In an essay for Astra Magazine, Zack Graham recounts the inaugural descent into the rave underground — through a warehouse door in Queens — and subsequent brushes with rave culture abroad, notably in Vienna, among partiers of the Freetekno movement.

My body moved in ways I’d never thought possible. The track unleashed a creature inside me and time disappeared. Night had already fallen when I managed to extricate myself from the warehouse. I was shocked to discover I’d been there for eleven hours.

The more times I went to the party, the more quickly and seamlessly I transitioned into that timeless flow-state.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.