2016 | Page 12 | DJMag.com Skip to main content

Poll Clubs 2016: CONCRETE

Since opening in 2011, two years after the city's nightlife was described as “dead”, Concrete, and its legendary all-day parties, have put Paris back on the map. What sets Concrete apart from your average dingy clubbing experience is it’s actually a barge moored on the banks of the Seine.

Concrete, then, is a novel solution to Paris’ unforgiving property market. Set across two floors, Concrete is easily one of the most unique clubbing experiences you can have as you take in picturesque views of the Seine alongside a brutal soundsystem and expert in-house programming (the likes of KiNK, Alan Fitzpatrick, Mike Dehnert, Tom Trago) for what's always an unrelenting maritime mash-up.


Poll Clubs 2016: CIELO

In the ‘90s, every breakdancing menace, raver kid in glow paint and it-gal/possible-transvestite craved and hustled for entrance into this Meat Packing District club mainstay. Not much has changed for the long-running Cielo. 

Resistant to the ongoing EDM tornado in the States, ex-Pacha resident Nicolas Matar's club has weathered the storm, regularly hosting François K's Deep Space parties and fellow Big Apple countrymen Louie Vega, Danny Krivit, and Def Mix's big cheese David Morales and Hector Romero.

Meanwhile, DJs ranging from Stacey Pullen to Markus Schulz to Infected Mushroom, can be found making appearances when in town to throw down. Ain't no button-pressing here, Cielo's where "house music lives", and our most significant link between the ashes of the club kid era of the '90s — when venues like Twilo, Limelight and Tunnel ruled the roost — and today's generation who come to see the real deal.


Poll Clubs 2016: LA HUAKA

La Huaka continues its run in our Top 100 poll after making a grand return last year. This exotic club has been instrumental in the development of Peru's dance scene since the turn of the millennium.

Back in January the club's Beach Fest event played host to Davide Squillace, Francesca Lombardo, M.A.N.D.Y. and Paco Osuna, proving that despite sporadic activity, La Huaka's reputation for bringing in the best international acts is still well-and-truly deserved.


Poll Clubs 2016: DRAI'S

Countless star-studded nights, 60,000 square feet, two pools, 15 luxury mezzanine level cabanas, 7,000 square feet of high definition LED video screens, an 80-sided LED disco ball, four full service bars. Welcome to Drai’s Beachclub • Nightclub in (you guessed it) Las Vegas.

One of the biggest things to hit the now two-years-young party palace in the last year was the debut of Drai’s LIVE, a 45+ minute concert experience within a nightclub setting. Foregoing the Vegas status quo of two to three song performances and brief appearances for live, full-lengths by residents The Weeknd, Chris Brown, Trey Songz and more, with additional performances by artists including Nicki Minaj, G-Eazy, Future, Fabolous, Big Sean, Nick Jonas, Nick Cannon, 50 Cent and others. This is the spot for stargazing, no binoculars needed.


Poll Clubs 2016: Mint Club

If walls could talk, those in ‘The Mint’ would have more than a few yarns to spin. This is where the first Back To Basics event took place, with Derrick Carter jacking it out in 1989, and whilst fashions and fads have changed, the aim of the club hasn’t shifted since that historic day — bringing quality, forward-thinking house and techno to the good people of Yorkshire’s biggest and most debauched city. 

Don’t think that means things are becoming staid, though. 2015 saw a swathe of new nights set up in this intimate, one-roomed haunt, with key parties like System, Prism, Circular and Mint Sessions boasting quality residents who understand their crowd- namely Annie Errez, Jimmy Switch, Tobias, FiNN & Farrow and one of our ones to watch last year, Bobby O’Donnell.

As if that wasn’t enough, recent headliners have ranged from Carl Craig and Luciano, to DJ Format, Little Dragon, and hip-hop heavyweight Big Daddy Kane. Those iconic polo-mint seats and the green-tinged decor are now distant memories too, long since replaced with a reactive LED roof and stripped interior design, with sets powered by a well-engineered Funktion One. Which means it’s pretty fucking loud.


Poll Clubs 2016: WATERGATE


Poll Address: 
Berlin, Germany
Falckensteinstraße 49
10997 Berlin
Address Source: 
watergate (berlin)

Berlin has plenty of competition when it comes to venues, but Watergate consistently proves itself to be one of the city’s finest. Having been open since shortly after the dawn of the new millennium, its best know for its ‘Waterfloor’, where ravers flock to watch the sunrise over the River Spree.

This year has already welcomed a host of house and techno's finest, including Eats Everything, Jasper James, Ellen Allien, Pan-Pot and Kyle Hall, and it's not all 4/4, Dbridge hosting a night alongside Kabuki and Zed Bias.

