- Along with Sven Väth's own Sound of the Season mix, the annual Cocoon compilation serves as a heady summary of Väth's famed tastemaking for the summer's busy festival and club season. But where his Ibiza mixes capture the what-was of a bygone season—more historical document than soothsayer's claim—Väth's Cocoon comps aim to predict at least a few barnstormers for the season to come. And, to be honest, not many labels do it better. Under his guidance, Cocoon's track record for cherry-pickin' stands on its own two: Roman Flügel's "Geht's Noch?," Dinky's "Acid in My Fridge," and Guy Gerber and Shlomi Aber's "Sea of Sand" are just a sampling of the tunes to which the label's staked an early claim. So the Cocoon Compilation is ever the welcome staple, a time-stamping of place and sound for the forthcoming season.
As an annual attempt to capture the scents in the summer air, perhaps it's no surprise that, I, the ninth installment of the series, finds the famed Frankfurt techno label's nose attuned to, well, what else? House music. If E was split between hot-blooded techno and the fluorescent trance that the label would continue to explore on F, I expands that bridge toward warm-up house touchstones the label's often overlooked in the past in favor of the peak. Tobi Neumann and partner Matthew Styles debut as eMT with "Extra Lunch," a bloated morning-starter with stubby synth stabs and strobe-lit vocal samples, while Lauhaus offer up moist suntime anthemics with the wistful "Back to Ipanema." An early standout, Secret Cinema's "Kurzweil" melds svelte house with 3-D psychedelic touchstones; its velvety synth washes and strings keep the track buoyant against its brassy bottom. A welcome roster addition, Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts' turn up with "Night In Køge," six-plus sax-blurting minutes of slinky, jazzy Latinism.
But even with its introductory house-bent, Cocoon's still most notable with its shirt off, and I offers several gems for harder, blacker hours. With a warbling organ part and elephant-funk beat, Radio Slave's Cocoon debut, "Na Undl," is both unhinged and bright in the eye, a derelict that doesn't laugh so much as smirk in the dark out of sight. Likewise Chymera's "Fierenix" follows a muscular circling synth pattern into another of his old-school playtime bits, with soft, smeary washes that take the bite out for a moment before settling back into peak-heat.
Mannheim's Johnny D's "Brasil" layers tangled tribal percussion over blurry, funhouse mumbling that makes your average Cadenza track sound two-button-suited and nine-to-five, and Kabuto & Koji's expertly titled "Drunken Slumber" is Cocoon at its most numbing and superficially engaging, a pattering nu-trance melody and slow pools of static wound around the simplest rhythms; it's hypnotic kosmische by way of Ibiza: a 3 AM drive without destination. Like much of Cocoon I, whether you're club-bound or home with your heels up, it's a compelling creation on what is perhaps the label's best yearly entry since F.
01. Emt - Extra Lunch
02. Lauhaus - Back To Ipanema
03. Secret Cinema - Kurzweil
04. Gaiser - Am I
05. Tim Green & Emerson Todd - Exercise
06. Radio Slave - Na Und!
07. Timo Maas - Jetstream
08. Chymera - Fierenix
09. Johnny D - Brasil
10. Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Night In Køge
11. Kabuto & Koji - Drunken Slumber
12. Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Dead Room