Spaces And Places: The Venues
As the longest running festival in Croatia, SuncéBeat has legendary status and the organisers behind it are also responsible for the fabulous open-air club Barbarella’s Discotheque. Created in 2009, SuncéBeat is an offshoot of the Southport Weekender and its organisers Alex Lowes and Nick Connolly as an alternative to the weekender, not just as a unmissable clubbing event but also a picturesque holiday destination. Back to Barbarella’s, a classic Funktion-One soundsystem is expertly tuned by sound engineer Kim Lewis, a veteran of Southport Weekender of over 30 years. The venue was originally situated in a charming little sweatbox in Petrčane, but exponential growth required a move almost 10 years ago to its current outdoor setting beneath the stars. Barbarella’s is very much a part of SuncéBeat Festival, but also attracts many Croatian locals as well as party people from all over Europe and, more recently the USA, in huge numbers.
Basic Club, Naples
Naples’ Basic Club was founded in 2018, by the same faces behind the Neuhm collective. Neuhm was a house music party that started in the southern Italian city in 2011 but soon became a movement. Creating Basic Club was a natural next step for the team, a place for them to bring to life their philosophy, vision and approach to club culture. The main focus of Basic Club is undoubtedly the soundsystem. It’s a five-way state-of-the-art full custom analogue system, inspired by the projects of legendary sound gurus like Richard Long (Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage, Studio 54) and Alex Rosner (David Mancuso’s The Loft). Although Basic Club has only recently opened its doors, the venue is already playing a major role in the music culture of Naples and Italy as a whole. In January 2020, Kerri Chandler headed to Napoli for a much anticipated ‘Back to the Raw’ all night session that, as the name suggests, took all in attendance on a magnificent journey to the rawest roots of house music.
Club Qu, www
When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, the lives of all touring DJs changed dramatically. Club Qu, the world’s first virtual nightclub, was built in response to the pandemic by a collective of creatives and club kids from across Europe, with a desire to design an online space where the global club community could come together. Broadcasting from a video game engine, this experience has created a whole new world without creative limits. While this may all be happening virtually, the team are just as committed to providing quality audio as those who run real life clubs. After all, streaming an online DJ set with good sound is not as straightforward as it may seem, with multiple technical variables to consider at all times. Kerri provided a soundtrack as part of Club Qu’s Discover Tokyo online stream, an even more ambitious project delivering spatial audio in a virtual Tokyo world alongside respected selectors Honey Dijon and DJ Nobu.
Ibiza’s DC-10 began humbly in the 90s as a music bar with a licence for just 80 people opened by two Spanish brothers. In 1999, Deogracias Iara Moreno and Antonio Lara Moreno were joined by Italian promoters Antonio Carbonaro and Andrea Pellino. In that same year the Circoloco brand was born, which has gone on to become DC-10’s most iconic event taking place every Monday during the season. The small farmhouse at the end of the airport runway has now grown into one of the most sought after White Isle clubbing experiences for proper music heads. In fact, it could even be argued that DC-10 is one of the world’s biggest clubbing destinations for those in the know. Kerri Chandler has famously been a resident at DC-10 and is most certainly a part of the Circoloco family, at a 4,000 capacity venue that is all about the music without any ego.
De Marktkantine, Amsterdam
The team behind Amsterdam’s De Marktkantine started with their vision in 2014 and never stopped improving the venue until it sadly closed its doors for the last time in June 2022. The location, which was originally built in 1933 as a canteen for Dutch market traders, went on to become the biggest club in The Netherlands. Part of its charm was that it had the power to book festival names in a club setting while also welcoming fine local talent for the opening and closing slots. Local names could be found in the venue’s small room too, hence why the team liked to call the club the living room of the Amsterdam scene. The all important soundsystem was taken care of by Pure Groove Systems and Danley Sound Labs, alongside De Marktkantine’s sound technician who had pedigree having worked at influential Amsterdam clubs RoXY and Trouw. It was the first time this kind of system had been installed in a club and made for a punchy, unique sound. Kerri was very pleased to get the opportunity to play one last party with De Marktkantine during their closing month.
District 8, Dublin
After Dublin’s The Twisted Pepper closed, Ireland’s capital city was crying out for a new space to showcase dance music. Those cries were answered when District 8 came to be in 2014, from the people and promoters behind Life Festival, Subject and Hidden Agenda. District 8 quickly became well known and was based at the historic The Tivoli Theatre until 2019, bringing a who’s who of house, techno and disco to Irish shores. In early 2019 the Tivoli was acquired by developers and sadly demolished, leading District 8 to link up with long-time friends Bodytonic and make the newly acquired Jam Park their new home. Kerri Chandler played the highly anticipated opening night at Jam Park in September 2019, with Troy Denari performing live vocals making the whole performance extra special. The Hertz-U Soundsystem is in charge of the sound for all District 8 events, and uses all of Funktion-One’s cutting-edge technology.
