Bamboo musik was a party in Melbourne between like 2007 or 8 and around 2015 or so. The venue: the mercat nightclub. This place was very famous at the time and everybody went there at some point.
The first version of the party was held in the upstairs part, and after that it Was usually downstairs in the basement around 150 or 200 square metres max. Bamboo sometimes happened at other locations once or twice but that’s not important. Rohan and Amelia were the main organisers but many ppl helped out and Misha would dj with Rohan too every time. Decoration budgets often came close to or crossed over the hundred dollar threshold.
Normally the parties were happening every two or four months and everybody would talk about it beforehand and plan their outfits and multiple outfit changes etc according to the theme of the night. These themes included Pelican Nights, the Nose edition, Deep Sea edition, Just Google it edition etc. And Ladies Night where female identifying ppl got in for free or free drinks or whatever, which ruffled a few feathers in the club community, which was the idea anyway. Then there was the dancing competition which was highly scandalous, and various unannounced events like live MCs and free fruit giveaways at 3am that sort of thing.
The ppl who showed up (a mixture of female and male, from early 20s to 40+) came from different scenes like architecture, fashion, electrician, construction, celebrities and football players etc but they were all interested in having a good time and this was very clear on the dance floor every time.
Lovefingers played there approximately two times which was great. DJ eye was one of the best, very smoky. Gavin Russom showed up dressed from head to toe in white with an unusual hat; everyone was impressed by this.
When Tom Bullock was on the way to the club to play he found a large leafy tree branch on the street, approximately three or four metres long, and with a bit of hard work ppl managed to get it inside the door and down the staircase, which was already small to begin with.
There were various drugs including mdma and pills, as well as cocaine and k and dexies, sometimes acid and also this was around the time of the “Khat” mania which hit Melbourne for a while there, but mainly the best one was mushrooms. When the season lined up, we used to go to the secret spot down by the creek to pick mushrooms in the daytime before the night of a bamboo musik. On one memorable occasion in early winter we picked a few hundred mushrooms and made about three litres of piping hot tea which we brought into the club in two 1.5 litre spring water bottles, which were shared with anyone who felt like it. Most people there did feel like it so it worked out really well.
Also ppl would usually share a joint on the dance floor which added a really smooth buzzy feeling over the whole experience. The nightclub owner Daragh was usually at the bar so you could go there and have an Agwa shot, which was a trending liqueur at that time. Also there were nangs which would happen on the couches next to the dj area which were unclean but very comfortable. The security guards had a more open minded idea about the concept of security which worked to the advantage of the party.
The kinds of music included italo disco, krautrock, house (Chicago and NY) and techno (usually Detroit) but whatever it was it was always dancefloor oriented, which was always full as mentioned earlier. It was probably around 150 ppl at the most? Hard to say, there wasn’t really a clear way to see the whole club at once bc of all the strange angles and corners and poles in the way, but it was around that. Which when you think about it is a lot if it’s only 150m2 of available space. So basically it was very sweaty and often ppl had to take clothes off, and then outfit changes as previously mentioned etc.
Afterwards the north Melbourne markets would be open by 7am so you could get a fresh borek for around $2.50, it seems unrelated but it was all part of it. Spinach and cheese was the best but the potato one was fine if you needed the carbohydrate boost which usually you did after all that. Then obv the after party at 294 which RBT wrote a song about (link to the song). What happened at the after party is a whole other story though.
Anyway this is not a comprehensive history but more just a few facts to give readers an impression, someone else can take care of it if they want.
In conclusion, bamboo musik was very important for a certain scene in Melbourne music at that time, and maybe lined up with some broader tendencies in the international club underground, the atmosphere was very positive but deep at the same time, it brought a lot of ppl together and I think none of those ppl will ever forget it.
Unreleased live recording
Bamboo Music "Cyber Cafe"
Bell Towers and Dj Perks B2B
BAMBOO MUSIK LAUNCH - 2008
JUNGLE OF MY MIND - 17/4/2009
DEEP SEA - 12/06/2009
SPICY CHILLI - 31/07/2009
GERMS - 18/09/2009
PELICAN NIGHTS - 11/12/2009
LOVEFINGERS - 16/01/2010
BUNNY MAGIK - 03/04/2010
CYBER CAFE - 23/04/2010
STOCK EXCHANGE - 04/06/2010
RENAISSANCE FAIR - 06/08/2010
THIS IS BELGIUM - 02/10/2010
HAVEN’T WE MET SOMEWHERE BEFORE. BUT? - 18/12/2010
LA GRANDE BOOFFE - 29/01/2011
(NOT) YUPPIES, NOT PUPPIES (NOT BUNNIES) - 02/04/2011
LADIES NIGHT PART ONE - 17/06/2011
ICEY HOT - 05/08/2011
EYE - 13/01/2012
GLIMMERS - 17/02/2012
V.I.P. - 02/03/2012
FASCINATNG - 11/05/2012
KENJI TAKIMI - 15/09/2012
NOSE JOB - 29/11/2012
LADIES NIGHT PART TWO - 15/12/2012
PRIORITY DELIVERY - 13/03/2013
MAX D - 22/06/2013
A CELEBRATION OF THE WONDERFUL LIFE - 19/10/2013
SILVER PLATINUM - 18/05/2014
BOO! - 13/05/2016