Compilation to listen: Afterdark 002 Los Angeles [mixed by Snejder]

I haven't wrote a word in a while, and also haven't had the chance to be on board with everything that happened in the Trance community. But when I went to Beatport and see what else was released, I came across a very good compilation from Snejder: Afterdak 002 Los Angeles. This compilation seen the light of day on May 24 and seen that is received some very nice feedback till now. I also received my copy a couple of days ago, so the happiness of enjoying this is even bigger.

2 CDs and 16 tracks. A fine selection that starts with Snejder's Back Home. I think we can all agree this is a huge track and amazing on the dancefloor. Collectively Cold Blue's synth-storming "Another Life", "Redemption" from Alessandra Roncone, newcomer Billie Gillies, master Giuseppe Ottaviani and the one and only Craig Connelly make this compilation one TO LISTEN.

Album-exclusive ‘Here Once Again’ sees the mix go up a gear, opening it up into its tougher second act. Stoneface & Terminal’s ‘Mind Games’, Mandy Reid’s ‘Infiltration’, ‘Taipan’ from Renegade System and others orchestrate the floor action before Sneijder’s harmonic, anthemic revision of Ben Gold & Sivan’s ‘Stay’ kisses it off.

One of my favorites from disc 1 is, of course, Starpicker - Elated. This man is on the run and his track is definitely one of this year's best trance tracks. I don't know how he came up with the melody, but is hypnotic. It gives me the "dance party" vibe, no matter where I am: in the bus, in the car, at the office, at home. Dance party all day long, having this track on repeat.

From disc 2’s outset, Sneijder drops straight back into a tougher groove. Alex Di Stefano dives ‘Into The Flames’, Shugz explores ‘The Darkside’ and David Forbes produces a ‘Phenomenon’ - each raising its pressure by degrees. Into that slipstream comes another swathe of Sneijder’s own, with his recent rewire of Nick Callaghan’s ‘Kill Jester’ and his team-ups with David Forbes (on ‘Flashback’) & Nick Callaghan (‘Marching Orders’) bringing techier tones. The second mix reaches its dizzying zenith with some weapons-grade gear from O’Callaghan & Kearney’s Key4050 project. ‘Egon’ and ‘Utterly Butterly’ viscerally bookend James Dymond’s bringback of Maria Nayler anthem ‘Angry Skies’ and Simon Patterson/Sam Jones pair-up ‘Rotavator’. 

If you’ve not clubbed in LA before, this compilation will all-but secure those credentials for you. Across its 30+ tracks, two or more musical hours and disc deuce, Sneijder musically divines LA to a forensic level. You can order/bookmark ‘Afterdark 002 – Los Angeles, Compiled & Mixed By Sneijder’ here (

Sneijder - Afterdark 002 [Los Angeles] - tracklist

Disc 01
01. Sneijder - Back Home (Club Mix) 
02. Cold Blue - Another Life 
03. Alessandra Roncone - Redemption 
04. Billie Gillies - Evolve 
05. Sneijder - Resonate 
06. Giuseppe Ottaviani - Panama 
07. Starpicker - Elated 
08. Sneijder & Karen Kelly - Be With You (Craig Connelly Remix) 
09. Sneijder - Here Once Again
10. Project 8 - Reason I Say This 
11. Stoneface & Terminal - Mind Games 
12. Renegade System & Ed Lynam - Redux 
13. Mandy Reid - Infiltration 
14. Manuel Le Saux & Unbeat - EVO 
15. Renegade System - Taipan 
16. Ben Gold & Sivan - Stay (Sneijder Remix)       
Disc 02
01. Sneijder - Violate 
02. David Forbes - Phenomenon  
03. Shugz - The Darkside 
04. Alex Di Stefano - Into The Flames 
05. Nick Callaghan - Kill Jester (Sneijder Rework) 
06. Sneijder & David Forbes - Flashback 
07. Sneijder & Nick Callaghan - Marching Orders 
08. Simon Patterson featuring Lucy Pullin - Blink 
09. Ashley Bradbury - Sesh Gremlin 
10. Sneijder - Break The Silence
11. Dante - Cognitive Behaviour
12. Key4050 – Egon
13. Billy Gillies - Open Your Mind
14. Maria Nayler - Angry Skies (James Dymond Remix) 
15. Simon Patterson & Sam Jones - Rotavator (Sam Jones Remix) 
16. Iain M – Serotonin
17. Sneijder - Decimate 
18. Key4050 - Utterly Butterly 


