Poll Clubs 2009: Robert Johnson | DJMag.com Skip to main content
ROBERT JOHNSON
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24
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It's not a very promising prospect. An old rowing club in the arse end of nowhere named after a blues singer. Is the Robert Johnson really one of the best techno clubs in the world?

After a 15-minute walk from the nearest train station, through the deserted suburb of Offenbach, you might very well wonder what could be so special as to drag people so far from electronic civilisation. And once you get inside the venue, at 131 Nordring, you might still be underwhelmed.

There really isn't anything to mark this down as one of the best nightclubs in the world until they crank the soundsystem. Sound bores are always banging on about how loud music doesn't have to be damaging to the ears if the system is set up right, and the Robert Johnson is the best proof of that we've come across.

But the sound isn't the only thing that the Robert Johnson has got going for it. The lack of glamour, the difficulty getting there and a great booking policy means that it draws a great crowd of music lovers. Across the lake Sven Väth's Cocoon might be trendier, but the Robert Johnson is the place that the underground seek out.

The enthusiasm for the music shines through, but that's not to say it's a geekfest. Models and hipsters rub shoulders with older clubbers and everything rolls on until the crowd gets worn out or wanders off, meaning that nights can close anytime from 5am until past midday.

This year the club, which is owned by Playhouse label boss Ata, has launched its own mix series. But in typical Robert Johnson style they asked their residents - Chloé, Prins Thomas, Liquid and Ivan Smagghe - to represent them.

Chloé described the Robert Johnson experience as "a night where it doesn't matter where you come from, what you normally listen to and what scene you belong to".

As important as the residents clearly are to the Robert Johnson, it hasn't stopped the club attracting the best names out to the suburbs. In the last couple of months Moodymann, Richardo Villalobos, Pilooski and Magda have all made their way to Offenbach.

1
BERGHAIN
2
FABRIC
3
SPACE IBIZA
4
WOMB
5
AMNESIA
6
MINISTRY OF SOUND
7
PACHA IBIZA
8
WATERGATE
9
D-EDGE
10
The End
11
Cocoon
12
GUVERNMENT
13
ZOUK SINGAPORE
14
SUB CLUB
15
WARUNG
16
SANKEYS MCR
17
DC-10
18
Plastic People
19
SIRENA
20
21
Paradiso
22
Pacha Buenos Aires
23
Beta Nightclub
24
ROBERT JOHNSON
25
Ruby Skye
26
Matter
27
The Arches
28
Space Miami
29
Club Volume
30
Pacha Miami
31
AGEHA
32
Hardpop
33
RAZZMATAZZ
34
CIELO
35
Eden
36
Alte Börse
37
The Rex
38
Batofar
39
Studio Martin
40
Avalon
41
Club JB's
42
My House
43
CAVO PARADISO
44
FABRIK
45
Noxx
46
TENAX CLUB
47
Fuse
48
Clash Club
49
PRIVILEGE
50
Onzi-eme
51
ANZUCLUB
52
52 Crystal
53
Vanguard
54
Villa
55
Metro City
56
Kristal
57
Club Midi
58
360°
59
Harry Klein
60
MANSION
61
Circa
62
ARMA 17
63
Club Der Visionaere
64
Vision
65
Vinyl
66
Caves
67
CHINESE LAUNDRY
68
Goa Club
69
Stereo
70
Bar 25
71
Byblos
72
Warehouse
73
Heaven
74
Air
75
Florida 135
76
Culture Box
77
MINT CLUB
78
Dirty Dancing
79
Circus Afterhours
80
Tribehouse
81
Cabaret Voltaire
82
Pacha Sharm
83
1015
84
Haoman 17
85
Prince Of Wales Bandroom
86
Numero Uno
87
MOTION & MARBLE FACTORY
88
Barfly
89
Café D'Anvers
90
Stiff Kitten
91
Factory Club
92
93
TRESOR
94
Global
95
YALTA
96
LUX FRAGIL
97
Sq Klub
98
Le Queen
99
Weekend
100
Le Bataclan