Relaying from heavy snow to torrential rain and winds anyone in the UK at present would be forgiven for daydreaming of their distant annual holidays and search of better climates or at least a party haven on their very own shores to reinvigorate the musical senses. An ongoing in-house joke between my friends is the where abouts my girlfiends next clubbing endeavours will take her and her merry circle of fine friends as consistently she searches for the next best party on the planet from festival to club space relentlessly adding to her travels list ¦ I for one am certain she has attended more parties annually than Carl Cox has hosted afterparties ¦ well not quite, but close.
Anyway, in the name of common interest to our very own DJ readership I felt it pertinent to post what is highly considered the most current essential clubs on the universe to visit in the hope of directing your search for that unique unforgettable clubland experience. Over the years I have been very fortunate to play at a select few of the following noted clubs and also dominate the dancefloors with increasingly poor footwork and manouvres; it is a well known fact that DJs truely cannot dance, so this list may not only serve as hopeful destinations to visit but also for the aspiring DJ to checklist as their talents progress.
Courtesy of our favourite industry magazine we have been able to share a snippet of their annual listed poll from 2012 in the lead into this years world™s best clubs poll as selected by you lot “ the dancefloor footsoldiers who travel the globe checking out the world™s best nocturnal destinations far and wide!
Can Space Ibiza hold on to the crown for a record third year? Or will one of the new USA players challenge for the top? Can Zouk, BCM, Privilege or Amnesia make a move for the key spot or will we see a resurgence of votes for 2009 winner - the super-underground Berghain in the wake of the laws that threaten its very existence?
Only you can decide! So cast your votes and make history for your favourite clubs of the last twelve months!
Enjoy reading this list as much as we have reminiscing and sharing it's contents - don™t forget to take part continuing to keep clubbing the vibrant king of entertainment http://www.djmag.com/top100clubs
(the following excerpt contains the TOP 10 from the noted TOP 100 list)
1 - Space
Playa D'en Bossa, Ibiza
They say excellence should be rewarded. Just as well, then, that Space Ibiza has been voted to the top of this poll for the second year in a row. And quite rightly, too.
Setting up on the The White Isle back in 1989, this clubbing metropolis has been here for the long-haul, soaking up all the Balearic magic of the world's No.1 clubbing hotspot, not resting on its laurels once. Pushing forward, embracing cutting-edge technology, better sound quality and more extravagant forms of entertainment, this club is about delivering a heightened dancefloor experience to those with a discerning flavour for electronic music on the island.
From its high-powered Funktion One soundsystem to those exuberant displays of slinky, silver Lycra-clad dancers on stilts, Space presents a level of clubbing professionalism other nightclubs only dream of. Nitrogen lunar blasts, hi-res LED screens and retina-frying lasers across a series of rooms, each imbued with their own unique sense of identity, but slotted perfectly into the overall picture of this well-oiled clubbing complex.
The Terrace, a space-age cauldron swirling with woozy energy; the Discoteca, for those looking for an explosive big-room beyond any other; Sunset Terrace and its steamy terracotta haze, and La Salon and Red Box's hidden back room intimacy. It's got everything. Not forgetting, the enormous car park opened only for opening and closing, complete with confetti explosions on a stage armed with a stack of Funktion Ones powerful enough to bring down a fighter plane. The entire package is guaranteed exceptional, and, for some, the only reason to make a yearly trip to Ibiza.
The technicalities aside, the DJs that play, residents such as Carl Cox, Roger Sanchez, Nick Curly and James Zabiela, speak of something other than hard facts, something more universal; a feeling of inclusion, spiritual involvement with the family ethos of the club, something garnered by Pepe Rosello and his carefully-nurtured team, a vibe that transcends the staff and bleeds onto the dancefloor.
"I love to play at Space," says Spanish house giant Uner. "First of all, because the crew is, for me, like a family. I always love the good vibes there. Space was my first gig. I'm in love with the club, the party and the people."
These are the same sentiments shared by Carl Cox (see box out), who celebrated the 11th year of his Revolution party last season, and looks forward to another. It's the considered, tightly programmed flagship nights like this that make Space so special. Something for absolutely everyone with an ear for a decent beat. Nick Curly's Kehakuma, Armin's Be and We Love, just a few nights that make Ibiza what she is - a bonafide haven for undisputed clubbing excellence. And Space Ibiza is where to find it. Every goddamn time.
"Space represents who I am and what I'm about. Space was the first and at the time, the only place where you could listen to dance music under the sun. It set the precedent for the after-hours club. Before that, people just expected a 2am kick out. Here, you went to the club at 7am! To be there now, giving something back, is really special to me."
"Space has always been one of my favourite clubs in Ibiza, especially the Terrace. My nights and days in the booth have always been magic there! I love the underground vibe there and crowd is always amazing!"
2 - Green Valley
Sat on the jungle mantle of Camboriu - Brazil's newfound answer to Ibiza, already home to Warung, with Space to follow soon - Green Valley arrived five years ago to stamp its authority on an up-and-coming Brazilian club circuit. And this year, its hard work has been rewarded with penultimate placement at the top of this poll, the highest achievement of all the Americas.
