This past Friday, we had the rare opportunity to witness the rising genre of psytrance take over one of our staple clubbing institutions in Los Angeles. With its roots going as far back as the 90’s, psytrance competes with house as one of the longest standing genres in electronic music. With a new generation of forward thinking producers and an increasingly open minded audience, the psy movement is only going to get larger.
The night began with an opening melodic techno set by Swedish DJ Kiraz, whom we were pleasantly surprised to see because she usually plays trance, and her set served as a perfect warm up to the psychedelic journey we were about to embark on. A little after 11, she concluded her set and Perfect Stranger stepped onto the decks. With a simple stop and go transition, we were taken right into the fire as Perfect Stranger did not hold back. His lightning fast transitions from drop to drop kept the energy at a high level for the entire duration of his set. He even included a tasteful half time breakdown that had trap-like vibes. Compared to his set at this year’s LiB, I thought it was much better.
Once Perfect Stranger ended, it was time for Liquid Soul to start and the club was packed at this point. As someone who is pretty new to psytrance, I really had no clue what to expect as the last set was already extremely lit. What proceeded was a continuation of the litness, as Liquid Soul had the entire crowd in the palm of his hands. Playing hits ranging from progressive to full on psy, the energy was also consistently at a high level. It was really difficult to stand still and not be in awe of the amazing visuals and incredible sounds pulsing through the Funktion 1’s.
With a bit of a late arrival, it was time for Captain Hook to close out the night. With 90 minutes until the club was closing, we were ready to ride this psychedelic journey out until the very end. As Liquid Soul ended and Captain Hook stepped up, the club rang with the beginning drones of E.B.E., his collaboration with Ace Ventura.
He went on to play even more psy bangers, including his other collaboration with Astrix, Bungee Jump. The energy was showing no signs of slowing, and as the clock got closer to 3AM we soon had to face the fact that our minds were finally about to come back to the plane of reality.
Overall, it was a really exciting night at Exchange since the music selection is always between house and bass. Getting to experience 3 legends tear the roof off the place was the perfect appetizer to our upcoming trancegiving meal, better known as Dreamstate SoCal. If you are still thinking about going, consider this your reason to go.
Psytrance is a really different genre that most people don’t think they’ll enjoy because of the more mainstream trance, but trust me, there is a whole other rabbit hole to go down with trance and we are going to have the world’s best talents in our own backyard. Get your tickets for Dreamstate here.
Photos by We Are Nightowls