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Weekly updates

4pm on a Sunday night is a fairly unusual time to go to a rave, even more so when it’s of the legal variety. Melbourne’s Music Week’s main venue and electronic music hub dubbed ‘Where?House’ is the Argus Building on the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale St, perhaps best known for its “How did they get up there?” rooftop tags by the illusive 70k crew, among others. Somehow organisers have maneuvered across a minefield of OH&S and logistical nightmares to turn it into a functioning venue.

Upon entry you are hit with a wave of rhythmic reverberation and smoke (of the fog machine variety, not cigarette or asbestos dust) fairly reminiscent of a demolition site. Split into two, the bar and stage are on one side, whilst the toilets, smoking area and access to the second level are on the other, divided by the water cubes utilised in last years Kubik Park. Upstairs is a Wi-Fi lounge (probably more useful during the day) and a plethora of food options, with kitchens set up by known eateries I Heart Pho and Huxtaburger, the latter even features a line not too dissimilar to its Smith St joint. I opt hot dog and pint of Kirin from the fairly well stocked bar… did I spot Hennessey and Cafe Patron on the top shelf? That’s way too much fun for a Sunday right there.

After local supports, Detroit’s Mike Huckaby hits the stage around 8pm or so losing no ground from the opening acts, playing immaculately crafted and mixed techno. Did I mention relentless? The reason Detroit is the greatest musical city in the world (marinate on that for a minute…) is that its musically inclined residents are able to man oeuvre freely amongst genres and influences alike, while making something uniquely soulful and funk driven even in the harshest of genres. Mike is regarded as ‘a’ or ‘the’ Godfather of Detroit House (which I’m probably most aware of and a fan of) but like his 313 colleagues such as Moodymann, Rick Wilhite etc he is a producer of acclaimed techno, a genre developed for the most part in Detroit. It quickly becomes apparent that the latter genre is in precedence tonight. Was I a little disappointed in this? A little. Was it my fault for not doing a little research first? Of course. However in this cavernous setting with a great light show, sound system and plenty of willing ravers, there were very few complaints to be had.

Following Mike was Britain’s Ben Sims, who complete with the standard issue Fred Perry polo, took it up another notch all together. Whilst by no means do I not enjoy the craftsmanship and sensibility of techno, its always a genre I’ve struggled to come to grips with unless it’s 7am at Watergate in Berlin and the sun is shining through those enormous windows. What is on show tonight are two world-class headlining acts, playing almost exclusively vinyl, in a great venue to a willing crowd, with the only issue being an out-of-his-depth reviewer with work on first thing the next day.

I highly recommend checking the festival program for the many gigs, workshops and other happenings throughout the week. My hot tip being Floating Points and Co next Saturday night, one not to be missed.

Read more of the epic Melbourne Music Week lineup here.