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March / April 2008

Based on the continued success of Jakarta%u2019s dual club complex, X Lounge and Vertigo, X2 was conceived and created by the same team of operators and investors.

They share an enthusiasm for, and proven experience in, club management.

Their first step in establishing X2 was to approach one of Jakarta’s leading luxury mall’s, Plaza Senayan, to propose a similar, albeit far more ambitious, entertainment venture. The principal reason for focusing on Plaza Senayan was its prime location, accessibility and established reputation as a gathering place for exactly the kind of clientele they intended to attract.

X2’s Marketing Manager, Marco Hermawan, told Mondo that their concept was to create a ‘one stop entertainment megaplex ... offering a sophisticated combination of luxury and technology with a vast array of amenities to indulge all the senses of even the most fashionable and exclusive guests and, comprising four differently themed rooms to accommodate various music styles and a fine dining restaurant that would appeal to the comparatively affluent south Jakarta market.

With a total floorspace of 2,800 square metres and capacity for 5,000 guests, X2 assert they are the first club in Indonesia to offer such a broad repertoire. Hardly one year old at the time of mondo*dr’s first look in, it seems that they got the formula right and the US$8 million investment is paying off.

Spokesman for X2, Hafiz, boldly declares that not only are X2 keeping punters in south Jakarta who would traditionally have headed north west to somewhat seedier clubbing establishments, customers based in the north west are now heading to X2 for their nocturnal entertainment.

Marco Hermawan adds, “Our ingredients for success are a world renowned sound system, state of the art lighting, impeccable service and an impressive array of exclusive events that feature the world’s most influential DJ’s and international top models and entertainers.”

Even though they have a resident DJ for each room, X2 has become a regular stop off for big name DJs on Asian tours. In addition to throwing craftily marketed parties, the complex is regularly available for private events, corporate functions and product launches. Even the Allen & Heath Xone:3D had its own launch party, being the first of its kind in Indonesia.

The four music rooms are Vintage, Equinox, Ego and X2. Vintage, as the name implies, caters to a more mature set and includes space for live entertainment. Upstairs is Equinox, a broad and spacious area for R&B, and Ego for, you guessed it, a VIP lounge with balconies that overlook and wrap around X2, the main room with its towering ceiling and neo-gothic design. Membership for Ego is over US$6000 and Equinox is cited by management as being the largest R&B room in Asia.

Bringing X2 from concept to completion was no mean feat. Their first major challenge was to convince the reportedly staid management of Plaza Senayan to even consider allowing such an operation in the upper reaches of their mall. Oh, the shock and horror - that their respectable shopping centre might be invaded by Jakarta’s clubbing hordes! Somehow this first major obstacle was overcome, perhaps because their initial proposal was for only 1,400 square metres instead of the 2,800 they finally managed to procure.

The next step was to engage the architects, Antony Liu and Ferry Ridwan who then had a sit down with the shareholders to conceptualize what they had in mind. Next came the details and finally, the all important entertainment technology teams were brought in. Tonton - P.T. Kairos Mulit Jaya for sound and PT Monalisa, headed by the indomitable Rocky and his son Zandy, who is rapidly learning the ropes of the business his father established.

Even though the sound and lighting designers were listed as being one of the last elements to be brought into the project, according to Marco Hermawan, they played a very active role in the completion, especially PT Monalisa who closely coordinated their installation to enhance the industrial roman and gothic ambient theme created by the architects Liu and Ridwan, using various materials such as glass, steel, concrete, timber & acrylic to achieve this.

Nestled beneath the mixing decks in Equinox are twin Apogee Electronics mini digital analogue converters, much to the joy of touring DJs. The Allen & Heath Xones accommodate leaf plates to suit various midi software inputs such as Traktor and Ableton. Another feature is the ‘Dragon Light’ which resembles an air conditioning duct with encased colour changers, suspended above the bar in Equinox and continues all the way to X2. Throughout X2 there are 20 mounted 48” plasma screens, CO2 machines, Confetti blasters and laser lighting, though X2 upgrades system features regularly. To maintain the symbiosis of technology and design, there are monthly meetings attended by sound designers, lighting designers, interior designers and the owners.

Originally expected to be completed within eight months, from initial concept to completion the venue actually took 14 months - perhaps the only significant problem in an otherwise successful project. Despite the delay, when X2 finally held their soft opening it was attended by over 4,000 guests and at the Grand Opening a few months later there were nearly 5,000.

(Words & Pics: Jimmie Wing)





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