First Report from Australia
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 1995 04:04:47 -0800
From: (John Draper)
Subject: First report from Australia
Latest info from RAVE HEAVEN!!
Well, It’s now Wednesday here in Australia, and Tuesday in the USA,, and this is yet another wakey rave report on an interesting weekly happening in Sydney, Australia.
In the Darlinghurst district in Sydney which is similar to the Castro in San Francisco, there exists this pub called Bentley’s on Crown St. And every Wed evening, a group of very interesting musicians called Clan Analogue, which is a collective of talented musicians, hold a “get together/ dance party” with DJ’s music, and live acts.
I’m not sure of the DJ’s name, but he started off with hi-nrg house, slightly faster than the normal pace of the SF scene. About an hour later, the most insane hi-energy acid trance started to fill up the dance floor. I decided to do this one sober – And as usual, the music pumped in just as much awesome energy into my body that L and E could have done. And at the prices of “E”, doing it sober was really neat, and absolutely necessary.
All around me, I was pumping in energy into the dance crowd, and to be honest, they just aren’t used to seeing a old 52 yr old dude from America dancing like a maniac. It seems that the club scene here has a really interesting vibe. One thing I noticed missing are the Gangsta types. They just don’t exist here. Or if they do, they are doing a good job of hiding. Very few Black people here.
I’ve come to the conclusion, Sydney is RAVE HEAVEN!! And I encourage every self respecting raver to get down, Down under… These guys really know how to party… And I’m being deluged with people asking me about the SF scene. When I say it’s Housey, they say “Cool, but we like more variety”. House music takes a 2nd stage over here, but in the club scene, it’s mostly house.
Almost everywhere I go, I hear techno… in the shops, on people’s car radios, in the clubs, and on the radio. Especially on the radio.
There are no stations that dedicate ALL their time to techno, but it’s not that hard to find it on the dial perhaps about 50% of the time. For instance, on 2SER FM, they have it from 2 – 4 pm every day.
They also got community stations here, and one in particular is Radio Skid Row… A low power station, serving the center of Sydney with about 60% techno and alternate programming.
On Thursday evening at 1 am, I was invited to be interviewed on the radio and talked about the SF scene. It was received very well, had many people call in and ask me questions, as well as give messages out to listeners.
Vic Zitser, a DJ, hosted the program, and before the radio show, we sat behind his turntables at his pad and I got a chance to spin some Happy Hardcore, and Acid trance, and he showed me how to gradually “up” the tempo from 130 bpm to 180 bpm in a totally seamless way. A very interesting DJ trick. I wish OUR DJ’s would do things like that.
I also met Bernie, the dude putting on this birthday bash, and he reminds me of Frazer Clark…
It appears to be very common for DJ’s to start off relatively slow, say around 140 BPM, and gradually increase the tempo to 190 BPM in a single 2 hour set.
Happy hardcore, totally absent from the SF scene, primarily due to it’s faster BPM range of 160 – 180, is just not yet accepted in the SF scene, at least in the mainstream.
I have to say, it’s really neat, and incredibly energetic.
On the air, we talked and plugged “Bernie’s Birthday Bash” a party that’s to take place tonight at “The Pavilion”. Other parties scheduled tonight are….
-Symbiotic by Vibe Tribe
DJs Nick (Prana U.K.), Eon (U.K.), Zeitgeist, Bass Bitch, Sub Bass Snarl
Live: Squish, Non Bossy PossE + Chillamental Zone with Chin Bindi Bombasha Percussion, Cianamaya & guests. Chai, Juice, Munchies Cyberdelic Video
Info: 0055 22746 or 88.9 FM $10
Arena 1 – Ming D, Pee Wee, John Ferris, Hype, Nik Fish, Jumping Jack
Arena 2 – Martyn Allen, Dave Kirkpatrick, Andrew James, Freestyle, Milo, Eden Lounge Bar – Sasha, Dion & Guests.