Eathos always looked to the USA for inspiration when it came to hooking up their venue with a quality soundsystem, even if the system itself was made in Italy by WR Elettronica. Established in 1987, Eathos came to be because founder Gianluca Tantini wanted to repeat the success of his Bologna club. The venue started with social inclusion in mind, allowing patrons to dress as they pleased and giving them a space to express themselves freely. Kerri’s track ‘The Piano Thing [Live]’ on ‘Spaces And Places’ reflects this feel-good sentiment and positivity that can be found on the Adriatic coast at Eathos. Now, Gianluca’s team includes PR and a group of DJs including Flavio Vecchi, Ralf and Ricky Montanari, Wayne Brown and Evil. A mention must also go to the late DJ Ricci, who passed away in 2000 (RIP).
La Grange, La Baule
Since 1965, different owners and managers have added to the fine tapestry of the club that is Villa La Grange. As times have changed the club has changed with them, always with the needs of dancers in mind. For years, the soundsystem at La Grange was Nexo, the standard in house music clubs in France. However, after much deliberation in 2020 the switch was made to a 100% tailor-made L-Acoustics system installed and settled by the specialists at Melpomen of Group B Live. People come to La Grange for a mix of deep, soulful house which the club loves to share only 60 nights a year. You can see why Kerri Chandler fits right in at this club on the laidback French Atlantic coast, and a quick Google search will reveal a YouTube video of Kerri performing ‘Rain’ alongside acclaimed saxophonist Nadir Simon. The atmosphere is electric, and you instantly want to be there.
Halcyon, San Francisco
Halcyon owner Gina Milano had run many other hospitality venues before, but this 2016 venture allowed her to bring to the fore her lifelong love of dance music. The Dolby Atmos soundsystem design here delivers a surround sound experience that is next level, and Kerri’s track ‘The Box Frame’ on ‘Spaces And Places’ was produced with these features in mind. The room at Halcyon really is the perfect shape for a club, practically a square with high ceilings and brick walls. The soundsystem was supplied by Pioneer Pro Audio featuring traditional flown-boxes and beefy subs, something Milano and her passionate team wanted specifically to be installed in Halcyon. There really is nothing else like it in San Francisco. Kerri’s last visit to the early 1900s warehouse space was back in August 2018, headlining alongside Scott Hatfield and DJ Mes.
Opened in 1986, Industria is the oldest club in the breathtaking Portuguese coastal city of Porto. It was refurbished 11 years ago, and is kitted out with a high-tech Funktion-One soundsystem that is complimented by first-rate room acoustics. As the club’s name suggests, the feel inside is an industrial one – two giant, surreal plane turbines are situated at one end of the room. The aim is to capture the mood and spirit of a club from the 1980s, where people from all walks of life come together. Kerri Chandler is known for playing 7 hours straight at Industria with aplomb, and his last visit in January 2020 was for a marathon all night set that kept going until 8:30 in the morning. It was a heroic set that was praised highly by the club’s in-house team as “the most epic night of the season at Industria”.
Helsinki’s Kaiku exists at the core of the Finnish capital’s nightlife, and has done so ever since Toni Rantanen AKA Lil Tony and Tim Uskali started it in 2013. With a quality soundsystem always being crucial for any venue overseen by Uskali and Rantanen, Kaiku is equipped with a supercharged Danley Sound Labs system. To put that into context, Danley have been involved in sound installations at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, music spot Iron City in Birmingham, Alabama and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Atlanta, which hosted the 2019 Super Bowl. All of this goes some way to explaining why the intimate 400 capacity club Kaiku, one that celebrates timeless house music, is referred to as “already classic” by those in the know.
The Knockdown Center, NYC
Since 2012, former door factory the Knockdown Center has been welcoming creatives with open arms. The space can be found in an industrial part of NYC’s Queens borough, and is overseen by a team with backgrounds in touring performance, fine art and more than a decade spent opening new venues for House of Blues. Inside, the main room’s shape resembles that of a basilica with pitched wooden ceilings and multiple changes in elevation. With this in mind, a custom soundsystem design was commissioned for the space using components solely from B&C Speakers, a company that since 1946 has been one of the biggest players in the world of professional loudspeaker manufacturing. This makes for a system that is capable of high decibels, using coordinated coverage to gain its clarity and power rather than volume. Kerri was most recently at Knockdown Center in March 2022, sharing the bill with fellow legend Joe Claussell.
