Whether you looking to find romance when you start to dance or your tastes are a little curiouser and curiouser, your feet are sure to find what they looking for in Cape Town’s own boogie Wonderland. Built over three floors, this neon bright venue has two dance floors and a lounge to chill. Making great use of local promoters ensures that the musical offering is fresh, vibrant and above all friendly. House, funk and disco are the staples, but with occasional forays into drum and base, techno, electro and Afro beat flavours.
The decor, a visual smorgasbord of seventies styling, eighties neon and eclectic touches, like huge fluorescent lips on the stairwell, are all geared towards the fun side of the spectrum. This is an old skool style nightclub, a pleasure dome of dance, where the only imperative here is to let rip, get your groove on and have a good time. The venue was an old synagogue that has been refurbished for a more secular spirituality, where god is now the DJ ready to unleash your devil inside.
"Techno wasn't designed to be dance music, it was designed to be a futurist statement" Jeff Mills
Techno is the serious, thinking side of dance music and techno clubs are serious about their music. Stark, often minimalistic driving beats are the heartbeat of techno, eschewing the frivolity of house and disco as if in search of a higher purpose. Modular is, for now anyway, the home of techno in Cape Town and they have taken on that mantle with the gravity it deserves. The venue markets itself with angular precise monochromatic design, with nods to Kraftwerk and Bauhaus. The underground venue situated down a nondescript downtown back alley is austere and claustrophobic, creating the archetypical techno dungeon. From the marketing to the space, everything here is geared towards the music, the DJs are front and centre and since opening they have played host to some of the best international techno DJs backed up by the finest local talent.
Taking inspiration from the ultimate techno club Berghain, photography is banned, they want clubbers to be immersed in the experience and the music and not on social media. Unlike Berghain the door people here are less selective, though when you going to a techno club wearing black is pretty much de rigueur anyway. If you like your beats dark, deep and repetitive then Modular is the place to loose yourself in Cape Town. Just remember to wear black.
If you like your BPMs slow, your poison expensive and your clothes designer then COCO is the place for you. Situated at the uber high end of the market, COCO is an elite venue with caters for the beautiful people, the fashionistas and South Africa’s rich and famous. Here models mix with rap stars, music magnates and trendy entrepreneurs who are not shy to flash the cash. The music is a blend of sexy R’n B, house and hip hop and the groove is Urban, with a capital U. Kanye and Kim or Jay-Z or Beyonce would fit right in.
Its opulent and open plan design with a stunning mezzanine offers plenty of opportunities to shake your booty, it is definitely “if you have got it flaunt it” kind of place. Harkening back to the swing clubs of the 20s the accent here is on personalised attention and table service. Book your slot, bring your posse and let the Champagne flow. They only open Fridays and Saturdays and booking in advance for table service is essential.
“No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep.” Unknown
Whether it’s a dose of Saturday Night Fever or the need to feel love, the allure of the nightclub has always enticed us. From the swing of the roaring twenties, through the soul of the sixties, the funk and disco of the seventies right through to the hip hop, house and techno beats that dominate the dance floors of today, we love to groove. Entering a nightclub should be like entering another world, a place where you forget your responsibilities, release your inner desires, experiment and give yourself over to the dance. Cape Town as befits it’s diverse and vibrant population has an array of nightclubs across the city and with some research you are bound to find your musical tribe. Nightclubs in the CBD of Cape Town don’t have really long shelf lives, clubs come and go, they move or a new club opens in the same venue. So online listings quickly go out of date, making sure a club has an active social media account is a good barometer, waiters and bar people are generally in the know, as well as just asking locals. This week, concentrating on the CBD, we have selected three venues which offer distinct nightlife experiences, with varied musical offerings which are currently best in class in their areas. Though don’t limit yourself to these, feel free to explore the city’s night scape, experiment and as the song says bring on the night.