1 Angel Place City (mear Martin Place) 9pm-8am
Tickets:$15+bf from Reach’n Records, BPM Records, Central Station Records, Folkways, Parade Music, Spit Records, Music Zone, Mall Music
-Revolt at the Hyde Park Barracks. 10pm-7am
DJs: Sheen, Dave Kirpatrick, Pee Wee, Nick Field, Mal Russel, Louise, Martyn Allen, Tim McGee + Guests.
DJs: Fenix, Spellbound, Reaver, Jumping Jack, Georgy Porgy
info: 0055 16171 Tickets: $20+bf adv.
As you all can see, there are just too many parties for this one heavy raver dude to swallow in one evening. But I was able to manage to get on Bernie’s, and Symbiotic’s guest list, so will probably check out at least these two.
Almost all the parties take place in Sydney city center, and are all within the 1 km area.
There is one thing that’s really annoying… It’s those “0055″ numbers given out on the flyers. They are similar to our “900″ numbers, but when you call them, you can get soaked for about $5 per call, and it’s really annoying when they have a 3 minute intro of just music and another 5 minutes of narration before the directions are given to the venue.
Last night, I got a hotel in Kings Cross, and WOW!! Whatta trip Kings Cross is on a Friday evening. There are strip tease joints and barkers constantly pulling people into their venues. Cover ranges from $25 for strip acts, and of course dancing. Most of these play house in the 120 BPM range. Boring!!
I dosed up a tab, and the “Cross” as it’s called is really something to behold. First off, establishments can sell booze 24 hours a day. There is NO 2 am closing time. The ALL stay open all night long, at least until 6 am, and mostly till 8 am. Drinking age here is 18 and over, and ID checking is lax at best.
After leaving my hotel, I decided to go back to Club-77 to hear Phil Smart, Sugar Ray, Jumping jack, and Nick Fish. When I arrived, Jumping jack was spinning house, and I heard all the familiar songs heard in SF. It was like I never left. Later on, Phil smart got on, and guess what… I heard the laughing song… So it’s played here as well. :-) The name of this weekly is ‘LOADED”, and behind the turntables are a really cool mural showing a loaded gun with a smile on it’s side and a bullet coming out (Also with smile). For a club, the vibe was totally insane. I got tons of smiles, and people coming up and dancing next to me.
I think the Aussies are starting to get a feel for the absolute dedication to the scene that I represent. Although I’ve been nursing a cold when I arrived, it hung on for almost a week, and I felt like my energy level was at an all time low.
Jumping Jack finally went on, and spun the most awesome acid trance I’ve heard since Goa Gil…. Yow!! I went totally insane and almost completely forgot that I really wanted to try and get some sleep. But as it always turns out, sleep is something I always sacrifice when I have such a good time. One dude who calls himself “Stickey” came up to me and gave me a big smile and thumbs up. The dancing energy though was rather low for Calif standards but when Sugar Ray went on, WOW!! What a increase in energy…. Everyone was cheering and yelling just like back home.
The Club 77 is a rather small venue, and it can get hot and stuffy in there but I managed to find the air conditioner vent and a great spot to dance and stay cool.
Later on, Sugar Ray came up to me and asked me who I was, and where I came from. I filled him in on the details, and after I told him I was writing about the rave scene, he consented to an interview. Sometime soon, I’m going to sit down and talk to him about the Australian scene in detail and write up more stuff and publish it in SFRaves, alt.rave, and AusRaves.
So, later this afternoon, I’m going to interview him at BPM records. YEA!! They got a BPM record store HERE as well. I don’t think they are affiliated with the BPM store in SF.
I’m sitting here in an American Cafe in the Cross, where I discovered they serve American Pancakes (A rarity here in Australia).
Well, I gotta prepare some Email to upload later, when I can find a phone, so I’ll break off here… It may be as late as Wednesday before I’ll get the chance to upload this