Lux Frágil, Lisbon
Lux Frágil is the first name that comes to mind when you think of Lisbon clubbing. In 2016, Resident Advisor named the 2,000 capacity space one of the world’s best dancefloors and also called it “one of Europe’s most beautiful clubs”. The team behind this inspiring venue is a large one, and one that will always be guided by the ethics and principles of founder Manuel Reis who sadly passed away in 2018. For the past 15 years, the sound in Lux Frágil has been the result of a close relationship and collaboration with Funktion-One. The club is most well known for the sound on the main dancefloor, a room that has been acoustically treated so that it sounds, in a way, like a large studio. Kerri Chandler’s visit in January 2020 saw him finishing up at 8am, to a sea of beaming faces.
Magazzini Generali, Milan
Magazzini Generali is a historic Milan venue that dates back to the early 20th century, showcasing some of the best cutting edge talent past, present and future. In operation since 1995, passionate electronic music fans flock to the industrial warehouses to witness top-notch shows and performances. It features a precision L-Acoustics soundsystem that is always evolving, with a quest for depth and clean sound being the main objective. Kerri Chandler returned to Italy in January 2020 to bring his latest innovative concept to the location, a game changing Hologram 3D show. As an indication of its cultural significance, every year Magazzini Generali collaborates with the city municipality for Milan Music Week and in 2026 it will be located very close to the city’s new Olympic Village for the Winter Olympic Games.
Ministry of Sound, London
London’s Ministry Of Sound is one of the most globally recognised clubbing destinations and it is also the place where Kerri Chandler played his first ever international show in 1991. Justin Berkmann founded Ministry in 1991 after he spent time in New York and was blown away by the Paradise Garage. Determined to bring some of that Paradise magic back with him across the pond, the Ministry Of Sound first came to be in a disused bus garage in Elephant & Castle. Showing its dedication to dance music, the club has opened every Friday and Saturday night without fail since it began. One of Kerri Chandler’s most notable recent appearances at MOS has to be when he got to break in the new Dolby Atmos soundsystem. Kerri played his full set in Dolby Atmos, and was able to live-mix the position of each sound in each of his tracks – all at the same time as playing keyboard and performing vocals live.
Sadly closed as of January 1 2019, Brookyln’s Output club had a huge heritage when it came to NYC dance music. Founded and operated by partners Nicolas Matar and Shawn Schwartz, Schwartz had owned one of New York City’s longest running record shops, Halcyon. Nicolas Matar is the man who opened Cielo in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan in 2003, with the club going on to win many accolades and awards for its soundsystem during 16 years of operation. This was achieved thanks to a close relationship with Funktion-One co-founder Tony Andrews, which then fed into the opening of Output in 2013. Funktion-One decided to make Output its showcase nightclub for the world, using components that had not been installed elsewhere previously.
Taken over in 2016 by Broadwick Live and sister company The Vibration Group, Printworks London has fast become a go-to clubbing experience in the UK capital. The venue boasts a d&b audiotechnik V-Series soundsystem made up of 18 stacks and 2 stacks of d&B C-Series on stage, which translates into quality and clarity especially in such a large venue. This is something Kerri Chandler was able to take full advantage of when he brought Kaoz Theory to Printworks in March 2019. He invited likeminded selectors such as Dyed Soundorom, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Tama Sumo plus a special guest in the form of Mr. G for that landmark night. Kerri also headlined for The Hydra back in March 2018, as part of their opening party there that year. Printworks does daytime events exclusively, giving all parties a hybrid club and festival feel that is perfect for Kerri's crowd.
Plan B, Porto
Plano B in Porto was founded in December 2006 and is still run entirely by the close-knit combination of twin brothers João Carlos Teixeira and Filipe Teixeira alongside Filipe Galante and Bernardo Fonseca - all 4 of them being childhood friends. João Carlos Teixeira is a fine artist and musician, while Galante is the current musical director at Plano B and also operates as a music producer under the Pixel82 moniker. Filipe Teixeira and Fonseca are both architects, bringing crucial expertise to a club that has 3 different rooms (chill, concert, club). In the main Cubo club room, there's a Funktion-One soundsystem that ensures an immersive experience for house/techno. Plano B has been providing downtown Porto with a cultural boost for what is soon to be 15 years, breathing new life into a part of town that was once completely dead.
