Earthcore. Wow, Earthcore was awesome. It was a whole village of techno. Just... techno techno techno. Except for the one tent where they were playing breaks it was 909s all day, all night, like a little slice of heaven :-) Though heaven would have air conditioning and cleaner toilets. And more acid. And less bugs. And stuff. But yeah. Cool. I'll insert my in-depth ramble below.
Well we just got back from the Melbourne Earthcore yesterday afternoon and man oh man are you guys in for a treat. I've been to a lot of raves and doofs in my life but this was something else. It was like a whole little techno village.
We arrived midday on Friday and set up camp. It was so ridiculously hot we just passed out for a few hours before even checking out the event. We woke up to the sound of doofing... went to see what it was and it wasn't even any of the scheduled spaces - it was these random guys in a double decker bus (!) who had rocked up and put a massive sound system out the front with tarp and couches and started banging out some great trance... They kept it up all the time we were there just out the back of our tent so we had music 24/7 pretty much.
The markets were awesome. We'd brought heaps of cheese sticks and dry food and juice to get us through, but they had everything there. Kebabs, pizza, tacos and ritos (with Tapatio hot sauce OMG!!!!!!!!!), poffertjes and crepes, Hare Krishna curry, falafel/chai, fruit, BBQ stuff, the works. Not to mention the clothes and smartdrugs and rave gear. Everything you could want.
The vibe was... different. I don't know if it's a Melbourne thing or an Earthcore thing but we hardly had any chats to anyone. People said hi but scat chats and trippy talks and plain old convos seemed to be something people did with their mates and noone else. That was pretty disappointing, but we did have some good chats to an English girl hiding under a tarp from the thunderstorm and a few other randoms from overseas. So many weird sights to see though, crazy outfits and these bizarre events that you weren't sure if you imagined them or not because they were so weird. Mushroom heads and glowing aliens and teddy bears and mini Harleys and giant bubbles... Very cool.
The music... Well fuck. I had a CANNOT MISS list before i want and i stuffed most of it. There's so much shit on you just kinda wander from one place to the next and before you know it it's over. Friday night we didn't see much at all because we were exhausted from the drive and the heat and the evening thunderstorm made it all a bit too much. Very bummed i slept through Phil Hartnoll, but what can you do?
Saturday's music... Most of the early afternoon i was groovin to the guys in the double decker bus who played everything from psytrance to tribal house to hardtrance. They were great and had a good crowd till about 5pm when Shpongle came on. Well when he was supposed to come on - we had to wait till 6 with about 1000 other people till he started playing. And then when he did it was so boring i left :( Very disappointed because i'd heard great things.
I went back to bed until midnight to sleep through the rest of the boring stuff and got up in time for Dark Soho. Was really looking forward to these guys too but the show itself ended up sounding kinda flat. The sound was just awful in the psytrance room :( That horrible compression was happening where a riff is going really loud until the bassdrum kicks in and then the riff is so quiet you can barely hear it at all. Blah. Left to go wandering and ended up at Regurgitator. They were fantastic - i was blown away. A rock band at a techno gig and they were the best i'd heard yet. It helped they played in the beer tent so i could actually drink a bit while enjoying the music and getting down all gangsta stylee.
The rest of the night was a bit of a blur. I tried to watch Hallucinogen but the sound was terrible and it felt boring just hearing classics. Astrix was pretty cheesy too. Seeing Scott Alert and Lab 4 on a massive outdoor sound system was novel, though i couldn't get into it too much till Lab 4 got really hard and driving toward the end. The beer tent was breaks all night so i didn't bother going in. But the real surprise was the market tents which played awesome prog and tribal stuff all night, plus the double decker bus with their ace trance. It's funny all the big names didn't do anything for me and the no-name stuff went off.
Tsuyoshi was great, however. I was beginning to worry i'd grown out of psytrance, but he pulled out the guitars and electro/punk crossover-ish stuff and it was Good. Very Fucking Good. But then i fucking missed Juno Reactor going back to the tent to tell people they were on!!! Soon as i got back there i passed out :( But i was up again for Martin Solveig and he was absolutely top notch. In fact if i had to name the best set, that was it. Really deep and grinding with weird noises and house-alicious funk out the ass.
All in all it was an awesome experience, just because of the great mix of people and great food and great music. There's nothing like going to sleep at night hearing techno and waking up hearing more techno and going to the shops and hearing more techno... Fucking brilliant. And it was a massive detox weekend for me too - i had to drive so it was a long weekend of water, juice, vegetarian food and dancing. I only had four beers all weekend! Really felt on top of the world Sunday afternoon.
Of course i fucked it when we got back to Melbourne. Had shots and beers at the trashiest gay bar for a few hours, then headed on to Paul Mac at the Prince of Wales in St Kilda. The Presets were opening and they kicked ass. Very fun music to drink and dance to. Paul Mac was cool with all his singers and band, lovely girly music and lots of hugs and beers and happy times. Shame we had to cut through the pretension with a chainsaw, but we found that pretty much everywhere we went out in Melbs :( You just make your own little bubble of cargos and candy and rollies where Dolce and Gabbana and heels and snobbiness don't exist. It was a really nice end to the weekend but. Crazy fun!
Yay Earthcore! :)
After Earthcore and Paul Mac it was just more good eats. Fresky in Prahran have gotta have the best breakfast EVER. The pizza at Topolino's in St Kilda is fucking divine. And Tuesday night we finally made it to Fiesta, the Mexican restaurant in South Yarra that scatterbeetle recommended. Awesome!!! It was like eating at a Mexican place in California again, except they didn't have Tapatio. I got a beef burrito that seemed to be carne asada meat or close to it, which was awesome. It wasn't very hot (despite asking for extra spicey), but the flavor was good. I was STUFFED at the end - it was a real rito with rice and everything. Yum. Gotta go back there and try the other stuff. I wish Brisbane had shit hot Mexican places :(
I really enjoyed it down there. I forget something i really miss in Brisbane is having a bit of nightlife, and not just on Fridays and Saturdays and not just in two suburbs but all over the place all the time. The food was just incredible, the restaurants there aren't afraid to put some flavor in their dishes. Being closer to the pole and actually having some light in the evenings was tops. The trams are the bomb, none of this shitty wait half an hour for a bus that doesn't rock up and then get dropped 20 minutes walk from where you want to be anyway bullshit that Brisbane has. Maybe the rest of Melbourne is shit but where i was was just great.
Unfortunately the people also seem to be such wankers. Honestly. I must've said g'day to like 10 people down there, staying at the same apartment block or parking cars next to each other or just waiting at the tram stop and not one said hi back. Didn't get to chatting with anyone at the pubs. Got lots of turned up noses for wearing cargos and Adidas and looking trashy. The only people we talked to WEREN'T from fucking Melbourne, they were tourists or immigrants. It drove me nuts how up themselves people seemed to be. And then the (few) cool people said well you just need to find a good group of people and stick with them... but then that's exactly the thing - in Brisbane you don't have to stick in your group because when you're at the pub you can have a chat with anyone and it's cool. Then again maybe it's just those pretentious suburbs?
I'm pondering it because a move to Melbourne may be on the cards next year. Just for a change of pace, something different... More on that one later.