TRANCE ROOM: Bal en Blanc 17

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Trance Room

Times have changed, and the space formerly reserved for Techno has now been overthrown by Trance. A “who’s who” of DJ Mag’s top 100 DJs, this year’s line-up is sure to impress.

21.00 – 23.00 Malek

malekImage coutesy

Relatively new to the Trance scene, DJing-wise, Malek is an important figment of Montreal’s Trance and Progressive community. Influenced by none other than Armin van Buuren, Malek has performed for crowds at the island’s finest establishments, including Beach Club, Circus Afterhours, Warehouse and Opera alongside big names such as Glenn Morrison, Richard Durand and Leon Bolier. He recently joined forces with Jeremy Sky to create his first ever production. He appropriately named it “White Sky,” coinciding sublimely with the arrival of the festival. Take a listen below.

Jeremy Sky & Malek - White Dream (Radio Edit) - Ora Recordings by DJ Malek


23.00 – 0.00 Raneem

Raneem Image courtesy Circus Afterhours

Raneem is easily Montreal’s best kept secret. The Lebanese DJ/producer has been active in the Trance scene since 2008 and has grown substantially since his original contribution. Recently signed onto High Contrast Recordings and Streamlined, Raneem often garnishes support from Ferry Corsten, W&W and Bobina. He is a resident at Circus Afterhours and has shared decks with Gareth Emery, Dash Berlin and Simon Patterson, to name a few. His radio show, “Beirut On Fire,” can be heard on Afterhours.FM on the 2nd Friday of each month. Below is his most recent release on High Contrast, dubbed “Out of Nowhere,” which is currently holding firm at 14 on Trackitdown.

Raneem – Out of Nowhere: Beatport - Trackitdown


0.00 – 2.00 Cosmic Gate

cosmic gate Image courtesy David Giral Photo

Cosmic Gate is one of the most respected musical acts in the world. The German duo of Bossi and Nic Chagall has been entertaining crowds for a little over 11 years and shows no signs of stopping. With solid careers already under their belts, the pair first collaborated in 1998 and joined forces for good in 2000, en route to creating timeless classics like “Fire Wire” and “Exploration of Space.” They’ve produced countless chart-toppers, remixed for the best in the business and played at the most prestigious festivals worldwide. They were recently asked to mix the fourth CD on Armin van Buuren’s ASOT 500 compilation. Below is their remix of “Exploration of Space,” a song from their latest compilation album, dubbed “Back 2 The Future,” which is comprised of their greatest hits remixed by some of Trance’s most promising young stars.

Cosmic Gate - Back 2 The Future: BeatportiTunesTrackitdown

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2.00 – 4.30 Sander van Doorn

SvD Sensation WhiteYou can tell by his infectious smile that Sander van Doorn loves what he does. The Dutch born DJ is one of the biggest and most unique names in Trance. As head honcho of Doorn Records, Sander has the privilege of employing hot youngsters and test driving tracks that range all subgenres. His inimitable style is unlike any other. Although he is known as a Trance producer, Sander ignores trends and tendencies, creating tracks that are influenced by hard beats and deep melodies. His DJ sets are as diverse as his original tunes. Once again fending off the Trance marker he is given, he plays anything he likes, whether that may be House, Dubstep or even Reggaeton. Below is his newest track, “Koko,” set for release on Doorn Records on April 26th.

