Global party professionals tell you the best places to get buck wild.
It’s common knowledge that the best way to experience a city is to have a local take you around. And since our summer party schedule sees us touching down in some pretty exotic locations, we decided to ring up a few fearless natives to see where they hang out. In Helsinki, Finland, we tapped the renaissance men of the Top Billin crew—DJ/producers, label owners, promoters, bloggers, and all around wild and crazy guys—to take us to rockabilly barbershops and afterhours bars. Isis and Grahmzilla of tropical club-rap phenoms Thunderheist show us the best shops and oxtail-eatin’ on Toronto’s Queen Street West before we head south to heat up the parks and food stalls of Buenos Aires with cumbia nueva crew Zizek. And just when you think you’ve seen all NYC has to offer, DJ and dairy lover Derek Plaslaiko gives you a tour of the city’s secret techno hotspots, with a side of mozzarella. Vivian Host and Ken Taylor
Zizek Urban Beats Club
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentinian firestarter Villa Diamante shows you the cumbia bass crew’s favorite places to chill, eat, and dance in Buenos Aires. Photos by El Nido Fotografia
El Chapulín, Av. Intendente Noel, Costanera Sur
A few years back, Sonido Martines decided to celebrate his birthday at this cart by the coast, so he brought his turntables, his records, and started playing cumbia. With Landero and Destellos songs playing, Zurita (pictured far right), El G, and DJ Campeón all showed up. Only Oro11 was missing—he was late because he ran into one of the guys from TV on the Radio on the street in San Telmo and invited him to the party to eat a choripan.
Jardín Botanico (Botanical Garden), Santa Fe 3951, Plaza Italia
Landscaper Don Carlos Thay created the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden in 1892. Home to a great variety of species, it also happens to offer one of the most beautiful strolls in the city, right in the middle of the urban landscape. A few months ago, the garden was closed when some of its employees were suspected of accepting money in exchange for permitting the deposit of human remains on the grounds. Some high-society neighbors wanted to keep their family members close by—money talks in Buenos Aires.
La Aromática, Bulnes 873, Almagro
People are always talking to me about this delicious little Colombian spot in the Almagro neighborhood. King Coya (pictured far left) remixing Petrona Martinez is the best analogy I can think of for La Aromática, a place where they play gaitas and other ancestral American music while putting delicious food on your plate.
La Fabrica del Taco, Gorriti 5062, Palermo
Last year I was with fellow Zizek DJs Chancha Vía Circuito, Fauna, and El G in Mexico. After some initial problems adapting to the food, I dove in, tried everything, and my perception of those flavors was changed forever. Later, when we returned to Buenos Aires, I tried a bunch of Mexican restaurants and always left feeling cheated. Our label coordinator, Anna (pictured here), told me about La Fabrica del Taco, and there I found the flavors that I had been searching for.
Zizek Club, Every Thursday at Voodoo Motel, Dorrego 1735, Palermo
The club night that I have been doing for more than two years with DJ Nim and El G is the dance laboratory we always dreamed about, where people go to dance and ZZK Records’ producers experiment with their new beats. Our slogan has always been “For the love of dance.” Pictured above is the Zizek Crew (from left to right): Negro Gran Faso, VJ Centero, Pablo de Fantasma, Anna Browne, El Remolón, DJ Nim & Luz, Daleduro, Villa Diamante, VJ Sol Del Rio, Tremor, and Lucas Luisao.
Metropolis, Av Santa Fe al 4300, Plaza Italia
“This city is a ghost city/All the clubs have closed already/This city is like a ghost town/There are no places to perform,” goes the chorus of Fantasma’s “Ghost Town,” a cumbia version of The Specials’ classic. It’s a reflection of what’s happening to the Buenos Aires underground, as it keeps getting harder to open new spaces, whether it be for cumbia, rock, or electronic music. Metropolis, one of Buenos Aires’ cumbia meccas, closed several years ago.
Mitte & Purr, Av. Santa Fé 2729, local 30 y local 32
When you combine an art gallery with a bookstore and put it in the highest part of an old gallery on Avenida Santa Fe, you’re going to get some interesting results. This place also hosts a mini-rave called Rom Rom on various Saturdays during the summer: hot (really hot) afternoons, dance, art, and tropical fruit smoothies. Here, gallery owner Neeco Demo stands in front of a drawing by Elias Santis.