Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Claptone The Masquerade at Electric Brixton, London

Masked revellers, a mystery DJ and a strong supporting cast put on a theatrical display at Brixton’s iconic Electric club on Friday night/Saturday morning.

Tough and accessible house music was the order of the evening as Oliver Dollar, Eli & Fur and Mat.Joe warmed up expertly for the masked man Claptone himself.
The incognito German wowed the crowd with a series of belters as pyrotechnics whooshed around him, lighting up his golden Venetian plague doctor mask.

Claptone’s white gloved hands conducting an orchestra of clubbers who whooped and bounced as the tempo was ramped up.
The old theatre provided the perfect location for this macarbre cabaret.
Claptone is currently taking his The Masquerade event to several cities and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The masked ravers made for a fantastic atmosphere with the Eyes Wide Shut vibe making the evnt a refreshingly new twist on modern nightlife.
The old-style masked ball is now a clubland force to be reckoned with.

And with dance music going increasingly commercial it is great to see DJs who skirt the line between accessible and underground and actually host a party.
Make sure you go and see Claptone if you get the chance – whoever he is!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

SW4 2016 review

It has become something of a cliché to refer to South West Four as 'South Wet Four' on account of the often awful bank holiday weather, writes TopReviews4U editor Paul Christian.

I have got drenched at several previous occasions at this always excellent event.
But this year I and thousands of other revellers were treated to some lovely late August sunshine.
And the warm weather meant that festival staple - sitting on the grass - was actually an option this year.

From my sedentary position I massively enjoyed watching Sven Vath's atmospheric techno set from the Amnesia tent, and again checked out Paul Kalkbrenner from the humble floor of Clapham Common.

But I had to get to my feet for Sasha and Carl Cox, who were playing in the ANTS tent and on the main stage respectively.
Sasha took the aural soundscape to new levels and they were complemented by amazing red lighting in contrast to the usual monochrome atmosphere of the ANTS colony.

Cox's top-notch techno was a treat to behold with rolling percussing and his "oh yes, oh yes" mantra ringing out across the Common.
There was also time to check out trance legends Above & Beyond and progressive house head honcho John Digweed at the varied Sunday leg of the long-running weekender.

He finished with Egyptian Empire's classic ' The Horn Track' as darkness fell and planes flew overhead.

Next up was the finale, with The Chemical Brothers providing a storming headline set.
Beginning with 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl' was brave as it is probably their biggest track, but the sheer strength of the Chems' repertoire meant the crowd was kept moving throughout.

A superb light show also punctuated the electronic experience.
SW4 remains a potent part of the capital's festival scene - come rain or shine.

Bulldog's new men's shaving range

Shaving is a vital but fairly dull chore for the modern man, writes TopReviews4U editor Paul Christian.

But, with a new range of fantastic products, male grooming greats Bulldog have made hair removal a fun and nourishing ritual.

Here TopReviews4U takes a look at the top new lotions and potions.

Original Shave Oil
- aloe, camelina oil, green tea
A fantastic oil, which smooths and soothes allowing a clean and resistance-free razor stroke.
It left my face and neck smooth and refreshed and delivered a wonderfully close shave.
Original Shave Cream
- aloe, camelina, green tea
A light non-clammy shaving cream, which allowed hairs to be separated and ready for the razor.
This all-natural product was the perfect antidote to chemical counterparts on the market nowadays.
Original Beard Balm

- aloe, camelina, green tea
The best of the bunch for me.
Fantastic, soothing and softening - a real hero product.
This is something you'll never realise how much you needed it.

Original Beard Shampoo & Conditioner

- aloe, camelina, green tea
Rather than using drying soaps and products not fit for purpose, this specially-formulated all-in-one beard shampoo and conditioner is another great product.
Soothing and refreshing, with natural ingredients, this this fantastic.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

TopReviews4U EXCLUSIVE: Soul Heaven at Ocean Beach Ibiza review

Ocean Beach is a fairly new edition to Ibiza's hedonistic offering, writes TopReviews4U editor Paul Christian.

As such it is very much in the zeitgeist of a more plush revolution on the island.
Ocean Beach is very much a place to be seen and should definitely be seen by you.
Selfie queens snapped away on huge comfy beds as vodka and mixers were quaffed alongside Champagne.
The daytime 'nightclub' is large and expansive, with a beautiful pool and stunning bars and DJ booth/dance floor area.
It was a real party atmosphere of hedonism, excess and fun.
It is definitely worth a visit and is the antidote to some of the grottier parts of San Antonio.
I visited for Soul Heaven and the music was fantastic.
As the DJ dropped Pete Heller's 'Big Love' it summed up a real moment - classy, sunny and fun.
Ocean Beach should definitely been on your list.

