Main Contents

Dr. Trance and James St. Bass – 100.7 FM Toronto

Download Side A – 32:24, 59.3 MB

Download Side B – 32:44, 59.9 MB

256kbps, 44.1kHz stereo



Acid lovers rejoice!!

This tape is a recording of Dr. Trance’s show “Technopolis” from Global Groove Radio, 100.7 FM, Toronto. This mix is a real testament to mixtape culture since it’s really just an ordinary night from a weekly radio show, indiscriminately recorded, yet it features some utterly remarkable music.

The good Doctor is joined by well established Toronto rave pioneer DJ James St. Bass, opening up a time warp to the mid-80’s with some unbelievably amazing old skool acid techno. Dr. Trance precedes the Teebee treats with some techno, opening with an awesome speed garage track. Despite the candidness of the show the mixing is surprisingly top-calibre.

Be forewarned that there’s a bit of radio banter, but no more than 5 minutes worth. There’s mention of the very popular, now extinct, Effective rave company which was founded by Dr. Trance.

For those who don’t know, Dr. Trance, aka Don Berns, is an institution of the Toronto rave scene. He’s been in the radio and broadcasting biz for about 40 years and knows his way around the decks and the industry. Looking at this overweight, middle-aged man, one could never guess he was right at home coaxing 3000 kids to dance to the world’s most underground tunes at 4:00am. Like all good things, seeing is believing. The Doctor could always be found at raves either down in the trenches chatting with party-goers, or up in the VIP areas yucking it up with the world’s finest electronica talent.

Don Berns aka Dr. Trance

Canadians should pay close attention to this man’s voice as it should sound familiar. Berns does a lot of TV and radio voiceover work (his vocal timbre reveals that he was born to work in radio) and can be heard in many commercials and TV station identification clips.

Here’s a great interview with Dr. Trance about his then upcoming performance at Toronto’s Idance festival – a public daylight rave event held in 2 consecutive years to bring public awareness to the then media-shunned rave scene.

If the sound of the Roland TB303 makes your heart skip a beat as it does mine you’ll go topsy turvy over this wonderful collection of very early acid tracks. Enjoy, and leave a comment if you’d like to share your thoughts on this mix.

Categories: 60 Minute Tape, Everything, Hardcore - Old Skool Breakbeat, House - Latino, House - Speed Garage, Techno - Acid, Techno - Old Skool, Techno - Rave, 1999 |


  1. corina August 8, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

    Hehe, this reminds me of working at IceBerg Media with the likes of Dr. Trance… and being warned by that DeadlyHeadly guy to STAY AWAY!

    Hehe… didn’t we also go to a movie sneak peek party where Dr. Trance was wearing an insane led jacket?

    Ahh… discombobulated memories…

  2. Brian August 8, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

    Yeah, we saw the movie “Groove”. I remember the Doc announcing that he’d give a prize to the person wearing the fattest pants. Somehow, I lost this contest!

  3. Jesus aka Richard August 11, 2007 @ 8:03 am

    The god that is THE Dr. Trance…
    He has been around for ever, did u ever get to go to the “House Of Trance” in the late 96-97 on sherbourne in T.O. it was amazing and he always knew what to spin.

    I also saw him the last time at the really old Altantis rave at Ontario Place, and I got him to play some older stuff for part of his set, instead of the newer stuff he was spinner.

    contat me on my email, I wondering if you had ony of DJ Dominik’s tapes left, I lost mine during the years, but I have a few cds that we might trade depending…

    Thanks for keeping the scene alive in a different way…

  4. Brian August 11, 2007 @ 9:23 am

    Hey Jeez,

    I haven’t heard of the House of Trance party, but I think I remember a friend telling me about Atlantis. Was that the place with the big spinning dance floor?

    As a matter of fact I think I do have one or two Dominik tapes kicking around, though they’re from events, not studio mixes. The last time I was at Numb the owner said she had 3/4 of a garage full of old tapes she’d be willing to sell for $2, including many Dominik tapes, so I might stop in there some time soon to place an order.

    Thanks for commenting and for visiting. Keep your eyes open for future releases!

  5. Jesus aka Richard August 13, 2007 @ 7:29 am

    Hey brian…

    Check you email, and Atlantis was the place with the spinning dance floor, I forgot about it. The old “House of Trance” party was on lower sherbourne in a really old green ratty looking house on the first floor. It was rough, but the music was worth it.

