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Coco Banana

May / June 2008

Kuala Lumpur


When mondo*dr first entered the doors of this venue in the first weeks of April, it was still undergoing final stage of construction. How would they possibly be ready to open their doors to the public a few days later?

The concept for Coco Banana was the brainchild of the club founder, Chee Meng Wong who envisioned a club where ‘technology meets fantasy...to feel like Alice or Alex partying in a Wonderland club, the outside world forgotten’.

Located in Petaling Jaya, Sunway Area in the Sunway Pyramid shopping centre about 20 minutes drive from central KL (depending on traffic), the target clientele is the executive crowd who increasingly prefer the convenience of outlying areas of KL.

Under the guidance of Chee Meng Wong who also happens to be one of Malaysia’s leading event producer / promoters, a marketing team was assembled to bring in international celebrities and events to the club.

Coco Banana took just four months to design and plan. Construction began in January and continued full force to completion on April 1st. They needed to use the best and latest in audio, lighting and visual systems. CODA Audio - the fastest rising audio entry into Malaysia with already-proven reliability - was chosen for the club’s audio drive.

The very latest in LED technology (customised by Dynamix Sound & Light Production Sdn Bhd) together with ROBE lighting was used throughout. Selecting appropriate technology to fulfill Chee Meng’s vision was a considerable challenge but the gob smacking visuals and gut punching CODA sonics proved without a doubt it was not insurmountable.

Technically the biggest challenge was in creating the full scale rotatable LED entrance-tunnel, a first for Malaysia. Further kinetic energy was injected by mounting the LCD TVs on Robe Media Spinners and installing an LED wall panel (reportedly the biggest in a Malaysian club) showcasing graphics and text to update customers on the latest events and promotions. In addition to this, DJs use DVDs to project out MTV Videos and graphic videos from the Pionner DVJ1000s.

Coco Banana has a floor space of around 10,000 square feet and a capacity of about 1,000 comprising 600 in the main club area, 200 in the lounge area and 200 more outdoors.
Coco Banana is totally unique in term of design features. Everything resulted from out-of-the-box thinking and incorporates neat quirks. For example, the team concentrated on making all features, from DJ console to the pillars, circular.

Somehow, through the pre-opening clutter and building debris during our first visit, Dynamix MD, Michael Tan and Dynamix Lighting Guru, Ben Teuw managed to oversee the initial sound and lighting checks and sure enough, their first Saturday opening, featuring American Jamaican teen prodigy Sean Kingston, was a riotous success with a wonderfully diverse Malaysia and international capacity crowd.

(Words & Pics: Jimmie Wing)

 

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