Top Global Underground Clubs
Words: Matt Mode
May 5, 2017

10. Fuse – Brussels, Belgium

Est. 1994

Hailed by many as ‘Belgium’s Premier Techno Club’, welcome to Fuse. The venue represents a respected clubbing institution with a rich history of not pandering to trends. By sticking to techno through the height of electro, drum & bass’ and dubstep’s popularity in the 2000s, Fuse cemented its identity. This has only served to strengthen the clubs reputation as a place for quality house and dark techno. The venue reflects the sound, with an industrial interior spread across two floors that host weekly parties.

9. Womb – Tokyo, Japan

Est. 2000

Situated in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, Womb is renowned for its impressive sound system and dedicated fan base. On top of this, Womb has become the destination for electronic music fans across Japan. Spread across four floors and one yearly festival, Womb is known for its love of Techno, but hosts various genres with an eye for local talent. In terms of previous artists, Sven Vath and Richie Hawtin are two notable names along with Satoshi Otsuki, resident DJ of over ten years who’s talent has seen him invited to play Ibiza yearly.

8. Concrete – Paris, France

Est. 2011

Beautifully located along the Seine, Paris’s Concrete club has been a prime spot for late night house and techno for over five years. Since then it has become the city’s top club for house and techno parties, rocking all the way through until 7am. Through building trust with the local authorities, Concrete was awarded a 24-hour license in March, allowing it to stay open “as long as the public can dance.” This is a huge addition to the buoyant, two story venue as well as the city, that looks to host some of the biggest names in techno, including Ben Klock, Len Faki and Ben UFO.

7. Sankeys – Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza

Est. 2011

The official offshoot of the once legendary Sankeys Manchester, this Balearic club has raw, authentic underground feel that stresses the importance of the music in the clubbing experience. Upon entry lies an immersive light show that spans the roof of one of two dance floors, whilst upstairs even provides a cinema room. It’s relatively small size provides a charming feeling of intimacy unseen in the Ibiza club scene, which sees rolling house, tribal and techno combine into a truly unique venue.

6. Fabric – London, UK

Est. 1999

Fabric has become a benchmark name in the underground music scene. This stems from the sheer multitude of parties, catering for all kinds of forward thinking electronic music since its birth. Fabric has pushed boundaries with it’s own self titled record label, including it’s most recent imprint Houndstooth in 2012. With an exclusive Funktion One sound system and large number of rooms on offer, Fabric has been a haven for music lovers and proudly continues, cementing London’s place on the music map. To the shock of many, Fabric was temporarily closed in 2016, but to the delight of ravers around the world its doors opened again in the new year.

5. Warehouse Elementenstraat – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Est. 1990s

A best known secret amongst locals in the city of Amsterdam, Elementenstraat is a powerful venue that will transport you to another world. Located in a field of warehouses, Elementenstraat holds two large rooms, piercing laser shows and one of the best line-ups in the world. Artists are eager to play in such an authentic rave environment and are usually booked by Hyte, who are the chief organisers of the venue. Artists such as Loco Dice, Ricardo Villalobos and Robert Hood are just some of the many who have graced the walls of Elementenstraat. Last November, the secretive venue was awarded a 24 hour license, which will please all who love to attend the Warehouse’s savage techno raves.

4. Berghain – Berlin, Germany

Est. 2004

With perhaps the toughest door policy, Berghain’s exclusivity only generates an increasing mystery that draws electronic pilgrims from around the world. With a dark, minimalist techno basement that leads to the angelic, house dominant Panoramic Bar upstairs, Bargain holds a weighty reputation and the finest sound system to date. Their chief bouncer, Sven, holds celebrity status, and the ability to send the majority of prospective clubbers away in a second. However, if you make it, expect marathon three days parties and a lifetime of memories.

3. The Printworks – London, United Kingdom

Est. 2017

With a club size to meet it’s 8,600,000 population, The Printworks is the newest addition to London’s clubbing renaissance. In the wake of Fabric’s near-demise, The Printworks emerged as an industrial alternative, capitalising on day-rave culture. Sitting on Canada Waters, near Greenwich, the club boasts a 5,000 capacity, two music rooms and a laser show to defeat all contenders. The Printworks hosts DnB and techno along with a dedicated sound team seen in the club tweaking the experience, their shows cannot disappoint.

2. Tresor – Berlin, Germany

Est. 1991

The biggest and most respected Techno club in Berlin, Tresor is the stuff of legends. Beginning in 1991, it’s history began together with the creation of a new Germany and the birth of city’s clubbing scene. An abandoned power plant, the sheer size of the building impresses and its derelict nature makes it reminiscent of a horror film, with a techno sound to match. With several dance floors and never-ending pounding music, Tresor holds dark red lit corners and an impressive outside area, all with a top quality range and quality of sound.

1. De School – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Est. 2016

School just got cool. What could possibly justify this? Enter nightclub ‘De School’. Welcome to the old school building transmogrified into the devils playground. If you crave intensity, the Line-up alone should suffice to excite. Dixon’s June 2016 extended set became the stuff of legend amongst locals. Friday and Saturdays are the best option, reflecting the underground dance music scene in Amsterdam, which focuses on techno. With an exclusive door policy, ‘minimal colour, nonchalance, limited male groups.’ De School will appear rather pretentious to the uninitiated. Once you get in, decide for yourself, as incense burns, colours flicker and a tectonic bass invite you to the clubs basement, where you will find the dance floor and a dedicated crowd.