Space Ibiza review by Paul Christian

What can you say about Space in Ibiza?
Many adjectives wouldn't come close to describing a giant of the global dance scene.
It is certainly one of the greatest clubs I've ever seen.

Bizarrely, after more visits to the White Isle than I can accurately count, this was my first visit.
I have been to the club of the same name in Miami and the multi-roomed and uber cool vibe is similar, but Ibiza's stellar nightspot has a sense of the regal about it.

I visited for We Love Sundays, which featured fantastic sets by Annie Mac, Derrick Carter and others.
This is the last season for Space and, as I gazed at the perfect layout and airy, otherworldly cavernous club I wondered 'where have you been all my life?'.
Quite simply it's a beast of a venue and at 27 years' old it seems classier and more real than its nouveau riche neighbours.
The Terraza was dark, bleepy and minimal with a heads- down feel, but an amazing atmosphere.
Whereas the main room of the Playa den Bossa powerhouse was big in dimensions and vibe, with techno, minimal and house booming out of the sound system.
The huge ice cannons were a welcome relief from the heat of the dance floor as hands inevitably shot skyward.

The crowd lapped it up, as did I, as I drank it in on my last night in Ibiza.
If you get the chance go to Space this year - you'll regret it if you don't.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) UK 2016: In Pictures

More than 50,000 music fans united at Milton Keynes Bowl for the world famous dance festival Electric Daisy Carnival UK, which included triumphant sets from dance legends Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Martin Garrix, Eric Prydz and Axwell /\ Ingrosso.

Saturday’s EDC UK showpiece was the biggest and best yet.
Taking centre stage at the kineticFIELD and standing a massive 30 metres tall by 70 metres wide, the fully immersive Crystal Village spectacle towered over revellers during its first EDC UK showcase.

The stage’s unique design housed cascading waterfalls, a fog-breathing dragon and the unmissable symbolic owl, and hosted incredible performances by some of the biggest international names in dance music, with sets by Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Oliver Heldens, Eric Prydz, Martin Solveig, Don Diablo and Alison Wonderland.

Throughout the day at the circuitGROUNDS, festival-goers saw outstanding DJ sets from drum and bass legends Andy C, Noisia, Caspa & Rusko, Roni Size, Goldie and many more.

Over at cosmicMEADOW, electrifying big room sets came from trance heroes Paul van Dyk and Gouryella, while the neonGARDEN stage was a constant party with sets by Duke Dumont and UK garage pioneer DJ EZ.

Electric Daisy Carnival wasn’t just about the music. The line-up of the world’s premier DJ’s and global acts were joined by dynamic displays, carnival creatures, performers and sensory sights aplenty.

“This weekend we hosted another amazing edition of EDC UK at Milton Keynes and we thank all of our headliners and performing artists for joining us in celebrating the incredible culture of dance music,” said Pasquale Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac.

“The UK is where so many genres of dance music were born, and it’s exciting to see the scene still growing and flourishing today.”

Melvin Benn, of Festival Republic, added: “We’re very proud to have celebrated the second year of our partnership with Insomniac with another successful Electric Daisy Carnival UK.

“Avicii delivered an incredible headline set and we’re thrilled to have had some of the biggest international acts spanning across all dance music genres performing this year.

“The Crystal Village stage was shipped over from the US for the first time and it was truly a phenomenal spectacle.”


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

EXCLUSIVE interview with Ferry Corsten at EDC UK

TopReviews4U editor Paul Christian talks to Dutch trance legend Ferry Corsten.

It was another fantastic day at EDC UK on Saturday as the cream of dance music descended on Milton Keynes.

In among the EDM were a few solid gold trance nuggets, encouraging signs that the genre is still surviving and thriving.

Asked what made him bring back Gouryella Ferry said: “It was something that I wanted to do for a long time, that whole sound, I wanted it back.
 “In the last few years I was so fed up with everything that was happening in the scene.
I want to return to that 99-2000 sound.” 

So it is a case of back to the future for the amiable DJ and producer, who has been responsible for a gigantic back catalogue of bangers.

Speaking about the future of trance he said: “I can see almost two prongs to it - there's the EDM type of trance and there's these guys, a lot of them from Ireland and Scotland, which is more like the Gouryella style, that people are really loving.”
Gouryella was a project that Corsten started with then close friend Tiesto, who has departed trance and headed for the more commercial EDM akin to the style of young fellow Dutchman Martin Garrix (pictured below). 
Asked how Tiesto felt about the reawakening of one of trance’s most iconic acts Corsten said: “I haven't really spoken to him ever since [the return of Gouryella], I haven't really seen him since, even though we play the same festivals sometimes.

