Cocoon In The Park 2017 review

Jack Law returned to Cocoon In The Park in Leeds to catch sets from Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriati and of course, the mighty Sven Vath.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 20th Jul 2017.
Originally published: 14th Jul 2017

Take a look through the Skiddle review archives and you’ll find that since Cocoon In The Park launched in 2009, we’ve barely missed an episode. Why? Because year on year, the day festival consistently serves to be one of the highlights, if not the highlight of the clubbing calendar. Whatever the lineup and whatever the weather, it has to be noted CITP is always a winner. 

That said, after last year’s line up catered more towards a flavour of deep house, it was a pleasant surprise to see the direction steered vigorously back in line with the techno roots of the Cocoon label. And whilst Papa Sven was of course on hand to to represent his much loved brand, longtime friend Adam Beyer had been invited along to inject the heavy sound of Drumcode. 

As per, the months leading up to the event meant for a healthy injection of anticipation, that natural tonic our brain prescribes in the run up to the exciting things in life, to give us a well needed boost through the more mundane. Come rain or shine we were ready to delve into the charming surroundings of the Temple Newsam estate. Yet on the eve of proceedings one final weather check confirmed it was to be the latter.  

We arrived as Joseph Capriati took the reigns at 3pm. The feeling of setting foot back into the park was as always a warm and fuzzy one, enriched by the site of System’s jaw dropping October lineup (Richie Hawtin and Sonja Moonear in Mint Club, we kid you not!) A few expletives and deep breaths later, we remembered where we were.

Capriati worked through deep groovy rollers, keeping things tamer than what might be expected for the Italian techno maestro, in theme with the sun shining above. Growling noises created an underlying darkness, whilst gorgeous synths laced over rolling basslines. Puzzled yet interested faces humoured Rozalla’s ‘Everybody’s Free’ acapella before the deeper voice of DFX echoed ‘Relax Your Body, Relax Your Soul’, not the easiest feat when there’s beats pumping through said body from the massive stack of Function Ones at the front.  

 

No stranger to sharing the stage with Capriati is Adam Beyer, a fitting follow on as the day continued. Pounding Drumcode techno from the start lifted the energy. Melodic synths marked smooth breakdowns broken by eerie drum rolls, and thumping bass. This was the formula; euphoric techno bangers with the occasional acid thrown in for good measure, to a crowd of fists pumping towards the sunshine. Two hours flew by before Beyer brought the levels back down and welcomed Papa Sven to the floor.

What followed was four hours of some of the finest techno around. This man is a legend, founding Cocoon Recordings 17 years ago and today he proved why he is one of the best in the business, certainly the most equipped to showcase the sounds his label sound. 

He expertly mixed through a stimulating selection of vinyl treats, deep and bendy synths through to more jazzy numbers like St Germaine’s classic ‘Rose Rouge’. A Kompakt remix of Oxia’s ‘Domino’ also made the cut early on into the set, the infectious anthem of course causing a stir. All the while Sven’s brother, Holger Vath took centre stage, out-performing the Cocoon dancers flown over direct from Ibiza. Holger has entertained at Cocoon In The Park before and to our pleasure you can often find him dancing by his brother at events across the world. 

 

As day turned to night, shards of techno continued to fly towards us across the hill from the organic membrane of the Cocoon web covering the backdrop of the stage, pulsating through the night with deep greens, purples and reds. Acid Pauli’s ‘Gwar Is Not The Answer’ caused a contamination of techno face across the revellers in the park, not long before Claude VonStroke’s 10 Year Anniversary Mix of ‘Who’s Afraid Of Detroit’ made for the highlight of the night. The spooky breakdown and the bass heavy drops of this remixed golden classic had all hands climbing in the air. If you haven’t yet heard this you must make it a priority.

Papa Sven drew the night to a close with deep melodies, winding it down to synthy pop basslines before a bizarre ending. For those left wondering what is was, Shazam has confirmed it to be pop/R&B track Baba Stiltz 'Baby'.

We were left feeling a mixture of bewilderment and shock as we pondered such a strange choice of closing track but regardless, Sven’s had been an incredible set and Cocoon In The Park had yet again marked one of the best days of the year. And to top it off, the weather had been glorious throughout. As always, bring on the next one, we’ll likely be there. 

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