Posts Tagged ‘Peter Rauhofer’
If we had a pound for every club launch we have seen come & go over the years we have been circulating the scene, we would be pretty rich by now, while the same could be said for the plethora of promoters that have tried & failed to make the mark. So much so, when news first hit our desks of yet another new brand concept braving the tough cookie that is the capitals clubbing circuit, we were somewhat sceptical not just of its credentials but of its chance to cut a sufficiently significant & successful stride. That said, when the Fire fanfares shouted statements that included phrases “…the club launch of 2011…”, along with “…a new era of London clubbing…” as well as “…it will need to be seen to be believed…”, there was no wonder that our ears pricked up and our expectations grew, Brava the new brand, an international clubbing collaboration the concept and the word revolution the strap line running through the veins & arteries of this latest byword for clubbing.
However, the mightiest statement of intent among a field of others was still to come, the team behind Brava staking the claim that it would“… push the boundaries of technology and club culture further than ever seen before to create something truly spectacular, bringing together incredible new technology with an iconic image and cutting edge dance music…” a brave & bold statement indeed and when combined with the others, immediately placed Brava on the highest of pedestals in peoples estimations. But more than that, shouting from the rooftops that this was a “…spectacular international clubbing collaboration…”, when you consider that the two club brand names behind this new concept were (are) the Spanish superclub & global success story that is WE Party, along with the most awesome afterhours & brilliant brand Beyond, in this marriage of minds aimed at creating a combination of the two, it certainly seemed that in Brava had all the correct credentials to back up their colossal claims. So why the full-on fanfares?, and did Brava live up to these elevated expectations?
With this prolific picture painted, it came as no surprise that Brava, right from the outset of its announcement, was creating quite a stir within the clubbing scene, not just here in London, but across Europe, a whole host of D.J.’s & scene faces getting in touch with us to find out just what this revolution in clubbing was all about. And quite rightly so, as a glance at the new brands video viral at http://youtube.com/watch?v=dKpzWpzfkgM, along with the clubs bespoke website at http://bravalondon.com were enough to get those tongues wagging and the inquisitive minds ticking, yet whilst we were by now very much sold into the idea that Brava was expected to be quite spectacular, we were struggling to pinpoint exactly what was going to be so revolutionary about this club launch of 2011. That said, in host venue The Electric (formerly The Fridge) expectations were also very high, a comprehensive refurbishment planned & expected, encapsulating the best in technology with stylish & sumptuous surroundings, leaving us with two further simple questions, would the brand & the venue deliver to expectations?, and would we walk away from the launch delighted or disappointed?
Well, with the scene set and the day arrived, it was time to find out, our planned early arrival for the VIP reception shelved due in part to an over extended disco nap, but with our technology charged, our revolutionary style t-shirt pressed & our review hat ready, we were set for the hop skip & jump down to Brixton and to nibble size tweet our way through this expected club launch of the year. And, arriving at our destination it was looking promising, well from the very healthy queue at least, which was stretching away from the venues entrance down Brixton towards the town hall, it obvious that many had chosen Brava as the place to be & be seen on the scene this bank holiday Sunday night, our expectations of a prolific party ahead improved further by the warming welcome from door hosts Minty & Naomi Ruiz, the familiar face of Tom Fuller orchestrating the lengthy queue as only he knows best. But as Naomi guided us into the entrance, we couldn’t help noticing all the chipboard covering the doorway & framing the box office, Electric seemingly having been ravaged by the recent rioting and covered up to conceal the damage. But while the entrance formalities were smooth as silk, as we ascended the stairs to the coatcheck, it was clear this part of our experience would be anything but, a queue as colossal as this Brava creation extending right along the upper tier balcony of the venue as well as right down the stairwell.
