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Totem and Sundaze

Subject: Totem report from Sydney


Totem rave report


Greetings fellow SFRavers, AusRavers, and AdRavers… This Cyber Gypsy is back in Sydney down from hot, sweaty, tropical Darwin. Makes me appreciate the wonderful winter of Sydney….Which, by the way, is warmer than the summers of San Francisco… At this time of the year, Sydney appears to have spring-like weather in the winter.


I arrived home about 10 PM on Saturday, just enough time to shower and relax before heading out to the following party.


Saturday May 20th

Spirit Ov Thee Times – Totem Launch of “Zeitgeist”

CD on If? Recordings featuring Voitek (Melb), Hi Fly (Melb), Calix (Syd), Blac (Syd), + DJs Biz E, Michael MD, Zeitgeist (Melb)

Underground Cafe – 22 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross


Tickets available at Hardwax


I arrive kind of early, because it’s less than 100 meters from where I live. Ohhh!!! How convenient…. to have my OWN private Chillout area… Tee hee!


As I arrive, Michael MD was spinning some good house trance but nobody was on the dance floor. After my flight back from Darwin, I wasn’t quite ready to get into it, so I schmoosed around, saying hi to all my Sydney friends who were all wondering where I was for the past week. Sheesh! Already, people are missing me.


I get the usual “I see you everywhere!!” person coming up to me… and after not raving for more than 13 days (OH!!! how horrible!! I certainly was ready. I had popped a couple o Daffy’s about 30 minutes before arriving, and it was starting to come on…. WOW!! what 13 days can do to ones tolerance…


Yet more time passed, and the dance floor was still totally empty, and I said “FUCK THIS!!” and wasted no time getting out there to loosen up.


Almost immediately, this girl came out, with a big smile and urging me on. After that, I would say, within about 3 – 4 minutes, there were 15 people dancing. People were swarming into this small and cozy little venue (The Underground Cafe). It’s entrance to the place has an iron gate, leading to the front door. The doorman was checking ID’s (remember – 18+ to go to bars in Australia). The door then leads downstairs below street level where you pay $15 to get in.


As I entered the Cafe, they had sheets hanging from the ceilings, off to the left, in a raised section, there were rows of electronic instruments, synthesizers, and the like. It became clear the this was to be a LIVE performance of acid trance. O’ BOY! My favorite….


Down on the dance floor, towards a back stage, situated ONE of the 3 chill areas, with lots of pillows, and mats to flop down on.


Off to the right, were tables (Cafe style), and way in the back to the right was the bar. Other rooms leading to more chill areas, and pinball machines. The DJ booth was just to the right, up in an elevated section, facing the Cafe part, and Mike Dagn was behind the turntables.


Mike Dagn maintains the AusRaves mailing list, and had been a wonderful source for rave information, and the local radio stations use his party list every day to announce upcoming events. In fact, Mike was one of the first AusRave folks I’ve met (While I was in Calif.).


When the first live musician came on, I hardly noticed it. When I did, I was amazed at how well he put together his set. It seems a lot of people here are making their OWN music to each individual taste. As a result of this, there is such an amazing amount of variety that it boggles the mind. Initially, when Dagn went on, he stayed around the usual 120 BPM range, but as the evening wore on, the BPMs gradually increased upwards to about the Australian standard of about 150 BPM.


As usual, I literally went insane, hopping around the dance floor until it got so crowded that all I could do is go up and down. As I was chilling outside, a few young Aussie dudes said “You’re FUCKIN SICK! – How long have you been raving?” My American accent always seems to get people to believe I’m from Canada. Not very many people from San Francisco come to Sydney, and I’m always deluged with questions about the SF rave scene. I would say … They have mostly House and trance, and what the Aussies call Garage house. They would say.. “What! no hard core?” in total disbelief!!!


The live music acts were totally brilliant!! All fresh new stuff.


When the live stuff was over, I went home for a few minutes to chill out and stretch. As usual, Kings Cross is insane on a Sat evening. Kinda like North Beach in SF. It’s so crowded that you can hardly walk on the sidewalk.


I eventually headed back to the underground cafe to hear the other DJ’s from Melbourne (See the info above). All were incredible… And thanx for Mike Jay for putting on such a great party.


The party went on until about 7 am. Afterwards, I went home, took a shower, and headed off for breakfast.


Recovery party - Pavilion Tavern


After breakfast, I headed down to the Recovery, only to learn that the trains weren’t running. They offered buses (for free – gee, how nice), I eventually get there around 9:30 am. Hardly anyone there, so I touch base with those coming from other parties. Learned there wasn’t much going on last night. Other a talked to which they had come to the Totem event.


As usual, happy hard-core was on the menu…. I wasted no time getting on the dance floor, and had it all to myself. Eventually others followed.


It appears that Aussies usually don’t stay up and rave all night and into the next morning. They go home, get some sleep, and head out to recovery in late afternoon.


The Pavilion is having a DJ contest, where each set is 20 minutes long, and breaks between each set they do. Most all sets were happy hard (sometimes referred to as “Kiddie Kore”). There was some Jungle, breakbeat and hose played as well. In fact, one of the house DJ’s laid down a brilliant set of some really great house trance, and literally filled the dance floor.


As one would expect, I heard the same songs over and over, as each DJ had the same record in each of their collections. Other than that, and a few inexperienced DJ’s I heard an amazing variety.


Later on, I meet this black dude from the UK in dreads. Actually, he saw me getting in on in the dance area, and I found out he was a DJ, and picked up on my vibe. Later on, I heard him spin some really good house (in the small room). Which was so crowded and hot, there was no way anyone can dance.


Besides, I liked the happy hard-core, and stayed out in the main area where is was much cooler.


I stayed at the pavilion from 9:30 am until midnight, pretty much dancing all the time, except to chill and go out and eat in the evening.


I eventually went home, feeling really great…


So, this wraps up yet another report from Sydney… More stuff to follow, as next week is DUMBO – A huge massive rave/circus event, alongside yet another rave “Space Cadet”… HOLY SHIT!! which one do I take in next week… Upcoming on the 3rd of June, and my LAST RAVE in Australia is MDMA-2 which is supposed to GET OFF!! big time… will be my big last Australian bash before heading back to San Francisco on the 5th, where I’ll be at Come/Unity for my welcome home party, so save all that good vibe for me when I get back….


Oh!! what can I do, no more happy hard-core….



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