The latest addition to the capital’s nightclubbing scene is an ambitious venture. Its location, within the centre of a hive of night clubs, is both equally blessed and cursed as the Cotton Club forms a perfect geometric clubbing triangle with Goliaths Pontoon and Heart of Darkness.
The three are within spitting distance of each other, so the clientele can easily shift between them, or abandon one altogether.
Undeterred by the competition, its promoters Marc Anthony and Thomas Creveau say they’re tossing away the play list and going freestyle with their fortnightly “Electrolab”.
Their aim is to attract an underground audience for weekend nights, which will keep going until 8am the next day. “Electrolab is the kind of party that club connoisseurs dream about. A night where DJs receive no instructions or guidelines about their music line-up except the freedom of playing what they want,” Creveau says.
The result is tracks and a style that you can’t hear anywhere else in the Kingdom.
Remarkably, there are enough Electro DJs in the Penh that the teams that perform each night are always different.
Recent nights have included such luminaries as Rob Biancetti, Lefty Stryker, DJ Flo, Dr Wah Wah and Achaya playing their most personal and enjoyably obscure selection of house, drum and bass, minimal and tech house.
Their venue itself also has an interesting past, including a three-day exorcism about a year ago after a headless body of a former monk was found in an office of the building, when it housed the club QG.
Talk of spectral sightings by cleaning staff had been frequent, and the cleansing and blessing ceremony was ordered to restore the spiritual calm of the “angry ghost who didn’t like club music”.
The exorcism apparently worked; there have been no more sightings of headless former monks. “This will be a melting pot club in terms of music and people,” says manager Sokha.
“During the week days, initially, we will be keeping it simple with a more mainstream style of music to keep the crowds coming, stimulated and above all happy and moving on the floor.
The music will be large; an everyday musical mayhem ... We want to welcome everybody and for everyone to find what they are looking for.”
Saturday sees the debut of fortnightly “Cotton Candy”, which will alternate with Electrolab. MARCUS BURROWS
Where: No 28, Street 172
When: Tuesday to Sunday