Ben Coates on 1/8/11
Cocoon has long been an outlet to look to for the ‘current sound’ of heavyweight techno and (in more recent years) house. Over the last decade, thanks to their ever flourishing summer parties in Ibiza, boutique festivals in Europe and of course “Papa Sven’s” infectious apatite for partying, the brand has grown into one of electronic music’s major forces. Amongst the artist albums, mix compilations and EPs, an annual release the label has pioneered since its beginnings is the ‘letter compilation series’. The comps have included music from artists such as Ricardo Villalobos, DJ Hell, Steve Bug and Loco Dice to name but a few. It’s not only the big guns the series showcases though, like its predecessors this years compilation ‘K’ offers a collection tracks produced by scene veterans, label favourites as well as some relative ‘up and coming’ artists.
Kicking off things 20-year-old David August’s True Romance is fitting reflection of the sound of ‘trendy house music’ in 2011. With its low slung bassline , chuggy groove and disco drenched-acidic tinge it will please fans of Hot Natured and the like. There’s no doubt that it will become a firm favourite within the more ‘hip’ parties this summer.
There’s been a rise in the prominence of Female DJ/Producers of late and ‘K’ features two ladies at the top of the house & techno scene music. Siberian DJ/Producer and singer Nina Kraviz deliver’s some of her trademark hypnotic beats and vocals with W-Bleu; sleek deep house reminiscent of a classic Perlon cut. Whilst a women who made a name for herself seven years ago on Cocoon with the unforgettable Acid In My Fridge, Dinky, offers, Luvin; a slice of smooth house with a pop sensibility prefect for a Balearic soundtrack.
One of this years standout artists Eric Estorne aka Maceo Plex appears on the compilation under his Maetrik guise. Having almost carved out a niche of his own, fusing original, soulful vocals with futuristic beats Estorne continues to shine with Caught Between.
Innervisions stalwart Henrik Schwarz is known for his impressive live sets and Now This Way has the feel it could have been the results of an improvised live jam with its infectious energy and interesting arrangement.
Propping up the albums techno credibility Argy’s excellent The Thrust is a driving, energetic affair with a catchy vocal refrain and menacing synth. Matt John delivers the albums wonkyiest cut in shape of Blue Storm, optimising why his music works so well on Berlin’s Bar 25 label.
Christian Burkhardt & Einzelkind (Icon) and Sascha Dive (New Frontiers) provide dance floor fodder whilst No Worries man Butch has another terrace bomb on his hands with Antique. Cue hands in the air as the air horn plays out.
The albums penultimate track is a real gem from Rush Hour golden boy Tom Trago. Fith Fase is deep, percussive and hypnotic. It brings some understated class to album. Sweedish duo and Cocoon regulars, Minilogue, end the cd on a deeper note with the melancholic Blessed, a deep work that is a fitting end to the comp.
Distinctly deeper than pervious ‘letter series compilations’ ‘K’ may not tickle the techno purist there’s no denying the quality of the music on offer. You would be hard pushed to find a more accurate representation of the sound’s that will be dominating dance floors this summer confined to a single CD. A solid release from Sven Vath’s ever expanding stable.
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