After a slightly shorter than expected wait, 20 or so minutes later we found ourselves released to go investigate the club, but having already had a bird’s eye view of the main auditorium below, dominated by a plain white scaffolding monolith engulfing the stage, we were already asking ourselves questions about what exactly was shouting clubbing revolution here. Plus, with a slice cut in the corner of this uninspiring monstrosity revealing the D.J. booth, opening disc spinner Luiggi & his equipment the barefaced focal point for everyone’s attention, you would have thought he would have put on some sort of show, yet the man showed no signs of response to the developing crowd below, rather looking quite miserable with his lot. But that was the least of our woes, as we were struggling to find an alternative exit from the upper tier of the venue, the usual second staircase blocked off as part of the continuing refurbishment of Brixton Electric. So, we descended the only way down, a sign on the wall asking us to “…please bear with us while we continue our upgrade…”, the smell of paint and the collection of cement dust, two obvious giveaways, as was the exposed ceiling which was far from finished, rather paint peeling & plasterwork exposed.
So, with our heads scratching as to exactly what this so called revolution in clubbing was going to further throw at us, we went in search of the dancefloor, the place packing out with party people before our very eyes, clearly everyone expecting great things from this Brava brilliance. Yet as we bumped into familiar faces, one after the next, the constant calls that said “…Disco Matt what do you think of this?…” were met with consternation, as the more we saw, the more we were in shock that, in effect, we were standing within a construction site of a venue, we quite literally stumbling on more & more evidence of unfinished works, exposed steel beams and near dangerous brick/cement work. And amongst all this, the white monstrosity on the stage was showing little or no life, apart from Luiggi, who had seemingly awoken from his reactionary slumber and was now waving his arms in response to the rousing rhythms that made up his very competent yet far from futuristic sound, who did they word it, oh yes, cutting edge music, we don’t think so.
With the auditorium packing out even further, liaisons with Andrea, Rob, Sophie and a score of scene faces already under our belt, the urge to first relieve ourselves and then seek refreshments was our next task, but what a task it turned out to be, as the queues for the only two available toilets were already extensive, the main bar also well over five deep, leaving us with the only option to tie a knot in our privates & seek refreshments from the first floor. But this proved fruitless, the venue clearly not prepared to for volumes of people braving Brava, no soft drinks, not even bottled water available and so, when we were resigned to joining in the main bar mania, we had the choice (or not) of just blackcurrant lucozade to quench our thirst, the fridges behind completely empty and even gaps where equipment should have been evident for all to see.
However, like so many people that we continued to meet, we made the most of what Brava had to offer, although it has to be said, for the first four hours, it wasn’t much, save for the captivating company we were holding, the likes of Clington Forbes, Fabio Tavares & our very own foxy lady MisWhite keeping us from taking an early Brava bath. But, while further glances towards the stage & the white cube showed no sign of life, we did dive back onto our spot on the dancefloor, although being close to the stage, we were wondering just where the dancers or any sort of showings would fit, cement dust caking the performing area, while pyrotechnic & other equipment was exposed given rise to , in our humble opinion, serious health & safety issues. That said, the dancefloor was now rammed with revellers, many lapping up Luiggi’s music, his set even impressing friend Ariel Mayer along with hoards of others showing their hands in the air appreciation, although amongst all this enjoyment, we were continuing to question just what was so revolutionary about Brava.
Still posting our controversial nibble size review tweets with breakneck speed and with no sign of the headlining D.J. act Peter Rauhofer, who by our clock was now well over ¾ of an hour late, this was close to being the final straw. But just as we were about to call it a day, the whole stage came alight with action, the white monolith that had looked pretty unimaginative, suddenly springing into action, the visual imagery actually superbly stunning when viewed from a distance, while the lighting, which had been conspicuous by its absence, fired up fervently, spots & lasers swinging and the cube as bright now as it had been dull before. With a rolling repetition of impressive images & a sea of lasers attempting to ramp up this revolution in clubbing, along with a message coming our way that our cougar loving clubbing pal had arrived, made us stall plans to exit the event, rather sinking back down onto the dancefloor to view the imagery close up, as well as from a standpoint at the bar, liaisons with Paul Heron & Minty perking us up further.
