As if bossing the globe's MP3 market wasn't enough, Beatport's Brad Roulier has reset the parameters of 21st century clubbing with his pet project, Beta. In under two years, Roulier and his team have transformed what was once a commercial hellhole in Denver's tourist district and shaped a strong contender for the most forward-thinking dance club on the planet.
Don't believe us? Just ask the experts. Richie Hawtin says the DJ booth has the best monitoring system he has ever played on, Deadmau5 describes the venue as "a DJ's wet dream" and just about everyone that has played here is full of praise as pure as the club's consuming soundsystem.
Of course, perfection never comes cheap and the Beta crew have thrown every last dime of financial and creative investment at the place. Built from the DJ booth out, Beta's sound design is borderline obsessive. On a mission to build the best they could, they gutted the place out, bankrolled acoustic engineers to analyse the room to its definitive optimum and then fine-tuned the country's first Funktion One Dance Array system.
Not only that, the four towering speaker stacks that face off in its 900-capacity main room would easily flood a 10,000-capacity concert arena with sound. But instead of being raked up to the limits, the system runs at just 30% – 40% capacity, resulting in the warmest, cleanest and most engulfing sound possible.
But whilst the system never needs to be pushed up high, Beta is raising the bar across the board. With a 90% environmentally green rating, it is the most Earth-friendly club on the planet. The bar top in both the main room and the Cielo-inspired Beatport Lounge is shaped out of recycled concrete, the acoustic panelling from old denim jeans, mirrors from reformed glass and the LED signs run on low voltage - there's even a botanical garden on the huge patio area.
Yet Denver remains a city of rave hounds first, tech geeks second. Never once featuring a dud DJ or staid line-up, Beta is high-energy rave hedonism at a technological optimum, rather than endless geeky admiration or stationary chin-stroking.
A diehard clubber himself, Roulier has been putting on 10,000-capacity raves in this city since 1997 and was programming Denver venues like the Church and Vinyl around the turn of the century. When his valiant attempt to buy the Church failed, he decided if you can't buy them, beat them. And how.
Now Beta is the new church for Denver's clubbing community with names as varied as A-Trak, Boys Noize, Paul van Dyk, Matthew Dear, Above & Beyond, Danny Tenaglia and Hercules and Love Affair all playing since it opened back in March 2008.
"It's a club that is about the crowd as much as the DJ," confirms Armin Van Buuren. "You're very close to the crowd and not elevated in any way. But the sound is just awesome, it's so pure and fresh. The Denver crowd has always been one of the big ones but the atmosphere at Beta brings it to a new level. Like Space, Ministry or Amnesia, it has that special magic and it's just a privilege to play."