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Cocoon grand opening party metamorphosis at Pacha

With intrigue surrounding the switch of the decade, here's everything you need to know about Cocoon at Pacha.

Back in October, few could have predicted that Cocoon would be starting its 19th season on the island at a new home after 18 defining years. Yet, as we know, that's exactly what came to pass. Last night, we got to see the result of this astral realignment.

That the severance of that relationship came seemingly out the blue, made the split all the more raw amongst Cocoon's faithful. Although the pairing of Cocoon and Pacha may initially seem uncanny, best believe it has been a careful and considered move from both parties.

Arguably the biggest change on the island since we waved goodbye to Space, the switch was surrounded by a wealth of intrigue, making us all the more eager to see Cocoon at its new home. Come Wednesday 30 May, we simply weren't going to be anywhere else.


New beginnings

When we arrived, Kristian of Âme was already in the thick of his set, doing what he does best: playing obscure deep house, bootlegs and rare records. The dance floor was rammed.

Unlike some of the early season crowds at Pacha, this felt more like business restored. The true clubbers were out in force. Whether they were there out of intrigue, loyalty or a combination of both, no disputing that this was a knowledgeable and fervent crowd.

As is par for the course with Kristian, track ID is decidedly difficult, though we managed to pick out a few: Tiga & Clarian's You're So Special and the Red Axes' remix of Dino Lenny I Feel Stereo.

When Solomun turns up to a party on his night off, you know that something special is going down. Kristian then dropped Butch Countach – not the only time we would hear it over the course of the night, we suspected.

By the time Sven Väth appeared in the DJ booth, the dance floor was baying for him. Papa Sven's first track was Patrice Bäumel's The Hatchet, as he took control of the decks from Kristian.

The volume subsided for a brief second until our talisman continued with Fabrice Lig's Dark Commodore. Here we go.


The face that fits

Décor, crowd, dancers and lights come together in poetic symmetry. The kinetic flow of energy is visual.

The Cocoon logo taking pride of place behind the DJ booth and the ‘O' mobiles hanging from the ceiling. And then there was Sven at the epicentre, holding vinyl aloft and waving it to the crowd. It all felt so familiar.

This didn't feel like party #001 – it felt like a party in free flow, settled and absolutely in the right place, though it should come as little surprise. Sven has been made to feel very at home at Pacha these past few years.

His head was no doubt turned by the reception of his guest appearances at +1 in previous seasons - that, and the opportunity of more regular daytime soirees at Pacha-owned Destino, a venue dear to his heart.


Let's talk about the music

From tonight and his three previous outings on the island in the early season, we are already starting to get a feel for several of Sven's go-to tracks.

Stephan Bodzin's Strand, Margot's Salsce and ANNA's acid odyssey Hidden Beauty are all current favourites in his treasure trove of wax.

These were mixed seamlessly between the likes of Radio Slave's The Reverse, KiNK's Five and Gregor Tresher's Substance. Plus, as expected, we got a reprieve of Countach.

Though, if we had to pick a highlight, it'd be Robert Hood's seismic Red Machine – registering a straight five on the Richter scale.

For more sounds straight from Papa Sven and co, head here for our Cocoon Spotify playlist.


Cocoon metamorphises

On this evidence, any reservations Cocoon's faithful might have will be allayed. This is a new phase of Cocoon, but a Cocoon that retains its vibe, ethos and character.

Sven, more than anybody else, knows all about the power of rebirth. From being at the forefront of the German trance movement in the late 80s, to pop stardom in his homeland as a member of OFF. Then later becoming the figurehead of all-encompassing techno entity Cocoon, he has reinvented himself time and time again.

Lest we forget, the party itself borrows its name from the pupate stage between differing states. Transformation is ingrained in its identity.

Stagnation is deadly. Embrace change, or get left behind. In the period following the announcement, Sven spoke of the need to keep evolving, on Ibiza more than anywhere. The only constant is change.

Echoing Charles Darwin's survival of the fittest, it is not the strongest of the species that survive, but those most adaptable to change.

Cocoon metamorphises from a big room techno event to a boutique techno night. As it comes of age, the original techno night already feels perfectly at home at Pacha. It's clearly going to be a ritual of habit amongst a sizeable contingent on the island.

Here's to the next 18 Wednesdays holed up in Pacha. The metamorphosis is complete.


Next week Sven Väth is joined by Gerd Janson, Digby and Janina while the following sees a special funk and disco all-night-long set in Room 2 by Carl Craig. No matter the night, as any techno connoisseur will tell you, you are in for a musical treat.

See below for full weekly details then see you on that dance floor.

Photography | Michael Tomlinson, Fernando Valencia

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