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A midsummer night at Cocoon in Tipic

We travelled to the paradise isle Formentera to see Richie Hawtin play at the intimate Tipic.

When Sven Väth organised Cocoon at Amnesia back in 1999 he invited along to play, his friend and fellow electronic music aficionado Richie Hawtin. The rest, they say, is history. The globally renowned DJ known for his pioneering techno sound and is synonymous with the Cocoon legacy. So I felt it was apt that my first visit to Tipic in Formentera would feature a set from Richie Hawtin himself. I had never seen a set from the DJ before, so my mind was completely open to his unique style of mixing.

Cocoon has been a major night in Amnesia for many years, the event now entering its 18th season in Ibiza. Known for its great atmosphere and spectacular music, Papa Sven has curated a party that has loyal fans coming back for their dose of Cocoon every Monday season after season.

Writer Notes: The moment I arrived at Tipic I could see already how different the clubbing culture in Formentera was from that of its sister island. The small club was a hidden gem meaning the type of people were there for just good music and the difference in how people dress was noticeable. Ibiza people can dress a little outlandishly at times, whereas the people over at Tipic dressed in a chic way. There was something effortlessly cool about it all.

The island of Formentera has always been a draw for visitors of the Balearic Islands. Its beautiful shores hold some of the best beaches in the world, a paradise for wanderlust hungry clubbers. The tranquil environment makes it a perfect place to relax from the hustle and bustle of the Ibiza mainland.

Formentera also has a special club Tipic located on the east side of the area in an area called Es Pujols. That club is an intimate space with a 500 capacity with a famous heritage that spans back to the 70s. Its flagship night is the hugely popular techno event Cocoon, a creation of underground legend and icon Sven Väth. Tipic has now been hosting Cocoon for six years on Formentera, blasting techno sounds every Thursday.

Writer Notes: With the rain having cleared out from the night before, the weather conditions were prime for a sunset. With the outline of Es Vedra in the distance, the sun slowly dipped into the ocean colouring the sky as it did. As our luck would have it, two benevolent girls who happened to be leaving blessed us with a bottle of gin they didn't want anymore and some tonic waters. This was the start of a good night.

It was a cool summers evening in Ibiza town, as my co-writer, Peter and I arrived at the port ready to set sail for Formentera. A round trip journey costs €45 per person and take 30/60 minutes depending on what time you go during the day, Balearia and Trasmapi ferries offer multiple times for departure, making the journey to Formentera a carefree one.

As we ventured out at sea, we passed the iconic Dalt Villa as the sun started to set. We arrived in Formentera at 20:00 and with a few hours to kill, we stopped by the seawall to take sunset shots of Es Vedrà. Afterwards we headed over to popular tapas restaurant Casa Carmen for some pre-party food and drinks Spanish style.

Writer Notes: Going to Tipic is an all out journey you need to prepare for if you're going from Ibiza. You're more than likely leaving during the afternoon and not come back until the next morning. A light dinner proved to be more than enough for pre-night out energy. Sufficient enough to make you feel full, but not heavy enough to way you down from dancing.

After a taxi ride to Es Pujols from the port, we arrived at the club around midnight. Cesar Vinzent was warming up the compact dance floor with minimal tech tunes to a small crowd enjoying cocktails. I ordered a Mojito from the bar and to my relief only had to hand over €12, quite reasonable in comparison to Ibiza clubs.

Cesar played remixes like Elements by Nino Bellemo which increasing the speed on the dance floor as the venue started to really fill up around 02:30. This is very typical of a Cocoon event, attracting a European crowd who enjoy partying later and earlier in the morning. I think also the fact that Richie was going to step on stage at that time helped somewhat also. You could feel the excitement building in the smoking area. Then I heard cheers as the the clock turned 03:00 seeing techno don Richie Hawtin takes to the booth.

Writer Notes: When Richie went on, suddenly the little main room in Tipic was bursting with energy. Wall to wall, along the stairway, there were people everywhere. Richie was doing Richie, lots of live loops and edits. It was what I've come to expect from the techno giant and he did not disappoint the crowd.

The dance floor was rammed full of clubbers who were energised by the arrival of Richie Hawtin. They were dancing shoulder to shoulder swaying to the beat of the kick drum. The strobe lit up the room for brief intervals, revealing elated faces of the audience. Richie stood in front of his complex set up of pads, buttons and faders, masterfully bringing in track after track, each met by increasing pace of the crowd.

A smoke fog covered the dance floor, looking upward the Cocoon lettering hung above Richie. His set was relentless, but in the very best way. Hard beat after hard beat was cut and chopped up with ease by Hawtin. As 05:00 approached he took the audience on a darker journey, lifting them up only momentarily with sharp snare drums. Overlapping synths kept the crowd stomping and raising their hands to each uplifting moment.

Writer Notes: The end of the night is not the end of the night. You can take the opportunity to watch the beautiful sunrise on one the nearby beaches. After you have done this, the ferry back is a part of the journey also. There is nothing better than the breeze in your hair on the cool morning sea after a full night out at Tipic.

At 06:00, Hawtin wound things down and finished his set, met with cheers and applause from the crowd. Peter and I exited and took a walk around Es Pujol. We stopped and chatted with a few clubbers who were also from San Antonio. It was their first time on the island as well and their smiles spoke volumes.

We took a taxi back as and watched the red sunrise over the salt flats of Formentera. It was a beautiful and mystical sight. Our ferry arrived at 07:30 and we set off over the Balearic sea once again. On the boat I thought about the main man himself, Richie Hawtin. His mastery of music had left an impression on me. Now that I'd finally seen him play in brilliant venue like Tipic, I couldn't wait to see him in his element at Cocoon on Mondays in the future. See you on that dance floor.

Photography | Michael Tomlinson

Writer Notes | Peter Byun

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