GOING IN DEEP WITH VAULT


Many months ago we wrote an article regarding the closure of Koh nightclub and how you don’t really know what you have until its gone, and generally when it’s too late… but in this instance, maybe it’s not too late after all!

A different team in the whole, a different location, but a very anticipated return … we are SUPER excited to welcome VAULT to the Bali fold.

A speakeasy cocktail bar and a true, European style underground concrete bunker with a central focus on sound, and more sound!! The super sexy VOID sound-system fills the room and being buried deep below the bowels of Berawa and with some proper sound proofing, have we finally got a venue where we can feel the noise as well as hearing it??? Let’s hope so…

Some of the delightful tipples available in the Vault Cocktail bunker nextdoor the club

There was a consensus that Koh was the right club at the wrong time, but with the recent explosion of Berawa and Canggu you can’t help feeling the Island of The Gods may be smiling on this project and it should really hit the ground running… sprinting hopefully!

We spoke to the music director and former Koh owner Ben Pound about his new project, the mistakes he learnt from Koh, and what people can expect when The Vault opens it doors with INFINITY INK on February 22nd, renowned for their seductive bass lines, we will be there to witness the Vault soundsystem… BRING THE NOISE!!!!!


Music Director and Resident DJ Ben Pound doing his thing

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF BEFORE WE MOVE ONTO THE VENUE FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW YOUR GOOD SELF, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MUSICAL JOURNEY IN BALI UP TO AND INCLUDING THE VAULT?

I came here in 2011 on a 3-month surf adventure and ended up playing Single Fin for a few weeks whilst one of the then residents (Paul T) was out of the country. I pretty much fell in love with the place and lifestyle from the go and decided to take a gamble and move here.

Shut my event production company down, quit Ibiza and sold out of my restaurant concept I had created with Seth Troxler and took the money over planning one a kind of chilled lifestyle business over here.

OF course the first thing that came along was a disused club venue that was screaming DO IT at me, and the decision was pretty much made on the spot standing in the middle of the space to stay in nightlife over here.

At the time of committing to the project there was no real underground club in Bali, Magdalena’s had been closed for a year or so. Jenja hadn’t opened (although it ended up opening about 6 months before us), Mint was operating but was full of hookers and had a weird vibe, the only other spot of any relevance was Deejay Cafe and you cant go there very often or you’re a wrongun. 


Koh in their glory days

We filled the space with an epic Funktion 1 rig; The Club ran for 2.5 years and was the cornerstone of the scene during that time. So many friends of mine in Bali come from that place. Networks were built from it that span SE Asia and beyond. A lot of DJs that I book regularly now either started out at Koh or took inspiration from the situation that was going on there.

As a direct result of the club relations and my festival production experience I was brought into Air Festival as a partner, after the club closed Paul Hugo (OMNIA) approached me and asked me if I was interested in helping develop their Sunday house music party and programming and more recently I started working again with my old mate Jamie Jones and the Paradise crew managing all the production globally and managing and setting up Ibiza with the creative team. I’m based here but I dip in and out a lot across the year.

HAVING HAD A CHEEKY SNEAK PEAK AT THE VENUE, THERE IS A DEFINITE KOH VIBE ABOUT THE PLACE, A CONCRETE UNDERGROUND, AS IN LITERALLY UNDER THE GROUND, NO FRILLS VENUE WITH THE FOCUS ON THE SOUND SYSTEM AND MUSIC… WHAT IS THE ETHOS OF THE VAULT AND DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS WITH THE KOH PROJECT YOU WANT TO CORRECT WITH THIS PROJECT?

The real ethos of the Vault is about the music, the sound system and the party spirit. It’s about creating another domestic hub for underground culture that will hopefully be as revered on an international level as Koh was. It’s going to be a dope spot for cool music and cool people to hang out, party and connect a bit more comfortable and sophisticated than Koh but still with all the rawness and energy. 



The team behind The Vault are some of the most solid humans I know in Bali working with them is a joy and I’m really looking forward to the journey of this project. Pretty much everyone surfs as well so there’s for sure gonna be some fun Vault crew adventures.

There is million percent unfinished business with Koh, it was way ahead of its time for this region and the model (no bottle service and underground music) coupled with a scumbag partner made the project financially unsustainable and brought it to an early death. Fortunately Vault is now ready to fill the boots that Koh left behind and with its size and multiple areas there are several ways you can engage in a late night session in that space so there’s really something for everyone there.

WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN WITH KOH THAT YOU FEEL HAVE PREPARED YOU BETTER FOR THIS PROJECT?

Firstly I can spot a crackhead business partner a mile off, won’t ever make a mistake like that again!

