World Dance Music Capital 06: Barcelona.

Words by: Gregorio
Posted: 11/5/09 15:10

BarcelonaBarcelona is just about my favourite city on earth, so you'll forgive any bias shown here. Rich in its culture and history, diverse in its people and in what it has to offer and of course, proud of its identity and independent attitude, the city is a clash of old and new.

The fascinating Barri Gotic district takes you back a century or two and Gaudi's influence is everywhere but this is juxtaposed with the envigorative regeneration the city has enjoyed since hosting the Olympics in 1992. That said, nothing beats the views from the Palau Nacional on Montjuic, just above Plaça Espanya, that provides a majestical panaroma over this grand metropolis.

When it comes to nightlife, Barcelona has one of the most vibrant scenes in the world, offering practically every style of music and every experience imaginable. You're just as likely to find a the best techno club in the world on a random side street near Las Ramblas as you are in an industrial area near the airport.

In fact, many visitors to the city, looking for the nightlife area that doesn't really exist, invariably get drawn to the Maremagnum complex, at the foot of Las Ramblas, which is about your worst nightmare as a hardened clubber. We're talking free entry, expensive drinks, sleazy Latin men, lots of British lads on a stag do and the Gipsy Kings or the Lambada as your musical accompaniment.

So, it's our pleasure to give you the lowdown on the real Barcelona clubbing scene, right across the dance music spectrum and with all the hidden gems included. It's all there, right under your nose, you just to know where to look!! Visca Catalunya!!

Sala RazzmatazzRazzmattaz
Huge Barcelona club, in terms of both size and reputation. Located a short taxi ride from central Barcelona, this old factory houses 5 distinct club spaces covering all musical tastes from techno to rock to chillout to disco. If you don't manage to get lost inside, you're a legend and one of The Loft , Lo*Li*Ta, Razz Club, Rex Room and even the Pop Room will provide you with something that appeals.

The jagged mix of music, people and trends make the Razzmattaz experience quite unique in comparison to your typical dance music club, underground or not. One minute Carl Craig is taking you deep and moments away some punk rockers are thrashing it out almost side by side with some hippies enjoying something a bit more alternative. By nature, the mishmash approach dictates the need to be friendly, open minded and up for a good time.

To highlight the diversity on offer here, in the last 6 months Tiga, Carl Craig, Dubfire, Juan MacLean, Jim Masters, Alan Braxe and Zombie Nation represent just a small sample of the dance music orientated artists to have appeared.

"Always a brilliant atmosphere at The Loft, a true techno club, up for it crowd, great mix of people and the place always goes off" Slam

Address: Almogàvers, 122/ Pamplona, 88 - 08005, Barcelona, Spain,
Phone: +34 933208200

La TerrrazzaLa Terrrazza
Mythical Barcelona club, located on the hill of Montjuic not far from Barcelona's famous 'Magic Fountains', and is an open air temple of house vibes throughout the summer months in the Catalan capital.

This club has a huge patio like area, outside of course, surrounded by abundant foliage and generates an atmosphere akin to the Space (Ibiza) terrace of yesteryear; smiling faces from every corner, plenty of bare flesh (mostly gay men) and overall a very feel good vibe. Like any club that becomes popular or renowned, in recent times La Terrazza has suffered a little from being one of those must see clubs, which means the atmosphere that made it legendary can be sometimes diluted, not to mention the increasingly selective door policy and sound restrictions. But the truth is that this place still rocks hard; a true church for fun times clubbing and the best dance music has to offer, Luciano, Nic Fanciulli, Secretsundaze, James Zabiela and Timo Maas providing the evidence over the last 12 months.

"La Terrazza is just such a hard place to not have a good time, the setting, the party atmosphere and the energy of the crowd give it a real kick" Lee Burridge

Address: Avda. Marqués de Comillas s/n (Poble Espanyol) - 08038 Barcelona
Phone: n/a

Located in the heart of Barcelona, this is an old opera house turned techno club. The former glory of the building is retained in the large Apolo theatre interior, which plays regular host to live music and varied artistic performances.

Club Nitsa takes over on Friday and Saturday with a diverse selection of underground and cutting edge dance music, read Simian Mobile Disco, Luke Slater, DJ Yoda and Ivan Smagghe.

Moreover, the Bpitch crew seem unable to stay away with label showcases at least every couple of months and Ellen Allien herself usually leading the roster.

Nitsa is a proper clubber's club; for dancing and music aficionados.

Address: Nou de la Rambla, 113 - 08004 Barcelona
Phone:  +34 93 4414001

Be CoolBe Cool
Opened in 2006, this 500 capacity club is on 2 floors, which creates 2 almost identical spaces; the main room for house, techno and electronica and the RedRum (sic) for indie, chill out and experimental sounds. The charm of Be Cool is the intimacy; low level ceilings, a fresh, progressive bookings policy that seems to be more about music principles than particular sounds and an altogether non-commercial clubbing experience.

