Don’t Miss a Beat Underground

Exploring Prague’s Deep House Scene

by E.R. Pulgar

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Rocking the Boat: Live video from the interior of U Bukanyra’s DJ booth. Photo courtesy of E.R. Pulgar.

Europe’s underground party scene is world-renowned, from Ibiza’s famous beach extravaganzas to the gritty London underground. While there is absolutely no questioning Western Europe’s cred in the underground scene, where does Central Europe, specifically Prague, fit into the equation?

For a city writers have long called melancholy and reserved, Prague knows how to party. Pay a visit to Karlovy Lazne’s famed five-floors or Cross Club’s tourist-ridden basements and you’ll see what we mean. These are decent options for a great night out, but deep house purists need to search beyond the guidebooks and well trodden dance spots.

When you think of underground clubs, the first thing that probably comes to mind is droning drum and bass tracks, the stench of cigarettes and the image of club kids wearing all black and dancing with abandon, absolutely consumed by themselves, enraptured in the moment. Everyone at this kind of club is either in the know or ended up there by mistake—either way, they’re most likely not tourists. Prague’s deep house scene has all of that, plus international art raves to late night boathouse barbecues. Here are a few of our so-called underground favorites:

 

Opposite ClubOpposite Club 2

A few minutes by foot from the I.P. Pavlova metro stop, it’s easy to miss this gem, especially since the more popular Rodeo Music Bar is on the same street. Opposite is located inside a hallway connected to a hostel adorned by an LGBT pride flag.

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Past and Present Partying Together: The interior’s artwork ranges from the modern to the ancient. Photo courtesy of E.R. Pulgar.

From there, you will find signs, both musical and visual, that will lead you to a simple, wooden door. Save for the blaring music, the club looks admittedly underwhelming from the outside—go inside, and it’s an entirely different story.

Boasting a large dance floor, tall ceilings and elegant architecture, this club is spacious and plush. Its walls showcase contemporary modern art, old vinyl records and neoclassical sculptures.

For those who would rather sit and relax, the bar area has comfortable sofas, but pricey drinks by local standards. You can haggle with the bartender though. If you don’t feel like paying 50 koruna, or $2, versus the standard 25 koruna, he will take your change and give you a begrudging look with your beer.

Expect a crowd evenly split between relaxed locals sipping their drinks at the bar and their younger counterparts flocking to the dance floor, swaying to a droning, hypnotic bass.

 

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Rave or Relax: The lounge and bar area are a nice escape from the expansive dance floor. Photo courtesy of E.R. Pulgar.

 

Storm Club

There’s no telling what’s inside unless you’re in the knowStorm Club

You’ll find this treasure in the center of Prague 3, but the location might have you running in circles—it’s hidden behind the buildings on Konevova, so make sure not to take a wrong turn. Go down the alley and down a blue-lit stairwell into Storm.

The music here is mostly aggressive, thrashing new rave house. Expect eclectic dancing and at least two people on ketamine—as close as a Czech club could get to the gnashing beats of Manchester’s 80s acid house scene.

When you’re done dancing, this large club offers white leather couches (that some clubgoers have tagged with graffiti), and the bar offers 50 koruna vodka shots and Krusovice beer on tap. This is the place to go for an authentic rave experience with locals who come to lose their minds.

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Enter the Void: Underground as it gets, the venue’s lights thrash as much as the music. Photo courtesy of E.R. Pulgar.

 

U Bukanyra

You would think an underground party boat would stick out, but this groove house by the water is also soundproof—there’s no telling what’s inside unless you’re in the know.

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Plush Decadence: Enjoy your drinks under low-light. Photo courtesy of E.R. Pulgar.

U Bukanyra stands out for its plush couches, blaring beats and a well-stocked bar. The fact that this is all on a boat only makes it that much more enticing. “We had engine taken out,” said Klara, one of two bartenders. “We have been here for years.”

Despite being a hub for locals, the bartenders welcome foreigners. According to Klara, it’s “hard to find people born in Prague who live in Prague.” Klara relishes the atmosphere’s popularity with expats. “On Saturdays, it will be 4 am and this place will fill up with many English speakers.”

You will be hard pressed Uto find another venue in Prague that marries nautical imagery with the underground scene’s characteristic minimalism. The DJ booth, which boasts quality drum and bass sounds all night, also has a camera on top of it projected on a screen by the bar. It creates a more intimate experience between the partygoer and party
maker.

The dance floor is sizable enough, and the second floor is open to the public during warmer seasons, where revelers enjoy their drinks in peace or watch the sunrise. The incomparable view of the Vltava River and the chill after party vibes make U Bukanyra well worth the visit.

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Nights on the Water: Perfect for taking a step back from the party. Photo courtesy of E.R. Pulgar.

 

E.R. Pulgar is in the Liberal Studies Program transferring to Gallatin in the Class of 2018. His hometown is Miami, Florida.

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Categories: Culture, Spring 2016 Issue Number 1

Author:The Prague Wandering

The Prague Wandering is an NYU based study abroad webzine- the only one of its kind. It focuses on issues in contemporary Czech culture and the city of Prague, exploring beyond the study abroad bubble.

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