Whether harbourside or in a hidden basement bar, Sydney’s sound is pumping all year round.
Rachel Phillips, also known as DJ Minx, may have begun her music career in Adelaide, but being born and raised in Sydney, she couldn’t stay away for too long.
Although her busy career takes her around the world to spots like Ibiza, the Grammys after party in Hollywood, and the buzzing Brit Awards after party in London, it’s Sydney she returns to, for the beach, boat and basement parties that keep the city pumping, no matter the season.
“We have beach bars, outdoor parties and gigs on boats that other cities just can’t offer,” says Minx. “I really utilise that in the summer. I play Seadeck a lot, which is so much fun, everyone has their Spritz on, the bubbles and beer are flowing, it’s a full dance floor. When you float under the harbour bridge and pop out at the Opera House, you can’t get more Sydney than that!”
On Boxing Day at Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel, the vibe is always killer, the party taking over the outside harbourside terrace and main room inside, so you have the best of both worlds, she says. In Bondi, Minx bounces “between North Bondi Fish, Bucket List and Icebergs, which is really fun for a Sunday sesh in particular,” she says. This sun-drenched vibe influences the tunes she spins, too. It keeps her music light and bright, while she saves her serious stuff for basement clubs and festivals. Park Life and Stereosonic have been musical playgrounds for Minx in the past, and this year she also helped stage manage for Days Like This, a one-day boutique house and techno festival in Victoria Park happening in March every year.
Even though we’d all love if it were, it’s not always summer in Sydney. During winter, the city bunkers down a little into bars like Charlie Parker’s on Oxford Street (a favourite for Minx), where smooth jazz vinyl sets can be heard, or downstairs at Darlinghurst’s Tatler, one of Sydney’s most intimate spaces to party in winter. Plus, the relaunched Saturday night at Goodbar is a prime location as the weather cools and we’re seeking indoor spaces. Here Minx has a new residency under her alias, Rachel May, which is a more underground, deep house vibe.
“It’s one of my favourite venues,” Minx says, “you can hear House & Techno every Saturday night.”
Summer or winter, it’s the comfort of playing to a home crowd that Minx loves most. “Everyone is so supportive here, we have a great music culture,” she says. “People always come up and thank me for the set. There’s a lot of genuine camaraderie amongst the Sydney crew. How could you not be happy partying here?”