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Review: Cocoon at Tipic Formentera, 23rd July

Formentera is an island of treasures. Turquoise seas, white sands, delicious local food and Sven Väth’s Cocoon party at Tipic. The Ibiza Spotlight team descended for a trail from the sandy shores to the cores of techno.

Ferry. Foray. Feast. Fiesta. These were the quarter-pounder parts that fleshed out the Ibiza Spotlight clubbing team's downward directed adventure to Formentera, with its Cocoon party at Tipic being the aim of our hedonistic game. Formentera, hailed as the little sister of Ibiza, with a head count of 10,000 compared to Ibiza's dizzying 100,000+ is holding its sandy shored ground on the clubbers' trail away from the colossal masses - and we descended for a sample.

First off, if you haven't scored this one off the Balearic stack, you're in for a treasurable treat. You don't have to air-hike it to the Caribbean to experience crystalline turquoise water perfect for snorkeling and arcing white sands for casual strolls. Formentera cuts it as having some of the best beaches in not just Europe, but the circumference of planet earth. Impressive. The island's tranquil beauty hits you instantly, and for this reason it would be a waste of a trip not to explore what this side of the island has to offer on top of its increasingly talked about nightlife scene.

Pit-stopping along one side of its twelve-mile coastline, we then bare hoofed it across Illetes (treacherous, big toe stub threatening ground) to take in encircling views of the island and the hundreds of unique pyramid-esque stone pile structures visitors have left behind. Now at a certain tip of Formentera the water is just about shallow enough all the way across to put your webbed toes onto another part of the isle, Espalmador. If you're a tall-headed ceiling hitter, this can be done with barely a front stroke. If you're vertically challenged, be prepared to swap sea stone hopping and strong strokes to make it across. We all piled in, bags above heads, feeling pretty optimistic. That was washed away fast, my head nearly completely submerged, blanket round my head totally drenched and like everyone else, I didn't fancy bouncin' about under water level with my canvas bag taking the place of my face. Turning back, some took one for the team and stayed with the goods so the rest could make it across and wax lyrical about the feat.

Consider it a Balearic boot camp. Crawling and floating over and through the best of what nature has going on before doing the same through the best of what machinery has to offer - techno bass. A munch was on the cards before that could happen with any conviction and Es Pujols, one of the most vibrant tourist hotspots on the island and home to Tipic, was our knife and fork cutting destination. Stomachs filled and lined with everything from spaghetti to schnitzels, techno was now on topic at Tipic.

Tipic's cool status stretches back to its 1971 launch, opening its doors for the first time to Pink Floyd. Now a multi-level intimate holding which stylishly fuses the old and the new, it is submerged in dance culture. Dixon, Mano Le Tough, and of course Papa Sven himself, are big names who have already laid it on thick this season. In store for us was a full-on Italian session with Ilario Alicante and Hunter/Game taking stock of the sound.

Doors were open at 1am and the club and open-air area were filled on the rapid. A big part of the magic of this place, and many a small venue, is how close you feel to everything and everyone. The DJ booth and the man of the machine can be right in front of you without having to elbow through rows and rows of clubbers and a fiercely stonkin' sound system means you're hearing the same whammy of power throughout the clubber-dome firetrap. There is a couple of structure holding pillars which did stand in the way a bit if you ended up behind them, but, what you gonna do? Maybe you're into slinking behind pillars.

Great crowd, all muckers as up for it as the next ally, soakin' it in. And soakin' it in was in there a'plenty. I felt like I'd bought a fast-track ticket to the afterlife on hearing the bass building, synth scaping, melody mounting dancefloor destroyer that is Nathan Fake's The Sky Was Pink (James Holden remix). Never heard this bad boy out, so I was about 150/10 on the euphoric scale at this slam down and I'd put a safe bet on at the bookies that this feeling was a shared one. Bringing through the emotional sensibilities with sweeping lyrical layers was Radiohead's Everything in its Right Place (Gigamesh remix). Taking it back to the purist of techno, Hinz & Ruhmhardt's Doch - a shin grinding kick-drummed, hi-hat and snare beauty. A big booted boost back into the afterlife. Curveballs…let's give a couple of seconds to the curve of the ball. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – a Daft Punk triumph amongst triumphs – was thrown into the pit and launched about like a welcomed slamming of dodgeball. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

In a call back to Tipic's history with Pink Floyd, it was 'Absolutely Curtains' for us and time for a daylight broken ferrying home, care of Aquabus, with Es Vedra appearing beneath the arc of a faded rainbow, just in case the spectacular dawn over the ocean wasn't enough. If sea, sand, adventure and techno is what you line your stationery box with, then this is your bag. You don't have to stub your big toes and try and fail at impersonating a poor man's Jesus across water. The beaches are heavenly and the music is Godly. Having a good time here needn't be a commandment.


WORDS | Aimee Lawrence PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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