Ten years ago, Asia’s electronic music scene could be pinned to a few select outposts, but these days new clubs are emerging all the time. Six made the final Top 100 Clubs list, and two of those were positioned inside the top 10 - the future looks bright for clubbers in Asia. These are the highest ranking clubs in the 2015 poll.
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?
Location: Tokyo, Japan
2020 is the year in which WOMB hits a milestone that (sadly) few clubs achieve, as it celebrates 20 years in the game. It's hard to overstate the impact the club has had on the local and regional scene during that time. It has brought the best of the best underground names to Tokyo, and hosted them in a space planned out with astonishingly high attention to detail. For one thing, the largest disco ball in Asia hangs over the dancefloor, and the club is adorned with walls of responsive LED screens and plenty of hi-tech lighting systems, which hang from rigs all round the main dancefloor.
SESSION is the longest running night at the club and has been taking care of house and techno parties for over 18 years. Bass music party N_U_O has been a key addition that has captured the younger generations coming through, and a continued series of collaborative parties with the likes of Fabric London always keeps things fresh. Add in sets from titans like Sasha, Todd Terry, Marco Carola and Wehbba and it's easy to see why the place remains so popular.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
When WOMB first opened its doors 19 years ago, it was a fresh concept for Japan. According to the club, there was no nightclub “offering the world’s latest electronic music to Japanese fans”. Dedicated to their mission of bringing the crème de la crème of dance music to Shibuya, Tokyo, WOMB has grown to become one of the most important institutions in Japanese clubbing. By collaborating with the likes of London’s Fabric, Space Ibiza and Brazil’s D-Edge, WOMB introduced a generation of Japanese dance music fans to the world’s best talent and has been a regular feature in the Top 100 Clubs poll.
In the last year alone, they’ve hosted the likes of Marco Carola, Diplo, Danny Tenaglia, Pendulum, Mark Knight, Sven Väth, High Contrast and Solomun, and with residents like d&b expert DJ Aki, techno and house fusion party SESSION and bass music party N_U_O — a rising genre among Japan’s youth — WOMB continues to offer a vibrant mix of electronic music’s finest.
Boasting Asia’s largest disco ball over their main dancefloor, they’ve also recently opened a VVIP lounge section overlooking the dancefloor, and have upgraded their impressive soundsystem and installed new lighting systems and LED screens.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
When it opened in the year 2000, Womb was a unique prospect to the Japanese clubbing scene. The founders had a simple goal of bringing the highest quality lighting, sound and acts, inspired by the North American club scene. Eighteen years later, it’s still one of Japan’s most respected and revered institutions. It wasn’t just introducing a Japanese audience to a global scene, it helped pave the way for global acts to come to Asia and Japan for the first time, teaming up with clubs like Space Ibiza, London’s Fabric and Brazil’s D-Edge to bridge the gaps between established and developing scenes and firmly grounding itself in the DJ Mag Top 100 Clubs poll ever since.
In 2018, its newly-opened VVIP Room, as well as newly programmed bass music and trance artists and events mean Womb continues to evolve, with drum & bass resident DJ Aki, techno resident Takkyu Ishino and Toolroom-approved Tommy Wada combining with Yoshi and Ohnishi for the club’s tech-house residency. With artists like Henrik Schwarz, Mathew Jonson, Sven Väth, Dubfire, Pendulum, Radio Slave and Zomboy all gracing the booth in the past 12 months alone, it’s easy to see why Womb has climbed significantly in this year's ranking.
2016 saw this four-floor club celebrate 15 years in action by focusing even more on local talent. Located in Shibuya, it is usually known for offering up both cool and credible talents such as Nina Kraviz, DJ Tennis and Ben Klock, as well as bigger house names like Nic Fanciulli and drum & bass stars like DJ Marky.
As EDM continues to spread east, this club has reacted and now offers a fair smattering of EDM parties. The sleek and futuristic club, with its typically avant garde lights, lasers and massive disco ball, also hosts various festivals and special showcases with the likes of 2manyDJs and excellent local label Mule Electronic.
The start of 2016 saw it closed for a month for renovations but it is now back even better than ever with Andrew Weatherall, Henrick Schwarz and DJ Zinc all booked to play the coming months. Add into all this a notoriously friendly crowd and well-tuned soundsystem and you can see why it is the club that every decent DJ is desperate to play at.a