Before the results of this year’s Top 100 Clubs poll, powered by Miller Genuine Draft the speculation was rife! One of the key debates centred around Asia - a region that perhaps more than anywhere outside of the USA has been bitten by the ‘EDM’ bug.
The resulting appetite for electronic music in the region has seen new, technologically advanced superclubs spring up, challenging the old guard. But what was the impact?
Zouk Singapore slipped two places this year - a likely result of a cannibalised Asian vote caused by the slew of new contenders in the region. However the Singapore-based institution maintained its coveted title as Asia’s top club. Zouk was born in the same year as DJ Mag - so has been running a cool 23 years. The historic venue has one of the best soundsystems in the world, bags of character and a truly incredible crowd.
The biggest challenge to Zouk’s dominance came from Octagon. The club, based in Seoul, fought off stiff opposition in the South Korean city to become the dominant EDM force in one of the continent’s biggest emerging EDM markets. Our reviewer likens Octagon to London’s iconic Fabric - due to the metallic walkways and stony interior, but also in its commitment to cultivating proper dance music in a city dominated by VIP culture.
While Seoul’s clubs have been ricocheting about the Top 100 like pinballs since EDM hit its shores, Japan’s — or more specifically Tokyo’s — clubs have remained as steady as the sashimi chefs often found in their kitchens. The reason for such stability is simple - While South Korea enjoys a clubbing curve, for Japan’s culture vultures high-end clubbing is nothing new.
Agehea impresses with a 36-strong stack of speakers across three rooms — a warehouse space (Box), a live venue (Studio Coast) and an outside poolside stage (Water).
Though Womb may appear low-key from the outside (indeed the difficulty of finding it lends an illicit thrill of discovery when you do), it lives up to the utopian marvel of expectation. A tall, cylindrical space within, its enveloping central chamber is warm, inviting, with one of the friendliest crowds around. But the lasers and lights are gobsmacking, undulating spotlights creating bioluminescent, organic shimmers on the floor.
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