After rounding up 10 fantastic clubs to open this year, it's time to drop the second batch of new clubs in their inaugural year. From small-scale industrial venues in London to swanky, VIP-friendly spaces in Greece, these are the nightspots to hit up soon.
Dresden Objekt Klein A
Quite possibly the world’s first crowd-funded techno club, Objekt Klein A is ‘collectively managed for electronic music and good life’. Connected by a lighthouse, the two-floor venue in the Albertstadt area of Dresden is made up of an industrial main room, an outdoor section flanked by trees and a relaxed bar. “We want renowned acts and up-and-coming talents alike… despite a long techno tradition, fans of the scene in Dresden have been wandering about a rather bleak club base in recent years,” says promotions manager Buchti. Under the moniker ‘Floppy’, the founders had been experimenting with dance events in clubs and at off-locations in Dresden, all marked by elaborate decoration and a passion for detail. For Objekt Klein A, a bunch of “tinkerers and thinkers, artists and musicians” came together to build the venue, which is now raising funds for a soundsystem. Hosting gigs, plays and film screenings, performances, exhibitions and lectures, Objekt Klein A is more than just a club, says Buchti: “it’s a space for listening, chatting, music making, discussion, dance and ‘entanglement’.”
Beirut The Gartën
A 3,000-capacity techno club in Beirut might seem hard to credit, but its location is just the start of what makes The Gärten so stunning. Born as a by-product of Überhaus, which opened in Beirut six years ago, the outdoor venue is “specifically built to host the best artists in the electronic music scene while providing clubbers with the best experience possible,” says managing partner Ali Saleh. “We aim to represent our region in the worldwide electronic music scene and, over the years we’ve become known as the creators of unique structures.”
Since we covered The Gärten’s launch party earlier this year, its extraordinary octagonal pyramid has hosted techno pioneer Jeff Mills, Romanian producer Raresh and the vibrant kicks of Dennis Ferrer. “We aim to create a unique, immersive experience,” Ali continues. More than anything, though, he says that The Gärten is about escapism. “It tells
the story of an underground parallel universe where music is the only escape... in a city struggling to find some stability and a region plagued with segregation.”
Set on the former site of Amsterdam’s much-loved Studio 80, Claire’s Aztec-style entrance, temple-like structures and eye-popping technicolour walls ensure it really stands out. The 750-capacity space, christened by Gilles Peterson, Jameszoo and bimonthly residents Detroit Swindle, consists of two rooms. “We love the fact that people can go for the vibe that they’re looking for,” says Claire’s booker Marlon Arfman; “a bit more dark and intense bass in the first room or more light and tropical vibes in room two”.
San Francisco Halcyon
Possibly the only all-female-run club in the world, the elegant and dynamic Halcyon is headed up by a team of innovative women with a huge passion for throwing a party. Owned by San Francisco nightlife doyenne Gina Milano, the 400-capacity former cabaret club is led by British-born talent buyer JoJo Walker, who was brought over from Ibiza to book for the club as well as be its creative director. With a rare 24-hour licence to its name, the early-1900s brick and steel-beamed warehouse with skylights, high ceilings and impressive light-shows has quickly become a standard-bearer, ushering in a new era of clubbing culture on the West Coast. “Halcyon is a sophisticated, versatile venue that offers a multi-sensory experience,” says JoJo. “The space is amazing any time of the day; the sun streams in for daytime events and it transforms beautifully from dawn to dusk.” Hosting the best names in house and techno every week since opening in November, and allowing DJs the freedom to play continuously, Dirtybird’s Will Clarke, Chicago house legend DJ Sneak and techno pioneer Josh Wink have each played twice (so far) this year. Taking the party into the next day, “Nicole Moudaber enjoyed herself so much she closed her set by heading to the dancefloor to party within the crowd and when Danny Tenaglia played a nine-hour set which went into Sunday daytime, staff brought free breakfast bagels in for everyone,” JoJo recalls. There’s no going home at Halcyon.
