May 172009
 

Is it the banging sound of tracks not to be released for weeks even months on the best sound systems, the continuous crowds contributing to a positive vibe weekend after weekends, the sunshine terraces with hot sweaty dancers, clubland holds the night owl draw for many of us. It’s

DJ Mag produced on March 25th, their “definitive” list of Top Clubs of the World for 2009, but I just saw this about a month ago and wanted to comment. There’s not much listed as to how this list is compiled except that it’s voted on by readers of the magazine. I’ve always questioned these voter polls legitimacy, because there’s no criteria except for attendee (or listener, in the case of DJ polls) preference and rightly so at times.

No surprise that clubbing meccas Ibiza, Berlin and London are at the top and I’ve had the pleasure to experience at least 4 of them (bold):

01. Berghain – Berlin
02. Fabric – London
03. Space – Ibiza
04. Womb – Tokyo
05. Amnesia – Ibiza
06. Ministry Of Sound – London
07. Pacha – Ibiza
08. Watergate – Berlin
09. D-Edge – Sao Paolo
10. The End – London

Unfortunately as of press time, The End has reached its end so 11 moving up would be: Cocoon – Frankfurt, Germany.

Of the 100 list, the following are the top American clubs:

23: Beta – Denver, Colorado
25: Ruby Skye – San Francisco, California
28: Space – Miami, Florida
30: Pacha – New York, NY
34: Cielo – New York, NY
40: Avalon – Los Angeles, California
53: Vanguard – Los Angeles, California
60: Mansion – Miami, Florida
65: Vinyl – Denver, Colorado
83: 1015 – San Francisco, CA

There’s some interesting tells of this top US clubs list from the global Mag offering. First, Denver is the top US Club? What? I didn’t see that coming. Not NY, LA, Miami or even Chicago… but Denver. I’m still curious to know what’s the voting criteria here. I understand the DJs and mag subs voted on this but really, what are the standards? Club layout? Sound? Crowd? Lighting? Set up? Back stage perks?

I’m ecstatic to see my home hood of SF represented here, and somewhat malcontent that Ruby Skye is the top club still of the city. I would have thought someone else would have stepped up in the scene and created a contender.

The usual suspects from LA, SF, NY and Miami are represented, I’ve been to all of them except those in Denver, and they all seem to have a repeatable formula in layout, sound and dance music styles that don’t venture too far clubbing mainstream. Space for it’s terrace and Cielo for it’s sound and minimalism are unique in separating from the formula. Conspicuously missing are any venues from Chicago or Las Vegas (the self proclaimed mega club venue of the US).

One thing is clear, America’s club scene is well behind that of the global community according to DJ Mag with Germany, UK, Spain, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Holland, and Argentina all topping the list; most with multiple clubs representing. These are all countries where electronic, dance and house music are just as popular as other genres and even more so in some areas as you hear it saturated in every aspect of life: stores, radio, internet and even elevator musak. At least we still have an auto industry and their commercials to help support the scene…

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