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The best nightclubs in Melbourne

Melbourne’s dancefloors offer booty-shaking vibes aplenty

Photograph: Time Out

Cutting loose on a packed dancefloor is the best feeling in the world: but only when the DJ's playing your jam. If your problem is never knowing where to party, then read on, soon-to-be ravers.

Help! Dance music explained

If you like... Rihanna: 'We Found Love’ feat. Calvin Harris
You should dance to... House

By far the most popular dance genre, house comes from Chicago in the early ’80s and is characterised by ‘four to the floor’ beats (where the kick drum thuds on every beat). Mainstream house is often blended with catchy pop vocals and R’n’B melodies.

If you like... Darude: ‘Sandstorm’
You should dance to... Techno

Mainly instrumental, techno evolved in ’80s Detroit, and is heavy on repetitive thump-thump drum machine rhythms and layers of minimal melodic lines.

If you like... Daft Punk: ‘Get Lucky’
You should dance to... Disco

There's no shame in loving the lush, funk-infused sound of disco. It’s making a huge comeback at the moment – just ask Pharrell Williams.

If you like... Armin van Buuren: ‘This is What it Feels Like’
You should dance to... Trance

Emerging in Germany in the '90s, trance is all about an atmospheric melody or vocal line rising up to euphoric, synth-heavy climaxes.

If you like... Rudimental: ‘Waiting All Night, feat. Ella Eyre'
You should dance to... Drum’n’bass

Most of the world’s best drum’n’bass artists still come from the UK, where it was first dropped in the early '90s. Think hard and fast breakbeats, heavy bass and high energy.

Where to go dancing in Melbourne

Brown Alley

Hardcore techno, deep house, nu-disco, dancehall, R'n'B, drum'n'bass: you can hear it all at this 24-hour super-club. Some of Melbourne’s best promoters and touring agencies book the rooms here, and it's also often the venue for festival and gig afterparties.
Best for: An ultra-diverse range of dance music.

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Ding Dong Lounge

After the band packs up, a debaucherous indie party begins. DJs at Ding Dong Lounge blast everything from David Bowie to Vampire Weekend to a sea of tight black jeans and tatts until dawn. It's not strictly EDM, but it is strictly awesome.
Best for: Rocking out to indie beats and rock classics.

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Loop Project Space & Bar

When you're ready to lose yourself in more minimal, immersive dance music, head to Loop. Semi-regular parties like Tuned In feature underground techno artists with proven technical skill, often with live visual artists to accompany the tunes.
Best for: Discovering the next big thing in experimental dance music.

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New Guernica

Club promoter Steve Costa founded New Guernica with an eye to bringing international underground legends – like Chicago house DJ Derrick Carter and UK garage pioneer DJ EZ – to Melbourne. It's also home to wild weekly Saturday house and techno party Power Station.
Best for: Earning your stripes as a discerning dance music-lover.

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Revolver Upstairs

You can go in to hear some soul-tinged deep house on a Friday night, and not emerge until Sunday evening, having worked your way through explosive house and thudding techno. The Sunday residents – including Boogs, Spacey Space and Radiator – never let you down.
Best for: Dancing past the point of no return.

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More ways to get your dance on