Poll Clubs 2009: Zouk Singapore | DJMag.com Skip to main content
ZOUK SINGAPORE
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13
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With a motto of "one world, one music, one tribe, one dance," Singapore's Zouk opened its doors back in 1991 with a simple but ambitious aim - to guide the state's nocturnal youth away from the retro-cheese and pop tedium they then thrived on and into the lures of electronic music.

Eighteen years on, its owner Lincoln Cheng can stand proud behind the realisation of his vision. Singapore circa 2009 is a city open to the full spectrum of quality dance music and for that it can thank Zouk and Zouk alone.

In the past year, the eternally rammed club has showcased DJs like Richie Hawtin, Michael Mayer, Sven Väth, Boys Noize, DJ T, Armin Van Buuren and Jazzanova's Alex Barck.

In contrast, the Ministry of Sound's expansive but cheesy quayside venture has fallen by the wayside altogether. Indeed, whilst the fat cats saw the dollar signs and muscled in on Singapore's now thriving club scene, natural selection has seen that Zouk remained the dominant force.

Not that Zouk's ongoing supremacy is an act of chance or fortune. When a perfectly modern Zouk closed for refurbishment in 2005, they didn't just give it a new lick of paint and a Funktion One. Instead, they gutted out the three converted warehouse spaces that make up the Zouk complex, on Jiak Kim Street, and ran the overhaul into millions of pounds. Why? To keep Zouk at the Zenith it has always occupied.

Lavishly decorated with Mediterranean architecture, Zouk is a club that places style, comfort and design on priority. Affectionately dubbed the Pacha of the East, in truth Zouk sets its own standards with mosaic tiling, LED walls, soft lighting and a design practicality that means queuing is less likely than an empty night here.

The jewel in South-East Asia's clubbing crown, it is every inch the modern superclub.

"Not only do they have the best lighting system I have ever encountered but it is operated to perfection," explains Zouk fan Gareth Emery.

"The girl that operates the lights has been there for 12 years. Some clubs have an amazing system but if the lighting jock is too busy getting pissed or chatting up girls then the whole thing suffers. At Zouk, it's always spot-on."

But what impresses most DJs about Zouk is the sheer energy of the entirely drug-free crowds. Despite the fact that you're more likely to be hit by a falling plane than score Ecstasy in Singapore (both result in death), Zouk's faithful will still out-rave an army of Duracell bunnies on crystal meths.

"I'm usually scheduled for a two-hour set but they let me play on depending on the vibe," continues Emery. "I don't think I have ever played less than four-and-a-half hours there - the crowd just does not stop.

"Last time I was there, I finished playing, played an encore, played another tune mixed into my encore and they were still there five minutes after that had finished chanting for one more after the lights had gone up."

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BERGHAIN
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SPACE IBIZA
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WOMB
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AMNESIA
6
MINISTRY OF SOUND
7
PACHA IBIZA
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WATERGATE
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D-EDGE
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The End
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Cocoon
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GUVERNMENT
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ZOUK SINGAPORE
14
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15
WARUNG
16
SANKEYS MCR
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DC-10
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Plastic People
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SIRENA
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ROBERT JOHNSON
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Matter
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The Arches
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AGEHA
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CIELO
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Eden
36
Alte Börse
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The Rex
38
Batofar
39
Studio Martin
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Club JB's
42
My House
43
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44
FABRIK
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46
TENAX CLUB
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Fuse
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PRIVILEGE
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ANZUCLUB
52
52 Crystal
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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
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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
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TRESOR
94
Global
95
YALTA
96
LUX FRAGIL
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Sq Klub
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Le Queen
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Weekend
100
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