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Arma-17 Celebrates 4th Birthday With Big Bash

Arma-17, which celebrates its fourth birthday Saturday, has won a reputation as the best place for underground house music in Moscow, regularly attracting top DJs from around the world.

Still haven't been introduced to Moscow's burgeoning house music scene? Well here's the perfect chance for you to correct this gross oversight. This Saturday, one of the capital's preeminent bastions of the underground will mark its fourth birthday. For the occasion, Arma-17 has invited special guests from Europe, and even as far away as Japan and Argentina.

"Some places function professionally, everything works, but there is no wow factor. In Arma, there is," said Andrei Shelobkov, co-owner of Arma in an interview with Afisha magazine.

He was no less modest when speaking to The Moscow Times, saying that before Arma, "there was never a world-class, music-focused club in Moscow."

Arma's ability to bring in top stars will be visible Saturday.

Frankfurt-based duo Booka Shade will treat crowds with a playful live set. Together with compatriots M.A.N.D.Y. (also regulars at Arma), the pair founded the Get Physical label in 2002. They received a lot of critical attention for their 2005 hit "Body Language," whose synth riffs are still instantly recognizable to clubbers worldwide.

If that offering is playful and melodic another is moody and intense as Detroit-raised, Berlin-based DJ Magda will take revelers on an intriguing techno journey. Having opened regularly for English-Canadian electronic musician and DJ Richie Hawtin, this pixie-cut lady released her debut album "From the Fallen Page" in 2010. She is a woman who understands what an 808 drum is and knows how to use it.

After the headliners step down, the Romanian pair of Praslea and Cezar will take over the main room until sunrise. In the other rooms, Alejandro Mosso and Kaitaro will also contribute live sets, along with House of Trap, Vakula, and Linkwood. Abelle, Easy Changes and BVoice are just a few of the artists who will represent the Russian scene.

Arma was formerly located in the clubs Garazh and Gorod. They moved to their current home, an old industrial building located behind the Kurskaya metro station after their last place burned down in a mysterious fire.

The spacious, three-level warehouse nicely accommodates three rooms of sound-giving, birds-eye views of the main floor to those higher up. The relaxed, trendy decor of earthy wooden floors and exposed infrastructure is in the same tradition as legendary underground clubs like London's Fabric, and indeed, the diverse crowd is similar: young and old alike together for the love of music.

Arma-17 has recently featured the very in-demand, Siberian-born Nina Kraviz, as well as Miss Kittin, Rolando and Mr. C. Giants. Ricardo Villalobos, Sven Vath and Loco Dice have also spun there.

Arma-17. 5 Nizhny Susalny pereulok, building 3A. Metro Kurskaya. Tel. 410-0414. Doors open Saturday at 11pm. Cover is 500 rubles.

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