8 reasons to say YES to TranceCode pres. ReOrder / Starpicker / The WLT / Skydreamer

On May 25th the Romanian Trance community has a new reason to smile: TranceCode pres. ReOrder + Starpicker, The WLT and Skydreamer. The event will be, again, at Club Azzero and start around 22:00. I like they kept the venue, 'cuz last time was pretty great! Tickets are ~9 euros and you can grab one here:

I knew this party was coming. They also announced it officially at their last event Exposure w/ Daniel Kandi, Suncatcher, Exolight, Tesla System and Guard14. But beside my love for the music, I also have other reasons I am saying yes to coming to Bucharest on May 25 for this party:

Starpicker - the man is killing it at the moment. His music is great and I really want to see him more behind the decks. He is my no.1 reason of why I am coming to Bucharest for this party. Not only because I am managing his PR and Social Media, but because I am a huge fan. Love everything he does in the studio.

One of my Tunes of this year: Starpicker - Elated [GO Music]

Disconnection. Of life. Reconnection to my rave self. Continuing the experiment of taking my phone down, and only enjoying the party. No photos, no videos. Only feelings.

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The WLT - It is very nice when you see more women taking down the trance scene. And Dana is one trance artist to follow! Lately she did a lot of good work with originals, but also with remixes. Her take on Darren Tate - Particles is great and soon to be released (May 17th)!

Support the Romanian Trance Community. The guys behind Romanian Trance Family staff/ TranceCode are really trying to keep the scene alive. And only for that they deserve a little support. Buying the event ticket, buying the plane/ bus ticket to go there and find a place to sleep after the party are too little compared to what they have to work for to make this happen. Maybe one time, it may not be your favorite artist, but if you love this music, you have to be there.

ReOrder - the man is really good behind the decks and his music always blows the speakers up. I've seen him a little at Luminosity Beach Festival, back in 2017 and I want more.

Skydreamer - seen him behind the decks, and he always delivers.

Friends. It is always nice to see again familiar happy faces, dancing alongside me.

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What about you? Are you coming to this event? If yes, what is your no.1 reason?

Trance on!

Starpicker: Trance has that special something. That's why it is a part of my life. [Interviewing artists]

Starpicker interview alert! I've been working on this for a while and I am pretty happy Dan has finally agreed to answer to my questions. Interviewing close friends is always the hardest thing to do. :)) But it had to be done. He is an amazing trance producer and deserves this. So, enjoy the read!

Hello Dan! Where in the world is this interview catching you and what were you doing right before starting reading this?

Weekend, watching series and chill.

Let’s start with the beginning: Who is Starpicker -the artist? How did it all started? The love for music, the producing, the DJing?

For trance it all started in general school when my sister bought some compilation cds with tracks from ATB, Schiller, Marc van Linden. I remember I was listening a lot to the track that started the love for trance music: Marc van Linden - Clubiemus. It was more like a euro house track but the lead melody sounded a lot like uplifting tracks so it did the job. After that I knew I want to learn how to produce music and in college I started with FL Studio and then I switched to Ableton.

Who is Starpicker in the day by day life? Beside producer, DJ, artist?

Automation Engineer, love travels, soccer videogames .

Why Trance? What does this genre mean to you? How does it make you feel?

I listen to all kinds of music but trance just has that special something if you know what I mean.

What would you say it is your biggest musical accomplishment till now?

Playing this year at Afterhills Festival. :)

Which single track that you’ve produced had the biggest impact on your career?

