Esscala Pres. RAM & Mark Sherry at Spektrum

RAM might not be the biggest name in the trance world, but the biggest names certainly know his. The Dutch Trance DJ has made a name for himself with emotional tracks that have touched the hearts of fans around the globe. He boasts accolades such as releases on leading labels like ASOT and FSOE, as well as a track Armin dubbed “best track of the year”. But beyond this, there is something unique about RAM. Perhaps it’s his production. Perhaps it’s just his style. One way or another, it’s something that translates into an amazing connection by way of his live sets.

Last Saturday RAM and Mark Sherry called Spektrum NYC home, as they delivered an incredibly memorable evening to an eager crowd. Though NYC has many EDM events, trance in its true form doesn’t seem to come to town very often. This was different. In a night that would delight purists and modern fans alike, RAM and Mark Sherry – using elements spanning the full width of the genre – conjured up sets for the ages.

The doors opened at the strike of eleven, to trance beats emanating from the speakers. Fans of all types entered the venue, already refreshed by the surroundings. It’s all-too-common knowledge that NYC nightlife has had something of a void of dance-friendly venues with sprawling space, but Spektrum (in the basement of Sankeys) offered something fresh and fun. The venue was roomy, allowing fans to spread out and stay comfortable, with a minimalistic (but fitting) approach to decor that allowed the crowd to connect based on the reason they were all there: the music. And so they did, as the room filled with people and sound. Staticbass’ opening set provided a backdrop for the still-young night. Warm, electric, and appropriate, the music flowed while gaining momentum, inching towards the headliners’ debut.

As the first headliner took to the decks, the energy jumped. A shift in the room was palpable. The crowd was ready. RAM blasted a mix of hard-hitting trance, vocal anthems and melodic bombs from the speakers, keeping the set dynamic and free-flowing, yet in a consistent build. Remixes of Gareth Emery and John O’Callaghan tracks seamlessly blended with Armin tracks. Originals like Epic, and the ever-moving RAMelia (Tribute to Amelia) united the crowd in what felt like a great ASOT episode come to life. And the chilling mashup Man on the RAMsterdam, a blend of classic Dash Berlin and perhaps RAM’s most successful track, featured a captivating build-up and had the entire venue singing along.

Expertly transitioning from RAM was Tech-Trance guru Mark Sherry. No stranger to NYC, and certainly no stranger to a packed floor, Sherry kept the energy rising with his unique brand of music. Using a combination of his own work and the occasional remix, the set took on a new but familiar feel. Sherry’s tunes engulfed the crowd in Tech Trance energy, taking over the room, reminding everyone why this genre is called trance, and why we love it so much.

It’s no wonder this night was significant for trance fans in New York, as evidenced during the event and later on social media. RAM’s passion and energy behind the booth was firey – a feeling that bounced around the room and through the crowd over and over. United by the love of the genre and confined by no bounds, everyone at Spektrum played witness to a trance event in true form. The venue, though relatively small, was the perfect setting for this intimate night, and an amiable Trance Family reveled in the moment.

When quality artists come together in a quality venue with a quality crowd, the night will always be a smash. And that’s what this event was. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to see these DJs, and check out this new crowd-friendly venue. In NYC it’s a rarity.

Review by Alex Ruimy

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