Music has, and always will be, a force that overcomes even the most urgent of political situations. It is a noise that thunders over the loudest government rhetoric and something that people all over the world turn to in order to escape the harsh realities that the television projects. Russia may be at the forefront of world news right now, but there is one nightclub in far-Eastern Russia that is rising above this and placing itself at the forefront of Russian electronic music, both as a club and as a record label – the Hospital Club.
Located in Khabarovsk, which is about 7000 miles from London, the Hospital Club began, according to owners and brothers, Roman and Vlad Gavrilyuk, as a “dream that we had for a place where we could throw private parties for our friends with a music policy that we wanted to hear – and step by step, working year by year, we got it.” And what exactly have they got? Without a doubt one of the slickest clubs in Russia, whose music policy “isn’t representative of what is going on in the rest of the country, except perhaps at those underground spots in Moscow or St. Petersburg, where they actually care about their sound.”
You might have preconceptions about what the dance music scene is like in Russia, and save for the odd electro gem like Proxy, you might be right. But the Hospital Club is leading the way with their serious approach to house music and, more interestingly, their current thirst for the sound pioneered by Amine Edge & DANCE – G-House.
Russia has rarely, if ever, led the way when it comes to popular music. But it seems that in this case, the guys at the Hospital Club have managed to find their niche in something that is currently flooding sound systems and venues across the world. The Gavrilyuk Bross (the name you’ll see attached to all productions released through the club’s in-house record label) have had a long-standing love for this particular style. “Three years ago, we tried to play this way; we didn’t know about G-house, but we loved the combination of house beats, fat bass and vocals from hip hop /rap – now this style is huge.” And without a doubt, this club’s passion for the music is reflected by the sets played the guest DJs they fly over to the club week in week out.
Incredibly, through their own passion and without the ‘passing trade’ that you might get at a new venue in somewhere like Berlin or London, these guys have been seriously ahead of the curve with their bookings – Shiba San played the club the weekend after that infamous Claude VonStroke Essential Mix featuring the monstrous “OKAY” was released, and they’ve had Sirus Hood, Franky Rizardo, My Digital Enemy and Manuel De La Mare all gracing the decks in the last few months.
In their own way, this little nightclub is making a big noise. Alongside their weekend bookings, the Brothers run their in-house record label, Hospital Club Records, pushing their own tech-house productions, and with collaborations and remixes featuring the likes of Shiba San, The Shapeshifters, Franky Rizardo and My Digital Enemy in the pipeline, this is a label you’re likely to be hearing a lot more from in the near future.
And what about the club - who would the Brothers like to see play behind the decks next? “Kolombo, Amine & Edge and Claude VonStroke; we are lovers of good bass lines and low frequencies – we’ve got an amazing sound system at the club and we want to wring it out!”
Sounds fair enough to us.