    Keep in touch…

  6. Dj Phantax aka 9thmen March 16, 2008 @ 8:17 am

    try this site out it has a ton of flyers and mixes that Im sure you’ll love !! I also have a copy of DR Trance’s walk into the light for around 1993, its an amazing trip……… I think thats why John E gave Don his dj name.

  7. Brian March 16, 2008 @ 11:34 am

    Phantax, thanks SO MUCH for that link! That is some Toronto gold right there!

  8. Humanjava March 24, 2008 @ 11:13 pm

    I should sort you out with a Ryan 7 mix tape. Nice Crisp E’s

    By far one of the biggest pushers of the early rave scene in Toronto and totally under appreciated. There are also a few other tapes that kicked around of his I can no longer find. Was on Dr Trance show a few times.

    Played many of the Atlantis parties.

    Toronto blew it and had a very good thing through the early 90’s.

  9. Brian March 25, 2008 @ 6:43 am

    Either I’ve seen Ryan 7 or I just recognize the name. I think I remember seeing his name listed on the spines of cassettes at mixtape stores, perhaps.

    If you’d really like to hook me up then please do so by all means! I’ll host it here!

  10. Humanjava April 19, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

    I have a tape I will encode one of these days to mp3 for ya called ” Nice Crisp E’s”… look on any of the Atlantis, E Network, etc flyers of the day and he was always on the bill as a large local support. I wish I could find some of his other tapes or him as he was a good friend but no idea where he went.

    But then again no idea where the Toronto scene went either.


  11. Don Berns May 5, 2008 @ 8:45 am

    Wow-you folks certainly have some nice things to say and I thank you for that. It’s also nice to know that there are some tapes floating around from my radio show(s), since I have none, believe it or not. I’d love to have the Energy 108 show where Dominik threw down a perfect mix set on two turntables that DIDN’T HAVE pitch control!

    Ah, memories.

    BTW-Ryan 7 was a founding member of E! and, with all due respect to his partner SOS (who is a great DJ in his own right), was one of the most amazing DJs I have ever seen…a joy to watch as well as listen to. I’m not sure what happened to him, but as his style shifted away from trance to techno and then hip hop, he just kinda faded from the scene. Nobody has heard from him in 10 years or more.

    -cheers to you all-


  12. Don Berns May 5, 2008 @ 8:46 am


    Still middle aged. No longer overweight!

  13. Brian May 5, 2008 @ 9:46 am

    You know, I remember seeing the name Ryan 7 all over the place but, incredibly, I don’t remember ever seeing him spin. What a shame. He put out a few mixtapes as I recall so I hope to happen across one some day.

    Ah, the E! Space. I visited it last year for old time’s sake. I think it’s a basketweaving factory or something now, and before it became the most underground nightclub in the city I believe it was an abattoir. What a coloured history for such an unimposing little venue.

    Props to the man, the myth, the legend, (and the weight loss!) Don Berns. Thanks for commenting. Your Effective party at the old air force hangars (1998 maybe) was one of my faves of all time.

  14. james st. bass May 5, 2008 @ 10:00 am

    What A treat….just yesterday at one of my regular beloved Church (hence the Saint thing)
    rummage sales, I scored an OLD SKOOL Sony cassette field recorder with output jacks galore and feel a step closer to being able to get 100’s of my old mix tapes transfered to digital files and share with whoever likes to share. Besides Acid, I love to collect Pyrex and Glo-hill serving ware from your Grandma’s cupboards. It’s now rivalling my vinyl record collection….I take exception to the ‘gay circuit’ tag. I played lots of gay themed parties (mostly benefits) and proper mixed crowds raves, but do not like or DJ ‘circuit’ music. House, disco, acid, techno, metal, classic rock and my beloved 80’s Funk all are in my heart and collections forever. But show me a a uniformly shaved head and muscle-brained party and I’m out the door, looking for the open-minded, open-format and open-hearted party for all lovers of good times and funky beats. Ready to do it all again when you are!
    Dr. Trance remains one my closest mentors in ALL artistic pursuits, a radio god, and even helped me pop my cork at a very recent birthday celebration. I am nothing without him! Look for me finally getting together a myspace site this summer for fans and friends to connect.