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4.30 – 7.30 Above & Beyond

A&B TATW 350 Image courtesy Sebatian Caesar and AnjunaGallery

Above & Beyond needs no introduction. Since banding in 2000, Paavo, Tony and Jono have taken the world by storm and have forever cemented their place amongst EDM legends. It all began in 1999, with Paavo and Jono teaming up to create a record label called “Anjunabeats.” Taking immediate notice of their brilliant first release, Tony called the duo to help him finish a remix of Chakra’s “Home.” The rework was extremely well-received, getting multiple plays from Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1. Due to the enormous success of the track, the guys decided to stick together and thus, Above & Beyond was born. The trio rapidly gained notoriety, remixing tracks for Madonna and collaborating with Trance moguls like Andy Moor. In 2006, they released their debut artist album, “Tri-State,” which is regarded as one of the greatest, if not the best dance music album of all-time. Their DJing career is as impressive as their producing one. In December of 2007, the guys catered to an estimated 1 million Brazilian fans in what is unofficially the biggest dance music show in history. In 2008, Above & Beyond collaborated with Justine Suissa to unveil “Sirens of the Sea” under the alias Oceanlab as a follow-up to “Tri-State.” With one of the biggest Trance labels around and a radio show that satisfies 30 million listeners weekly, Above & Beyond has solidified their status as EDM royalty. Below is the trio’s Burning Bridges mix of their next single, “Thing Called Love,” in a rip from ASOT 500. The original tune first appeared on Anjunabeats Vol. 8, but will be re-released on May 29th along with the mix. It will be part of Above & Beyond’s forthcoming artist album, “Group Therapy.”


7.30 – 10.00 Markus Schulz

image  Image courtesy

If there’s one German DJ that can rival the powerhouse that is Cosmic Gate, it’s definitely Markus Schulz. One of the most humble men in the business, he has been entered in the top 10 of DJ Mag’s rankings for the past 3 years and has  been at the forefront of Trance music for even longer. His ever so popular radio show, “Global DJ Broadcast,” or GDJB for short, is an interesting cut between ASOT and TATW, as it includes the most uplifting and hardcore strands of Trance. The only common ground seems to be quality, an attribute that he imposes onto his own creations. His last album, “Do You Dream?,” released in June 2010, is a masterful balance between all sorts of Trance. It was extremely well-received by the community, as DJs all around the world would play renditions of  “Rain” or “Perception” in nearly all of their sets. In addition to his producing career, Markus also has the task of surveying others’. As the makeshift behind Coldharbour Recordings, he has aided in launching the careers of Markus Schössow, Mr. Pit, Skytech and Rex Mundi by releasing tracks such as “Sky Traffic,” “Valley of Dreams” and “Comet.” He has also recently been asked to mix the third CD on Armin van Buuren’s ASOT 500 compilation. Markus is clearly a fan of Bal en Blanc, as this edition will mark his third consecutive appearance at the festival. Below is his latest track, a collaboration with Dutch superstar Jochen Miller called “Rotunda,” which will be released on Coldharbour sometime in the future.


10.00 – 12.00 Ben Gold

ben goldImage courtesy BenGoldOnline

Check out The Hawt’s pre-Bal en Blanc interview with Ben Gold here!

One of the most underrated DJs in Trance, Ben Gold is a force to be reckoned with. As a huge part of Gareth Emery’s Garuda label, Ben is behind tracks that can seemingly do it all: pump up a crowd, send people into a euphoric state and calm audiences with sheer sonic beauty. Between his tunes being featured on ASOT, TATW and TGEP, his collaborations with W&W and his numerous gigs with the biggest names, it’s more than clear that Ben is on his way up. His monthly radio show, “LiFE,” which features on Afterhours.FM, displays his exquisite taste in music. This reflects onto his live DJ sets, as Ben plays nothing but the best and his passion for the decks translates into a superb night for all who attend. Below is his latest, a remix of W&W’s “Arena,” in form of a rip from ASOT 500 in Den Bosch.


To finish, here are a few tracks that you should brush up on, because you are definitely going to hear them play more than once on Sunday:

Sander van Doorn – Koko (Original Mix)

Arty & Mat Zo – Rebound (Original Mix)

Above & Beyond – Sun & Moon (Club Mix)

Ferry Corsten – Feel It (Original Mix)

Ferry Corsten – Punk (Arty Rock ‘n’ Rolla Mix)

Wippenberg – U R (Original Mix)

John O’Callaghan & Betsie Larkin – Save This Moment (Gareth Emery Remix)

The Hawt’s writers have been given the privilege to fully cover the event. We will be wearing press passes, scurrying backstage, talking to DJs, capturing phenomenal photographs and reporting this event to the best of our ability. In addition, we will be giving you high quality recordings of the sets from the Trance room. Check back with The Hawt on the days following the event for a full low-down on what went on. We hope to see you there and wish you a happy Bal en Blanc!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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