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Review: Cocoon opening at Amnesia, 2015

Musical mastery, positive vibes and a leader with more charisma than Walt Disney. Cocoon is back.

The applause in the Amnesia terrace after Sven Väth's final track played out was thunderous. The diverse and international crowd were hollering, clapping, stomping and singing chants worthy of a triumphant English football crowd that echoed around the sunlit room. It was 07:45 in the morning, an early finish by Cocoon standards that caught many by surprise, but we had plenty of hours of class partying in the bag and with the famous Cocoon afters still to come - complaints were few.

Dixon had opened the terrace earlier with a beautifully harmonised set featuring plenty of subtle treble hooks and textures like rippling organs and smooth vocals above a solid bass kick. The overlap between his and Sven's style was obvious; Dixon has become the perfect compliment to Sven terrace sessions and his final track, Levon Vincent's Anti Corporate Music ran smoothly into Sven's opener, Leon Vynehall Just (House of Dupree) in an expert display of musical synergy.

As Sven Väth settled into his groove, building momentum with the layered More Times, by OCto Octa, the famous Cocoon dancers stiletto stomped their way onto the podium, decked in the fragments of a mirror ball and looking as edgy as the broken glass shards that adorned them. It was four in the morning and the mood was up. The dance floor was all high fives and smiles, the bar staff were laughing and the toilet attendant lady tossed a fresh roll of loo paper across the room and I caught it one-handed like a champ - every small win counts. Recondite meanwhile had the main room floor in the throws of his own dark and moody productions like Serak and DRGN2, with sharp piercing synth stabs and a monstrous, ribcage rattling growl below. Proper main room sounds; Sven would approve. Recondite-shaped contour lines mimicked his movements live on the main room screen behind the DJ booth and lasers combed through the darkness.

Around 6am in the terrace, out came Sven's traditional bog roll trails, winding their precarious way above our heads to the tune of upbeat, ethereal techno like Dixon's retouch of Love Over Entropy (who was still rocking out in the booth behind Sven at this point). I must have been pretty in the zone, because it felt like I blinked and it was daylight, the morning coming to a climax with the classic Carl Craig remix of Theo Parrish Falling Up. All too quickly Sven rolled out his last tune, which brings us back to the aforementioned ovation to mark the close of the first Cocoon of 2015.

Then it was back home for showers and some bananas, and off to the after party - an Ibiza tradition which we can easily credit Cocoon for starting. The music here was even more adventurous and incredible, aided by a dramatic rural setting. We'll leave details of the afters to your imagination, but let's say dancing to a chunky, slowed down remix of Todd Terje's Inspector Norse whilst the setting sun shot golden rays out from behind Sven's head as he engaged in some spontaneous dance choreography was quite the moment.

Quit while you're winning they say, so after that slice of perfection we took our tired selves on home, with a slight detour while we got lost on dirt tracks in the middle of nowhere, finally returning back to the party after half an hour of dead ends, only to turn left instead of right. Yeah, we were tired alright.

WORDS | Jordan Smith PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman


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