Both venues opened in the Estonian capital a few weeks ago.
Lekker, located in Tallinn's city centre, launched with a headline slot from Anthony Naples on December 5th. It's run by a group of friends and DJs connected to JÄCK, a long-running party that's been held regularly for the past five years. The basement venue has room for about 300 people, with a music policy focussed on leftfield dance floor sounds (Helena Hauff plays next Friday, January 15th).
ASUM takes over the former home of ULME, a club that operated in a disused factory in Kristiine for a little over a year (read our review of the night Patrice Scott touched down to play). The team, also a group of friends who have spent several years throwing events together, have completely renovated the space's interior, and have installed a Martin Audio soundsystem. UK techno act Ansome played its opening last year, and there'll be sets from respected London-based selector Nick Craddock (January 15th) and breakout French producer UVB (January 29th) in the coming weeks.
We caught up with the ASUM team to find out a little bit more about their new venture.
Tell us a little bit about the team behind ASUM. Have you been involved in any clubs before?
We're a small group of friends who have similar ideas and vision. We have an architect, jewellery designer, classical music composer, sound designer and a professional barman. It's a mixture of very different people who are united by love for music. The idea came after few years running events in Tallinn. It grew to a point where we thought it might be better for the whole community to have a venue that continuously brings together a certain culture.
What kind of renovations have you done? It seems like the interior has been completely redone.
First of all, there would not have been ASUM if there wasn't ULME before it. ULME was the centre of a total underground scene—a getaway club. So this is were ASUM was born. But it has a completely new arrangement and concept of the old factory room we're using. The idea was to have a black box that would let us have different room usage and design. We are working together with promoters and bringing them together to unify the scene and having that special continuity. We'll also have artist talks when we have guests coming from abroad ( the first was Gunnar Haslam from L.I.E.S. a few weeks ago).These talks gives a certain pre-story and background to the music people will hear later in the night.
Were the renovations inspired by any clubs abroad?
It's a form follows function principle. We keep it very simple and minimal in a Scandinavian way. The club is not shiny and full of light, but dark and with a black box-oriented design and very minimal lighting. The sound and music have the main role.
You've installed a Martin Audio sound system. Why did you go for this setup in particular?
I have to correct you on that one. The speakers are Martin Audio, but it's tweaked by one of the most professional sound engineers in Estonia, Tiit Terask. He’s an official representative of Martin Audio (and made a filter for them also), and a guy who does sound for opera houses right through to big electronic music festivals. So it was about having the best sound and the best guy to deliver it. It was all double-checked by the grand old lady of acoustics, Linda Madalik, who has made most of the concert halls in Estonia.
What kind of booking policy will you have?
The aim is to have solid and continuous quality, with a mixture of local, semi-local (Helsinki mainly) and faraway professionals—a mixture of fresh and well known. We don't care about how many followers someone has on SoundCloud. It is very exciting to be inspired by young and new artists.
Tell us a bit about the scene in Tallinn. What DJs and parties should we be looking out for?
We have a lot of underrated DJs and producers who have a vibe you can't get anywhere else. The list is long. When you happen to be in Tallinn, look out for Haigla Pidu (eclectic and funky), Mutant Disco (house, legendary, but still fresh). Von Krahl's AUX (solid foreign guests) and, of course, our dear friends Jäck Tallinn City and their new club Lekker.