Poll Clubs 2009: Studio Martin | DJMag.com Skip to main content
Studio Martin
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39
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Whether it's festivals like the enormous Exit in Serbia or the boutique Garden in Croatia, parties and conferences like SEEME in Bulgaria or the region's homegrown DJs like Raresh and Rhadoo, Umek and Marko Nastic, Eastern Europe has become the scene of some of dance music's most thrilling new developments. But whilst the countries east of Germany are now the worst-kept secret on the international clubbing circuit, they've actually been buzzing away beneath the radar for ages before budget flights opened them up to those of us in the west.

And one beacon that's been sending out the strongest signals for the past 16 years is Studio Martin. Converted from a cinema, this venue in Bucharest has hosted the first Romanian gigs by the likes of Laurent Garnier, Derrick May and Jeff Mills since opening in 1993 and was also where James Lavelle chose to set his 'Romania' contribution to the 'Global Underground' series.

Although it was hardly dying, Studio Martin, at B-dul Iancu de Hunedoara, has nevertheless had a fresh injection of life ever since Romanian promotions agency The Mission took over the programming on Friday and Saturday nights three years ago; installing their own regular DJs such as Vania to spin the sort of wonky techno textures so popular in this country, with regular guests from like-minded labels such as Kompakt and Cocoon also making the

journey here.

Indeed, it's become almost as much of a nexus for the minimal scene as any of the clubs in Berlin it so closely resembles. Studio Martin might be much smaller but there's a definite similar feel to Berghain in its dark, stripped-back industrial decor and the newly added LED displays could have been imported directly from Watergate.

Yet it's more the psychology of the crowd than the physical surroundings that have earned Studio Martin a place in the Top 100 clubs in the world, welcoming DJs from right across the board with the open-mindedness and enthusiasm that's become the defining characteristic of clubbing in Eastern Europe's underground.

"I first played at Studio Martin eight years ago and it gets better every time," Hernan Cattaneo enthuses. "It's a truly old school underground club that's very dark and smokey and because the resident DJs are excellent the crowd are really clued-up on what they're hearing.

"It's definitely a place to play a long set and I like to start with deep and groovy sounds safe in the knowledge that no-one will ask me to play harder. I can't wait to go back."

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
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