Overseas already posted a review of Cocoon in August last year, shortly after the club first opened. Last week myself, AliW and another friend visited Overseas in Frankfurt to see it out for ourselves. Frankfurt was cold (-8 degrees Celsius) but Sven Väth's new Frankfurt club Cocoon was smoking hot when we paid a visit last Friday to check out Richie Hawtin play at the regular "Organic Electronics" night there.
Cocoon is a medium-to-large purpose-built venue with a capacity of 1500 to perhaps 2000. There are a couple of restaurants, a bar and a spacious lounge area attached to the main corridor which surrounds the main dance floor at the centre of the club. The first thing that struck me was the attention to detail throughout the club, from vending machines embedded in the walls selling beer and soft drinks, to fascinating, if slightly eery 3-dimensional green holographic art-work displayed in the main corridor, to the "cocoons" embedded in the walls of the club forming seating areas where groups could sit down take a breather whilst still enjoying the music. The staff were without exception polite and helpful, not to mention (fortunately for us) multilingual - as the crowd was very cosmopolitan with Scots, Belgians, Dutch and English mingling with the locals.
The care and attenton to detail extends to the 700 thousand euro custom Steve Dash sound system, which ranks to close to best that I've ever had the pleasure of hearing - namely, Fabric and Space (Ibiza, not Miami). Hawtin really cranked up the levels at points during his set (in fact, the sound was much louder than usual according to Overseas) but there was never even a hint of distortion, with bass and treble remaining crystal clear even at the loudest points during the night.
Toni Rios (one of Cocoon's residents) kicked the evening off with a slower set to get the crowd warmed up, Richie Hawtin came on at about 2am, playing an interesting set which contained a lot of variation, from glitchy-minimal in places to bassline drops (Roman Flügel's "Geht's Noch", for example) roaring in. It did seem as though he lost the flow a couple of times when he slowed the pace down, although he regrouped swiftly and immediately picked up the pace - and the crowd - aagain each time. Overall the set was much less intense than for example, the back-to-back set he played with Ricardo Villalobos at London's Fabric in December last year with a bouncier, more acid-inflected techno sound. Other than a slight glitch near the beginning, the mixing was - as indeed one might expect - immaculate.
Toni Rios took the decks again when Hawtin finished at between 6 and 6.30am, picking up very smoothly from where Hawtin's set had ended and closing out with a far more enjoyable set which included a couple of favourites - Isolee's "Beau Montage" and (unexpectedly) Zoot Woman - "Grey Day" at about 7.30am.
Musically the evening was good, although not - as indeed Andreas had warned us might be the case - not as intense an atmosphere as we had perhaps been hoping for. The real star of the evening for us however was the Cocoon Club itself. Whether you agree or not with the more upscale market which Sven Väth is clearly targetting with his creation, Cocoon is in my opinion definitely a worthy addition to the ranks of Europe's very finest dance music clubs.
And of course with this review ... you get some < PICTURES >... taken by AliW and myself. I was pretty damned pleased how well my camera-phone pix (taken with a Motorola RAZR) came out. " />
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