hard and psy varieties of trance. As the only non-AVA artist on the bill, M.O.R.P.H. went out of his way to earn the title of “Special Guest”.


He played quite a few of his own tunes including An Angel’s Love and Not All Superheroes Wear Capes and, quite frankly, surprised everybody present by dropping Solarstone‘s Seven Cities. I was unable to stay the entire night and missed the last few songs in Alex’s set but I heard that he closed it just as excellently as he began.

All said, I’d call the second U4RIA show an unmitigated success. The artist selection, the arrangement of the time slots, and overall flow of the night all came together to result in a delightful evening of dancing and good vibes for all present. So here’s to ten years of AVA Recordings and hopefully many more!

For more photos from the event check out our EDM TOR official album shot by our Manager here.


Electric Escape
U4RIA Event Page
Ava Recordings soundcloud
Black Hole Recordings

Andy Moor

Alex M.O.R.P.H

Sheridan Grout

Michele C.


Scott Copeland – EDM TOR


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