We've been keeping our lips sealed tight to reveal one of Bali's most anticipated, and shall we add, clandestine, openings of 2022; the new and revamped Mejan by DESØNER crew moves the dance floor away from the beach and into a cavernous-yet-cosy industrial building.
Nine months in the making, the new four hundred square metre space boasts 20kw of sound, resonating through a line array system that's been customised by an all-Bali-based team. No big brands, just pure local sound, fine-tuned to the needs of a hedonistic dance floor, with high ceilings that are hoisted by a rare and raw industrial-island feel.
Originally located on Canggu's beachfront, Mejan Bar was DESØNER's second venue venture that lasted for about a year from October 9, 2020 till the last event they held on September 19, 2021, due to COVID-19. Their first venue was called Island Beach Bar or Warung Techno.
A grander vision ensued when the opportunity came about to take over a space that's highly conducive for dance music aficionados.
Shifting from the beach to the inner mainland, the new Mejan opens its doors this weekend with Saturday going hard on the techno, electro and breaks tip, and Sunday will be minimal and steady. Both nights start at 10 pm in the main room and finish on the terrace with a magnificent vista of sunrise. Sunglasses might be acceptable at this club.
Mixmag Asia caught up with Karim and Anelle from DESØNER, as they gave us a sneak peek of the space, but we're only revealing the exterior for now; the interior is a magnificent surprise that we promised the venue to only reveal after the opening, but we've managed sneak a glimpse of the interior during this week's intense construction process.
As for what to expect, we've got you covered straight from the source.
Where does the name Mejan come from?
"Actually, Mejan can mean numerous things and it’s even related to some spiritual meanings. But for us, it is connected to our previous location. The name of the big rock in the ocean next to the old Mejan is called “Mejan”, and so was the name of the street where we were located. Coincidentally, our new location is located on the same street, just half a mile away from the previous location."
What happened with the previous location and how does the new location differ?
"If you are living in Bali, you’d know that there are many changes currently happening along the seafront. Unfortunately for us, we were one of the many establishments that were forced to close, due to all the construction along the shore. The old Mejan became a new Canggu parking with a view. Anyway, we always wanted to open a proper club, and now it is finally coming to fruition!"
What can you tell us about the design and space of the new Mejan?
"The new venue is 400 square metres, with an industrial look, utilising metal details and rough concrete, which isn’t very common to see in Bali. Designed and built from scratch, massive dynamic artwork rises behind the DJ booth, supported by the new lighting system."
Are you aiming to keep the original vibe of Mejan, or will there be a new concept in line with the new location?
"The concept is changing in terms of the venue, as it is (mostly) indoors this time around. Previous Mejan Bar and IBB were beach-front venues, but we've moved from the shore to mainland Canggu. There are many things we’re going to surprise our audience with. The sound is much crisper and the system is much bigger. We will be focusing a lot more on the audio-visual this time round too; we’re pretty excited to show everyone what we have been working on.
As for music, it is always evolving with new space, new us, the situation in the world, current trends, etc. But music is always the central, unifying element of the story for us, that’s what’s not changing, we just do it on a larger scale now."
Sound system-wise, how much "bigger" are we talking about?
“The sound system is local and custom-made. Around 20kwh of line array speakers and punchy subwoofers, fine-tuned for our needs. Besides, we’re quite familiar with this team, as we’ve been working with them for quite some time.”
With the expected arrival of a certain super club in Bali, what’s your strategy in keeping (and expanding) your clientele? Do you have faith in the people of Bali in staying loyal to the more “low-key” scene?
"We strongly believe that not compromising our music was always a strategy that kept our community together throughout the pandemic. We will still be sticking to the main idea that music is key, staying loyal to our roots, bringing in international artists, and also collaborating with the local scene. Hopefully, keeping our style in artwork and content will help to reach those, who just arrived in Bali recently and are interested in such niche places."
"No boundaries and limitations on the dance floor”; does this hint at a wider range of sounds to come?
“No boundaries or limitations is about how you want to express yourself on the dancefloor by any means, as long as you put your ego aside and respect the others around you. The atmosphere you create is all that matters to us."
Check out the opening teaser for Mejan below.