It was around 11PM when I ventured into Sound Xchange for the first time on Saturday night this event by Psychedelic Babylon. Knowing where to go was a little confusing due to its second floor location in a Chinatown building, but once you enter the first set of doors all you need to do is follow the music. This was my first event review for EDM TOR, and I will admit that I was a bit nervous, especially since I was solo. However, once I walked in and told management who I was, I was welcomed with open arms. Junior Silva, the event organizer, and the rest of the staff were incredibly accommodating, which began my night on a high note.
I began walking around the venue to get the lay of the land, so to speak. I took in the vibrant art lit up by black lights and the lasers streaming steadily through the crowd. The stage is modest, but the highlight-yellow ‘netting’ draped across the front makes it pop; my eyes were drawn to it. The next thing I noticed was a huge table in the middle of the dancefloor – more on this later. I liked that the bar and washrooms are far away from the main dancing area, so dancers aren’t interrupted by a flow of people walking in and out. At one point in the night, the toilet paper in the women’s washroom ran out and I alerted management – it was resolved, albeit with paper towels rather than toilet paper. Running out of toilet paper is a pet peeve of mine, but this was my only complaint throughout the entire night.
As I familiarized myself with the venue, I found myself involuntarily bobbing my head to Leandro Sanches’s beats. It was clear that there would be no subtle buildup to hard, psychedelic trance – this was going to be a banging night from start to finish. There wasn’t much of a crowd at this point, but the group that was there from the beginning stayed until the very end, and they were always at the front with incredible energy. Leandro looked like he was having an incredible time tearing apart the decks; whenever I looked at him, he had a smile on his face. Although I didn’t catch his set right from the beginning, he had obviously started off the event perfectly. One fan aptly cried out “that was beautiful!” when he finished his set. Leandro stayed in the crowd afterwards, clearly enjoying the other DJs’ tunes. I look forward to seeing more from this young psy protégé!
Alien Pilot was next on the docket – a favorite of the night for me. There was no reprieve from the high bpms, no breaths between track after track. There was nothing but hard-hitting, enchanting psychedelic trance from this talented Windsor-based DJ. I don’t think it was a fluke that the dance floor filled up during his set. The crowd went wild when he played Vini Vici & Tristan & Avalon’s Colors, as did I. Alien Pilot was initially only billed until 12:30, but played until 1… and I certainly wasn’t complaining. He did a great job of setting the stage for the headliner, and everyone in the crowd was in their own world vibing to his tunes. I will certainly keep my eye out for my next opportunity to see this talented DJ!
I truly enjoyed my first experience at this venue. It was an intimate setting accompanied by psychedelic art (perfect for this event), enough room to freely dance on your own, and very friendly staff. I absolutely loved sitting down on the table in the center and still being able to partake in the raving at the front. Also, kudos to the friendly stranger weaving through the crowd to give everyone suckers during Liquid Soul’s set. He gave me an entire handful! Random niceties like this are what make me love the Toronto trance scene so much.
Psychedelic Babylon is not slowing down, as their next event is already booked at Sound Xchange on December 16, 2017, featuring Timelock and supported by Alien Pilot and Magic Mushroom, among others! You can visit the official event page here to find tickets and other info – don’t miss it!
Amber Wilkinson – EDM TOR