With its star turn on show and the stage alight with action, it now seemed that there were lengthy legs to Brava, although, visual imagery apart, we certainly weren’t witnessing anything we hadn’t seen anywhere else, not least as the dancers were a carbon copy of those we had spotted at WE just twenty four hours before, while Peter Rauhofer’s performance, for us, wasn’t that much to write home about. However, with the captivating company we were holding, pal Stephen in his Fidel Castro outfit and much hilarity on an Ibiza incident dominating the remainder of our stay, we actually ended up having quite a good time, the company rather than the club more likely responsible for our rapture. But our night wasn’t quite complete, as we managed to grab an audience with the venue’s owner before our leave, he going into great detail about the unearthing of issues with the building’s roof structure, wiring & the like, all that had protracted the renovation. However, even his reassuring words were not enough to keep us from our homeward retreat, leaving this clubbing revolution behind us and what seemed the one highlight of the night, a brilliant set from Paul Heron, eclipsing his two predecessors by a long shot.
So, where do we start in concluding on what was billed as “…the clubbing launch of 2011…” yet for us an many around proved anything but, the overriding reaction being that the venue simply wasn’t in any sort of fit state to accommodate such a claim, let alone provide a decent platform for the Brava brand to perform effectively enough. From the minute we arrived, the evidence of Electric’s unfinished state was plain so see and this was not helped by the white elephant of an eyeful that was the stage, like the D.J. sporting it, left pretty much lifeless for the first few hours. And with coatcheck issues, ill equipped toilet facilities & ill prepared bar staff & stock, queuing was the name of the game, these shortcomings being fuelled by the hoards of bank holiday clubbers that braved what was the only major event on the Sunday night clubbing circuit. Then we turn to the claims that Brava would be a clubbing revolution, the only revolutionary part of the concept as far as we could see, being the visual projections which, when viewed from a distance were quite spectacular, but from the dancefloor had little or no impact, coupled with the fact that by the time they actually swung into action, it was too little too late.
Performance wise, it was clear from the white monolith that the D.J.’s were the main focus, yet both Luiggi & Peter Rauhofer showed little signs of performing to the crowd, rather burying their heads into the decks. And as for the dancers, well given the shortage of space to perform, they failed to make an impressive enough impact, while using the same set to those at WE just a day before was just a little bit too predictable, especially given this was one half of the brand collaboration that made up Brava. Mind you if scene weekly rag Boyz magazine were to be believed, the party “…blew the crowd away…”, they going further by adding that “…following the promise of an uber cool dance show, Brava did not disappoint…” the magazine’s review crowning glory being that “…international superstar Pagano hit the decks…”. But with no sign of Pagano & no sign of an uber cool dance show, it begs the question, did Boyz have a review representative there at all?, as if they did & given what they have said, he/she was most definitely at a different party to us. But we suspect the magazine is simply pandering to their advertising commitments & regurgitating the press release rather than reporting the truth, something which we feel you deserve.
Therefore, given all of this, many questions about Brava remain unanswered, namely, what was so revolutionary about the party?, what made it the club launch of 2011?, and did they really reflect the future of clubbing as all the pre-party hype made it out to be? Plus, what did brands Beyond & WE think about the result?, we having spotted the latter’s promoter Victor Pallas present, although failed to find any of the Orange Group top brass there, the director & assistant director of events away in Manchester and the groups owner, having invested a huge amount of time & money into the project, also missing. Their absence begs yet another question, if this was the club launch of the year, why were they not present? as surely if Brava was such a momentous occasion in clubbing, you would think they would want to show a united front rather than leaving it to the likes of Aaron Elder, Victor Pallas, Mauricio Ortiz & other Brava team members to pick up the pieces, thoughts of infallible to failure, overinflated ego’s & too cock sure to commit, springing to mind. Now we know that our findings are controversial & our choice of words will court contention, but if we are honest, we felt extremely let down by the whole Brava experience and are sure that others feel the same, many surely justified in demanding a refund, leaving us to believe the promoters & the venue have a case to answer on all the claims they made about this so called clubbing revolution turned renegade. (DISCO MATT)
During our time both clubbing and reporting on clubbing we have seen a whole host of new concepts, launches & events that have tried to make an impression on the scene, some more successful than others, some standing the test of time, while others have fallen at the first hurdle, some even hardly getting out of their wrapping before being shelved as simply pie in the sky ideas. Yet, there always seems to be a penchant for a party and for something new, especially in recent times when the capitals clubbing circuit seems to be missing that sense of excitement & variety which we all seem to crave, big brands such as Lovechild, Matinee & SuperMartXe having seemingly dissolved before our eyes, while the trend for more boutique style soirees seems to be finding favour, think Room Service, Gigolo, & Meat, the private party theme also gathering steam, leaving us to wonder exactly where our beloved scene is heading and what has happened to the larger scale spectacles that always used to dominant the clubbing calendar.