For the uninitiated, the reasons for this club's unbridled success may be a mystery, but those who have been understand exactly why. Rigged with a lunar launch-pad of show-stopping lights, stunning LED visuals and paraffin-fuelled pyrotechnics, there is nothing understated about this giant colosseum buried in the middle of the rainforest. Then there's the stature of the DJs that play here, week in, week out: only the most immense names in the business make the cut.
Cited by both Armin and Axwell as "the best club in the world", it's rightfully got the industry vote, but a DJ's enjoyment wouldn't matter one iota if it wasn't for the people they play to. Green Valley's emphatic and infectious 8,000-strong-crowd, made up of immaculately-dressed Brazilians ready to party until past sunrise, offers the stuff of memories that DJs will carry for a lifetime.
"I've been a few places, but there is no place like Green Valley, not even one!" Axwell confirms. Indeed, it'll take a heck of a lot to beat it.
3 - Pacha
Having spread the length and breadth of the world, delivering a touch of the brand's class as far as New York, Brazil and Egypt, plus regular compilations and parties dropping all over the shop, there aren't many superclub brands as established - as revered, even - as Pacha.
But while the professionalism of its licensees cannot be questioned, it's the brand's original forefather that takes the biscuit every friggin' time. Besides, had Ricardo Urgell not launched this family business back in 1973, this pre-eminent network of exemplary clubs would simply not exist. That said, it's not just the brand's inauguration that's carved Pacha Ibiza's place in the all-time hall of clubbing fame.
Still bringing Beefa the crispy bacon almost 40 years down the line, effortlessly stealing award-winning residencies by the dozen, the likes of Luciano, Swedish House Mafia and Pete Tong, simply because it's where any DJ worth their salt wants to play, it attracts only the cream of the crop of danceland - from credible underground kings to the big-hitting elite.
With its classy dÃ©cor of slick design and soundsystem that's second-to-none, Pacha is the signed, sealed and delivered blueprint to follow for any club owner looking to make a meaningful mark on danceland. "The island! The glamour! The vibe! The history! The crowd! The club!" says an excited Simon Dunmore of Defected. "Clubbers plan their nights at Pacha way in advance, therefore the crowds are always knowledgeable and up-for-it. The anticipation is immense and the occasion rarely disappoints. All of which combine to make Pacha extremely special. There is no other place like it."
4 - Fabrik
Londoners are apt to bang on about their own material monikered nightclub, but you've not experienced the sheer scale of afternoon-to-evening warehouse-styled clubbing until you've hit the arid outskirts of Madrid and thrown a K into the mix.
It's not just the aircraft hangar dimensions of the main room, which sports carefully choreographed stage shows, matched to the visuals and flyers, around the DJs, drawn from the cream of global house and techno acts, with everyone from Plastikman to Fatboy Slim having looked down on the distant crowd, or the giant engulfing ice cannons and lasers. It's the scale of the entire club, which takes advantage of its site in an industrial estate on the city's outskirts.
With a second room equal to the capacity of most other clubs, a third room in a kind of rave greenhouse and VIPs on a double decker bus in the sprawling outside area, which also sports shaded beds, a water slide and ducks (yep, ducks), there's plenty for spangled party-goers to explore. You can even visit the shop to purchase a branded towel to dry off if the heat gets too much, or grab yourself a pizza from one of the multiple food outlets. And with brands such as Supermartxe, CODE, Vertigo and the Sunday-to-Monday carnival of Goa all in residence, there's no excuse not to make a day and night of Fabrik.
5 - Zouk
"Zouk Club is one of the reasons I like to tour in Asia. It's one of my favourite clubs in the world that never lets me down," says big room electro cat Hardwell. And it's no big surprise. While Asia continues its rapid growth into a global clubbing colossus, with an increasing number of the world's best venues spread across the continent all battling for dance music supremacy, Zouk's the one club that looms large above all others.
21 years young, it remains the No.1 Asian destination for the best DJs across the dance spectrum; Sasha, Derrick May, Armin Van Buuren, Danny Tenaglia, Steve Lawler and underground techno don Surgeon all played in 2011 alone.
Attracting an enthusiastic, dedicated and young crowd week on week, the nation state's preeminent destination club is state-of-the-art. Boasting five mini-clubs that jostle for position within the confines of the futuristic structure, Phuture is all smooth curvatures and alien spacecraft, hi-tech aesthetics; Velvet Underground is both a plush lounge (Velvet Underground Lounge) and separate dance room with swish LED panels (Velvet Underground Dance), Zouk Club is a monument to the Balearic clubbing titans (though it could match them) with its ornate tiles, stucco stylings and Gary Stewart-designed soundsystem; there's even a wine bar attached. Recently celebrating their second decade, their festival Zouk Out expanding at an exponential rate, this one is set to run and run.
"There's a standard that Zouk has reached on all levels which makes the clubbing experience something special and unique. As a DJ it's always an honour to play for them," says Omid 16B.