“I've just released number six - Neba - for Gouryella and he was there for the first three.”
And on his former production collaborator’s change of style, Corsten thought for a moment, then said that he likes to make music for the "art" of it.

He added: "I know where his [Tiesto's] heart used to be, I may agree or not (with his new EDM style).
“I went down that route for a little while and I've got to be honest it was very inspiring at first, going to the beginning of EDM.

“Punk and Rock Your Body, Rock were very electro.” 

But he said he was irresistibly drawn back to his roots.

“After doing that for a while the real trance lover in me really did start to resurface again,” he said.

On the strength of his tear-inducingly uplifting performance at EDC UK I don’t think Ferry Corsten will be moving away from trance again. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

BOOK REVIEW: The Diary of V. Frankenstein By Steven J Guscott

A slim volume that really packs a monstrous punch, The Diary of V. Frankenstein is a great achievement, writes TopReviews4U editor Paul Christian

Moving on the Frankenstein story in the finest traditions of the original this Steampunk reawakening of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece is a triumph.
Shelley’s proto-feminism is brought up to date in the alt-reality/Gothic horror reimagining.
It centres on the monster and his mate’s life and their brutal conflict with the human world.
Written in an engaging diary format as the title suggests it is a perfect read, which can be done in bite-sized chunks, or read through on a train or plane journey.
Speaking about the short story, Steven said: “It is an alternate-reality, Gothic/horror, steampunk, sci-fi with the main theme being feminism.

“That's a lot of genres in one story, but it appears to work. 
“This adaptation was originally a short story, which can be found in the published Charity Anthology 'Strange Tales From The Scriptorian Vaults.'
“Quite a number of those who read the Anthology said my story was their favourite so I decided to expand it into this novella.

“I really believe this is a retelling that people will find very interesting as it touches on themes that are important, plus there is some really captivating plots.”
  • For more information click here

Friday, 1 July 2016

Yorkshire Tea - Much More Newsworthy Than Brexit!

What with Brexit and all National Cream Tea Day was rather overshadowed.
A fact not unnoticed by the bemused tea wallahs at Taylor’s of Harrogate, makers of the delicious Yorkshire Tea.So much so that on June 24 they tweeted: “We're very disappointed to see so little media coverage for National Cream Tea Day. It's easily today's biggest story.”
Eager to put this right – albeit belatedly – I have to say that if you want a cream tea make sure you opt for delicious nut brown Yorkshire Tea.
Fiercely sticking to square bags (I always preferred them) this traditional and satisfying cup of splosh with leave you purring with delight.
Those nice people at Taylor’s also sent me a lovely little model of their famous Little Urn – a converted ice cream van which tours all over making sure people have “a proper brew”.

  • For more information on Yorkshire Tea click here 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Interview with trance superstars Aly & Fila ahead of EDC UK

With the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Milton Keynes Bowl just a few weeks away TopReviews4U editor Paul Christian caught up with one of the main attractions – Egyptian trance superstars Aly & Fila.


Here the duo answer our questions ahead of their appearance at the one-day festival extravaganza on July 9.

When did you first get into trance and what was the experience like? 

(Fila) My father worked in Europe a lot in the early 1990s so I used to travel a lot with him to Germany, it was here I discovered Paul Van Dyk and would go to see him play and also bring back tapes of PVD to Egypt where Aly and I would listen to them.

Paul Van Dyk was our biggest inspiration.

How big is trance and dance music in general in Egypt?

The dance music scene in general is very big in Egypt, every week clubs in Egypt are busy and we also have Sharm el Sheikh where Space, Pacha and Privilege are. 

Trance music has grown over the years, our weekly Radio show FSOE is on Nile FM in Cairo and also our record label has many Egyptian artists on there from Mohamed Ragab , Fady & Mina , A&Z , Omar Sherif to name but a few, this creates more awareness of the genre within Egypt itself, also we host each year our FSOE Celebration in Egypt, in 2016 we hosted FSOE 400 at The Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, that created huge awareness within Egypt and worldwide for us, the genre and the Egyptian artists who performed that night.

What is your favourite trance track of all time?

Paul Van Dyk - For an Angel.

How does it feel to be playing EDC in Milton Keynes?

We are really excited, we have heard great things, and EDC / Insomniac / Dreamstate  is a partner of ours so we are very happy to be a part of the festival.

What do you like about playing in the UK?

The crowd’s intelligence and energy is amazing.

