Remember the superclub? It all started so promisingly. One nation under a groove, locked in a rhythm in a vast, glittering danceteria filled with like-minded souls.
By the turn of the millennium though, things were a little different, It had become the realm of huge multinational corporations and sponsorship deals and no longer felt you were taking part in a spiritually uplifting counter cultural experience. Clubs were caught between the brazen pursuit of cash and the attempt to maintain some credibility, with predictably disastrous results.
The formula for club success now seemed to be a gurn along hard dance fests and something had to be done. We still wanted to go out and listen to the music that we love. We just didn't want to have to fight away through a crowded nightclub and then dance till dawn every weekend.
Clubland was in flux and, just as the deep economic recession of the 80s became the catalyst for the Acid house movement, the demise of the superclub helped create a similar social shift. The DJ bar was born.
Unlike acid house though, the new bar culture was born in part from aspiration, as opposed to impecunious inspiration. The well-documented rise of mid-nineties style bars for the moneyed set, such as London's Met Bar and Atlantic Bar or the near-impossible-to-enter Saint, let punters know that there was an alternative to all-night clubbing.
Bars playing good dance music became places to be seen and soon it wasn't just the high-spending set who would enjoy the pleasures that the more mature end of clubbing could bring. Cool DJ bars sprang up all over Britain, places with fat sound systems, classy design, comfy seats, good-looking punters and, crucially, music that got you grooving, rather than wondering weather the DJ had pitched the decks up to plus 8.
Are bars the new clubs? Not quite, but
it’s safe to say that bar culture is now
the envy of the world. Why else would premier league DJs be so keen to spin in your local? It's because today's bars contain the sort of classy, receptive and clued-up audience who once populated every dance club.
This is where Bargrooves comes in. A
collection of some of the best DJ bar
anthems around, featuring stone cold
classics. It’s music for your head, as much
as for your feet, and captures the intimacy
and warmth of your favourite bar in one
This is clubbing for grown-ups.
This is Bargrooves.