I also had tracks under other aliases but the biggest track so far is “The Traveler”.

How do you actually produce your music? Do your tracks tell a story? What is the inspiration behind your tracks?

Usually I open my DAW and play with something or go through older projects and and if something new comes to mind, I write it down. But mostly the good ideas come when I have to do something else with a close deadline. :))

Who influenced your work the most? Simple people, other artists, works, etc.

People inspires me a lot. From other artists I can say that Giuseppe Ottaviani inspires me along side Thrillseekers and Solarstone.

What do you think makes a perfect track?

I think that the melody is the main reason you will look again for a track.

Have you ever experienced the creator’s block? And if yes, how did you snap out of it?

For me there is a time of the year when I write some melodies and then all the year work on finishing them.

Let’s go a bit into some technicalities: what’s your studio setup?

A nice PC with a Komplete audio 6, Audio Technica M50 and recently I got a pair of Yamaha HS7 who are not at full power because of my room but at least I don’t have to work on headphones all the time.

Favorite DAW?


Can you name your top 3 VSTs?

Spire, Sylenth, Serum.

Soundbanks or sound design? Which is the way to go?

Sound design usually, it takes longer but its worth it. Sometimes I use presets too.

What is the simplest advice you’d give to someone else that is starting this journey?

Dream big and work hard. If you love this enough you will get where you want.

You favourite trance subgenre?


Any favorite artists?

Giuseppe Ottaviani, Solarstone, Thrillseekers, Ferry Corsten, Suncatcher, Exolight, Daniel Kandi.

Any artist a trancer should definitely follow these days?

If you want nice melodies with alot of energy and a driving bassline Nikolauss is your man. His tracks are insane these days, you should definitely check him out. Suncatcher and Exolight are also top producers with big support lately and with a good year with great tracks. Also check Sundancer, Bogdan Vix and Keyplayer, they are on fire.

Any new projects coming up? What can we expect from you in the next months?

Solo projects a few and 2 collaborations.

How was the Romanian Trance Gathering party? What can you say about that night? You had a very special b2b with Nikolauss.

I really enjoyed the party. I meet great people there and made new connections. My set with Nikolauss was the first b2b for us and we did a great combination of our styles.

What can you tell us about your work with Nikolauss? When can we actually hear something from you 2?

We worked for a while at a few projects, finally one is ready now and will be soon out there. I think I may give it a spin at Afterhills Festival.

What about the work with Exolight and Suncatcher? How was it? Working with these 2? Anything new coming up?

It was awesome, the fastest collaboration ever ha ha. I sent over something and then they came up with some great ideas about it. With Exolight is another one in progress and I think will be a good one.

Congrats of becoming part of the Afterhills line up. What can we expect from you?

Thank you! I am very happy for being part of it. I will do my best and hope you will enjoy the my set.

What do you think about the trance community - the fans?

I think it’s a great community all around the globe and it’s bigger every year.

And what about the trance community the DJs/ producers (the ones you encountered till now?

I met a few of them and they are good fellows helping each other.

If you could change your place for one day with another artist, not necessarily trance artist, with whom would you change places and why?

Giuseppe Ottaviani. His Live 2.0 set is insane and I think it’s amazing to watch and learn from it but no one could do it better than him.

Hardest question of all: Can you tell me the top 10 trance tracks of all times?

There are so many! Here are 10 that came to me right now but not in a specific order.

  1. The Thrillseekers Pres. Hydra - Amber
  2. Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella - Venera (Vee's Theme)
  3. NuNrg - Free Fall
  4. Ram - Ramsterdam (Jorn Van Deynhoven Remix)
  5. Darren Porter - Spellbound
  6. Paul van Dyk - For An Angel 
  7. Kamaya Painters - Northern Spirit
  8. Chicane - Saltwater
  9. Solarstone - Seven Cities
  10. Airbase - Modus Operandi

Do you have a message for our readers?

If you think my writing is good then you didn’t listen to my tracks.