6 - Ministry Of Sound
Having celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and weathered the economic downturn much better than the property developers threatening to close it down to open flats opposite, Ministry Of Sound continues its reign as one of the most famous club brands on the planet. Boasting the kind of killer, skeleton-shaking soundsystem now so rare in London, and still pulling in the biggest names from the rolling tech house of Nic Fanciulli's Saved Records to the gigantic trance of Cosmic Gate, with Michael Woods, Cosmonauts and Joe & Will Ask as residents, its spot off the roundabout at Elephant & Castle may not be the most glamorous setting, but the maze of rooms and walkways within are perfect for losing yourself in hedonistic abandon. Throw in a design inspired by Larry Levan's revered Paradise Garage, a history of being the first to bring over America's greatest jocks as highlighted on 2011's 'Live and Remastered' compilation last year, and you have one of the world's most iconic venues.
7 - BCM
It's nicknamed Planet Dance for good reason. BCM is renowned around the world. Despite being located in the less-than-salubrious environs of Magaluf, BCM is up there with the Balearics' best clubs.
Ibiza's super venues get all the acclaim and fame, sure, but Mallorca's jewel-in-the-crown can more than hold its own, with spectacular production, next-level laser shows, and of course, appearances from the world's biggest and best DJs filling its enormodome space.
During the summer season, BCM booms to the sound of trance, electro and commercial house behemoths like Deadmau5, Ferry Corsten and David Guetta, as well as big events like Mallorca Live, Andi Durrant's R&B, grime and hip-hop series of gigs from the likes of Dizzee Rascal. Off-season, though, and the club, with its killer 65,000 watt Funktion One soundsystem, attracts a more Spanish contingent, hungry for a darker, tougher techno rhythm, ably provided by the likes of Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer, Martin Buttrich and Ben Sims.
8 - Fabric
Farringdon, London, UK
Situated in London's white-collar corner for media back-scratching, but housed in an old meat storage facility, Fabric is a contradiction of sorts. But, saying that, not much is very ordinary about this club, as anyone who's been there will tell you.
A few truths do exist, however. Once inside, you'll find a maze-like tower heaving with bug-eyed chaos, a walking ground for the most diverse clubbing demographic there is, including eager-to-rave students, hyperactive tourists and, of course, the clued-up faithful returning for their hundredth visit. DJs lucky enough to play always say it's an honour, while visiting clubbers testify it's the most high-octane experience to be found in London. Ask us, we'll argue that Fabric, with its minimalist stylings, superlative soundsystem and exquisitely well-rounded line-ups, is a juggernaut very few on this planet can compete with. But what does Adam Shelton have to say about it?
"The true benchmark of how a club should be run; the sound, the bookings, the team involved, always a pleasure to play at and always a great rave!" So, there you have it.
9 - Amnesia
Converted from a country house to a disco back in 1976, Amnesia is where the Balearic spirit was born, Bob Marley performing in '78 and resident DJ Alfredo spinning everything from rock, disco and new wave to early Chicago house, inspiring the likes of Danny Rampling to take his style back to the UK and open the gates of a new kind of dance experience.
From that acorn has grown a mighty oak, expanding in size, adding a roof, and kitting itself out in bespoke state-of-the-art sound, designed to submit frequencies that massage the body. Having won Best Global Club three times at the Winter Music Conference as a result, and attracted loaded stars like Puff Daddy and Naomi Campbell to hear massive brands including Cocoon, Cream and more recently MTV, it's no wonder everyone wants a piece of the action. Coming soon are four franchises which have a strict set of criteria to ensure they honour the spirit of the original club.
"My favourite club in Ibiza is definitely Amnesia, as we have our summer residency there every Monday," reckons Sven VÃ¤th. "Artists from all corners of the art world meet here and the mixture of people is unique and encompasses the young as well as the young at heart."
10 - Sirena
In a nation with new venues springing up left, right and centre to channel the cash spilling out the pockets of its young, hedonistic upper class, it's refreshing to come across a club that's been here (almost) from the beginning, delivering the rhythmic pulse its people are so innately in tune with, for all the right reasons.
Sirena, Brazil's 18-year-old beachside jungle club, is exactly that, opting to educate its loyal clientele with serious dancefloor fodder, while at the same time giving them exactly what they want - the likes of Dennis Ferrer and D Nox & Beckers alongside crusaders like Bob Sinclar, Armin and Kaskade - which, while differing slightly from the scruffy underground dens of Europe, is always the stuff of magic.
From its sweat-dripping main room to the humid jungle vibes of the outside at sunrise, Sirena is an adventure playground for clubbers, doted on by any DJ that's played there. Just ask Morillo. "Absolutely incredible, the energy here was so great," he says. "The people are so amazing, the energy, the hands up in the air, everything is unbelievable."
Pack up your belongings and head to where the parties at and be sure to continue your new years celebrations long into the season, as consciously we declare to travel more work less and enjoy more fulfilling experiences with annual resolution, armed with this list and a few well saved dollars and you may be well on your way soon, spotting your favourite djs and noting which of the latest kit the DJ shrines and soundbooths are kitted out with ¦ ping us back and reserve your ltd edition dj equipment for your anticipated return fuelled with youthful endeavour.