Guests in the past year have included A Guy Called Gerald, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Einzelkind, Matthias Meyer, Âme, Marc Romboy, Solomun, Thomas Schumacher, Nick Curly, Radio Slave, the list goes on........Also, for cheap, cheerful and easy going, check out Dublin, an Irish themed sports pub next door that provides the perfect complement to the club and is so much cooler than it sounds.

"Be Cool is cool! Wicked vibe, you almost get to know the people as you're playing things are that tight. The guys there know their stuff too, nice selection of bookings." A Guy Called Gerald

Address: Pl. Joan Llongueras, 5  - 08021 Barcelona
Phone: +34 933 620 413

A small, two level club in central Barcelona that has a solid reputation for quality underground house and techno, having featured the likes of Jeff Mills, Weatherall, Hot Chip and Damian Schwartz in recent times. Inside it's dark and quite industrial and in many ways the classic small club.

Other plus points are the full weekly schedule, including Sundays and the door entry fee that never really moves far the 10€ mark. Located near Las Ramblas, but hidden enough to keep the tourists away, don't be surprised if you find Moog amongst one of the best clubs you've ever been to.

Address: Arc del Teatre 3,- 08001 Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 3017282

Iconic afterhours party, from the Matinée stable, located in Viladecans past the airport. Since 2001, 'Souve', as it's affectionately known, has attracted all the party people of Barcelona for whom 6am in the morning is just when things should be getting started not finished. Big over-the-top productions, a sound system that will do a demolition job on your ears and a hedonistic atmosphere that truly represents what our whole movement is about, Souvenir is one of best afterhours in the world.

"This is just the best, dirty, wrong and fun times clubbing you can get, like something out of Studio 54" DJ Ior.dee (Matinée)

Address: C/ Noi del Sucre, 75 Viladecans - Barcelona
Phone: n/a

This is the type of club you dream of finding in new cities, but rarely do. Tiny, intimate, banging environment, where the magic happens almost on top of the DJ, who seems to be located in the middle of dancefloor. Get lucky and you could end up swinging your hips into one of the M.A.N.D.Y. boys or Pascal FEOS or Gui Boratto.

Apparently this former Flamenco club was visited by JFK back in the day (that's 1950s back in the day, not the acid house era!) on the strength of the quality of the cocktails. Good news is that whilst the club rocks every night of the week, the mojitos still rock even harder. Definite place to go.

"What can I say about Macarena, it's one of the smallest club I've played in, but I loved it, puts a whole new meaning to the word intimate. I'd have no hesitation in recommending it to clubbers or other DJs." Guy Gerber

Address: Carrer Nou de Sant Francesc, 5 - 08002, Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 317 54 36

La CovaLa Cova
We love a club with a difference and La Cova can certainly lay claim to that. A rave in cave quite simply, this natural formation in the mountains, 20 minutes by bus outside Barcelona has a capacity of over 1000. Don't expect big names but the music policy is pure underground (sorry, couldn't resist!!), solid techno/minimal.

The best bit is that you don't really pay for the privilege of enjoying the great sound system and special atmosphere at this unique venue; entrance is 10-15€ on Friday and 8-12€ on Saturday, both including a free drink, and after that drinks are reasonably priced. Perhaps that's why it's always busy, Ibiza clubs take note.

"Love this place, proper underground, out of the way, everything understated and nothing commercial at all" Ben Sims

Address: Gran Via Fontpineda S/n Corbera de Llobregat - Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 650 05 76

Row 14Row 14
Open since April 2008, Row 14 is a new venue in Barcelona situated near the airport, which has a fascinating design incorporating 2 large outdoor terrace spaces that can be used as part of the main club depending on the weather. There is also a retractable roof.

The music quality had the benchmark of Laurent Garnier for the opening night and since then Row 14 has carved a niche to cater for the minimal techno demand. The 1000+ capacity is needed too, as Cocoon, Sven, Pendulum, DJ Hell and Circo Loco - 7 times in 12 months!! - have all packed out events here. New kid on the block it may be, but it is already amongst Barcelona's best clubs.

"I found Row 14 to be like all the best aspects of Spanish clubs;  the crowd is responsive but expects a good show at the same time and there is always a little edge to everything that is going on." Umek

Address: Autovia Castelldefels C31 Km 186,1 Viladecans - Barcelona
Phone: +34 936 591 744

City HallCity Hall
Located near Plaça Catalunya, this former theatre has been stylishly refurbished into a multi-functional space that is used for exhibitions, conferences and of course, club events. Programming tends to be fairly safe, caught somewhere in between something approaching decent dance music and the need to have a wide appeal.

