You may have heard of Koh – the new kid on the Bali nightclub block. After a few soft launches and a complete rejig of the sound system, it is now fully equipped and ready to blow the bikinis and board shorts off everyone. Conceived and delivered by four Sydney-siders with boundless experience in partying all over the world, this venue is set to satiate all that enter, fitting neatly into a gap that has long been empty in this part of the world.
The very eclectic brains and brawn behind this operation are Dane Gorrel, Josh Clapp, Matt Weir and James Taylor. To cut the how-do-they-all-know-each-other story short, all four were basically floating around the right place at the right time and S.A.S.H. at The Abercrombie Hotel was the common thread that bound them. The law of nightclub friends is; if you spend enough time going to the same place and seeing the same faces there, then the chances are you will eventually get to know each other.
Friday nights will be a straight forward selection of pumping house music and Saturdays will be a bit more serious, with sounds from the deep tech house and techno realm.
“It’s all very intertwined, somewhere along the line we came together in the club scene in Sydney, I guess,” says Taylor.
Sydney is a very long way from Bali in many respects, so why set up a club here? Koh’s General Manager, Dane Gorrel has been holidaying on the island of gods since he was a little kid and really felt like this was his next port of call after several years of running The Abercrombie Hotel in Sydney. The relaxed lifestyle and change of pace is a definite drawcard for many when setting up businesses in Bali.
“The people, the food, the culture, the beaches, there is so much good stuff going on here, so why not make it work?” Gorrel explains.
For James Taylor, Koh’s resident DJ and Promotions Manager, there was one final nail in the coffin that prompted his exit from Oz after 15 years of running successful parties in Sydney.
“When you are told you can’t enter any clubs after 1:30am because of a lock out rule, it defeats the purpose of the night out; that is really why I left a year ago.”
Taylor believes that clubbing will always be late night culture and the heart of the whole industry has been taken away with the implementation of this widely scrutinised rule. After a recent stint playing on the Thailand party scene, he is keen to keep it rolling onto Bali where the trading hours aren’t subject to such harsh constraints as they are in Sydney.
So, what can punters expect from a night out at Koh? Simply, Friday nights will be a straight forward selection of pumping house music and Saturdays will be a bit more serious, with sounds from the deep tech house and techno realm.
“We don’t want to pigeonhole the nights too much so we hand pick our DJs and let them have good artistic reign on what they want to do within our framework for the club,” Taylor notes.
Obviously music and sound is paramount at Koh, so the team have been working tirelessly to get it right. A massive Funktion-One sound system backed up by proper acoustic treatment and solid soundproofing will leave the Koh punters entirely blown away. Musical Director, Matt Weir is still involved in S.A.S.H at Home nightclub in Sydney and will be splitting his time down the middle to enable visits to Bali so he can oversee how the party is developing here.
Aesthetically, the downstairs space has been described as ‘industrial and raw with an artistic vibe’ and is said to have elements similar to Trouw in Amsterdam and Berghain Panorama Bar in Berlin. The upstairs bar and outdoor terrace offers a slightly different vibe with a 1930s European style design. Creative Director, Josh Clapp has played a huge part in expertly curating this innovative interior. Two of his most notable past endeavours include El Topo and Lobo Plantation, both having won him prestigious design awards.
We all know that a good party always starts with a well-stocked bar, and this is absolutely under control with all the old faithfuls available including a delicious list of fresh fruit juice cocktails. Those super late night owls will be thrilled to know that happy hour at Koh will run every night from 3am until 4am.
The rebirth of Koh will happen on Saturday 4th of July from 11pm til late. There’s no such thing as a lock out in Bali.