House and Electro
Over the last few years electro and minimal / tech house music clubs have begun popping up all over town, helping save those of us who like our house music from being submerged in Reggaeton / Hip Hop and the awful domestic Pop House that was threatening to drive us all out to Ibiza permanently. Here's a list of our electro / house top three current favourites, plus a bonus club for those looking for something a little different:
Probably the best-known club night for house-heads is Mondo (C/. Arlaban, 7. - Metro: Sevilla) where Thursdays and Saturdays at 'Sala Stella' have become wildly popular. Thursday is usually 'guest DJ night' with the promoters pulling in underground electronica and tech-house tune spinners from around the world, whilst Saturdays is reserved for the three resident DJs.
Demode (C/. Ballesta 7. - Metro: Callao) is a particular M1 favourite, always excellent DJs spinning deep and funky house with a a twist of electro late into the night from Thursday to Sunday. It's only one room (a former brothel!) and can get pretty jammed but the crowd is trendy, friendly and appeciate good music. They even dance, which is rare in Madrid - most activity in clubs normally involving shouting at each other over the noise of the speakers whilst drinking heavily.
Just five steps across the road from Demode you will find probably the best techno club in Madrid (IMHO). Club Virtual only fills up from about 3.00am onward and then it gets rammed with an intriguing mix of Madrid 'kinkies', German and Russian techno-heads, euro-techno enthusiasts and people looking for another club just around the corner but who got lost and couldn't find their way out again. Open until 6.00am.
Finally, a shout out to El Perro de la Parte Atrás de la Coche (Calle Puebla, 15. - Metro: Gran Via) the name translates as 'The Nodding Dog in the Back of the Car' and although not strictly a 'house music' club is certainly an excellent place to go dancing. Music policy is eclectic. They play a lot of electro-clash stuff like LCD Soundsystem, Vitalic, Klaxons etc. in between standard fare of indie, rock, pop and funk. The video below was recorded 'El Perro' and will give you an idea of the place.
Popular Nightclubs in Madrid
The El Pais newspaper printed a special supplement on night clubbing in 2007 (Guía De La Noche - extraíble). Included was a top ten list ('Top' 10 De Los Mejores Clubes) covering the whole of Spain in which two Madrid nightclubs were featured - Danzoo @ Macumba and Deep. There are a lot of posters for Danzoo plastered over walls and lampposts down in the Chueca and Malasaña zones and Madrid-Uno was pleased to see that Richie Hawtin has been gigging there recently - an old-school fave from the Detroit minimal techno years - LOVE IT! Deep is a night rather than a club and is now resident at Changó, a converted theatre with the old stage still intact and used by the show-offs. Quality house music led by the two resident DJs José Luis Magoya and Ángel Molina and sometimes supplemented by the likes of Coxy and Digweed.
Here's the rest of the Madrid clubs recommended in the supplement:
Sin embargo, Madrid-Uno showed this list to some trendy friends of his who live down in the Tribunal zone and they were fairly dismissive, agreeing only with two; 'Space of Sound' and 'Luke, Soy Tu Padre'. But hey, it's all subjective right? Concerning the general 'scene' in Madrid, here are some thoughts: Firstly, folks is friendly. Even with my limited Spanish people are happy to chat and total strangers go out of their way to help. There's a (wonderful) absence of that London 'too cool for you' arrogance and whilst they love to get completely smashed madrileños rarely fight. Secondly, it's very retro; an awful lot of post-punk and 1980's indie, trannies still consider themselves outrageous, the electro house thing is reletively recent. There's still a deal of South American 'Reggaeton'. House music however is very fresh and the leading Madrid DJs work closely with the world's best producers. Thirdly, it helps enormously if you know how to dance 'Latino' (i.e. salsa, merengue, rumba etc.) because it's the base of all the pop music you'll hear. Fourthly, the locals are bionic. These guys have serious stamina and know how to pace themselves. There's no wimping out at 2.00 am here so be prepared!
A nice little review about the live music scene in Madrid was published by the New York Times in April 2010. It covers some of the places we mention on this site, but also some we've never even heard of - which just just goes to show how much is on offer in this town. From the article we now want to visit: La Boca del Lobo (Echegaray, 11) and the Costello Club (Caballero de Gracia, 10).