[28 January 2007]
Sven Väth brings us another entry in his long-running series chronicling the sound of a season at Ibiza superclub Cocoon. Väth’s earned a reputation as one of the wildest in the business—think after- after-parties till 3pm+ next day, blowing through mountains of coke Scarface-style, that kind of thing—so it’s not a surprise to hear this kind of wasted, aggressive celebration in his sets. The two discs of the seventh season, titled “Wild” and “Life”, differ somewhat in mood but together form a believable recreation of how a night in the club might proceed. A number of familiar hits pepper the “Wild” disc, which takes the aesthetic of minimal techno and “Ibiza-izes” it (i.e. big climaxes, big clicks, big space). Audion’s “Mouth to Mouth” is massive (each time the bass enters); Trentemøller’s “Nam Nam” remains a signifier song, defining 2006, its squelching breakdown, hot cymbal hits, and funky climax a familiar pleasure; and Dominik Eulberg’s “Bionik” pairs a rising, trance-like hook with a cycling, de-humanized Latin beat. “Life” signals its slightly more rounded, organic feel with Jesse Somfay’s padding synth, like a more cerebral version of Röyksopp—but the disc soon settles into familiar minimal-maximal ground. With less of the big climazes and more steady-state, lush atmospheres the disc may be better suited to headphones, but still offers some interest. The Mole’s “In My Song” is demented Moby, with fake gospel and a kind of techno hiccup that’s dark and propulsive. But like so many mix CDs, ultimately The Sound of the Seventh Season is more a reminder of a certain atmosphere or experience—of being at Cocoon in Ibiza—than as a lasting, continually rewarding work.