  15. Brian May 5, 2008 @ 11:06 am

    It’s a real pleasure to have you reply, James! Apologies if I’ve misrepresented the breadth of your repertoire. I probably ought to have mentioned your HardDrive show which was one of Toronto’s first broadcasted techno radio shows and was certainly not directed at any specific subcategory of listener.

    If you don’t mind I’d like to send you an email regarding your mixtape collection and your wish to digitize it. If you’re interested in sharing the wealth with the world I’d be willing to help you do so.

    And a big meh to myspace. Myspace is the Joker Nightclub of websites while little indie sites like mine are like the 23 Hop of the web. DIY!

  16. james st. bass May 5, 2008 @ 6:00 pm

    Sure! We’ll keep chatting and planning and in the meantime A big hearted “waz goin’ on?” to all fans of the classic Hardrive show sounds. Over the years, many fine friends have told me they taped every show! Lucky them! I only have a few! But we’ll see if there’s something worthy of this fine website. Luckily, I still have the old playlists from most of my radio shows, so I’ll be able to provide tracklistings for the trainspotters….watch this space!

  17. Brian May 5, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

    Eh, James, I rephrased a certain few words for you in my writeup.

    I would LOVE to host an archive of the old Hardrive show!

  18. james st bass May 14, 2008 @ 11:59 am

    Hello again
    Amidst my 20 or so 50’s vintage suitcases, are the bones of Hardrive: Cassettes, rave and party flyers & endless laminates, playlists, likely a roach or two, and somewhere, a real human skull! Such is the detritus of a mad beat scientist and obsessive collector….Time is the only obstacle to the excavation… Armed with a good Sharpie and some labels, I will dig and audit and label and get something up here this summer. For the record, and re-reading the comments above, the first 5 or more years of my Hardrive show on CIUT featured 19th century broadcast turntables with no pitch control and cartidges like barbed wire! Mixing required abrupt cuts and much strenuous manipulation of these dinosaur decks! Goldie, Phantasy, Roger S., T.O. legend Nick Holder, and countless other guest dj’s GAGGED when they saw the equipment…and then promptly threw down killer mixes anyway…
    Eventually we got 1200’s, through the kind contributions of listeners, and they were stolen in less than a month!! Such is the fate of community radio stations….
    The later shows were then pre-mixed during the week for tape with the substantial contribution of DJ Scott Cairns, on my home decks. They too, now, look like ancient remains. But you can’t really kill a 1200.
    Not sure whatever happened to the old broadcast decks, but they must have weighed 500lbs! Don’t make ’em like they used too, as they say…

  19. Brian May 15, 2008 @ 10:52 am

    When you’ve got some of those archives digitized rest assured they’ve got a home here at Demodulated Mixtapes.

  20. Jeff from aka Kaspa August 16, 2008 @ 12:06 am

    Don Burns, miss you and those days so much.
    You may not remember me but I was there back in the mid to late 90’s when you used to play at Asbery Alley and Marcella’s in Buffalo. Actually all the way up to the last time I saw you play at Joe Zappia’s 1 year passing event.

    Funny enough I use to love seeing you play Asbury Alley when there were only a dozen of us there…what the world was missing out on!

    Best wishes,
    Jeff Halas aka Dj Kaspa (or as you used to call me, “Kasper the friendly raver”

    …Don, you and your Radio shows, Live sets, and the atmosphere’s you created in person were such a big part of my life….

  21. Jeff from aka Kaspa August 16, 2008 @ 12:14 am

    actually now that I am on my rant… your show is what introduced buffalo and myself to Freaky Flow and so many other great talents.

    I was actually the first person to bring Freaky Flow to the U.S. to DJ (@ Asbury Alley)LOL…and it is all because of your show.

    Along with so many other DJ’s that were introduced to us by your show.

    In all honesty, without your show reaching us down here in Buffalo I know that we would have never had the rave / club scene that we did back then.

    So once again – THANK YOU DON

  22. Grateful Fan From the 90s! September 25, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

    Dr. Trance, what can I say but thanks for the incredible memories!!?