Alongside this, the club's long running compilation series forged on to reach its 20s, Soul Clap amongst those repping their club with an all-vinyl mix that looked drew from classic house cats including Mike Dunn and Chez Damier.

Proving that diversity is the key to thriving in the modern world, Watergate also run a DJ agency — W-Agency. With club residents such as La Fleur, Sebo K and Tiefschwarz on their books, it's little wonder that the club has become a by-word for quality and more than holds its own as a magnet for the techno tourists who flock to the city very weekend.


Poll Clubs 2016: REX CLUB

Nothing has changed at the most legendary club in France during the last 12 months. And why should it? Let’s start with the basics. One of the oldest venues on the nocturnal map, with a past that goes back further than the 28 years of electronic music Laurent Garnier jump-started, Rex Club is a mecca for Parisians and global clubbers in the know. 

The proud home of nights such as Jennifer Cardini’s Correspondant, D’Julz’s Bass Culture, Deeply Rooted — lead by DJ Deep — and the Didier Allyne and Phil Weeks soiree, Get Underground, based on residents alone — which also include Djebali, Chloe, Ivan Smagghe, Seuil and Le Loup — you could happily come here week in, week out, and never get bored. This is before we mention the constant stream of major guests — Seth Troxler, Lil’ Louis, Derrick May, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Ellen Allien, Apollonia, Mr. G, Peter Van Hoesen, and Matias Aguayo to name but a handful from recent times. Still one room only, still sporting a mighty D&B system so everyone can hear everything crystal-clear, no matter where they are inside, its status as a permanent fixture on our Top 100 Clubs list should surprise nobody.


Poll Clubs 2016: DUEL:BEAT

It is not news to anyone that Italians love their techno. Part of the reason why must be this club, which is spread over two floors, boasts three rooms and is now into its 11th year, and which showcases techno titans on a regular basis to 1500 groove junkies. Never far away from the higher echelons of our poll, there is nothing fancy about Duel: Beat. Instead, the Naples club reflects its locale and is a raw, unfussy and to-the-point warehouse space that boasts some LED screens, a single sizeable disco ball and a square main room that offers nowhere to hide.

Regular nights like Nice To Be offer big techno hitters such as Mathew Jonson, Shed and Chicago’s Green Velvet, whilst the last year has also seen the club welcome more house-leaning DJs. As such slightly more eclectic fair comes from nights like Rituals, which invited Rush Hour digger Hunee amongst many others in 2015, and even Prescription boss and deep house pioneer Ron Trent made an appearance and was allowed to play all night long back in November. Evolving with the times, then, Duel: Beat is as on the pulse as ever.


Poll Clubs 2016: ELEMENTS

A new entry to our list, Elements is the latest venture from Beijing clubbing mastermind Mark Zhang. Previously a DJ himself and the founder of the city's prestigious Coco Banana club, Zhang has a passion for club culture based on a personal understanding of it as a lifestyle, not just a way to make money.

Over the past year, he's grown Elements from a local hotspot to one of Asia's key clubbing destinations, bringing in Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, Fedde Le Grand, Steve Aoki, Chuckie and many more. Noticing a growing trend for hip-hop across Asia, Elements has also recently dedicated its smaller second room to the genre, and has since seen the likes of Jazzy Jeff visit the Chinese capital.

Located in Beijing's upmarket East Side, Elements is the picture of luxury, packing in a plethora of VIP features, with an aim to supply “the coolest music, coolest elements and the coolest people”. It's not all about sipping champagne in super-fly suits however; the club's TURBOSOUND system provides a more an adequate audio set-up, so the music remains at the top of the agenda.

New Entry

Poll Clubs 2016: COLOSSEUM CLUB

Say what you like about EDM, it's undeniable that the genre has boosted the world of hedonistic club culture across the globe. Whilst America and Europe remain central hubs, new clubs have been springing up across Asia to meet the demand for big, ballsy beats. And if you're an EDM fan in Jakarta, Colosseum is the place to be. Every Friday the club brings the biggest DJs in the world to the Indonesian capital — often looking to DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list for inspiration!

Hosting the likes of Afrojack, Don Diablo, Bassjackers, Shogun and Wolfpack over the past 12-months, it's obvious that Colosseum aims to impress, but it isn't just the booking that has clubbers coming back week-in-week-out. 1000m2 of floorspace is paired with a 16m high ceiling to create a truly awe-inspiring arena (good enough for an emperor some might say). Add to that a massive, custom-made Madrix-powered LED Chandelier, CO2 and flame machines, and a mind-boggling array of brand new lasers and lighting fixtures that make Colosseum look more like a Star Wars space battle than a nightclub, and you've got an audio-visual experience like no other.

New Entry