How has trance changed over the years and do you think it is as strong as it was?

It has changed a lot, every genre goes through cycles where it is more popular than it was at a certain time.
We have been touring now for 10 years and we see worldwide every year how popular trance is and especially since the social media and internet age came in, where people can connect with each other , there are ‘trance families’ all over world, it’s like a worldwide family, we are very proud to be a part of this.

Who are you future heroes in dance music?

We are very happy to have some great names signed to our record label Future Sound of Egypt, names such as Ferry Tayle, Dan Stone, Darren Porter, Arctic Moon, James Dymond, ReOrder, Mohamed Ragab, LTN, Alex Ender, A&Z, Ahmed Romel, Bjorn Akesson, Alan Morris, Niko Zografos, Omar Sherif, Jonathan Carvajal, Monoverse, to name but a few, there are several others also.

What has been your career highlight?

To become the first Electronic Act since Jean Michele Jarre to play at The Great Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt and also to host our own FSOE 400 Celebration there, we will never forget that moment.

There are many other career highlights like being in the DJ Mag Top 100 Top 50 since 2008, being voted ‘Tune of The Year’ on ASOT 2011 with ‘Aly & Fila feat Jwaydan - We Control the Sunlight’, also having released several artist albums - Rising Sun, Quiet Storm, The Other Shore, The Chillout Album and various compilations including Trance Nation for Ministry of Sound.
Also being Voted No.1 DJ in the Trance Podium Awards two years in a row. 

Other headliners at the EDC UK include Avicii, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Eric Prydz, Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella, Paul van Dyk, Martin Garrix and Pendulum.
  • For more information and tickets click here 

Monday, 30 May 2016

VIDEOS: J00F Editions London review

Old met new on an amazing night of progressive house and trance courtesy of J00F Editions in London last night, writes TopReviews4U editor Paul Christian


Iconic and historic Koko (formerly the Camden Palace) provided a stunning contrast to the absolutely cutting edge dance music served up to a rapturous crowd.

I arrived early and already the venue was in full swing, with a pulsating soundtrack – I’ve not seen a club so busy so early in many years.

The stripped back DJ table was bathes in fairly simple purple light, which lent an otherworldly appearance, but this was all about the music.

And on that J00F Editions did not disappoint – excellent sets from John 00 Fleming and Steve Arnold were also joined by the awesome Astrix, who I’d never seen before, but will definitely seek out again in future.

His was the stand out set in a night of stand out sets.

The genres ranged from progressive to trance to psytrance in what was a futuristic whir of musical mayhem.

The knowledgeable and fervent crowd were loving every morsel of the aural feast as was I.

Quite simply it was a fantastic night and I will be looking out for the next J00F Editions event wherever it may be and so should you.    

Saturday, 21 May 2016

TopReviews4U EXCLUSIVE: Carnival Vista cruise review

The myth that cruising is for old people has been dramatically blown apart with the advent of two new super ships heralding a new era of pleasure sailing, writes TopReviews4U editor Paul Christian.  


Everyone seems to have heard of the massive Harmony of the Seas, but almost as gargantuan and concentrating on fun and quality rather than quantity (but still massive!) is the fabulous Carnival Vista.

I had the honour of joining the fantastic team on board a short while after it first sailed last week on an epic voyage from Barcelona to Rome.

First of all the size of the Carnival Vista is staggering, then when you get on board via a stunning bar with tulip-shaped CGI-centrepiece bar you realise you are in for a treat.

The experience becomes ever more luxurious when you reach the beautiful staterooms and sample the terrific array of food at specialty restaurants like the Asian-inspired Ji-Ji or the fine-dining fayre at Fahrenheit 555.

Filet mignon and lobster, crisp pinot grigio and rich Barolo accompany the sublime dishes, transporting passengers to a bygone era of quality and refinement – but this is not a stuffy experience in the slightest.

Modern innovation like the first on-board IMAX cinema, the excellent SkyRide suspended cycle track at the top of the ship and deck-top water park hurtle this ship into the 21st century.

Sensational bands, singers, entertainers DJs, bars and eateries guarantee and party every day and every night.

Food options include Seafood Shack, a delectable New England-inspired eatery; RedFrog Pub, including the line’s first on-board brewery and other enhanced dining, bar and entertainment options; as well as new scenic and family-friendly accommodation types.

And the European stops are terrific, with Barcelona, Marseille, Livorno and Rome among the picture book destinations and shore excursions to places like Florence and Pisa, the Colosseum and the Vatican.

A voyage on the Carnival Vista is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.
Get on-board now!

For more information and bookings click here