Razzmatazz is Barcelona’s shining beacon of dance music, standing tall as one of the Spanish city’s biggest, most vital multipurpose nightlife spaces since its inception in 2000. It’s one of the first names that come to mind when you think of clubbing in Barcelona, the city that also hosts the renowned Sonar Festival every year. Razzmatazz has five different rooms on offer for club night happenings, and when Kerri Chandler is in town you will find him in the The Loft room where dance music is what it is all about. The Loft is equipped with an L-Acoustics soundsystem, which is meticulously checked and set up for each of Kerri’s visits. All of the above gives an exciting taste and indication of why Razzmatazz has been offering music culture in Barcelona for 20 years now.
Paris’ Rex Club was founded in 1988 to promote and develop electronic music culture in the French capital. This has certainly happened, and Rex is now one of the world's most iconic clubs when it comes to electronic music and culture. It's fitting that such an iconic club should be located on Boulevard Poissonnière, one of the famous Grands Boulevards in Paris. This enviable status has been achieved thanks to the venue’s famous resident DJs, both French and international. The soundsystem is by d&b audiotechnik, featuring 60 points of diffusion in the club to make sure sound spreads evenly. It’s a soundsystem considered to be one of the best in France, and it’s the most important aspect of Rex Club. Kerri Chandler has been playing there since the early 90s. One of said sets was a special ‘Legends’ night where DJ Deep, one of Rex’s celebrated French residents, was also in attendance with Kerri.
Sir Henrys, Cork
Sir Henrys, located on South Main Street in Cork, Ireland, was founded in 1977 by Jerry Lucey, who passed away in 2012. Building a reputation as one of Ireland’s best alternative rock venues during the 1980s, in the 1990s it shape-shifted into one of the country’s finest dance music clubs. Cork natives Greg Dowling and Shane Johnson, better known as Fish Go Deep, were Saturday night residents from 1998 to 2001 running the Sweat night. This paved the way for Sir Henrys to become a beacon of house music, and a place Kerri Chandler would visit many times. One such visit turned into a 3 day party and a marathon 24 hour session, finishing on the Sunday night with an improvised live jam consisting of Kerri, Arnold Jarvis, Jerome Sydenham, Graham Finn and a couple hundred devoted dancers and music lovers. Sir Henrys was demolished soon after it closed in 2003.
Sub Club, Glasgow
Sub Club in Glasgow is affectionately referred to as “Subbie” or sometimes “The Subbie” by revellers. Beginning as a club night at various different venues around Glasgow, Sub Club eventually settled at its current location in April 1987. As you would expect for the only nightclub in the city whose sole remit is electronic music, the approach to sound is on point. Kerri Chandler works closely with Sean Watson at the club, Technical Manager since 2010, to tune the system to Kerri’s specifications when he plays. A Martin Audio installation is paired perfectly with a Rane MP2016 rotary mixer, in a room designed so the soundsystem is in the middle. It also has one of the largest bodysonic dancefloors in the UK, transmitting sub-bass frequencies through the floor.
The Warehouse Project, Manchester
Warehouse Project has been essential to Manchester’s electronic music scene for almost 15 years, in a city where The Haçienda once was. WHP was established by Sam Kandel, Sacha Lord and Rich McGinnis, occupying assorted ad hoc inner-city venues to create warehouse parties. Thanks to decades of nightlife experience, the team has fused together elements of the clubs they love at Depot Mayfield. The DJ booth is built close to the ground for eye level connection between crowd and DJ, and the back of the booth is accessible so the audience can get close all the way around. The now closed Dutch club Trouw inspired this. The soundsystem is hung throughout with smaller fills at chest level to allow for gaps, delivered by dbnAudile who WHP have worked with for decades. Kerri Chandler was there in March 2020 for The Haçienda’s return, featuring alongside Marshall Jefferson, Norman Jay MBE and Graeme Park.
Berlin’s Watergate club turns 20 this year (2022). It started as the brainchild of Steffen Hack, Ulrich Wombacher and Niklas Eichstädt after they spent the 90s promoting events and running illegal clubs all over Berlin. Now, standing by the River Spree, Watergate is something of an institution that has grown organically since 2002. The soundsystem has been built with the listener in mind, and serves to make them feel good above all else. The club is also well known for its visually stunning LED lighting panel that spans the entire length of the top floor. Kerri Chandler has become close with the Watergate crew over the years, evidenced in him being asked to curate the ‘Watergate 15’ CD for their esteemed mix series in 2014. Kerri was on hand in January 2020 to play the party celebrating a decade of the club’s own Watergate Records alongside Jimi Jules, Hyenah and Sebo K.
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