Warsaw Smolna 38
History is at the heart of this Polish club with a ‘no photos’ policy. Situated in a tenement in Warsaw city centre, the building features blackened bricks from the Warsaw Uprising. With a rough, shadowy, simplistic design, the basement corridors are dark enough to get lost in while navigating three dancefloors, two outdoor zones, a chill-out room and three bars. In its first months, there’s been an impressive range of bookings: Ellen Allien, Simian Mobile Disco, Levon Vincent and Brodinski among them.
London Five Miles
Focusing on the more experimental side of electronic music, in just a few months Five Miles has welcomed Mumdance, Ikonika, Mickey Pearce and Lsdxoxo to its booth. A 3,000 square foot carpet warehouse transformed into a 500-capacity club space and bar, its promoters assert that its soundsystem “packs new levels of punch, tightness and clarity.” Having launched in May, the idea behind the Seven Sisters nightspot is “to provide a high quality, medium sized yet intimate club space that puts design and sound at the forefront.”
Taking ‘underground’ very literally, this dark and enchanting modernist space which holds around 800 people is found below a hydraulic hatch in front of Amsterdam Tower. “When it shuts, you have no idea you’re walking over the club,” says Shelter’s Milan van Ooijen. Opened in October 2016 during ADE, Moodymann, Jackmaster, Tom Trago and Jasper James played its first night. Almost a year later it became Dekmantel festival’s essential afterparty venue. Holding three consecutive, eclectic raves, Lorenzo Senni, Rødhåd, Call Super and Joy Orbison stepped up.
Set in a Grade two-listed church in the centre of Leeds, the stunning, 1,700-capacity space prides itself on being unique. “English clubbing has become sub-standard with everywhere being the same… there’s no individuality,” says creative director Dave Beer, who pulled in Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, Matthias Tanzmann and DJ Deeon for the opening party. Run by Leeds’ Back To Basics, who host regular tech-house parties, it’s “a safe space for all with no attention to detail spared,” Dave says. “Once you’re through the doors, you’ll be somewhere otherworldly.”
Bristol Yard Open Air
“We’ve always known how much everyone loved the outside terrace, but YARD will become its own entity,” says Jack Scales, talking about Bristol’s 3,500-capacity outdoor club. Boasting three varied spaces – The Craneyard, The Lockyard and The Container Yard – Motion itself started its life as a skate park before being transformed into a warehouse complex. For its launch party, YARD welcomed Seth Troxler, Eats Everything, Joy Orbison, Daniel Avery, Midland, Axel Boman
and Octo Octa, who performed live.
Babis and Jarrett Pasaoglou know just what they want VOID to represent: quality and intimacy. “It’s important that each customer feels comfortable,” the father and son pair say, having transformed a former 80s cinema into a futuristic-looking 800-capacity club. After regularly visiting Mykonos as a child, Babis opened his first venue in the 1970s, and in 1987 launched Astra, a 150-capacity bar/club which is one of the longest-running institutions on the island. VOID is by far their biggest project, though: a total renovation and the installation of a Funktion-One system in a space which consists of a main area, balcony and dancefloors spread across two floors and three levels, as well as a private area named The Gallery. Designed by Dimitri Tsigos, who wanted to keep a traditional Mykonos feel but add a modern twist, the ceiling features a large LED-style sculpture. Black Coffee played VOID’s opening party in July, with Lauren Lane, Damian Lazarus, Guy Gerber, Seth Troxler, Apollonia, Nic Fanciulli, Art Department and wAFF taking over the venue since. Sunday is hip hop night, with Tito on the decks.
Exposed concrete, paint-splattered pipes and pillars combine with an LED wall and quality sound and lighting at Melbourne’s underground bunker-style club. From the Beyond The Valley team, the industrial-meets-sci-fi aesthetic is clear as soon as you see the lone xenon gas lamp that lights the entrance. Launched in August, the 700-capacity venue has a main room bathed in cobalt and a smaller disco room painted red. Everything from staff outfits to booze receptacles fits the futuristic theme.
[Photos: David Pinzer, Khris Cowley/Here & Now, Ariya Behjat, knelis, Al-Overdrive.com, Elliot Young, George Bale, Stihios Serafim, Demroc]
This feature is taken from the November issue of Mixmag