You also have to be more open to the different types of business within the club environment. Same as Koh the Vault is based around the dance floor and the sound. The building also contains an incredibly high-level late night cocktail bar in a separate space that offers a more intimate nightlife experience for those not wanting to go too big or loud but still have a late one. Also there’s a very small handful of tables for those that like bottle service sitting down in clubs ☺

WHAT WILL THE MUSIC POLICY BE AT THE VAULT ON WEEKENDS ON WHO ARE THE RESIDENTS?

I’m a house music purist so its all about the rolling groove, deep and funky, sexy and jackin’ is the default vibe in the place.


sneak peek to Vault before they open their doors to public

Fun vibes that help people cut loose on the dance floor and encourage mischievous behavior. Koh never took itself too seriously and its important people understand Vault has a similar mantra. Understated and effortless style is the vibe.

But I’m also as big hip hop and disco head so one half of the weekend will be dedicated purely to House music mostly deep and classic, some tech house but not too much (Fridays). The other half of the weekend will embrace a more open format and be more open to musical journeys through hip hop to disco and house, Afrobeat and techno (Saturdays). Weekends only in low season and we got plans for a 3rd and 4th night in the summer. It’s a real family affair from the old Koh days so I’m reuniting the gang. Most of them have already played in the Vault bar – James Taylor, Elliot English, Paul T, Tantra, PNNY, and Andy Chunes. The Discofunk boys are my little bros and have moved here permanently recently so they will be key in the residential programme as well. Still yet to figure out how to get Dan Baartz back to Bali but I’m working on it ☺ 

WHAT INTERNATIONAL GUESTS HAVE YOU GOT IN THE PIPELINE?

I'll leave that one for the social media announcements but lets just say my entire Paradise crew and all affiliated heads will be stopping in at the club at some point very soon. Check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for more info. 

HOW HAS THE MUSIC AND PARTY SCENE IN BALI CHANGED IN YOUR TIME HERE?

Its blown up pretty big, there’s some incredible world class venues nowadays pushing the boundaries of architecture and F&B, musically its come a long way as well, There’s a version of the underground that has broken into the rmainstream over here and I’m happy for it. Anything over that EDM nonsense people claim is music. Parties have got more diverse. There is some very special secret gatherings that happen in Ubud and my Air festival brother throws a mean monthly rave at La Brisa so on the whole I’m pretty proud of the direction Bali’s going in musically.

BERAWA AND CANGGU HAVE ALSO CHANGED IMMEASURABLY IN THE LAST TWO YEARS; IT WOULD APPEAR THAT YOU ARE DEFINITELY IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?

The gentrification and development of anywhere is a love hate affair. I remember when Berawa was literally 3 bamboo warungs and Finns was a rarely used tennis court. Now its trendy café central with a 150m long beach club and about 20 warungs.

Its great for the locals, farmers become wealthy land and property / business owners with minimal investment. I’m a big foodie so no complaints on the gourmet dining popping up everywhere. Is it sustainable, probably not? But no ones stopping anything so its gonna be what its gonna be. But the lack of proper waste management and municipal infrastructure means traffics an on-going nightmare; trash is getting worse and worse. and the place is also filling up with more clueless gronks on a weekly basis than I would like.

But you can’t stop progress can you? Or the drive to create a better life for yourself or your family. Especially in a free/ unregulated environment such as Bali .You just have to be accepting and do the most you can to minimise your impact and encourage, educate other to try and follow.

I have a huge long term vision to try and help resolve some of this trash issue, watch this space, will surely need SBL's help with that. Traffic is another headache entirely and may be the demise of this beautiful island on a tourist level . No point to keep building this stuff if you will never be able to go an visit anywhere in less than 4 hrs and in peak season live in a massive gridlock. 

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN BALI AS A CREDIBLE MUSIC VENUE?

Investment in sound systems I would say is the hardest, people just don’t understand the value. Also Indonesia has a particular way of “operating”, its not for everyone and if its not engaged correctly it can break a business or easily scare investors and concepts away, but there’s at least 6 very cool projects I know of happening in Bali that are really going to put it on the map on a global level like never before.

Vault hopefully being one of them :)


SUM UP THE VAULT IN THREE WORDS!

I’ll give you more! Family, Authenticity, Freedom, and HOUSE MUSIC.

LAST AND NOT LEAST, WITH A VOID SOUND SYSTEM IN A MUSIC CENTRIC VENUE LIKE THE VAUT, PICK TWO TRACKS YOU THINK WILL BLOW PEOPLE’S MINDS AND ARE LIKELY TO BE PLAYED ON THE OPENING WEEKEND…

Kerri Chandler - In Search Of Mr. Ford


Guti and Dubshape - Every Cow Has A Bird


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Before we go, please make sure you press play and enjoy the mixtape from Infinity Ink! Thanks and see you at the Soft Opening of Vault Bali.