On that basis, Club 4's Thursday night promotions make it one of the best midweek in the city, with a minimal/techno feast that has welcomed Adam Beyer, Marco Carola, Paco Osuna, Troy Pierce and Marc Houle over the last months. Hats off to those guys for sticking to their guns and keeping a weekly promotion going, as well as making best use of this venue as a dark club.

"Gigs during the week are usually hit or miss, but Club 4 was a big hit, I had nothing to worry about. Nice and dark and a crowd who knew their music and liked it hard." Adam Beyer

Rambla de Catalunya 4, Barcelona

The name does actually say it all here. This was a former strip club and it seems like most of the clientele still attend as if they're on the job, that means gold jewellery and crisply ironed shirts (tucked in) for the boys and, well, errrr....tits and ass for the girls. Then there is the door policy from hell, long queues, good luck with the guestlist and if the security don't look down their noses at you, then it means you're one of the bad guys.

Seriously, it's not quite as bad as all that, but be prepared for a 'cosmopolitan' crowd shall we say, most of whom will be fresh from a fine eatery in the Port Olympic area. A mix of sounds inside, hip hop/r'n'b upstairs and electro house downstairs; well known DJs are frequent, Axwell, Funkagenda and Roger Sanchez a flavour of the house tip you're most likely to find on Friday nights. The reason I don't like this club is because it breaks the 'dress code rule', which states that if you can't get in wearing trainers, flip flops or casual clothes, then it's not worth it.

Address: Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 2 - 08005 Barcelona
Phone: +34 932440740

Located in the lesser known but charming Gracia area of Barcelona, KGB is a club that has been around forever but still provides a lucky dip of sights, sounds and atmospheres every time you visit. Like a stereotypical nightclub in many ways, the rough industrial feel is peppered by projections, dark corners and an assortment of lighting tricks.

Music wise, it really is a lottery, so don't just turn up. Everything from rock to reggae to dubstep to experimental-chin- stroking-acid-classical-hiphop are likely to be found. That said, Fridays and Saturdays are usually somewhere close to the house and techno camp, just make sure you leave any prejudices at the door. Friendly atmosphere, interesting punters for sure and in operation longer than some of you have been alive. Perfect Plan B venue.

"This is like a Berlin club, kind of raw, rough feel with lots crazy fashions and funky haircuts. Music wise, anything goes, quite a liberating gig actually." Ben Klock

Address: Alegre de dalt,55 - 08024 Gràcia, Barcelona
Phone: n/a

This new club, as of April 2009, can be found in the Santa Coloma suburbs of Barcelona on Calle Beethoven, hence the name, and whilst we've not managed to check it out yet, we're hoping for good things based on the first few weeks of guests; see Dan Ghenacia, Pedro, Jose De Divina and Federico Molinari.

Address: Carrer de Beethoven, 15 - 08921, Santa Coloma de Gramenet
Phone: n/a

Fira Gran VilaFira Gran Vila
MASSSIVE exhibition space located on the other side of Montjuic from the centre of Barcelona and is included here simply by the fact that every year it provides the venue for Sonar by Night, the nocturnal activites of Barcelona's, and one of the world's best, music extravaganzas. Massive production, massive space, massive sound, massive line ups, massive atmosphere. Legend.

Address: Avinguda Reina Mª Cristina s/n - 08004 Barcelona
Phone: +34 902 233 200

Monstrous space that represents one of Europe's largest arts, exhibition and conference centres.

This Centre for Contemporary Culture, that was opened in the wake of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, is situated a short distance from Plaça Catalunya and plays host every year to the daytime activities of the Sonar Festival.

Address: C/ Montalegre 5 - 08001 Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 306 41 00

The Arena Group have 5, on the latest count, gay clubs dotted around Barcelona, such is the popularity and demand for their brand and events. Most are open every night from midnight to 6am.

There is a lesbian club (Aire), one just for handbag music (Arena Classic), one for the trendy/young crowd (Arena VIP) located on Gran Via, one for disco and pop classics (Arena Dandy) and a café too! All are located nearish to Plaça Catalunya, in and around the University of Barcelona. More gay and less trendy than the likes of Matinée.

Address:  Gran Via, 593 - 08007 Barcelona
Phone: n /a

Outdoor club with a huge swimming pool that is 15 minutes by bus, specially arranged, from Plaça Catalunya, and is more like a Caribbean paradise than a nightclub. Given the rather ostentatious settings, it's interesting to note that the line-ups are rather quite tasty, with Crosstown Rebels, Tiefschwarz, Paul Ritch, Joris Voorn, Kenny Larkin, Mathias Kaden and DJ T a sample of 2008's summer calendar. It goes without saying really that you're likely to end up wet, there is also quite often a foam party, so take your bikini or speedoes and enjoy the party in the pool atmosphere!

