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Sven Vath, no1 DJ and owner of Cocoon Recordings, talks to Trackitdown!

Reported by Kris [] on November 24, 2006

Sven Väth (sometimes Sven Vaeth), born October 26, 1964 near Frankfurt, Germany, is a DJ who has produced a large body of work since his career began in 1982. He was also one of the founders of legendary trance music labels Harthouse and the now-defunct Eye Q, as well as being among the very first DJs to play trance records.

Väth is also known as R U Ready and Sam Vision. He has been a member of the groups 16 Bit, Astral Pilot, Barbarella, The Essence of Nature, Metal Master, Metal Masters, Mosaic, and Off. Today he is the owner of the Cocoon Event Media GmbH, which contains his new Label, Cocoon Recordings. He is also the owner of the Cocoon Club in Frankfurt.

TID: You are about to release the seventh part of “The sound of”, of course with Cocoon Recordings. That’s a yearly compilation of those songs which marked you most during your summer in Ibiza. Which of all would you point out?

Sven: This is difficult to say... Cobblestone Jazz and Solid Groove definitely belong to the Ibiza highlights 2006, as well as Heartthrob and the tracks by Guy Gerber.

TID: We can find songs by Heartthob, Agoria, Trentemoller, among many others… Can one say that reflects a great tendency to minimal?

Sven: Well, for me, this isn't Minimal at all. I think, we have some very good Techno tracks here, well and ready produced. These tunes don't really correspond with what I would call 'Minimal'.

TID: Do you have any idea of which will be your next release?

Sven Vath in actionSven: No. At the moment, 'The Sound of the Seventh Season' is the main thing and I fully concentrate on my upcoming World Tour next year. However, on Cocoon Recordings, there are several really hot records coming out still this year: a great tune by Adam Proll called 'Hummel', a new track by our recent discovery Guy Gerber, together with his production partner Shlomi Aber: 'After Love', and we have a new record by our producer duo from Mallorca, Pig & Dan. The track is called 'After Ibiza', and the White Island had really a big influence on this one... All this comes out in November, also a re-release of the Fuckaponydelic track 'Switch the Lights'. In December, we release a new 12" by David K called 'Tender and Sugar '.

TID: Your label Cocoon is a reference for worldwild labels. And, by the way, you care for your image very much. What is your role in the label? Are you in charge of conceiving the releases?

Sven: Yes, I'm the A&R of the label. Every track that we release is chosen and approved by me. I'm also involved in the process of the cover design, or, in case of bigger productions, the promotion campaign and the merchandise we produce. That's very important for me, I want everything to be perfect and I like developing ideas about covers and so on. Of course, I also have a small but competent team at my side, and together, we do a great job, I think.

TID: Is it you who selects the artists you book?

Sven: In the case of CocoonClub Ibiza at Amnesia, I often have already a rough idea about the line up, but, of course, my team in Ibiza is also involved in setting up the line up and finetuning it.

TID: Cocoon nights in Amnesia, Ibiza, have had an average of 4000 visitors, and they where on Monday. The closing day, 8000 people!!! What do you offer to reach such a fidelity (through many years) from the people?

Sven: My original intention was always to bring the Cocoon Sound to Ibiza, it all started in 1999 with four events. Cocoon attracted many international guests and also the locals, the Ibicencos as well as the Spanish, liked us from the very beginning, and that simply got around and the crowd grew from year to year. Another reason is for sure the incredibly big creative output coming from Germany - the island was ready for a change, so to speak. There was no party on the island where this sound was as present as it was in our parties. I can only say, the crowd appreciated that, and for me, it's not surprising that other promoters now hook up this sound – after Cocoon's success, this was almost clear...

The music is by all means the heart of it all, but one shall not forget the other important sensual delights, such as our dancers, the visuals and costumes, the décor and a well-rehearsed professional production team.
We live what we do, especially myself. That is what people recognise and appreciate. Each artist who plays at CocoonClub Ibiza stands for him- or herself, and we strongly support what they are doing. This, in combination with lifestyle is the reason for our credibility.

TID: You are one of the most important artists in world electronic music. Can you explain us a bit of these feeling?

Sven: After 25 years, DJing is still what my lionheart beats for, and everything that developed and emerged was the result of hard work, done by a great team. In the meantime, Cocoon has grown to a medium-sized company, and that means that economic questions have to be considered. I definitely feel great responsibility for my team, and yes, that's true: It's great to be famous, but when you do love a thing and really want to bring this up to new heights, it is always strongly related with responsibility.

Your Club Cocoon in Frankfurt is as well a quality reference in all avant-garde aspects.

TID: Did you have any models you learn from in order to set it up? What about the idea of the restaurants?

Sven: Well, I would not say that there was one specific model for the CocoonClub. it's more the result of the many experiences I made throughout the years in different clubs, restaurants or hotels all over the world – some good, some not so good, but all experiences were incorporated in the Club. We wanted to create a totally new space for sound, light and pleasure, and so, copying something already existing was never our aim. And I strongly believe that we succeeded in creating something really new and fascinating, because the concept for the Club came directly from our hearts and minds.
The idea behind the Micro Restaurant was to form a room where one can enjoy a high quality meal while listening to club music. Later on, the restaurant slowly transforms into a real night club, the restaurant guests mix with the club guests (or turn into club guests), all this within an organic and futuristic ambiance.

The Silk BedRestaurant is a seperated area, all in white and pink, where our guests enjoy the ultimate experience of taste and pleasure, being located in a bed and being served a ten course set meal by our three star chef Mario Lohninger.

Of course, both restaurants are equipped with DJ consoles, at the Micro, we play everything from Tech-House, House, Electro, Soul, Funk, R'n'B and many more, depending on the night you are visiting. In the Silk, the sound is more ambient and world-music-like.

TID: What do you think of the actual scene in Germany and specifically in Frankfurt?

Sven: Germany has always been tremendously influential on electronic music, and is in my opinion still one of the most important countries for this kind of music – not that other countries don't have great artists, DJs and producers – far from it! But the fact that many international artists are influenced by german electronica - some even move to Germany because of the inspiration – shows that somehow, here are the roots. The music has developed over the years, of course, and is still developing - also through the influence of international artists.
Frankfurt is a stronghold of electronic music since the early eighties, and the scene is still very vital and has originated many great and influential DJs and producers like Ricardo Villalobos, Anthony Rother, Alter Ego, Heiko Laux or Johannes Heil, just to name a few. Also the club scene has always set certain standards of clubbing with venues like Dorian Gray, Vogue, XS or Omen. Today, the city is still well represented by clubs such as Robert Johnson or the CocoonClub.

TID: You have played worldwide. Which places have been the most special for you?

Sven: The very special places for me have always been Ibiza, Japan and Germany.

TID: Spain has a high level electronic scene. Could you please you outline your favourite club and festival?

Sven: In Spain, my favourite places to play are the Amnesia in Ibiza, the Cocoon Nights at Macumba in Madrid, Florida 135 in Fraga and the Los Monegros Festival, but I also liked the other places where I played in Spain so far.