Away from the fanfare of carnival, with its vibrant samba and tropical grooves, Brazil is a country where dance music plays second fiddle to rock, Latino country and pop among its party-going youngsters. Surprising perhaps for a nation where rhythm pumps through its people's veins, but the significant divide, even still, between rich and poor — or lack of a middle class — has alienated dance music somewhat — or at least compartmentalised it.
In Brazil, dance music has been on the rise for years. It can now be heard on the streets and on the radio, and in an increasing number of clubs around the country. New labels and producers continue to emerge and the scene is healthier than ever. Helping make that so is Sirena, a club that has been going for 23 years now. Its secret? Location is certainly part of it: The club is hidden away off the backstreets of a beach community and once inside you are led through a warren of walkways in a jungle plantation. Forest stretches out all around you, there are plenty of open-air areas with palm trees littering the sides of the site, and sunset parties here often dominate.
There is, as is always the way in South America, a focus on high-end VIP culture and raised balconies for the rich to look down from. The main room is gigantic and has a huge system as well as vast LED screens, all of which plays host to the likes of Bob Sinclair, Kaskade, Amine Edge & DANCE, John Digweed and Armin van Buuren. All in all, then, it’s not hard to see why this club has such a legacy.
South America might still be a what some DJs insist on calling an ‘emerging territory’, but the fact that Sirenna has been serving up electronic music for 23 years shows that Brazil has deeper roots than most.
A few hours drive from Sao Paulo in the small beach town of Maresia, Sirena feels like clubbing paradise, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the country's business capital. While the still impressive main room is enclosed, the club's second stage is the undoubted draw and takes full advantage of the warm all-year round Brazilian climate, its outdoor dancefloor boasting trees around its peripheries, while the entire club is shrouded by surrounding jungle adding to the feeling of escapism as the sun rises.
Residents Presskit give a hint at the club’s main sound, rubbery bass-led electro house filled with squeaks and bleeps, so unsurprisingly one of last year’s biggest booking was Afrojack, while Spinnin’s Vinai were another hit. But it’s not all main room bluster. The Martinez Brothers and Kolombo proved that there’s taste for more groove-orientated adventures too, while the club’s carnival celebrations and annual White Party keep its popularity and attendence high throughout the year.