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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007, 15:51 GMT
Ministry sounds out beats of Delhi
Ministry of Sound
Ministry of Sound already has clubs in Singapore and Taipei
The opening of a new superclub in the Indian city of Delhi by the Ministry of Sound franchise has signalled how much dance music is taking off in a country dominated by the Bollywood sound.

An astonishing 93%of all music sold in India comes from Bollywood films. Dance - together with rock, pop, classical, jazz and hip-hop - all are included in the remaining 7%.

But Arjun Vagale, DJ with electronica band Jalebee Cartel and the man in charge of international bookings at the new Ministry of Sound, told BBC World Service's The Beat programme that there has been a surge of interest in dance after young Indian students discovered it abroad.

"Frankly, when I started DJing, house wasn't a popular genre," he said.

"We tried to build it up into club nights. The crowd started understanding, especially as people went abroad and studied - they started getting used to that kind of music.

"Ministry of Sound is possibly the biggest brand name of clubs in the world. Why shouldn't it be in India?"

'Big hum'

Dance music has recently been controversial in another part of India - the city of Mumbai (Bombay), where strict licensing laws have been put into place which force clubs to close at 1.30am.

Police ensure the clampdown is adhered to, and the curfew has had a big effect. Some have gone bust, while others have abandoned experimental music in favour of popular hits.

Arjun Vagale (Pic: Jalebee Cartel)
Arjun Vagale's Jalebee Cartel performed on the opening night in Delhi
But in Delhi, dance is booming.

"There's definitely a big hum going around about it," said Swiss DJ BP Zoloft, who played at Ministry of Sound's opening night.

"All of Delhi seems to be up and trying to track down tickets for this.

"I've been out a couple of times here and my god, it is as vibrant and as modern as it is back in Europe."

The Delhi club's president, Tubby Kapur, is certain his club will live up to its famous name.

It has been purpose-built in the shape of a pyramid - inspired by the renowned Louvre pyramid in Paris.

"We also have spiral staircases inspired by the Louvre, and the longest bar in the country - and maybe Asia, but we have to find out about that," he added.

He said that the Ministry of Sound company had scouted all over India for the location, and that Delhi had been chosen because "it has the potential to be the most international city in the country".

Cost

However, he added that there are plans to expand very quickly.

"As soon as we open here, we want to be in Pune, Bangalore and Bombay," he said.

"These are three opportunity-driven cities that we have looked at."

But to be part of this new world will cost - and significantly.

Entry to the club will be $45-$90 (22-45), redeemable against alcohol. However, Tubby Kapur does not believe the price is a problem for young Indians today.

"Going out has changed Delhi tremendously," he said.

"Guys and girls are working, they have jobs, they are getting their pay cheques. If they want to go out and spend some money clubbing, it's their choice."


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