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Levels: Bold Minimalist Clubbing in Bangkok

With each new Bangkok club comes the hefty weight of high expectations. Patrons pin their hopes on the new club providing progressive trends in design, music, and ambiance or at the very least have really good-looking people wearing weird outfits. All too often these lofty expectations fall short, as each new venture is only a revived relic of a past club failure. Yet, despite these set backs we still yearn for the ‘next big thing’.

What is the ‘next big thing’ in Bangkok? Levels, a club on the sixth floor of Aloft Hotel, managed by Goy formerly of Bed Supperclub fame. Last Wednesday was opening night for this bebehemoth of a discotheque. Unfortunately, mismanagement reared its ugly head and Levels was overwhelmed with too many people, not enough booze and service nowhere to be found. One time we threw a giant party without alcohol or a proper planning…we were 16 years old.

Levels is a beautiful club.  However, to get inside one must endure a bottleneck of two elevators situated in front of the hotel, accentuating that Levels is separate from the hotel. The elevators are the only way to access Levels, and putting a velvet rope and valet in front of them makes the club seem exclusive (?).  People care about these things. The elevators open onto a balcony on the sixth floor, complete with an outdoor bar illuminated by effervesce lighting and garden like habitat.  Walk a few meters to the right and you enter the main portion of the club interior, which is highlighted by impossibly high windows and industrial loft fixtures, a whiff of New York in the swamps of Southeast Asia. A chandelier of whisker-thin lights hangs over a circular bar in the core of the club while Upstairs provides the allure of more privacy and a bird’s eye view of the proceedings.

One unfortunate design feature is the speakers are arrayed in such a manner that if you aren’t in the middle of the club near the bar, the music just sounds like a loud, dull clash with indistinguishable bass. And what’s a club without bass?

Levels won’t be crowded like this most nights, but there were only a handful of bartenders at the two bars, just like the lack of staff at the entrance—a consequence of poor planning by the PR machine that envisioned the blowout.

KohSpot still feels the concept of levels, which means stairs interspersed throughout the club, is going to be a nightmare for tipsy women in high heels. But Levels sticks to its guns, creating a nice little dance pit below a DJ booth/stage where musicians can waltz right down to the crowd and interact. The sax player knows what we’re talking bout.  The crowd is so far the typical soi 11 crowd with Levels most likely snagging a few bed supper club patrons in the process.

It’s pointless to try and predict what clubbers will take to as the next big thing. But if we had to venture a guess if Levels will endure past the six-month honeymoon, “computer says no.”

Levels
Location: 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 6th floor of Aloft Hotel, across the street from Bed Supperclub
Mass transit: BTS Nana
Hours: 7pm to 2 am nightly
Phone: 086-860-0808
Website: www.levelsclub.com

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