Ravers’ Guide To Warung Beach Club
Plug-in your headphones and bop along to one of the most exotic underground music temples…
At #21 in DJ Mag’s Top Clubs, Warung Beach Club is one of the most respected and famous underground electronic music destinations in the world. On Dec 28, 2016 we laced up our danciest shoes and drove to the praia Brava Norte (beach) in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
Our mission: to dance the night away while Sasha, Cristoph and D-Nox played their favorite tracks, on two really loud sound systems…
Electronic music became my favorite hobby
when my sister took me to a rave party in Croatia as a birthday present in late 1999. Since then, I have been fortunate to visit numerous clubbing destinations around the world. Warung first came to my attention in 2006, when John Digweed’s namesake release stormed the electronic music charts.
The venue is located a short distance from the shore, on a seemingly secluded beach, about a 15min taxi ride between the cities of Camboriú and a Itajaí. Both are major summer destinations with many hotels and apartments for rent, spread around a dozen or so majestic beaches.
The state capital Florianópolis (“Floripa”), is the most popular tourist destination in the state of Santa Catarina and also the regional arrivals/departure point for air travelers. Transit from Florianópolis to Warung Beach Club is not difficult, and takes about 2h by car.
Interestingly, a very similar route leads to the Green Valley club — also a world class venue. Although it is little bit closer (from the airport in Florianópolis), Green Valley’s music policy is more “hands-up-in-the-air”, whereas we much prefer the darker, dirtier grooves of the old-school progressive house and techno sounds.
My own appreciation and taste in music was very much distilled while selecting tracks and DJing in private or public. Since my professional background is in IT / software development and because I am always looking for new tracks, I also built RemixRotation.com. Actually, this is how I “found out” about Cristoph’s production work, as he has been rocking the underground progressive house chart since late November.
RemixRotation is a little bit like a “Spotify” for electronic music: free streaming; full tracks; 24 genres; unlimited skipping; NO ads; AND each of the 5000 current tracks is in at least one of today’s Top100 genre charts on Beatport, JunoDownload or Traxsource. Basically, you only stream tracks that DJs think are good enough to be purchased right now.
We arrived at the Warung gates around 1:30am.
All-night monitored parking was nearby and well organized — all for just 50BRL (USD 16 / EUR 15). The staff spared no effort and made sure we took all the correct turns through the narrow streets of the neighboring town.
Our tickets were already purchased on-line and we were required to provide our names beforehand for printed receipts to present them with matching picture IDs. Brazilian identification nomenclature uses the so called CPF numbers, but Blueticket’s on-line forms were built to also work with (any) foreign format (thumbs-up for proper software development!)
The billing lines were already clear and we just walked up to one of several friendly security personnel for the regular pat-down “inspection”. My head is shaven so I had to just show my wallet and earplugs in hand, while my wife’s hair and purse received a little bit more attention. Before long, we were on our way to the dance floor.
Warung Beach Club is not a velvet-rope “showroom”— it does have VIP & booth / tables for reservation, but its primary purpose is mischievous fun and sweaty dancing.
The venue is comprised of 3 distinct areas:
the entrance pathway takes you directly into the heart of the A. ground floor atrium. This area is well lit and not particularly loud. One side is lined with cash registers while the other is staffed with smiling bartenders who will take your paid drink receipts and fetch you cold a Budweiser (BRL 10 / USD 3.20 / EUR 3.00) or other drinks of your choice (e.g. Fusion Energy for BRL 20). Another amenity is a stylish sushi bar with a sandwich stand nearby — we “tested” both chicken and turkey sandwiches and can report that they were very tasty.
Just above the bar “atrium”, is the B. main dance floor (capacity 1400), while the far end of the ground floor opens into a C. very impressive “auxiliary” dance-floor-in-the-garden.
The main dance floor is accessible via 6 stairways — 3 on each side of the room. On the east end, the rectangular dance hall opens into a spacious sunrise terrace. The DJ booth faces the terrace from afar and takes up the entire width on the west side.
Architecturally speaking, the venue is accentuated with far-east and asian tones. Wooden beams feature prominently throughout the venue, and the surface on both floors is also the dance-friendly wood, to minimize the effect of spilled drinks.
One of the best things about the Brazilian nightlife, is that the clubs have solved the “(straight) sausage party” problem.
Women’s entry tickets are about 50% cheeper, resulting in more even numbers of men and women on the dance floors. You should buy tickets early to get the best deal, since festivals and clubs often setup multiple pricing tiers. We did really great for BRL 90 (USD 28 / EUR 27) and also BRL 160 (USD 50 / EUR 48) — beware to purchase tickets as soon as possible and for your respective gender!
Our main motivation was to hear Sasha play the 1st leg on his 4 date tour of South America.
Earlier in the week, we learned that he was expected to start at 2am and play until the close around 7am — yay!
Indeed, the music was fantastic and the last hour was made even more memorable when Sasha finished the 5 hour-long set at 7:30am with his latest, yet unreleased production: “Track 10”. We were in awe of the “quantity” of sound we could hear in this track on Warung’s sound system — it alone would have made our entire night.
In the mean time, Cristoph also finished his set in the garden and D-Nox (of the D-Nox & Beckers fame) took over around 4am. I have been buying his tracks for many years now, but have not yet had the chance to hear him play live. Judging by his production opus, I was hoping for, and expecting to hear driving up-tempo rhythms with ample melodies. D-Nox totally hit the spot and we were even a little torn between the two floors around 5am.
“Finally”, at around 7:30am, we completed our mission and another un-repeatable party was behind us — well worth the effort.
Luckily, the Warung Beach Club organization is not going on a vacation any time soon and their line-ups in 2017 are guaranteed to happily exhaust clubbers from afar and wide. In just a few days, Warung is co-hosting with Resident Advisor and dancing to tracks by Nina Kraviz, Renato Ratier, Ney Faustini, Cassy, Aninha and Ricardo Albuquerque.
And if you too are a big fan of Sasha’s sound, then lace up your shoes and get next best thing on February 4th, with John Digweed and Lee Burridge.
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