Just how did two members of indie band the Lost Valentinos, one third of pop-dance band Infusion, one of the founders of disco-bent events company Picnic and a Bang Gang DJ end up running a regular techno party?
“Well after the Bang Gang [the notorious weekly party held at Moulin Rouge and later Club 77] ended, the fun in the dance music scene kind of died,” explains Vi Hermens, who helped set up Picnic Touring & Events. “Then Baltimore became big, and then the nu-disco thing kicked off, and then finally people like Jamie Jones and Damien Lazarus started making accessible deep house. They made people want to explore house and techno more. And we want to showcase that kind of music at Motorik!”
“Techno used to be a really dirty word,” adds Pat Santamaria, a former member of the Lost Valentinos. “But we’re trying to reclaim it.”
And they are reclaiming it. The boys have been turning unexpected spaces, like the Laugh Garage and the warehouse space above Club 77, into temporary techno havens for the last nine months, and doing their darndest to put the fun back into the genre. The spaces are kept secret until the day of the party, and then released only to the people that have RSVPed to email@example.com. The system is like a modern spin on the rave scene’s bygone 1900 number system, and defintely adds to the fun.
“The Sydney scene suffers from a lack of good venues where you can go and listen to that kind of music,” explains Angus Gruzman, one of the original Bang Gang DJs and part-owner of the Flinders. “There is a specific atmosphere that you need to create to enjoy techno. The sound has to be right, the venue has to be dark and there needs to be enough space to socialise off the dance floor, too. For Motorik!, we try to create those things in a temporary space that can only be enjoyed in that moment.”
Motorik! throw parties for the sheer love of it, too. There is never a cover charge, the DJs always play for free and the boys never take a cut of the bar. “We love the red ink,” laughs Hermens. “And fuck charging $40 for a b-grade international at a really ordinary venue.”
Instead, Hermens and his crew offer great local DJs including Cosmonaut (the latest project of Santamaria and his brother Andrew), Finger Prince (Gruzman’s joint project with former Infusion member Frank Xavier), Jensen Interceptor and Wordlife.
Entry is free, but RSVP is always essential.