A generally thoughtful 17-track collection, aiming to unlock minds by extolling the virtues of dance floor dehydration inside the Cocoon bubble, is the outline for what are slightly low key celebrations. Far from being an oversized retrospective — okay, some merchandise bonuses are added for the occasion, and Cocoon fans are never far from a new release anyway — it’s an onward and upward declaration from Sven Väth, planning the label’s next hundred-strong discography upon the techno institution receiving its ton-up telegram.
As to whether it should have gone all out on the catalogue classics blueprint, or at least included a mixed format, at the very least there are big names to mark a big deal. But reading beyond the headliners is where the compilation makes more of the anniversary. Out of the concentration searching for both oxygen and daylight, where veins bulge at the temple but composure never deserts, Sante & Frank Lorber methodically get window panes quivering. Timo Maas is in grouchy, bass is my master mood, Pig & Dan operate between both of these giving the neighbours what for, and Minilogue turn a foam party into a smothering, stifling swamp of techno worry as physical pressure is added to your cranium. Dominik Eulberg and Secret Cinema hold instructions to the lighting of a blue touch paper for the birthday cake candles.
Antoine Husson’s greatest trick would be to put the two parts of the dancefloor he separates back together like a member of the magic circle, fooling those thinking that it can’t be done. Electro and tech-snipped house both deep and combative are the big deal here, but with a jumble of beats also in attendance, the two don’t mesh well enough to validate any nip and tuck, back and forth, or high to low pressure situations the French authority puts forward.
Reeled off one after the other, the big room kickers make for a steaming great set of dancefloor force and contours. “The Rave Child,” a flare-up of steadily released euphoria, and “Lili” finishing as a ruminative quest for hope, are the kind of variation that fits. That the beastly spines of “Silky” and tech house gruel of art/life imitations “Irritated” and “Lowd” find themselves dropping back towards “Airy Filed”, with its acoustics and accordions, and “Saturn” lessening with pale pianos, is Husson not being terribly protective of the vibe he’s built up.
“To Sail”, in the hands of recurring smoothie Gran Cavaliere and set to a sub-western soundtrack, is quite dramatic, but is a distant relative scooped up by the throbbing thunder of “The Four Keys”, in one of the album’s less logical sequences. Harsh/greedy as it sounds, it’s a house and techno album that needs more house and techno to guarantee a good thing.
File under: D’Jedi, Laurent Garnier, Maxime Dangles