Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Cocoon has returned to its rightful, spiritual home.
20 years of Cocoon… it seems surreal just typing those words but in 2019, Cocoon has reached another exceptional milestone. And hats off to Papa Sven, because without his vision and persistence, such a feat would have never been accomplished. But this, like anything worth pursuing in life, hasn’t been without its peaks and troughs.
First starting life out on the island way back in 1999, Sven Vath introduced Ibiza to not only Cocoon, but the now influential sound of techno. This is something which we can be grateful for to Sven eternally too, after all, Cocoon’s early building blocks were shaped by foundations laid by an enviable team of residents which once included the likes of Marco Carola, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos and Richie Hawtin. And it was Amnesia, Ibiza’s temple of electronic music, which was the place where everything started.
Considered the quintessential Ibiza clubbing experience, for countless years, Amnesia has long been the backdrop of some of the White Isle’s most unforgettable clubbing moments. Providing clubbers with two very contrasting clubbing offerings, the San Rafael structure evokes dance floor life from two massive rooms. First up, the Club Room – a darker, cavernous and more intimate atmosphere sparked through heavier, more experimental musical curation and a more open-minded crowd keen to get more in touch with their deeper selves. And then you have the Terrace – a more expansive area offering the much sought-after White Isle clubbing journey which reaches optimal hedonism during the sunrise hours. Not to mention the welcomed surprise of the club’s notorious ice cannons striking at any time.
Whilst eclectic in musical programming, many Amnesia loyalists value the nights spent dancing in fierce, techno escapism the most. Which brings us back to island crowd jewel, Cocoon. Following a year out from its spiritual home in 2018, a mixed reception under the prestigious roof of Pacha soon prompted calls from punters for Cocoon to return to return to its rightful home, and in toast of its 20th anniversary, its pretty safe to say it has done exactly that, and in style.
Now 20 years deep, Mondays at Amnesia have long been synonymous with the Cocoon brand. In the midst of another milestone season, Papa Sven has stayed true to an impeccable standard of high-quality music and eccentricity. The proof is in the pudding, all you have to do is look at the list of high profile names who have joined him this year. From Adam Beyer, Ilario Alicante and Richie Hawtin to Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler and Solomon, Cocoon is well and truly back in its stride.
We got to sample this for ourselves a few weeks ago, and when better to walk through the universally-unifying gates of Amnesia than peak-time July with special guests, Tale Of Us, on closing duties in the Terrace? Unfazed of the Main Room’s intensity, we locked ourselves in for a pulsating rollercoaster ride with ANNA’s no-frills attached, heavy-hitting brand of techno. Seductive with a seismic impact, the Brazilian export didn’t let up as she engulfed the dance floor with a truly energetic and captivating affair. Passionate and unrelenting, she eased into proceedings with ‘Hidden Beauties’ before later exploding with her latest Afterlife release, ‘Spectral’.
Meanwhile, over in the more spaciously inviting realms of the Terrace, Cocoon chief Sven Vath was in charge of the controls. Always a pleasure to witness whenever he is behind the decks, there is always a lesson to be learned from the German veteran. A music fanatic, an aesthete and a visionary, 35 years in the industry comes accompanied with a very large record collection – much to our delight. Feeding his fantasy muscle, Sven on warm up duties meant he had more time to experiment. With a rapturous crowd jam-packing the dance floor in front, Sven was ruthless, yet remarkable in the same light. Armed pounding techno ammo in abundance, the crowd slowly submitted to and immersed themselves within Sven’s seemingly limitless creativity.
Following on from Sven in the Terrace, closing responsibilities fell to the capable hands of Afterlife generals, Tale Of Us, and what an experience it was. On paper, their debut Terrace appearance is something Ibiza clubbers could have only dreamed of, but in Ibiza, dreams become realities and this was no different. Consummate in selection, you could tell the Italian duo had done their homework for this one and with the Terrace’s brand new KV2 sound-system, were aptly prepared. Only getting more conformable as time passed, Tale Of Us explored takes from their latest Realm Of Consciousness compilation working in the likes of Kevin De Vries’ ‘Phoenix’ as well as ‘Trust My Eyes’ courtesy of Mind Against.
Throwing it back to the sunrise hedonism of old, Tale Of Us heightened dance floor activity further with Chicola’s Remix of Kosheen’s ‘Hide U’, a euphoric, more melodic take on the original allowing Carmine and Matteo to take those with the most stamina on an odyssey through their realm of consciousness, defined by mesmerising soundscapes and lush rhythms for all.
And whilst club critics and club-culture were somewhat puzzled by Cocoon’s decision to part ways with Amnesia last summer, there is simply no denying Sven and co have made the right decision returning to their spiritual home for season number 20. Instances peak and perspective comes in good time, and through staying true to themselves, Cocoon has slowly moved Ibiza clubbing into another dimension of musical perception.