In the vibrant heart of Itaewon, Seoul's cultural epicentre, the iconic Volnost club has discovered its new home, complete with two stories of experimental techno bliss.
In 2017, Comarobot, Si Jin, and DK united to create the techno haven Volnost, initially dubbed "the wood cave". This intimate space accommodated Seoul's most fervent ravers, immersing them in what can only be described as the embodiment of "real Korean techno" every Friday through Sunday nights.
Fast forward to the present, and Volnost has evolved into a sprawling two-storey space, occupying an entire building.
The first floor, a bar setting, leads to the second floor — a dedicated sonic sanctuary where music takes centre stage.
Volnost's dual spaces ensure that night crawlers can revel in the hypnotic sounds without the distractions of bar commotion. The venue now comfortably accommodates 80 people on each floor, an upgrade on the previous space’s 40 cap.
This transformative relocation was not motivated by the usual suspects of rising rents or disagreeable landlords. Rather, Volnost's move was driven by a desire to curate an environment conducive to more experimental performances.
Speaking to Mixmag Asia about the move, co-owner and resident DJ Comarobot explains: “Despite conducting experimental performances with talented artists, the limited size prevented us from showcasing them to a larger audience, so we moved to our new home. Moreover, as even a single beam of light reflecting from the bar disrupts the concentration of the performance, I aimed to separate the music and performance from the bar. Thus, I was searching for a space where I could have two floors so we could focus on artistic expression."
Read this next: Ameniia Records’ ‘Chondrite’ is an embodiment of music’s synergic & supportive spirit
Volnost also takes a page out of its inspirations such as Berghain or Pawnshop, with a strict policy against photography or filming.
This commitment extends to their cutting-edge sound system, featuring the never-before-seen-in-Korea Martin Audio THV top speaker and SXH218 subwoofer, accompanied by an XP15 monitor.
Read this next: Mixmag Asia Radio: APACHI intensely blends techno, rock & grimy beats
Volnost's stage has been graced by an illustrious line-up of artists, including Chloe Lula, Phase Fatale, Unhuman, Headless Horseman, 404zero, Codex Empire, Tundra, Kris Baha, Robert Henke, Orphx, Takaaki Itoh, and Blush Response among many others.
Behind the decks, they host resident DJs Comarobot, Si Jin, DJ SIN, Siot, Purusha and Mizae Lim, alongside a steady stream of guest mixers.
Follow Volnost on Instagram here.
Henry Cooper is a Writer at Mixmag Asia. Follow him on Instagram.