UKRAINIAN NIGHTLIFE

GUARDIAN: 'No philosophy and everybody is welcome': how Closer catalysed Ukrainian electronica

From small beginnings in 2012, the Kyiv club-cum-cultural centre has become an eastern-European scene-leader

Chris Williams
Wednesday, 29 January 2020 20:07

You get the feeling you’re in for a big night as soon as you exit the taxi outside Closer. Climbing the graffitied staircase that leads to the Kyiv club evokes a childlike sense of adventure; not least at tonight’s Masquerade, an annual marathon session where everyone hides behind a face mask in celebration of the crew’s eighth birthday.

Many of the mystery figures inside will stay glued to the wooden dancefloor from Saturday night until the final glimmers of the party on Sunday evening. It’s not entirely an endurance test: while the main room is all whistles and whooping, the cushion-filled ambient floor has a similarly meditative vibe to Glastonbury’s Green Fields.

Closer is the most celebrated nightclub in eastern Europe’s feted scene, and Masquerade is one of its most anticipated nights of the year. By mid-morning, the music downstairs becomes a kaleidoscope of 90s US house, timeless Detroit techno and head-twisting acid via ultra-intricate, psychedelic minimal house – styles that Closer helped popularise in the Ukrainian capital.

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