It’s been a long, hot summer, but an annual signal that autumn is here is the rebirth of Dubai’s al-fresco dancefloors – and none more so than 360°. After quietly reopening with a residents’ party last week, the venue is set to officially declare the new season open for business with its first international guests on Thursday and Friday October 11-12.
But it’s not just any re-opening for 360°. As you may have heard, the venue has had an overhaul over summer, getting a wee bit more flash and spreading to two floors, with an indoor area where the old seafood restaurant used to be. But what does this mean for the music? ‘It’s the same 360° you know and love,’ promises Mike Bufton, aka Mr Mr, who runs the venue’s Friday night Audio Tonic, now in its seventh year. ‘It’s just that now we can go 11 months a year.’
The pros are twofold: first, with two floors, there’s a choice of music. Audio Tonic will maintain its tried, tested and loved flavour of ear-friendly house on the roof while also hosting a second room of nu-disco and retro party tunes down below, from new residents Megadon Betamax, Helen S and Russ Cooper. Elsewhere, MustHaveSoul will be moving its former midweek night Eclectic Circle downstairs on alternate Thursdays.
Meanwhile Infusion will be delving into trip-hop, as well as nu-disco and funk, downstairs on the Thursdays that it hosts, as well as taking on the Saturday slot to oversee new night Entra Mi Casa, which promises Latin and Afro house upstairs, and soulful grooves from the MoFunk team below.
And the second plus point? With capacity now surging to 500, there’s an additional pull to get in even bigger names. We asked the Audio Tonic’s Mike Bufton and MustHaveSoul’s Simon Reed to introduce us to their first month of bookings, and pick their top tracks to check out.
Thursday October 11
Grand launch with Hernán Cattáneo
Listen out for: ‘Chab – Closer to Me (Hernan Cattaneo Mix)’.
Mike says: ‘What we wanted was to relaunch with a top 10 DJ. He’s used to playing to 5,000 people and we wanted a DJ with a wide music collection who knows what he’s doing. We know he’s going to smash it.’
Friday October 12
Upstairs: Danny Daze
Listen out for: ‘Your Everything’ ft. Louisahhh.
Mike says: ‘He’s one of the biggest deep house names right now and this is his Middle Eastern debut. He’s been DJing since the age of 13. His productions are just full of soul and energy, and his DJ sets are pure groove – he can lock down a dancefloor from 300 to 3,000 people.’
Downstairs: The Revenge
Listen out for: ‘Marvin Gaye – Heavy Love Affair (The Revenge Rework)’.
Mike says: ‘He’s pretty much top of the game when it comes to disco re-edits. He’s doing massive things, touring the world, he’s hot property right now. He played for us last year and people still talk about it.’
Thursday October 18
Listen out for: ‘Michel Cleis – La Mezcla (Charles Webster’s Club Mix)’.
Simon says: ‘Charles is a UK house music legend. A pioneer of the deep house sound, he has been making house music since before the term was born. He brings knowledge and quality to the decks every time.’
Friday October 19
Listen out for: ‘Kasper Bjorke – Lose Yourself to Jenny feat Jacob Bellens (Maxxi Soundsystem Remix)’.
Mike says: ‘This guy, Sam Watts from the UK, has been producing for a long time, and he’s just breaking through now. Pete Tong plays him every week, and he’s Groove Armada’s only resident at Lovebox.’
Thursday November 1
Listen out for: ‘Sonando Contigo’.
Simon says: ‘Kiko is known for great productions, but his true talent is behind the decks, his ability to whip the crowd into a frenzy is inspiring and shouldn’t be missed.’
Friday November 2
Listen out for: ‘Let It Go’.
Mike says: ‘He’s on the verge of blowing up – everyone’s talking about him; even my mum. He has a very unique, two-step house-driven garage-esque feel with lots of vocals.’
Friday November 9
Listen out for: ‘Want You in My Soul’ ft. Stee Downes.
Mike: ‘Basti – aka Lovebirds – has played twice for us. Both times he’s played exceptional music that always gets all the girls on the dancefloor.’
Booknig ahead essential. Times vary. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel (056 682 6617).
More dates for the diary
Noir (Friday November 23)
Pete Dafeet (Thursday November 29)
Rodriguez Jr (Friday November 30)
Mad Mats (Thursday December 6)
Tom Middleton (Friday December 7)
Audiojack (Friday December 14)