The voting for Top 100 Clubs, powered by Miller Genuine Draft closes at midnight (GMT) tomorrow, Friday 28th of February. Before this year's results are announced, however, DJ Mag marked the masters of 2013 by pitting DJ Mag Top 100 DJs winner, Hardwell, against Top 100 Clubs No.1, Brazil's Green Valley.
Surrounded by rain forest in the chi-chi beach resort of Camboriú, in the Southern state of Santa Catarina, we arrive at the special pre-Carnival event with the glorious afternoon sunshine still illuminating the early crowds under the club's giant canopy. With two giant bottles of Absolut, made up on hundreds of actual Absolut bottles, flanking the DJ Magazine logo hanging from the ceiling, everything promises to be off the scale tonight.
Resident Mario Fischetti isn't pulling any punches with his warm-up, hammering out the kind of emphatic EDM that is sweeping the Americas, both North and South. But there's clearly one person that everyone is here to see, judging by the 10,000 or so crowd that has somehow squeezed into the club's sprawling confines – which includes a pizza restaurant and shop – by the time Hardwell takes to the decks.
With a troupe of girls holding individual letters that spell out 'I Am Hardwell', and another bearing a sign declaring she is having a baby in seven weeks so wants to meet the Dutch star, there's the atmosphere of a feverish pop concert. Backstage another couple of female fans are crying after being unable to meet their idol, pleading with security guards and telling ham that he asked them to come.
But this is the logical progression of having the music to match. EDM shows aren't so much about dancing, it seems, as they are about singing, tracks such as Calvin Harris and Alesso's 'Under Control' eliciting the accompaniment of thousands of voices, as pinpoint in their irresistible pop immediacy as Icona Pop's 'I Love It' and Miley Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball', both of which get a main room makeover. A re-edit of A-Trak's remix of Yeah Yeah Yeahs 'Heads Will Roll' drops into EDM's ubiquitous bass attack, Alvaro and Mercer's syncopated 'Welcome to the Jungle' another monster that is particularly apt given the surroundings.
As Hardwell is whisked away to fly to another show, resident Marcello Cic rides the vibe for two hours preparing for Laidback Luke. Setting the pace early with Dada Life's 'Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker', he's not shy about jumping on the mic to show some love to the home crowd, a housed up version of Talking Heads' 'Psycho Killer' breaking out of the contemporaneous mould.
There are few EDM DJs as technically skilled or comfortable behind the turntables as Laidback Luke, whose quick mixing encompasses various scratch techniques, hot cue tricks and acappella adventurousness. There are plenty of big anthems, Guetta's 'Titanium' still solidly dependable in getting hands aloft, but the sound of hardstyle peppers his set too, Showtek's 'Booyah' rapidly blended with Da Hool's 'Meet Her at the Love Parade' and the vocal break from Sidney Sampson's 'Riverside'.
With a dancefloor the size of most festival stages, Green Valley certainly thrives on the current sound of main room music – expertly delivered by the world's biggest names, many of whom openly regard this Brazilian giant as their favourite club. But for the last hour DJ Mag join resident Rodrigo Vieira in closing out with a set of deeper house and disco edits, the dancefloor still a sea of expectant faces 12 hours after the club opened. Quite whether this sound will ever command the peak hours remains to be seen, but it's certainly a hint at the inevitable after-party to come...
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