25 Clubs To Discover Before You Die
There are certain clubs most dance music pilgrims have on their bucket list. You’ve got the Berlin icons like Watergate on the River Spree and techno temple Berghain, with its celebrated residents, ‘open end’ weekends and Panoramabar up top, where the morning sunlight glints through the shutters. America has its big names you know well, from LIV in Miami to New York’s iconic Cielo to the Las Vegas leaders like Marquee. Ibiza’s drawcards run from institutions like Space, Amnesia and DC10 to flashy upstart Ushuaïa Beach Hotel. London has Fabric and Ministry Of Sound, Tokyo is renowned for Womb and ever-ascendant dance music destination Brazil boasts the new leader of the DJ Mag Top 100 Clubs poll, Green Valley.
It’s a wide world, though, with many incredible club experiences to be had – from dark, sweaty basements to vast, state-of-the-art rooms. As a sequel of sorts to our international festival checklist, here’s 25 clubs worth planning a holiday around. Some of these you’ll know, others may not yet be on your radar, but inthemix can swear by them all. We hope you spend a long night on one of these dancefloors soon. A list like this will never be comprehensive, so let us know what discoveries we’ve missed from your own clubbing adventures.
#25 Row 14 – Barcelona, Spain
Kicking off our list is the riotous Row 14, found off a freeway in Barcelona. You have to make an effort to get there, but the intrepid raver will be rewarded. The photo above should give some indication of the club’s carnival-esque vibe, with a retractable roof that can let in the sunlight for those famous night-into-day marathons.
The rolling party is one of Row 14’s calling cards. While relatively young, its Sunday session Elrow is already renowned for going epic with seasoned pros like Marco Carola, Luciano, Ben Sims and Richie Hawtin. Recently, Barcelona figurehead Paco Osuna settled in for a seven-hour set. The Spaniards have a well-deserved reputation for long-distance raving, and Row 14 is the perfect place to join in.
#24 Social Club – Paris, France
Head down some stairs off the Rue Montmartre in central Paris and you’ll find Social Club, a 500-capacity room with some of the savviest programming around. It’s hard to pin this club down to any one sound. Recent line-ups have seen DJ Falcon, Tensnake and Alan Braxe sharing the booth, James Blake and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs in DJ mode, the Gallic dream-team of Brodinski and Gesaffelstein, a club set from DJ Shadow, Michael Mayer getting deep, and much more.
Social Club is a regular haunt for many of our favourite Parisian DJs, whether they’re booked to play or simply soaking up the vibe. And the vibe is strong here. When the dancefloor is at capacity, surrounded on all sides by pipes of neon light, the feeling’s good. Back when he was still shrouded in shadows, Madeon shot the video below inside Social Club. This is how it goes down on a good night.
#23 Yalta Club – Sofia, Bulgaria
Bulgaria may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of clubbing destinations, but Yalta, located smack-bang in the centre of capital city Sofia, is most definitely a hidden gem. With a distinguished history behind it, today Yalta plays host to a diverse range of talent from über-cool stars like Maceo Plex and Nic Curly to underground stalwarts Adam Beyer and Danny Tenaglia, and international chart-toppers Axwell and Paul van Dyk.
The crowd is one of the friendliest you’ll find in Europe, with everyone keen to escape their daily troubles on the dancefloor. No VIP area, an “everybody’s welcome” attitude, state-of-the-art lighting and a crisp, loud sound system help to bolster the carefree vibe of the club – the result being a night out that feels like a house party at a rich friend’s apartment.
#22 The Electric Pickle – Miami, USA
Miami’s a year-round party town, and it’s got everything from extravagant bottle-service clubs (make a beeline for South Beach) to underground institutions. The Electric Pickle falls in the latter camp. With a stalwart team behind it, the Pickle’s the kind of place that house and techno DJs buzz about. In their words, it’s ‘A Liquor-Fueled Love Machine Designed As A Forum For Creative Expression’.
Located in downtown Miami’s Wynwood Arts District, the club has multiple spaces equipped with custom soundsystems and a laidback outdoor area. The Electric Pickle also has that intangible feeling inside its walls of a club with soul. The Electric Pickle celebrated its four year anniversary back in February with Wolf & Lamb’s Slow Hands and Seth Troxler, and it’s the spot where the likes of Ame, Dixon, Metro Area and Michael Mayer stop in Miami. Make the same resolution yourself.
#21 Output – Brooklyn, USA
There are a few things that Output does differently. One of the newest clubs on this list, the much-buzzed-about party spot is located on Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. Here’s how they pitch it: “Output is open to anyone, but is not for everyone. Output welcomes individuals who value the communal experience of music over cameras, ropes, and bottles.”
With room for about 450 people in its darkened space, Output is built for dancing. They bring in the right DJs for the job, too. Since opening, the club has hosted an elite roll-call of names. Whether it’s Berlin icons like Marcel Dettmann, Steffi and Ben Klock, New York luminaries Francois K and Tim Sweeney or the Hessle Audio crew straight from the UK, Output knows how to get the best out of its soundsystem. Just keep the camera phone in your pocket. Carl Cox’s Global 522 episode below showcases highlights from his marathon set at Output. “Oh yes, oh yes…”