Brazil is the country with the most diverse of musical interests that I have known – from Samba, Sertanejo, Funk, Forró, to even Brazilian Rock and Rap – not to mention all the subgenres within them, Brazil is a country that loves to dance and has diverse taste. Apart from the more traditional and country-specific styles, Electronic Music also has a HUGE presence in Brazil. In fact, 5 of the DJ mag top 40 clubs in 2013 are Brazilian: Green Valley (#1; Bálneario Camboriú, SC), Sirena (#8; Maresias, SP), Warung Beach Club (#16; Itajaí, SC), Anzu Club (#23; Itu, SP), D-Edge (#32; São Paulo, SP). I have been fortunate enough to have been to 3 of them!
Bálneario Camboriú and Itajaí are adjacent cities located about 30 minutes from each other. Green Valley and Warung Beach Club are therefore quite close by. Both times I visited the city I stayed on Praia Brava at the Senor Hostel, which is technically in Itajaí but right next to Bálneario Camboriú behind a mountain. And what difference in the vibe a mountain makes.
Observations on Bálneario Camboriú:
- BC is known to be the vacation slash clubbing mecca in Brazil. In fact, owning an apartment or vacationing at BC where one can come over the summer is something of a status symbol in Brazil.
- Buildings in BC are TALL! Due to its status as the vacation capital of Brazil, buildings grow vertically here. It reminds me a lot of Benidorm in Spain, with a skyline of skinny tall buildings. In fact, the new tallest building in Brazil is under construction at BC as I type this.
- The coastline is long and extends through the city, but extremely narrow. The beaches are crowded.
- BC is a busy place. There is always a lot of people on the streets (at least in the high season), many restaurants, etc etc.
- Green Valley is located in Camboriu, in the middle of a rainforest
Observations on Itajaí, more specifically Praia Brava:
- Itajaí is a port town – so contrary to BC, there are no tall buildings here. All throughout the day, you can see many large ships passing by on the ocean – especially pretty during the night!
- Praia Brava is a mountain over from BC, and it comparatively lacks buildings. As one walks along the coast, one observes that many properties are under construction. My friend says that since they are running out of space to construct buildings in BC, development has begun to spill over to Praia Brava. In 10 years Praia Brava will look like BC… haha, I hope not!
- Praia Brava, in Portuguese means something like Angry Beach, which is a common way to name beaches that have strong waves. Indeed, Praia Brava was a surfer’s paradise. I have never seen so many surfers on one beach.
- Two words: Deep House. My God, there is Techno everywhere! From the restaurants, to the cars the streets, every single person is listening to deep house with some sick speakers. At the hostel, the staff played tech house every night, and they all truly love it.
- No one seems to sleep… Over the weekend I was there, a couple of the hostel staff/their friends did not sleep for 2 days straight… the rest did not sleep for 1 day…
- Warung Beach Club is located on Praia Brava, right next to the beach at the north of Praia Brava
Now with the background on the cities, let’s dive into the Green Valley vs. Warung Beach Club rivalry. Yes, everyone seems to have picked a side!
GREEN VALLEY (Read my detailed post here)
Green Valley, as my Praia Brava friends say with a scorn, is more “commercial”. It books ultra popular big room acts as W&W, Dirty South, Dmitri Vegas, Dada Life, etc. It has two stages, one main stage whose set-up is very festival-like, and a smaller terrace stage. Though I did enjoy Green Valley, I think it lacks the special something to make it the “#1 club in the world”.
WARUNG BEACH CLUB (See my review here)
Warung Beach Club, on the other hand, is more “underground” and plays tech house. Some past DJs include Richie Hawtin, Art Department, Marco Carola, Claude VonStroke. Club-goers reverently call it the “temple” of house, because its whole decor is modeled after an Asian (maybe Thai) temple. It has a downstairs open-air stage, and an upstairs main stage which is more of a closed space with triangular roof. The incredible part is that when it is time for the sunrise, you can go out the balcony and see it with incredible house music in the background. Not surprisingly, the Praia Brava crew are all loyal followers of the Warung waves.
Rivalry set aside, there’s nothing like listening to great music surrounded by good vibes. And in the end, there’s nothing like walking out a club at 7AM and sitting on the beautiful Santa Catarinan beaches under the soft morning sun.