Poll Clubs 2011: Watergate
BERLIN may have its multitude of secret parties, underground spots, one-off raves in random locations and ultra-cool bars - and the ever-present looming spectre of Berghain - but Watergate truly trumps them all. Its next level, state-of-the-art interactive LED lights, which envelop the long, low main dancefloor in ultra-bright, vivid fl ashes of neon pink light, have been imitated by many other clubs, but never equalled. Its location on the banks of the River Spree, with an outside deck perfect for watching the dawn break and checking out the assortment of techno veterans, hipsters, freakazoids and clued-up clubbers - some of the friendliest this writer has experienced in a club - offers a chilled respite from the madness within, and its door policy is considerably more accepting than that of its arch rival. But the reason why people really come to Watergate (and to any club, really) is the calibre of its Funktion One soundsystem (stunning) and its parade of great house and techno DJs. Residents are plucked from the firmament of tech royalty, and include Seth Troxler, dOP, Heidi, M.A.N.D.Y, Tiefschwarz, Ellen Allien, Sebo K, Lee Jones, Marco Resmann and Metro, while recent guests have included Nicolas Jaar and Magda. "Every time I have the opportunity to play the Waterfloor at Watergate, I feel so much at home," says Seth Troxler. "When the sun comes up over your back and the people keep dancing, I feel like I'm taken back to a time when things were simpler and minds were more open. I absolutely love it."