Located within the northern outskirts of Melbourne's bustling CBD, the Mercat Basement is an all-engulfing vortex. A steep 22-step descent underground, adjacent a produce and creative market, the begrimed and sinister basement has the ability to overwhelm the senses and detach one from reality like few others—thus making it one of Melbourne's most cherished clubbing spaces.
In emblematic fashion, local stalwarts Otologic, Tornado Wallace and Andee Frost opened the most recent Animals Dancing party, headlined by Detroit house veteran Rick Wilhite, in fashionable sequence, sifting gently from house to disco to techno, before handing the reigns over at 1 AM. Wilhite, making his debut Melbourne, was the second of the revered 3 Chairs collective to be showcased by Animals Dancing, after Marcellus Pittman's June 2011 visit, and holds the credentials of few other Detroit luminaries.
Setting the tone for the evening, Wilhite opened with the Raw Mix of Kerri Chander's "In the Morning." From there, the night's soundtrack shifted from dark house to aimless disco. Over the following six hours, Wilhite moved seamlessly from the likes of Francois K's mix of Dinosaur L's "Go Bang" to Ron Hardy's edit of Nightlife Unlimited "Peaches & Prunes," before culminating in a hands-in-the-air euphoria of Skatt Bros "Walk the Night." As the lights intensified at 7.30 AM, those forced onto the streets huddled in their masses before departing in separate clusters to continue the Easter hedonism well into the morning.