Enter the Cocoon:
Sven Väth’s legendary club night Cocoon at Amnesia Ibiza metamorphosed into a great butterfly.
There was one word that described that night. Intensity. This came first in the form of a clean and carefully assembled DJ set from Âme (pronounced ‘ahm’). There was a terrific atmosphere all about the club of Amnesia. This came from one of many things- namely the sense that everybody there was a true music fan. This was confirmed throughout the long night in the form of a conversation and observation, which began at midnight and ended at 6.10 AM.
Âme (Kristian Beyer) began his set with the likes of Patrice Bäumel’s ‘Engage‘, pushing eclectic techno numbers in a set of increasing intensity. The set was as melodic as it was tight, met with periodic cheers from all inside of the Terrace stage. Each carefully selected track picked up greater traction, indeed- there was a sense that Âme had achieved it- ‘The Connection.’ The bond so often sought out after by disk jockeys, one that united all in attendance through a kind of acoustic maelstrom of interconnectedness.
It was 3am before Âme had reached his crescendo. The stage was taken up by the master of LIVE- this being KiNK, who played an impassioned and bouncy set that was anchored by great crashes of drum patterns- often with a Balearic tinge. This nearly blew the roof off of Amnesia- a club that held a special energy. This was felt upon arrival, reaching the venue early before all had attended allowed me to fully suck up the static vibrational sensations to be found throughout the venue. Opening in 1976, some legendary parties had been held here- you could taste it in the air.
KiNK had gone crazy. The full mad professor. His beaming face, shaved head and full scale release of bomb after bomb made for quite the spectacle. The dancers were out now- The Cocoon girls. Beautiful, rhythmic, almost absurd. They undulated in the Terrace, to the backdrop of deep purple and coordinated darkness, picked out by the large phosphorescent hoops that hung high. KiNK had his midi keyboard set upon his forearm, leaning into the crowd. He had them in a vice grip. Boy, did they move. It was heartening to see a performance from the crowd. Hands were shaken and moves conjured out of no choice of their own. The club was blowing up, track after track, step after step.
Then the main room beckoned. Ben UFO- the man who has made a name for his lack of track production, was unleashing hell. In a DJ set that ranged from snare drum laden house, to remixes of Technotronic’s ‘Pump up the Jam’, to dark, dystopian techno tracks- Ben UFO really had it going.UFO has made a name for himself with his mixing skills alone. Respect where respect is due- his bizarre set was one of the most entertaining ever witnessed. It was a flavoursome episode, contrasted perfectly with the intense visuals, sweeping lasers and pressurised smoke. The smoke filled the floor and for a minute, the only sense of reality came from the lasers that pursued me in the dark.
It was time for the main event:
Robert Greene wrote in his seminal work ‘Mastery’ that in order to attain masterdom in a particular trade, skill or endeavour; one must be engage in such a pursuit for 10,000 hours.
If this is to be considered, then Sven Väth must certainly be described as a Master craftsman – a spectacular DJ. Affectionately known as ‘Papa’, Väth has been in business of mixing records for over 30 years. Despite the moniker, Väth harnesses a special connection with music that many young producer and DJs struggle to emulate.
Papa was in high sprits. The first numbers in his set were that of the melodic variety. This progressed rapidly into raw techno deep cuts. Pretty soon the main room was heaving. The dancers were now six strong, each holding a letter of the word C O C O O N. A fantastic experience in the world of techno parties is the ability to say so much with so little. This refers to the utilisation of minimal tracks played at the right decibel. In Amnesia they care not for health and safety. It is pure rock and roll, as the speakers were nearly twice what they are in the UK clubbing world. Yet, the ears that rang in the next afternoon were well worth it.
5am – The music was twice as heavy now. So heavy the room shook. I nearly spilled my €15 beer. I observed some unique dance moves. The rhythm- oddly satisfying. Väth was playing tectonic records, showcasing his immense skills in blending and track selection. The faces of the crowd were priceless and perhaps incriminating in some corners of the globe. Industrial sounds were creeping into Amnesia, as the party showed no signs of stopping. It was 6am, as Väth unfurled a mass of kitchen-roll from the decks throughout the room. It passed about the room beside a dwarf, dressed in a robot suit who was aboard a stage with a cane. The dancers held their letters up high. Smoke poured in as the hanging rings lit up- this was the eye of the storm.
The oldest party on the island. The experience to match it. One of the finest dance experiences on earth. The butterfly unfurled, I will take its image with me wherever I go from now to the grave.
Learn more about the man himself and the exciting history of Cocoon in the video below:
All photos and videos taken by the author.