Everyone has a hidden talent. What’s yours?

Finding everything funny and making jokes about it especially in serious situations. I don’t this is something that helps but I can’t change it :))

Kickstart the summer with Afterhills: more than 150 artists (18 trance), a ton of good music and a field full of dreamers.

Well, this it is. Afterhills is just around the corner. Only a couple of days till we kickstart this summer with 4 amazing days full of good music and beautiful people. Dreamers. 'Cuz this is the focus. Daydreaming of something perfect, night dreaming of goosebumps. They just announced the full line up and it is insane.

From the trance point of view we have a pretty interesting list and I want to see all the names:

1. Vini Vici (I really like the sets I enjoyed till now, looking forward for a new one)

2. David Gravell (I am a huge fan of him, not matter if he is on the right side of trance music or not, as some would say. I am in love with some of his reworks and I am sure I will enjoy his set 110%)

3. Blastoyz (Crazy craziness since I first heard of him. Really really good with what is he doing)

4. Aly & Fila (You cannot say trance without saying Aly & Fila too)

5. Sander Van Doorn (Happy he got back to trance music with his Purple Haze name and looking forward to see what he has prepared for Afterhills)

6. KhoMa (Never seen him playing. Want to experience the end of a great day with him behind the decks)

7. Paul Van Dyk (Paul is my first music crush, and nothing can stay between me and him when he is playing at an event I am attending)

8. Cosmic Gate (Music crush! Music crush alert! )

9. Ben Nicky (I've seen a lot of comments regarding his sets lately, I want to see it for myself too)

10. Bogdan Vix (Pillar fo the Romanian Trance Community. Do I have to say more?)

11. Above & Beyond (They had one hell of a set at Timeshift last year, looking forward for the magic again)

12. Andrew Rayel (I have a lot of good memories from his sets, looking forward to see what else he is doing right now)

13. George Andreas (This little one, the youngest of the Romanian Trance Family's DJ is doing a great job behind the decks)

14. Exolight (One of the hottest names in the trance industry right now)

15. Nikolauss (My forever music crush. My forever life crush. I know a little bit of how is set is going on, looking forward to hear it live!)

16. Suncatcher (Great music man. Amazing DJ and trance producer. )

17. Sundancer (Friend. Never disappoints behind the decks)

17. Starpicker (Friend. Wine buddy. Music buddy. I am sure I will get to hear a lot of pure music in his set!)

I want to see them all. But I need to find out how cloning works first. Because the timetable was announced, and a lot of trance acts are happening in the same time between the Mainstage and The Shed stage. See the rest of the timetable here: .

I am not sure what am I going to do, I am not sure who I will end up to see, but I am sure I will have the time of my life at Afterhills. Because the team is great, the event is great and the people are awesome. The music will perfectly complete the vibe. The friends will be there. Happiness will happen there.

Looking forward to see old friends, to meet new people and enjoy 4 full days of complete madness. See you there!

More details are on their Facebook page. Check it out!

Also, give a follow to their blog too. A lot if trips and tricks, a lot of interesting things are said there. Be sure you won't be loosing any of it!

Romanian Trance Gathering #1 - the beginnings of a fairytale

Romanian Trance Family is something trending right now for the Romanian Trance Community and not only. The Romanian Trance Family is finally something a bit more tangible than just a Facebook group with endless posts. The Romanian Trance Family is the reborn of a community we all thought lost, after the last events.

I discovered the Fb group randomly while looking for something and I was intrigued by it. The first question that crossed my mind was: is this another group, or will this turn into something better? Something that will support the music, something that will support the local artist, something that will forget about all the egos and fight for what makes us happy? I got involved. Of course. Cuz' that's who I am. That's what I do. I want to be involved and help anyway I can something that looks promising and also supporting the music that keeps me alive.

And then, the first official event happened. After weeks of planning and talking about it, I finally went to Bucharest and enjoyed a night full of trance and cool people. This event was special for me for many reasons. I got see some very close friends again, Nikolauss had a b2b set with Starpicker, that was out of this world and I got to enjoy trance for more than 8 hours a night.