Another thing that adds to the whole holiday feeling at Liquid is the price of the drinks; expect to pay €10 or more, but then that sounds reasonable by Ibiza standards.

"There was a foam party the night I played, which I was a little unsure about, but it only came on at the end of the night and was a weird but funny way to finish my set" Kiki (Bpitch control)

Address: Avda Manuel Azaña 21-23 - Barcelona
Phone: n/a

PachaPacha BCN
One of the better looked after and managed franchises of the Urgell family brand, meaning that rather than DJ Juan the man playing to a bunch of local youths, as is the way at many Pacha franchises, instead half the DJ Top 100 have played here over the years, making it one of the most popular clubs in town.

Inside the club is expansive and has the ubiquitous snazzy design and VIP areas, but other than that it's kind of everything you'd expect from Pacha.

A safe bet with big names it maybe but you're likely to have seen it all before and Barcelona has much more to intrigue you than here.

Address: Avinguda Doctor Marañón 17 - 08028 Barcelona
Phone: +34 933 338 465

Le KasbahLe Kasbah
Next to the Museum of Catalonian History (opposite Barceloneta metro station), this cool little bar suffers from the much maligned scatter cushion disease but this doesn't detract from decent grub, good people and a free place to boogie at night.

Sundays nights serves up tech house from quality local DJs and don't be surprised if the odd superstar of techno drops in unannounced.

Address: Plaça de Pau Vila 1 - 08039 Barcelona
Phone: +34 932 380 722

Chiringuito Mochima @ Playa de Mar BellaChiringuito Mochima
One of the Barcelona's virtues amongst great European cities is that it offers a proper beach spaces, which Chiringuito Mochima, located at Playa de Mar Bella, uses to its advantage in hosting free beach parties every Sunday during the summer.

Naturally, Sonar time is when it gets really wild and Get Physical, Minus, Bpitch and Kompakt have all held beach bashes in the last few years. Flip flops, top notch music and all whilst the sun shines, bliss!!

Address: La Mar Bella - 08003, Barcelona
Phone: n/a

Opium MarOpium Mar
New club that is close to the marvellous Hotel Arts, by Barceloneta beach, Opium Mar is a modern night spot that offers a bar, restaurant, club space and is open all day and night.

Very much aiming at those who like life with a glamorous and chic touch, it's big name guests so far have been almost chichéd, with David Guetta and Bob Sinclar doing what we all hate them for. Along with Catwalk and Pacha, Opium Mar makes the Holy Trinity of posers' clubs.

Address: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta - 08003 Barcelona
Phone: +34 932 218 573

Parc Del ForumParc Del Forum
Huge, easy to reach leisure complex that is regularly used for large scale events, festivals, concerts and the like.
Situated away from downtown Barcelona, where the Ronda Litoral (the main road along the sea) turns back inland, Parc Del Forum has seen Minus showcases, The Chemical Brothers, Green Velvet, Luciano & also hosted the Summercase & Primavera Sound Festival in 08. Check to see if there is a special event planned if you're in the city.

Address:  Rambla Prim 1 - 08019 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 615 340 112

La CasitaLa Casita
1000 capacity open air beach restaurant situated on Playa del Prat de Llobregat, made a name for itself in 2008 with a series of weekend beach BBQ events, including appearances from Sascha Funke, Dorian Paic, Vera, Onur Ozer and Patrice Baumel. They even do a 'free beer' promotion at the start of the night.

Address: Carretera de la Playa, Can Camins - 08820 El Prat de Llobregat
Phone: +34 93 378 91 20

Another Matinée offering, Dboy is a gay club less than a year old and with a very modern approach to meeting the demands of gay clubbers. Fresh design, deeper sounds and increased effort on lighting and visuals, it is quickly making a name for itself in the highly competitive pink pound marketplace of Barcelona

Address: 19-21 Ronda Sant Pere - 08010 Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 318 06 86

Sugar Beach ClubSugar Beach Club
Not really a nightclub, but a fantastic restaurant, some spectacular views and the odd Sonar related bash means we've given this one a wild card entry. The name says it all, sweet seaside lazy dreams!

Address: Playa del Prat de Llobregat - 08820  El Prat, De Llobregat
Phone: n/a

Dos TreceDos Trece
Sometimes the best places are the unexpected ones. Dos Trece (translated as Two Thirteen - No, I don't know why?!) is exactly that, a small bar, that serves excellent cheap food, affordable cocktails, shows football and has a constant source of musical treats from Thursday to Sunday, and all without an entry fee. Last time I went it was the most exotic/eclectic mix of music I've ever heard, Sister Nancy with the Rolling Stones back-to-back with calypso, samba and a whole lotta funk. Basically it was just good music with no boundaries and no rules, a breath of fresh air if you're after something a little different. Check it.

Address: C/ Carme 40 - 08001 Barcelona
Phone: +34 933 017 306


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