Unless you’re lucky enough to be a career DJ totting up air miles on a weekly basis, chances are your nights out usually take a place at a relatively small selection of locations. Whilst there is a lot to be said for the familiar, for a truly special evening you often need to take a dip into the unknown and go somewhere new unusual. This Friday we’ve put together a list of five tantalisingly unique clubs from around the globe that all offer something exciting. Check them out then start saving up for a visit this summer…
Lux Fragil – Lisbon, Portugal
Unfortunately the riverside entrance to this sprawling club in the Portuguese capital isn’t usually presented as it is in the image at the top (we still couldn’t help ourselves though) – although it is still very much an intriguing proposition. Partly owned by John Malkovich (yes, that one), Lux has been widely revered as one of the premier nightspots in the country since opening in 1999. A selective Berghain-esque door policy means its not hard to find spiteful reviews of the club online, but amongst those who made the cut the verdict is decidedly more positive. Entry is a mere €12, and once inside punters are catered to by an ample selection of bars, vast dancefloors and a roof terrace to take advantage of the frequently warm weather. All of this is augmented by a musical programme that is equal parts eclectic and adventurous, with DJ Shadow, Jimmy Edgar, Nguzunguzu and Mr.G all booked in for the coming months. High production values, a beautiful location and an inherent party vibe thanks to the locals in the crowd ensure Lux will continue to dominate the clubbing landscape out in Lisbon for years to come.
The Golden Pudel – Hamburg, Germany
“Every night, the same horny thing happens down by the Hamburg docks. Come late evening, the night skins are being tautened over edge. Under whirring, murmuring, and avoidance pains, the little gingerbread house opens up. The Golden Pudel Club briefly digests, sighs, and pinches ist own earlobe.” We’re not quite sure what that means but this tiny, no frills wooden venue is a beloved stronghold of the Hamburg scene. On any given weekend night one can expect more than three times the capacity to be outside on the street making their own party. The programming is usually excellent but that’s not what it’s about, the same people who DJ here also run the door and bar, it’s a complete family environment and that’s what makes it shine.
Guacara Taina – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Guacara Taina is located at Parque Mirador Sur, also know as ‘health park’ due to the joggers and skaters that frequent the space during the day. Opening on Friday and Saturday from 11pm usually till 5 or 6am, the entry to the cave consists of a descending staircase, which quickly leads to a cavernous craggy space 60ft below street-level. With a capacity of 3,000, an entry fee of 300 pesos (just over £4), and dance-floors tucked away in natural crevices, this expansive grotto certainly has all the features to facilitate a rousing rave.
The natural acoustics of the space allow sound to travel and positively reverberate resulting in a grandiose audio experience. Local DJs regularly play Merengue, Latin and various styles of Dance music, with a live band breaking things up once a month. The tribal tendency of club-culture is truly alive within this very unique space, along with a respectable focus on communal dance the championing of local music.
Love Story – Sao Paolo, Brazil
Even in a country who’s people are renowned for their love of a party, this club in Brazil’s largest city is renowned for its especially high level of debauchery. Immortalised in dance music history by the Layo & Bushwacka song of the same name, the club was once a regular haunt of one time Sao Paolo resident Nick Cave, whilst Mike Tyson is also rumored to have been arrested there (although the latter is probably true of a fair few establishments). An after hours venue that doesn’t get going until at least 2.30am, the crowd at Love Story has been described as a mixture of off duty hookers, party animals and nearly naked girls with the odd interpid tourist thrown in for good measure. The soundtrack is generally a mixture of House and Techno, though this takes a back seat to the overall party atmosphere-which whilst potentially not for everyone, is certainly something out of the ordinary.
Monasterio – Moscow, Russia
Monasterio, a Moscow-based night club that opened in 2013, is situated in a disused textile factory that dates back as far as the 18th Century – one of the oldest buildings of it’s kind in the centre of the Russian capital. Lovingly restored back to health following a long a period of abandonment, the club’s owners have quickly made their mark on the Russian scene by creating a space with a homely yet industrial feel with very high technical standards, booking the best Techno DJ’s around on a weekly basis, going against the grain of the local – largely commercial – club scene. Many consider Monasterio to have best sound system in Moscow (the first ever Void Incubus Soundsystem was installed here) and the closest to the likes of infamous Berghain and Tresor you’ll find in Russia. Parties go on all night with regular after hours events where you can safely drift away into the realms of solemn mechanical rhythm. Oh, and if you happen to be peckish, the space boasts a 24 hour restaurant with the chef serving up an international fusion taking elements of Japanese, Italian, Thai and Russian cuisine. We hear the Panna Cotta is a bit special!