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Future Music Festival Asia: Day Two

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“When you walk through that gateway, you’re in an entirely different world. And it’s not a real world. But it sure is fun.”Armin Van Buuren’s  words during a press scrum that rapidly descended into a 20-journalist scrum. Oddly, talk became preoccupied mostly with Armin’s new baby. Infantile questions aside, day two did indeed see FMF Asia enter into a different world, away from Thirsty Thursday’s wet-effect EDM and into the hot spacy world of Trance music. As with last year, Armin van Buuren’s State of Trance stage dominated the day’s program – a smooth progression of names opening with Ramsey Westwood and picking up pace shortly after the 15 minute Prayer Break. This actually happens – in the middle of a Trance festival, the site comes to a total halt for a full 15 minutes. Data Transmission thinks it’s a positive sign that two opposing cultures and ways of life – music, and religion, can respect one another. Date Transmission also thinks it’s a positive sign that the site bars remain open during this period.Unfazed by the haze, by 9pm the main area was as heavily compressed as Andrew Rayels pounding basslines, as once again FMF Asia took Kuala Lumpur’s new money up to another level. There were roars, shaking flags, signs and an abundance of comedy masks as Markus Schulz entered the mix, calling the crowd to join his Global Trance Family in a speech that in another event may have come from a Scientology panel, but any suspicions were soon rolled about by signature stabbing synths as the unicorn slayer got to work.

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By 11pm Armin himself entered the arena. The musical transition was smooth, the frenzied change of pace on the ground less so. Dozens of photographers jumped, tripped, shoulder barged their way into the photo pits to take photos of the crowd taking photos of Armin, before being manhandled out by security guards shortly before the entire front platform exploded in a blaze of sparks, smoke and glitter. As the set wound down and the dust cleared, Armin called a moment of silence for MH370. Lights filtered down and there was a moving still for a full minute in the stadiom, before seamlessly, stylishly, Paul Van Dyk wound up string and hot lights and the game continued for another two hours. 

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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