    The Dr. Trance Radio show was just an oasis in the desert and I remembering staying up late after going to the clubs to listen to it and if I wasn’t going out then I listened to as much of it as I could before crashing!

    My first rave was at the Masonic Temple in Toronto at Atlantis I believe . . . I think it was in ’95 or ’96. I remember Children was a big tune and Grimace was playing on multiple turntables at once!

    I remember going to Destiny 18 as well. I never really went to many raves.

    I will never forget the music of the 90s and can’t wait to hear some of the old mixtapes!

    Keep the happy days alive and thanks to Dr. Trance again and all the people that are making this possible!

  23. Brian September 26, 2008 @ 7:26 am

    Thanks for writing, Grateful Fan. I’d heard such great things about the Masonic Temple venue and was lucky enough to go to the very last rave held there (Hullabaloo 5 or 6, I think). What a great layout. I spent about half that party dancing and the other half on those high-up bleachers just chatting with people.

  24. Phil Marwood October 10, 2008 @ 12:24 pm

    Fantastic thread. Don Berns, James St Bass, and others energized Toronto in more ways then you can imagine. Their inspiration is what lead me to follow my passion for electronic music to launch my own label Soundtrack Recordings. I would love to work with Don and or James and re-ignite some of magic from the glory years.

    Respect and love,
    Phil Marwood

  25. Megadose October 16, 2008 @ 11:29 am

    Wow Dr Trance is the shit! I seen him @ a party in Niagara Falls canada in like 1996 it was off the hook!! they dont throw partys like that anymore! now its all this new skool attiude cdj’s & serato. talent to me is digging thru your box & building a set the old fashioned way & thats what dr trance brings to his sets. Mad respect to a legend!

  26. Jay 'Loop Dokter' Kaufman November 20, 2008 @ 10:58 am

    Ahh yes. I remember religiously listening to Hardrive and Don’s shows…

    In fact, James you may actually remember this, but there was a very distinct moment you were DJing upstairs in a ‘hidden room’ of sorts at the Aqua rave in 1995. Paul Oakenfold was the headliner. It was in an abandoned warehouse on Dundas I think.

    Anyway, you dropped Liberty City’s ‘That’s What I Got’. It was just one girl dancing (finding that room was a bit of a challenge), but she was totally getting down. I soon joined in dancing up a storm with her and you had this grin on your face like I’ve never seen on a DJ since.

    Both Don and James provided a great inspiration for my DJing and production. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be a guest on the Dr. Trance shows, but I did slip in on Technopolis a couple of times.

    Don has a great story about meeting Clive Davis, Miami’s WMC and me blagging records if you ever want to get a scope of just how important he was in my ‘career’. Haha.

  27. big j April 14, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

    dr trance has got it still every one has to check out his download from 2008 christmas party,thats what i call real trance “tiesto who”back too the real deal!!!!miss the pleasure force parties and antlantis…good times.I will never forget when the rave scene took over the CN Tower.

  28. big j April 14, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

    Sorry didnt tell u guys where to get it don

  29. Bilal April 6, 2010 @ 3:50 am

    it was don berns and chris sheppard who got me into the EDM scene and im so thankful for it. Don IMHO has the best collection of trance , hard trance ive ever heard, from the energy 108 days to 1groove it was such a ride and I was introduced to SO many amazing songs, some of which im still trying to ID!! IF ANYONE can help please email me or add me to msn


  30. scott April 21, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    How do I get some of his old and new stuff. Used to rave with him back in the early 90’s, I am looking for that old WHO remix…see mee feel hear me luv me touch me. thanks

  31. Brian April 21, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    Scott, it just so happens that I own a Dr. Trance mix called Dance Into The Light which has the song you mention. It’s called Thunderdome by Messiah. Stay tuned – perhaps I’ll upload it to the site!

  32. Steve K May 24, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

    Just trying to re-connect with James – it’s Steve from Insomnia – send me an e-mail & give me my Common record back!! Love to hear from you…

  33. Jesus AKA Richard May 25, 2010 @ 9:25 am


    Don Burns AKA Dr. Trance, here, what a high. I also remember all the 94-98 parties, Sirus, Goa, Destiny, 4×4, and so many more… Cinescape on Pape Ave in T.O. was the sh@t!!!

