25 Clubs To Discover Before You Die
#20 Sankeys – Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza’s clubbing terrain is well-documented, from the colossal Amnesia with its famous smoke cannons to the sun-drenched Ushuaïa Beach Club, where everyone from Sasha and Loco Dice to Avicii and David Guetta feel right at home. Stray from the well-scuffed dancefloors, though, and you’ll find Sankeys, a 1500-capacity club where the sounds of the underground rule.
Opened in 2011, it’s made its mark on the White Isle as a space designed for music, not VIP trappings. Sadly its namesake, the legendary Manchester institution Sankeys, has recently closed its doors, so it’s over to the Ibiza outpost to keep the spirit alive. For its third season on Carrer de Alzines, Sankeys has gone all-out. The Dirtybird crew is in the building on Thursdays, while elsewhere you will find distinguished names from the newly-disco-ed Skream to all-nighter expert Steve Lawler to Wolf and Lamb and friends. Getting the vibe?
#19 Stereo – Montreal, Canada
At Stereo in Montreal, “everyone is equal: black, white, straight, gay, those with money and those without money,” according to owner Thomas Piscardelli. Unlike a lot of large clubs in North America, where table service is standard, Stereo removes this obvious divide between the “haves” and “have nots”. In fact, the bar doesn’t serve alcohol at all. You can buy either a bottle of water or a soft drink. If that’s not a clear statement of “we’re about people who genuinely love the music and come to dance”, we don’t know is.
Stereo is primarily focused on house music, which is reflected in its interior, modelled on the legendary Paradise Garage in New York, one of the spiritual birth-places of the sound. With a 1000-person capacity, the club strikes a good balance between fresh, underground artists like Audiofly and Joseph Capriati and bigger names such as Tiga and Roger Sanchez, but always aims for credibility and soul with the music. And tribal and progressive legends Chus & Ceballos are residents; how good is that?
#18 Ego – Hamburg, Germany
Love house music in intimate rooms? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Ego, hidden just off Hamburg’s red light district. The club has earned a reputation that extends far beyond its hometown. Ego is partly owned by Solomun, whose Diynamic label has been enjoying a hot streak in recent years, and its week in, week out programming mirrors his ear for four-four.
DJs with a preference for warmth and groove are right at home inside Ego, with recent guests including Dixon, Sebo K, Anja Schneider, Robag Wruhme and Shaun Reeves. Then there’s the famous Diynamic Neon Night residency, which sees the label’s stars getting silly with costumes, props and hypercolor face-paint. Head to Hamburg and be part of the family for a night.
#17 Trouw – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Because every national media outlet has to eventually diversify its assets, we have Trouw in Amsterdam. Formerly the home of the Dutch newspaper of the same name, Trouw is now a three-floor club, restaurant and event space/gallery, hosting everything from exhibitions to heads-down techno raves. Hints of the venue’s past remain, such as the decommissioned printing press and the stark concrete which surrounds you at every turn, but these add to the venue’s grimy, industrial charm, and they are interestingly contrasted by warm-coloured lights and projected visuals.
On top of that, Trouw was also the first venue in Amsterdam to receive a 24-hour permit, and they sure know how to use it. Their infamous ‘All Night Long’ parties have featured some huge name guests such as Ame, Speedy J, and Ben Klock playing – you guessed it – all night long (or until people’s feet are worn down). And the best part? If you get tired of dancing, you can always re-fuel in the restaurant.
#16 Plastic People – London, UK
Plastic People has made its name by getting the essentials right. The tiny basement club in Shoreditch was designed around its immersive soundsystem, with the dancefloor as dark as it should be. With capacity of just 200 dancers, Plastic People is the anti-superclub.
In 2005, the club became home to trailblazing bass night FWD>>, with the likes of Ramadanman, Pariah and Jamie XX filing through on Thursdays. These days, it hosts regular appearances from electronic adventurer Floating Points and the Horse Meat Disco crew. Speaking to inthemix recently, James Blake enthused about his 1-800-Dinosaur residency at Plastic People.
“We’re getting a lot of people through the door and it’s really starting to be packed each time and pretty fun,” he said. “I get to play anything I want with all my friends around me, and just play some vinyl, have a laugh, have a drink and talk to people who’ve come along to the show and don’t even know that I DJ. It’s part fans and part just everyday, random people off the street.”