Cocoon with Sven Väth
Saturday 6th December 2014
The Albert Hall, Manchester
Saturday the 6th December brought the Ibiza club night Cocoon to Manchester’s Albert Hall for a Warehouse Project show outside the normal Store Street venue. This special night at one of Manchester’s most unique venues brought the German techno pioneer Sven Vath playing a extended 4 hour set with support from Dana Ruh, a fellow Berlin based Techno and House DJ, and Warehouse Project resident and Manchester DJ Greg Lord.
It was my first visit to the recently converted Grade II listed Wesleyan chapel in Manchester’s City Centre which was closed and hidden for over 40 years. The venue itself is absolutely stunning and a perfect location for a handful of special Warehouse Project shows. On entry you are faced with grand staircases and Victorian architecture which lead onto the main chapel which has been faithfully restored to it’s former glory. When I arrived, Warehouse project resident Greg Lord was warming up the slowly building crowd with a collection of Tech-house tracks. I took this relatively quiet time of the night to spend some time on one of the unique things about the Albert Hall venue. The fantastic balcony which runs in a semi circle above the main ‘pit’ of the chapel. From this vantage point you get a fantastic view of both the stage and the rest of the crowd. For anybody wanting a slightly less busy and crowded dancing space during a night, this really was the place to be. Greg Lord finished up his warm up set and next on the line up was Berlin Techno DJ Dana Ruh. During her hour and a half set Ruh warmed the crowd further with rather safe but enjoyable collection of Techno tracks. Her energy on stage and her clear enjoyment to be warming up for arguably the worlds best Techno DJ was clear however. Her selection of tracks stayed firmly within the German Techno field and dropped tracks by Berghain regular and fellow Techno hero, Marcel Dettmann, and Ibiza party bangers like the Session Victim remix of Kola Cubes ‘Dub My Heart’ which wouldn’t feel out of place being played while the sun went down over an Ibiza Cocoon evening.
The crowd continued to fill up during Ruh’s set and by 12.00am the place was filled completely up, both on the balcony and the main pit. The crowd seemed ready for the Techno veteran to take to the stage. A great sense of anticipation had come over most of the crowd, who were all there to see Sven play in Manchester for the first time in over a year. Sven Vath entered the stage at 12.30 to begin his set. The crowd erupted as he begin to set up, his first record of the night was the fantastic ‘Acid Casino’ by the German producer Boris Werner. The eight minute track builds up to a huge level and was the perfect opening track to set the mood for the rest of the evening. Sven was clearly in the mood for a heavy set as the majority of his tracks leant very strongly towards the deeper and darker side of Techno. Although maybe not as varied in terms of the style of music, as Sven’s previous sets I have heard, I feel this heavy set was exactly what the crowd was feeling. Highlights tracks for me were DJ Koze’s remix of Moderat’s ‘Bad Kingdom’, Redshape’s ‘Leaves’ and Mind Against’s ten minute extended mix of ‘Several Times’. Sven Vath’s thirty four years in DJing has made his ability to read a crowd and give them want they want absolutely second to none. The ‘Godfather’ of Techno gave Albert Hall a unbelievable night and an absolute masterclass in spinning Techno tracks past and present. During his three and a half hour set he controlled the crowd perfectly with tracks that built up to huge breakdowns. A special note should also be given to Reach, the audio visual company behind the nights hugely impressive visuals. Reach did a fantastic job at kitting the Albert Hall out with an amazing light show and projections which added an amazing dimension to the nights show.
Warehouse project’s Cocoon night was clearly a fantastic success and Sven Vath brought his best for the Manchester leg of his touring Cocoon night, any true Techno heads would of been mad to miss this special evening.
Words by Stan Platford
Images courtesy of Jack Kirwin - JK Photography