So, when news hit our desks that the creators behind the two most successful brands on the current clubbing circuit in the capital, WE & Beyond, were launching a new concept, a new brand & a new way of clubbing, we were very excited about the prospect, not least given the colossal credential behind this so called “…international collaboration…”, Indeed, with WE Party having extended its audacious arms right across Europe with a successive series of sensational & prolific parties, while the brilliant brand that is Beyond has expanded its empire to include events in Australia, Brazil, France & Greece, the marriage of these minds to produce something fresh & exciting looks, at this concept stage at least, to have the seeds of success that should see it not only survive but thrive, just like its two clubbing mentors. But what is this new clubbing concept about?, why the collaboration?, where will it be played out?, & who will be commanding your clubbing attention?
Well let’s set out to answer those questions and first look at this new brand, one that has been hailed as a clubbing revolution and quoted as combining “…some of the greatest minds in gay clubbing… “ the creators are certainly shouting statements about this new venture, such as “…daring to push the boundaries of technology and club culture further than ever seen before, to create something truly spectacular..”, along with “…bringing together incredible new technology with an iconic image and cutting edge dance music…”, as well as “…altering reality before your very eyes and blurring the line between imagination and what you can perceive…”, bold & brave opinions indeed, meaning the name for this new club couldn’t be better expressed, as Brava fits its creators aspirations like a glove. And the branding very much shouts the revolutionary ideology of the club, while further claims that it “…heralds the start of a new era of London clubbing…” and will be “…the club launch of 2011…” indicate that the forces behind this new venture are determined to see it succeed.
So let’s drill down on more of the Brava detail, first & foremost covering off the host venue now called Electric, but better known to many as The Fridge in Brixton. Having graced its doors over the years for parties like Love Muscle, Revolver & Matinee, there was no question that the ravages of times had taken their toll on this south London institution, which was very much in need of a revamp. But just like Beyond did back in 2008, rising like a phoenix out of the ashes of its previous incarnation, Electric is doing the same and having recently received coverage in “Music Week”, who reported back in June that this “…new live music venue is set to offer promoters an affordable 1,500-plus capacity room when it opens its doors in September…” adding that “…having been closed since March when the premises were sold to investment group Omni Assets, with London crying out for a replacement for the now demolished Astoria, Omni has ploughed more than £1 million to refurbish the club…”. And having tracked down a promotional video viral which seems to speak volumes for the new look, we cannot wait to see the transformation for ourselves, while this short clip out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=9rL3xdN2hUU gives you a good flavour of what to expect, certain sources quoting that “…it will be a Koko-esque club with royal blue & gold decorations, a large dancefloor, a stage, plus a mezzanine level running all around the venue…”, while having spoken to Brava’s creators, we are aware a considerable amount of investment has also been ploughed into the venues sound & lighting, as well as ancillary faculties such as toilets & cloakrooms, all meaning that the transformation from Fridge to Electric will surely impress even the most sceptical of surveyors.
