Warung Ibiza: Making a House a Home


Warung (or waroeng), Balinese for house, is the now-legendary electronic music hub of south Brazil.

THE original and much-celebrated beach club, which opened in 2002 in the Santa Catarina region, was nominated by Mixmag as one of the best clubs in the world a few years later, dishing up deep house by the likes of Luciano, Layo & Bushwacka!, Laurent Garnier, Sven Vath, Richie Hawtin and Michael Mayer.

This summer Warung has journeyed across the Atlantic (via Indonesia from where it was first inspired) to inject some Brazilian soul into Ibiza with its mid-week fiesta at Privilege on Wednesdays, while instilling some surprising coziness into the proclaimed ‘largest club in the world’.

My preconceptions about the night were nil besides a bad promotion I’d heard on Ibiza Global Radio, so I was delighted to encounter a friendly party with carnival vibes, a multi-sensory tribal atmosphere and remarkable intimacy for its aircraft hanger interior. Dancers donning giant headwear paraded on stilts to hypnotic beats whilst overlooking the well-behaved, predominantly Spanish crowd.

To many of the white isle’s old-school ravers Privilege’s San Rafael superclub has lost its charm in recent years, from its glory days in the 80s (when it was called Ku) to the notorious Manumission parties of the 90s where the club was more famed for its live sex shows than its sounds. Somehow now it always appears lost in the shadows whilst Amnesia and Pacha bask in the spotlight – its ‘biggest club’ status seemingly its only saving grace.

But on Wednesday the venue was busy without ever feeling too crowded and, more importantly, everyone looked like they were having a good time; the aggressive, strung-out vibes you too often encounter at the familiar tourist-focused parties thankfully absent; instead there was an upbeat beach club mentality.

Brazilian Gui Boratto kicked off the proceedings in the main room, followed by German DJ and music producer Robert Babicz. Toni Moreno played a mind-boggling mix of Massive Attack’s Paradise Circus followed by Dominik Eulberg DJing to a very receptive crowd.

Next door in the Coco Loco room underground sounds proposed a healthy alternative to the bombasity of the big stage, where this summer you can experience a tasty mix of international names including Fergie, Emerson Todd, Dave Spoon, Dave Seaman, Dirty Vegas, D Ramirez, X-Press 2, Minilogue and Audiofly. Hospitable, comfortable and open, Warung is everything a house should be.

First published on I Voice, Ibiza, July 2010.
© Abbey Stirling