    I miss it all, and Dominik and S.O.S. thru it down hard, wish we knew what happen to them…

    Don, glad to hear your still kicking, small note if your read this, you spun in Toronto in ’99 Summer for the Ontario Place “Atlantis” location. There was a raver that asked you to play some “old-school” trance, the harder stuff, and you did… that was me, and thank you so much, it made the party jump…

    Such memories….

    Jesus AKA Ricahrd…

  34. Brian May 25, 2010 @ 9:32 am

    Atlantis.. wasn’t that the place with the revolving dance floor?

    Ontario Place had quite a few great raving locations!

  35. Max - The IT Pro February 25, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    Mad props to you Brian for putting up this site. This particular mix sounds like a real gem from the preview. Am downloading all the way over here in East Africa (Nairobi).

    Ah, yes, I will never forget the TDot EDM scene that “found me” after a chance encounter with 2 skirts when I first moved to TDot in ’98 to do my CompSci internship at the Bank of Montreal via UWO. As they say, ‘the rest is history.’

    EDM is in my blood. I think it, feel it, dream it. Thanks to hearing great DJs like Kenny Glasgow, DJ Addy, DJ Myka, Tim Patrick, Dekoze, Nathan Barato, Manzone & Strong, Peter & Tyrone, Dino & Terry (among others) at clubs like Life, Turbo, Comfort Zone, System SoundBar, The Guv & a ton of other venues, I can say that I have truly LIVED. 🙂
    Nothing gets me excited knowing that Labour of Love, Bal en Blanc (Montreal) & other notable EDM events are still going strong. I’m looking to bring that ‘vibe’ in these parts. See you guys in this Summer (2011).


  36. Brian February 25, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    Thanks for the fantastic comment, Max! Made my day, it did!

  37. justin April 17, 2011 @ 12:59 am

    i remember going to destiny fridays on isabella ..miss the good times..i’m also tryin to find ..i believe a dr trance tape year in review had jam and spoon follow me and ethics to the beat of the drum..many goodtimes listening to this tape ..
    and if god is a dj…its don

  38. Brian April 17, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    My friend Justin, by chance would this be what you’re talking about?

    I’ve really got to get around to adding this to the site.

  39. justin April 21, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    what a great mix…not the one i was lookin for but ive got it on replay..oh the memories…the tape im lookin for also had a weird barney song on it..’i hate you you hate me’ i know you have a bucket load of tapes just thought id give it a shot….thanx so much youre a great man!!!

  40. Brian April 23, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    Very glad to hear you enjoyed that mix, Justin. Unfortunately I don’t have any more Dr. Trance tapes in my bucket. Good luck on your quest!

  41. Derek April 25, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    I’m not positive if there was a mix tape with a song that started off with a catchy (I had a dream last night) it’s not Sash. It was more dance underground. I’m pretty sure it was a old Dr Trance tape. any luck with this description ? lol sorry it’s been about ten years since i’v heard it.

  42. Brian April 26, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    Doesn’t ring any techno bells, sorry!

  43. Adam June 24, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    Hey guys… You played an awesome track last night at around 4am. I think someone mentioned on air it was called ” Tears of Valentina” is that possible? I cannot find the artist or the song anywhere and it blew me away! Please provide any info possible.
    Great show by the way!

  44. Derek October 18, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

    That is the mix tape i have been looking for dance into the light.. very hard to find on line. Thanks Brian !!!!

  45. George February 4, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

    Anybody remember Club Generations on Isabella St. in Toronto? AT 16, I used to run the light show there with my friend Colin. He taught me how to use the thing and I remember bumming a Marlboro Light 100mm off of Dr. Trance. First time I met him, what a gent. Ah, those acid-fueled nights–yes, I mean the drug and the music. I would love to track down some of the old tunes that still buzz in my head, but I never had a good memory for titles, but I can recite the melodies by heart. Such is the irony… Keep this precious–and pure–scene alive; it means so much to many of us. Bless.

  46. Brian February 4, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    Generations – isn’t that where they used to have Destiny Fridays? And it turned into Spin Cat? Or am I way off?

  47. JOSEPH April 17, 2019 @ 10:44 pm

    I’d like to know where Don Berns went to. I live
    in the Toronto area and haven’t been able to find
    him for many years. If someone can put me in touch
    with him, I have some stuff he may be interested

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