With the venue deal sealed, what about Brava itself? Well, as the claims seem to stake, this new club night sets to combine many of the elements that have made both Beyond & WE the successes they are, not least with the implementation of the most dazzling array of lighting, effects & equipment ever seen in a club. So we are definitely thinking the might of WE’s stage & visual displays at the Coronet, combined with the awesome Beyond at Area lighting & pyrotechnics, to produce sights spectacular, eye catching entertainment & mind blowing music. Saying that, the organisers are keeping much of the detail close to their chests, not least the announcement of a surprise P.A., (we are hoping Peyton), although the D.J. cats are very much out of the bag, as the line-up looks simply superb, international playboy Paul Heron, & Italian Stallion Pagano joined by special guest Peter Rauhofer, while this world class line-up is completed by Spanish superstar Lugi.
So let’s press the preview the pause button and concentrate on these music maestro’s for a moment, first focussing on Peter Rauhofer whose reputation precedes him, having played out to amazing accolade right across the globe, this Grammy award winning D.J./producer is probably most famous for his remixes of a number of Madonna‘s songs including “Nothing Really Matters“, “American Life“, “Impressive Instant, and “4 Minutes“, as well as Madge’s collaboration with Britney Spears, “Me Against The Music“. On top of that, he has also provided remixes Britney, along with Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Yoko Ono, Pink and Mariah Carey, while he also behind the tribal house record label Star 69, its roots like Peter, firmly rooted in the tribal house genre. However, he was recently responsible for remixing the Tears For Fears pop classic “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” which stormed dancefloors across the world, while remixes of other pop tracks belie his tribal intentions. While of Austrian decent, Peter bases himself in The States, in New York predominantly but is a genuine globetrotter, having played out at virtually every gay circuit party including Sydney’s Mardi Gras, Barcelona’s Circuit & Mimi’s White Party, but headlining Brava will mark his first ever appearance in London, so his set should be something special.
Turning to Pagano and it goes without saying that 2011 has been one hell of a year for him already, having held down an exhaustive schedule of gigs that has taken him to all corners of the globe, not least The States where he has gone down a storm and was featured in a full-on article in the country’s top rag for circuit parties & clubs, Noise Magazine, who titled their piece on Pags, “An Italian In London Conquers America”, enough said. But with a score of top notch tracks & remixes under his belt, this prolific producer is in the studio right now, pressing the second volume of his already renowned “Digital Generation” compilation, which we are reliably informed includes a remix of The Freemasons “Watchin”, his rework of “Big Time Sensuality” as well as an INXS sample to name just three, while you can grab your own copy of volume one at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/kult-records-presents-digital/id412457425. And, his set at Brava is sure to appeal not only to Pagano purists, but to what will surely be a capacity clubbing crowd that crave progressive & pumping performances for which Francesco has become famous.
But we can’t forget Paul Heron who is on fantastic form himself at the moment, having just landed back in London from a spectacular showing for Beyond in Ibiza, while recent excursions for La Demence’s cruise along with trips to Paris, & Sao Paulo for the brand, have cemented his position as an all-star Beyond resident and one he has held on & off since the halcyon days at Colosseum. So, Paul’s inclusion in the Brava launch, given Beyond’s influence, very much fits and he has marked his involvement with a special podcast which hints towards the kind of music to expect at this revolution of a clubbing concept, a 70 minute mix you can grab now at http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2011-08-11T08_52_50-07_00.
So, have we answered all the questions posed?, well nearly, just leaving us to wonder, why the collaboration between WE & Beyond. Well why not, as there can be no doubt that WE’s last couple of showings have proven its popular position within the capitals clubbing circuit, indeed with the next instalment, “Prison of Love” playing out this coming weekend, it should be grabbing some of the bank Holiday headlines. Then there is Beyond, this amazing afterhours having become so much more, it’s themed nights such as “Belief” & “Midnight” expanding the offer and making it an all encompassing club that sits as comfortably by itself as with the joint ventures it has carved out, links with brands like La Demence, The Week, XLsoir, Cafe Ole & Scream, great examples of Beyond has grown and continues to grow its stature. So, two better bedfellows in creating Brava we couldn’t wish for and so look forward to the launch, which takes place this Sunday (28th Aug), with excited expectation of something truly exceptional, so roll on the revolution!. (DISCO MATT)