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Ravers Reunite at 'Just Because' Melbourne

It was a warm and sunny day in September, and I was washing my car outside my home, as many an Aussie dad would do on such a day. In a fortuitous turn of events, an old friend was randomly walking by, unknown to them that I was living there. We chatted about life and being dads, and how life certainly is different now. He mentioned that he was going to a small trance party in the city on October 21, being put on by some mutual friends. Amidst the whirlwind of work, bills, kid chauffeuring, gym sessions, and errands that define my daily grind, the decision to attend took no more than a fleeting moment. Why? "Just because“ – coincidentally, the event's name, and a sentiment that felt perfectly aligned.

The night arrived; I met with some friends for pre-drinks before venturing to the Top Yard Rooftop in Melbourne's CBD. Exiting the Uber, we navigated through an alley and ascended the daunting six flights of stairs. While I am relatively fit, the entrance resembled more of an endurance climb than a glamorous arrival, leaving me resembling an exhausted old man. 

Having finally reached the summit, the entrance revealed a scene straight out of the old-school rave-era – a sensory explosion of "fricken laser beams" and neon saturating the atmosphere which was expertly provided by Sound Experience. A wall of that unmistakable progressive trance kick drum pulsating in my chest and my soul. As I walked around, surveying the lay of the land, familiar faces started to emerge. It quickly became apparent that I knew many of the faces in the room. It felt like a ravers reunion! 

The night progressed and the drinks started flowing, dancing was contagious, and the entire place was pumping in unison. I found myself bopping around the venue, bouncing from one old friend to another. It was surreal and fun to be at a gig where I seemed to just know everyone. The tunes were amazing, and the DJs were on point with their selections. The punters were of a similar vintage to me, which contributed to a relaxed atmosphere, without any unpredictable or abraisive elements. We were free to let loose and we essentially had the entire space to ourselves. The familiar scent of the devil’s lettuce permeated from unknown sources, which didn’t seem to bother anyone, and I felt at home.

Headlining was Freq (Iboga Records), a Melbourne/Naarm based DJ and producer, who was spot on with that signature progessive trance sound. The supports Milkman (Andy Simpson), Last Call (Marc Grant), NIKI (Nikita Shetty)and VJ - Javier Vj were a perfect compliment to Freq and the vibe of the night, which was increasing in intensity and BPMs. Closing DJ Coomzy's progessive psytrance set resonated strongly with me and had everyone bouncing along at around 145 BPM. He snuck in some older Infected Mushroom, which made me very happy to hear on a quality sound system! All the DJs were top notch, and not once did they skip a beat (pun intended). It was an all-Aussie-lineup that sounded worldclass. 

Top Yard Rooftop was an excellent choice of venue that features an outdoor rooftop, plenty of undercover space as well as a raised balcony that leverages all the benefits of an open-air venue and embraces the amazing view of the skyscrapers in the CBD. There was a great energy throughout the event, with plenty of dancing, smiling and chatting, all while taking in the atmosphere of the nightsky and city lights.

I spoke to many old-school-mates, danced with them, talked about life and celebrated it. I think everyone there really needed a night like this. The world feels like it's in turmoil, people are struggling, and life can get mundane and monotonous. Just like any other task or skill or job you do in your daily life, it takes effort, planning and execution, so it's important to put that same effort in making space to have fun, relax, and let loose. If we as Humans can't find the time to enjoy life, then what are we here for, if not to experience all that this Universe has to offer? We could all use more fun in our lives, and that should be a priorty for everyone. 

While this was a small gathering of a little over 100 people, I had the best time. Arguably, these intimate events are often a lot more fun than massive productions with 1000s of people. After all, if you have good people around you, great selectas, and a relaxed location, you can have the time of your life, and that was exactly what I had. 

Watch this space, as my next review will be about Dreamstate Melbourne, which was on November 26. 

Until then, keep planning your fun times, because without a plan, it's just an idea. 

Just Because was held on Sat, 21st Oct 2023, at the Top Yard Rooftop, Melbourne/Naarm


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About the Author

Julien, a Melbourne-based Psy Trance artist, embarked on his musical journey in the late '80s, mastering multi-track recording and immersing himself in audio production at SAE school. In the '90s, he embraced DAWs, creating electronic compositions on his Amiga 500. Actively playing electric guitar since 1988, Julien draws inspiration from guitar-related genres, infusing his progressive Psy Trance style with a unique melodic flair. Today, he passionately crafts sonic excellence in his home studio, aiming for a Psy Trance masterpiece that seamlessly blends traditional and electronic elements. With a background in classical piano and a pivot to the guitar, Julien values melody as the soul of music, promising an innovative and immersive musical journey that transcends boundaries.

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