Connect Does It Again: Brilliant Closing Party with Gabriel & Dresden, Giuseppe Ottaviani, and Solarstone

14 September 2015 - Elle LoFaro - The DJ List


Recording label Pure Trance delivered exactly what its name promises: an event of wholesome unbelievable trance. With a closing night to remember, this level of trance music can move beyond material experience into a realm of pure elation. Connect closed the season in full glory with a night of incredible talent and unmatched electronic delight that easily reminds how and why quality trance, no matter what, has evolved into the global sensation that it has and continues to thrive in its market. In over six hours of music, superstar DJs took the crowd for a ride around musical dimensions, with a blend of classic trance, underground grooves, and live electronic music displays to pump vigorous sweetness into life and connect us all one more time.

Solarstone going at it with "A Thing Called Love," by 1:30 a.m. the place was already banging. If there's such a thing as pure trance, SOLARSTONE can bring it, that kind of music that instantly lifts the mood and brings out that sense of human aspiration and potential in an almost transcendent way. The marvelous atmospherics, melodic tunes, and uplifting synths in his sound set Solarstone in a category of his own. Lifting the mood further with anthemic "All of Us," Jennifer Rene’s amazing vocals and lyrics should be a worldwide hymn embodying our human collective consciousness. Solarstone sure turned it out and had the Vista Club revelers all religiously with their hands in the air as white laser lights resembling ultra-bright moonbeams enlightened the crowd. With more uplifting remixes of classics such as his “Fireisland” and the guitar strums of "We Can't Fly," Richard Mowatt sang along as the night progressed into an actual trance. While at times the beat got hard and heavy, the release was always worth the wait, and when the go-go dancers appeared shortly after 2:00 a.m. to Solarstone's "4Ever," the mood got hardcore on more than one level. Playing a lot of his own productions on Pure Trance label, such as "Shield (Part 1)," Solarstone shone bright, as the night took off in grand style.

Gabriel & Dresden took a progressive turn, in the proper sense of the term. Starting with Holden & Thompson’s "Nothing," US duo mixed layers of sound filling the venue with vigor and drive. Not only the music but also the set embodied the build-up and release of trance music. With classics such as Dash Berlin’s "Till the Sky Falls Down," their "Promises," and "Tracking Treasure Down," to which he clapped along with the crowd, everyone remained in the groove, as well as to many of their remixes, such as Markus Schulz's "Without You Near,” 4String's "Take Me Away," super-classic "Beautiful Things" and their collaboration with King Armin on "Zocalo," which added a touch of tribal and an accelerated tempo to the trance tribe dancing or more like bouncing the night away.

The night blended new releases with underground remixes of classic trance but most of all the overall feeling of trance was always there. Uplifting, buoyant, and inspiring, trance has that special quality of bringing out some of human beings’ most noble sentiments. As video camera phones kept shooting up trying to capture and hold on to the moment, the crowd like the music was variegated of all ages and nationalities, but all loyal to trance. As a most alternative remix of "As the Rush Comes" came on, we were all once again reminded of the incredibly positive message that trance music and lyrics bring to this world, passing on the splendid idea and feeling of optimism, possibility, and joy that so often emerge from this musical style, a style of music that enters the soul and evokes both a sense of connection and an impulse to dance. Meanwhile GABRIEL & DRESDEN brought it underground in the second part of their set, conjuring actual vocal complaints from the crowd when their set ended.

But not for long, as absolutely stellar GIUSEPPE OTTAVIANI soon had everyone so far into another sensory dimension that all that mattered was that present moment with its incredible music. He started by strumming Eric Prydz’s “Opus ” on the synthesizer, the peak of the night or one of them at the very least. And that was only the beginning. Giuseppe had everyone in a parallel universe within minutes. Absolutely off and beyond the chain, the guy was so far out there that people were casting speechless glances at each other communicating through hand signs that he was on a whole other level, blowing everybody’s minds and leaving everyone at a loss for words to describe how far he took us. Dropping hints of classics samplings with the most outrageous and intense synths, Giuseppe created any trance junkie’s trance-heaven. The guy is seriously a step ahead. His talent shining through bright and clear, he demonstrated undeniably that electronic music is not only proper music but can be exceptional as well when executed and rearranged to create a sound beyond that which can be created with traditional analog music instruments. With the most stunned faces, everyone looked at one another utterly astonished, for what has got to be among the most transcendent sets this summer on the White Isle. As he played his new "Lean on Me" and some Above & Beyond tunes right there on his synthesizer, the transcendent feeling came on nice and strong, a feeling that Giuseppe has put into words:

"My name is Giuseppe Ottaviani and I am not a DJ. I've been looking for so long across many different kinds of music till the day has come. The reason why I am here is actually the same reason why you are here. I've finally found what I've been searching for. Something that can make me feel good, something to be proud of, something that’s able to put a smile on my face, even when things go wrong. If you hear this message, it’s because you've finally made it, too. If you are here now, it’s because we move the same way. My name is Giuseppe Ottaviani and I am a music lover."

Giuseppe’s message rings loud and clear, concluding his set rather than starting his podcast, and works on more levels than simply being gathered at a music event, as the ultimate thrust behind it can easily apply to human life in general, the same thrust behind celestial trance music.

To follow Giuseppe’s set, Liam had to take a completely different turn and brought us into his distinctive type of trance. With his build-ups and drops, a touch psy-trance, and his progressive sound, Liam was really digging in for another impressive set of a super-night, keeping the crowd exalted the whole time. Trance fans are die-hard fans who follow the genre devotedly, and particularly so are the ones that stay till the end because that's usually when the music dives even further underground. After 6:00 a.m. DJ and promoter ALEX RYAN took to the turntables with his underground techno and progressive house and could’ve kept the party going indefinitely. Under the extended darkened pyramid structure that is the Vista Club, the reveling went on until Privilege management made him stop.

Privilege used to host one of the best trance nights on the planet, and Connect keeps that spirit alive with superb music, incredible talent, and a splendid atmosphere. Trance's positive energy, feel, and message are undeniable and this season has reawakened Privilege’s power to bring it to life. For those of you who have missed this fantastic event, two more Connect boat experiences are left to this season. If not, we will have to wait for next year, and hopefully then the entire of Privilege will open up once again to continue its legacy as putting up one of the best trance nights ever.

For more information and tickets to Connect Boat Parties, please visit

gabriel & dresden giuseppe ottaviani orkidea solarstone liam wilson alex ryan