ADE '18 memories: Solarstone presents Pure Trance - a pure night to remember

It isn't easy to talk about one of the greatest nights of ADE. It isn't easy to keep yourself cool for a couple of days (weeks) and try not to write 100 articles about it. It is not. But it is easy to remember what happened and get the goosebumps again and again because of the memories of a Pure Night to remember. On October 20th, at Postillion Convention Centre Amsterdam Solarstone celebrated his birthday with a Pure Trance Night.

Being my first ADE year, I was nervous with each event I attended. Do not ask me why, because even I don't know. I am nervous when it is about Trancers.ro and its first experiences. I heard a lot about last year's events, so I was curious about 2018's ones. 

Understood that last year,there were some issues regarding the location and facilities, but this year people were happier. Heard no complaints around me and I had a nice experience. The space was pretty fancy, but the lasers, the music, and the people made it a real trance party. 

When I got to the party, Orkidea was playing. Orkidea was warming up the crowd even more, after Hal Stucker. And he was doing one hell of a job! I've always enjoyed his music and listened to some of his sets. But experiencing it live is something out of this world. He was the right man for the job. I am not soooo much into the progressive sets, but from time to time some manage to amaze me. And hit me in the feels. I experienced joy, smiles and lots of fun with my friends. I do not remember too many tracks (you know I can't remember too many tracks), cuz I focus on the feelings I experience on the dancefloor, but I remember Orkidea's remix of Coldplay - White Shadows. 

Then, the Pure Trance man took the decks and did what he knows best: amaze the crowd. Solarstone celebrated his birthday in style and threw an amazing party. I've seen Solarstone a couple of times and he always delivered. Played a couple of my favorites, but the ones that reached most of my heart are: Solarstone - Thank you and Solarstone - Love Theme from Blade Runner (Pure Mix).

The whole night was an emotional rollercoaster. And when Giuseppe Ottaviani joined Solarstone on the stage for the Pure NRG set and begun theirs set with "Age of Love" I went straight to Crazy Huma on the Dancefloor mode. I was crying, I was enjoying the goosebumps of this track, I met new people feeling the same as I did. Age of Love if one of my all time favorites, so to start a set with that one, meant only one thing: the set will be PERFECT. And it was. 

I made these gifs to capture the madness of the sets. I could not take any photos, since these guys were enjoying their work too much to stay still. Both PureNRG and Lost in Noise sets were definitely my favorites from that night. Closer to my soul in style, closer to my soul in music. 

It was a crazy night, an amazing night to end the ADE experience with. I couldn't thought of any other party to chose for this. What are your favorite memories with a Pure Trance act or party? 


New album: Solarstone presents . . - - - [Black Hole Recordings]

Great news to start May with: Solarstone releases his new album "..---". The name may appear odd to some, but this is the Morse representation of the actual number 2. This make (at least) me think there is more in store and that  ".----" was only the beginning of something very pure and great.

This second album keeps some constants from the first one: 8 tracks, artwork and of course the great melodies Rich put together. As with all musical series worth their salt, continuity and balance is key. In regard to its overarching feel, 2 interlocks seamlessly with 1. That aspect in fact goes farther still - threads from Solarstone’s wider canon are picked up, with track arcs continued and open single loops resolved.

The mark of a true artist, Rich progresses album matters in many ways, while ring-fencing the core elements of his musical culture. And yes, the ability to surprise and catch the listener unawares is still one of them. Thematic strands are drawn from numerous time periods, influences and disciplines - both musical and otherwise. Each is woven, with differing degrees of presence into the album’s fabric. Some stand totem tall. Others become apparent only over time. Each though provides micro-clues to what is undoubtedly now an album sequence.

Tonally, the release also pushes the needle into what Rich classifies as “the second half of a Solarstone club night”. The tempo receives a kick, prog-trance elements ebb, while uplift – both vocally, musically and spiritually – flows.

The album opens on the promise of ‘Midsummer Nights’. Over nigh-on eight minutes, hovering piano notes, rich pulsating bass and reflective guitars brilliantly set the album in motion. Musically, lyrically and vocally, Rich hits an introspective note on its second track, ‘Shards’. Backed by his classical instrumentation, he reaches deep within. With its love redemption theme, it constitutes a record as personal as anyone from his quarter has ventured.

‘Please’, from 2012’s ‘Pure’ album was always projected to be one of Solarstone’s multipart track arcs. ‘Brighter days ahead’ in feel, forthright in pace and spurred by tactical, yet innate key shifts, it was composed as a final tribute to Rich’s late father. Loosely based around Handel’s ‘Largo’ – a composition with which they shared a considerable mutual appreciation, ‘Thank You’ retains all the emotion and uplift of its six-year-old counterpart. Between its vulnerable lyrics and impassioned, resolute delivery, Thea Riley walks a tightrope-like balance on ‘I Want You Here’. Emotionally laying it on the line, Rich musically reflects each twist of its song through his studio work.

As the album shifts into its second phase, another Solarstone outing receives its sequel. The second coming of ‘Shield’, Rich once again delves into his string section for ‘(Pt II)’. Finding that infinite equilibrium between acoustic guitars and other string family associates, he frames them around an initially filmic intro and latterly, surging, FX-flush trance. Jonathan Mendelsohn’s history in vocal-ling tracks from the electronic music quarter is almost as extensive as that of Solarstone’s in producing them. Together on ‘This Is Where It Starts’, the two have conspired a track so instantly memorable, it’s an instant ‘one more tune’… anthem candidate.

There’s only one of the album’s number that can lay claim to its ‘most epic’ tag though and that’s ‘Motif’. Big of riff, bold of pace & bass, it builds without pause over 5 minutes to deliver a drop that’ll leave clubber gasping and floor reeling. Extraordinarily perhaps, the album’s valedictory track has been in production development for 20 years. Beginning life many a Solar cycle ago, ‘Without You’ has gone through more honing and refinements, than even he can recall. Its critical tipping point though came through Meredith Call’s song - an exceptional tour de force deliverance that – backed by Solarstone’s breaks - is achingly painful in its beauty. 

The dots are starting to get joined: one album has become two, 8 tracks, now 16 - a potential magnum opus is afoot. Released on 04/05/18, pre-order purchase . . . - - - here: blackhole.choons.at/solarstone2 or via the SolarShop here.

Tracklist

01. Midsummer Nights
02. Shards
03. Thank You
04. I Want You Here (with Thea Riley)
05. Shield (Pt. II)
06. This Is Where It Starts (with Jonathan Mendelsohn)
07. Motif
08. Without You (with Meredith Call)

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