The line-up sounded quite nice and interesting: Skydreamer (warm-up set), Sundancer, Exolight, Bogdan Vix, Nikolauss b2b Starpicker, George Andreas and Alkalin. I knew from the start that I will hear good music, but I didn't expect to see 8 people doing such a great job behind the decks.

Skydreamer built the energy up and prepared very well the start for the night. Soft, and emotional. Sundancer did what he knows best: to bring us the best in trance and uplifting with his set. Playing Loneliest Night from Giuseppe Ottaviani was a highlight for me and one of the tracks I remember from the set. You know me: when the set is so good, I just lose myself through music. I do not remember much, but the goosebumps and the happiness I enjoy on the dancefloor.

It was the first time I saw Exolight behind the decks, and I sooo enjoyed what I saw. And what I heard. And experienced. The man looks like he was made for this. So natural, so close to the public and so entertaining. He chose very good his tracks and of course it got me goosebumps from head to toe when he played Footprints on the Moon. The track is so special to me, because of all the memories that it brought back and still feel like I cannot find the right words to describe it. Bogdan Vix had a different set, but different is good sometimes. I got the chance to jump around and lose my voice singing along.

The only B2B set of the night, the most special moment for me, the set of Nikolauss and Starpicker was, obviously, my favorite. Not only because I support the guys with everything they do, but because they worked so good together. I must admit I was a bit (a loooot) nervous about how this will happen, but the guys surprised me. Even though they had a small technical difficulty in the beginning, they surpassed it and din one hell of a job. I lost myself and I found myself in the same time. I knew what they had prepared as in tracks, but I was surprised by the combination these 2 did. The combined very nice the melodic part of trance with the darker, harder more energetic one. Without doubt, this is my favorite moment of the night and I will keep it closely to my heart for a very long time from now on.

Always front row. 😍😍😍 Always. #trance #trancefamily

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George Andreas, the youngest DJ from the team did great too. I knew he was nervous about the set, but he did a very good job. Picked us up right from were Nikolauss and Starpicker left us and build it to the top! He also played Poseidon, one of my all time favorites, so I am grateful for that too. That shows he listens to the audience and cares about some's preferences. That is a good choice and it will help him in the future. A bright future awaits him and he should not stop working to get there.

I saw for the first time Alkalin playing. And I got the honour to experience a vinyl set from him. That is a 2 in 1 happiness. He clearly knows what he's doing, being a veteran in the industry. Some very nice classics made the night complete. Also, hearing Burned with Desire from Armin van buuren and Justine Suissa made me smile and lose the already lost voice by singing along. This is another track with memories, so I couldn't stay away.

Radio DEEA and Trance Energy Radio were also media partners at the even, together with and they did an amazing job broadcasting the party, both video on Facebook and audio on the radio. You can check for yourself all the sets here and here.

Overall the party was great. Overall the people were happy. I am happy the party happened. I am happy we finally got the see equal chances to all the artists from the Romanian Trance scene. I am happy I got to experience another trance night and enjoy it. I am happy. But I am also a perfectionist and I just hope that all the feedback I gave got the ears of those who'd listen. To those who'd use it to make things better.

The team looks nice and interesting. Challenging to work with, but I like a good challenge. I like working alongside motivated people and I am looking forward to see what else they have prepared. What else they have in plan for the community and how will they make trance strong again. I know our paths will cross a lot. And maybe soon you'll get to see a part of it. Or maybe not. :)

The future is bright, and we can make it even brighter. By working together, and leaving the egos aside. By focusing on what matters and that's MUSIC. The joy it brings. The goosebumps it gives. The artists behind it and their work. Supporting each and one of them. Supporting the fans. Supporting their dreams and considering their opinions. There is no real community without fans, nor artists, nor passionate and determined people. There is some magic, but we just need to find it and use it properly to make this fairytale come true.