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Väth and Hawtin take Cocoon on a legendary night

The 20th anniversary continues into birthday week six.

Celebrating its 20th year of existence as one of the most respected techno parties on the planet, this past Monday night at Cocoon sounded irresistible to my ears.

Party founder Sven Väth and his guest Richie Hawtin were the main protagonists behind the Amnesia terrace decks. This made 5 August an early entry into my 2019 diary. It would turn out to be my first ever venture to a Cocoon event.

If, like me, you are a relative newcomer to the cult of Cocoon - let's take a little history lesson.

Throwing it back to the year of 1999, where a bright-eyed Sven Väth ignited what we now recognise as his 20-year party legacy. Cocoon - and the successful underground label that soon followed - has since become an Ibizan institution.

During the early years of the party, Sven invited a young Richie Hawtin to play his first gig on Ibiza. It would be one of many catalysts that helped the legend of Cocoon grow.

In that historic moment, the gesture of offering the fellow techno purveyor a slot to play this new party would define the Cocoon that we know and love today. Richie's dates always capture the imagination of the Cocoon faithful and are always amongst the most attended.

With just the one confirmed appearance at the party in 2019, it gave the night an added layer of gloss.

As the years passed, the party grew and established its place as a global leader in the scene, all the while harbouring an unflagging affinity for its roots here on Ibiza.

Now well in the thick of its 20th season on Ibiza and reunited with Amnesia, Cocoon has kept loyal fans coming back for more every and every installment. As Papa says himself, "here's to another 20 years."

History lesson over, here is what went down when the iconic duo reunited and led Cocoon on one of the busiest Mondays of summer.


Rocking up to Amnesia at midnight, Sven flexed one of Cocoon's old-school charms of allocating DJs longer sets. More time to get experimental on the decks, which is what we like to see. He even did the gentlemanly thing of pulling early duties and handing Richie the peak time slot.

Already from soon after doors open, a rapturous crowd was aligning on the dancefloor. The masses were ready to get down to the dirty beats Sven had in store.

Taking a moment to look around and absorb the techno realm, I was caught off guard by the majestic jellyfish props hanging from the ceiling. With their flashing light tentacles, it's what I imagine the deepest corner of creativity in Sven Väth's mind looks like.

I waded through the crowd to get right up amongst the unifying atmosphere. Slowly, I let myself slip into Sven's hypnotic ways.

Proving he is a consummate selector, he took things back to the sounds around the turn of the millenium. The sound at this time flourished in high pitched depleted electro beats, yet they sounded fresh as ever off a Technic 1200.

In this whirlwind of reminiscing, Papa Sven kept us right in the here and now with the pounding techno beats that shook Amnesia to its core. What an experience.

For the alert ears in the crowd, you may have picked up on areas of the mixes where Sven drew on his early trance days. He played tracks that featured euphoric vocals, signature to the genre. Not only a master selector, but a master of method.

Known for being a life-long vinyl phile, he came across as totally authentic in his DJing technique. Whereby closing my eyes, I could picture the work his hands were doing on the decks.

Carefully sliding in International Anything's track Like This Girl, he worked the puzzle of zorbing effects in the production to his advantage. Next, he tantalisingly isolating the highs, following up with a killer drop.

Dragging myself away from the terrace for a swift moment, I headed to the club room to seek out what madness was going on there.

Dana Ruh and Dorian Paic were closing their back-to-back set with some funky little numbers such as DJ Soch's The Mother (Bassa Clan Remix). A nice heavy bass beat is what we live for.

Handing over to live maestro Gaiser, the American has been a hot topic on Richie Hawtin's Minus label for most of his career. From what we heard, we can understand why Gaiser is another pioneer in creating the unimaginable.

Pinching myself to check this wasn't a dream, we grabbed a quick breath of fresh air before heading back in time to catch the remainder of Sven's set.

Everyone was still in such high spirits as the hours passed. Innealla's Anailuj was next to get the Sven Väth treatment, dropping the volume to minimal level for the naked ear before banging out yet another pounding drop.

Leading on nicely to an effect I can only describe as a spinning roulette of beats, he introduced Amada Twins' remix of Roar by Patrice Baümel. What a reaction this tune derived from the crowd.

Bring on Richie Hawtin

Our sadness that Sven was spinning his final tracks was quickly remedied by the arrival of his good friend, Richie Hawtin.

Richie wasted no time in getting straight down to business, instantly starting to fire out those heavy techno beats - the kind that make the hair stick up on the back of your neck stand on end.

His style completely juxtaposed Sven's set, yet equally complemented it. Similar enough to carry on the flow of the night, but different enough to keep our attention fixated on the music. Perfection.

Bringing in those unmistakable sounds of the Detroit 90's underground scene, he kept the crowd thriving off of the energy of the night into the early hours of the morning. We even poked our head in back next door, and was taken aback that another Cocoon mainstay - Ilario Alicante - had just as much of an audience in the club room.

Despite the heavy billing on the terrace, it would seem that dance floors in both rooms would remain busy right until the last track.

Back on the terrace, a highlight for me was Martin Eyerer's What We Fear. Even listening back to it now typing this article, I'm instantly transported back to the images of masses of hands punching in the air.

I have said it once and will most likely say it again, but Cocoon satisfied the soul that night. I hadn't wanted to leave. I might even go as far to proclaim it was my favourite party of the summer so far.

PHOTOGRAPHY | by David Holderbach

If the sounds of Sven Väth and friends is your kinds of groove, then make sure to check out our Cocoon Spotify playlist. It includes all our favourite tracks played at the party so far this year.

Who knows how many Hawtin and Väth Cocoon moments we have left to savour? But here's to many more in the years to come. We'll cherish each new one as lovingly as the passed ones.

Cocoon20 continues a week Monday, on 19 August where Sven will be joined by Bicep and DJ Koze. For more information on tickets and those all important line-ups, head below.

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