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Review: Cocoon at Amnesia, 20th July

Did Villalobos deliver and take back his crown?

Ricardo Villalobos has endured a fair amount of scrutiny over the past few weeks for a set at Cocoon in the Park UK which disgruntled more than a few of those in attendance. This week he was back at the safe haven of his Ibiza residency at Cocoon in Amnesia and we thought it was due time to see what all the fuss was about. Were the rumours true? Had the king been dethroned?

Cocoon has always held a special spot in my heart as I look back on the countless memories of sweaty nights and heavy dancing to what was often the most cutting edge in music on the island. Going to Cocoon really feels like you're going home to a familiar place, back to the mothership, engulfed by the walls of Amnesia, wrapped by the gentle folds of music which create the Cocoon.

The terrace was layered with ambient strobe lights giving colour to all corners of the club, complimenting the vivid set that Sonja Moonear was delivering with her swift track changes in the realm of tech house underground. As the basslines rolled over us the crowd relished in the dark, preparing to let out their inner beast.

Before we got stuck in the Terrace in anticipation of Villalobos, we pulled ourselves away from miss Moonear and headed straight into the warm embrace of Patrick Topping and Eats Everything playing back-to-back. The crowd in the main room was absolutely lapping up everything that was dished out including a track that nudged towards the sounds of psy with the fitting title A Small Entrance To A Large Spectrum by Nicole.

A few basslines further and we forward marched straight towards the front lines of Villalobos. His set started off in his usual haphazard way, yet he mastered it with such a finesse and subtlety that you found yourself in the deep trances of some darker storyline. Layers and layers of bass crashed over me vibrating every inch of my body as everyone let loose to the music. And then it was all aboard the Musik Xpress by X-Press 2 as we chanted along to the hypnotising track "music, music, music" and in the end, that's really what it is all about at Cocoon. Villalobos has never been one to be afraid to change musical directions as he amplified his minimal tech house sounds with groovy instrumentals and synthy vocals that drifted in and out over the heavy basslines.

Under the hues of red and blue the dancers were given their moment of glory as they held up the Cocoon sign on a podium in the middle of the room, they looked as glamorous and amazonian as ever, sparkling away in their glitzy dresses. We were there to see if Villalobos would deliver, and like the trooper that he is, I'm glad to report back that he was on top form all the way to the finish line.


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