Mad Racket pres. Levon Vincent @ Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney

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Since 1998, Mad Racket has been throwing legendary ‘til dawn parties. After a brief stint at Bondi Junction, Racket is now back at its original venue of the Marrickville Bowling Club. Still run by the original four Racketeers; Jimmi James, Zootie, Ken Cloud and Simon Caldwell, the well-established parties have over the years housed a wide array of well revered DJs such as Moodymann, Claude Von Stroke, Steve Bug and Marco Passarani to name just a few. So naturally, in order to celebrate the 90th event, the Racketeers have brought in US-born and Berlin based Levon Vincent to deliver the goods until that time that could never be described as anything but “late”.

Before I speak about the event itself, it is necessary to give Levon the praise he deserves. Hailing from New York, he is part of the underground quality crew run by owner, Jus Ed. As well as running Novel Sound he is frequently hit with a heavy schedule around Europe, gracing the likes of Berghain’s Panorama Bar, and coming to Sydney the weekend after destroying room 1 at Fabric, London. To add to this, he just mixed Fabric’s latest release, Fabric 63 which is still in the process of receiving worldwide praise for his uniquely different, not-trying-to-prove-anything sound.

So as I’m about to arrive at Marrickville Bowling Club for my first Mad Racket, I start to appreciate the description of the venue as an “oasis in a clubbing desert’ – that’s exactly what it is. As I arrive just after midnight, the dancefloor isn’t yet pumping but Simon Caldwell is doing an excellent job building the mood and the floor slowly begins to fill. Situated directly opposite the DJ booth is the bar, which was consistently around two people deep the whole night. But the whole Mad Racket experience itself is sweetened by the drinks prices, which act as a pleasant reminder that you are in fact at a bowling club and not a nightclub.

Just before Levon takes to the decks, the floor has well and truly filled, the volume has turned up and underneath the trademark ceiling Levon begins to showcase the talent for which he is famous. Not long after his set had begun, the crowd goes wild as he drops his own Woman is the Devil. After countless big tracks, mainly following in the lines of his distinctly melodic house blended into techno style, the crowd once again went wild as he aptly drops another of his tracks, Double Jointed Sex Freak. The whole set itself was an awesome display of Levon’s unique sound, using only vinyl he well and truly showed how in control of the party he was, sometimes swiftly changing between tracks in the way that only a DJ of his calibre can.

The venue was well equipped the whole night, the bar service went smoothly, the smoking area was big enough and the view of club’s lawns served as a pleasant reminder that you were in fact at a bowling club. Overall it seemed to be one of those nights where everything came together, the Racketeers warmed up the party quite nicely and Levon delivered in the way that he was expected to. Around 5.30 am the party was still well and truly going (though starting to thin out), and it was to the sound of the morning birds that I left the 90th Mad Racket – until next time.

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