Sven Väth is quite simply unique. A legend in his own lifetime with a commitment and passion that has influenced the advance and evolution of electronic music. Clubs, record labels and careers have been launched.
There are some people that are destined to emerge and change things. Change landscapes. Sven Väth is a risk taking visionary, an instigator, an innovator and very possibly invincible.
1981 and Frankfurt it started. Quickly the figurehead for a techno revolution in Germany that was to spread far and wide. Worldwide. Setting sail alone, this was 1981 and this was new. The Omen Club and so many other adventures punctuated this period, getting the sound out there . Vinyl then, vinyl now. Parties that mattered and changed things. Parties that reinforced a vision and eventually gave birth to Cocoon.
An extraordinary residency in one of the best clubs in the world was unleashed in 1999. Cocoon Ibiza, Amnesia on a Monday night. Now 16 years of parties that have set new standards in production and have never compromised on what matters. The music. An incredible risk became, and still is, one of the great successes in modern music and clubbing. A phenomenon now attracting upwards of 80,000 visitors in a 4 month season with Sven Vath front and centre throughout.
Along with Cocoon Ibiza Sven created a booking agency (now Flash Artist Booking - targeting the best and the brightest), an event agency (Cocoon Event – spreading the vision across 5 continents and now over 30 countries) and a record label (Cocoon Recordings - with a back catalogue stuffed with quality) that gets ever more important and keeps on growing.
For all that you just have to meet the man behind the decks to really get it. With vinyl flailing he picks up a crowd and takes them with him. At a Sven gig you are in a performance with no one knowing quite what is going to happen. It has always been so. There may be 120 gigs a year, some very big some more intimate, but you will always feel invited and you will always see the heart of the man. That heart belongs to the crowd. Everyone is a VIP. Sven Väth is rock and roll.
In October 2014 there was a happening that expressed this togetherness and mutual respect. It was a 50th birthday party in stunning surroundings where 12,000 people joined together in Mannheim to celebrate a monumental life and career. An unforgettable night of dancing and community.
In 2015 another very special moment as Sven was honoured by the City of Frankfurt with the „Goethplakette“, issued only to those that have made a real contribution to the cultural life of the city. A formal occasion but one that was important because it acknowledged at a different level the positivity that dance music can bring. A force for good. There was an after party of course, is Sven after all.....
Some fascinating collaborations have emerged as Sven has continued to explore another passion, contemporary art. Intriguing link ups with such influential figures as Tobias Rehberger and Andreas Gursky, both long term friends, are sure to throw up more surprises in the next months and years.
2016 and that means an astonishing 35 years as a Dj and an equally astonishing 17th season of Cocoon Ibiza
The most charismatic DJ of his generation is more vital and relevant than ever. Utterly professional, utterly unpredictable. No one else like him. Not even close.
Few come as well versed in family values as that of long serving techno legend Adam Beyer. A husband, father and certified underground icon, the Stockholm-based DJ/producer has come to embody one of the most consistent and carefully constructed legacies to emerge from Europe and hold influence across the continents. From festival main stages and coveted club floors through to the global airwaves and Beatport charts alike, Beyer’s extended musical legacy is felt across the board.
At the outset of 2016, Beyer is positively beaming about the way things have panned out. “This is the most exciting it’s ever been - I’ve finally ended up where I was trying to get,” he explains. “As a techno DJ it’s never going to happen overnight. It’s a long road to walk to get to that point where you have earned the resect and loyalty of the industry and the fans.”
Many an advocate of the genre came before Beyer, but few have held a presence within the world of techno as respected and long serving. A DJ first and foremost, life as a producer saw Beyer gradually hone and perfect a sound that would seemingly fill a void within the modern musical landscape. Serving a more functional take on the sound that still honoured some of the heyday genre hallmarks of North America and mainland Europe, Adam’s mantra has remained a relatively simple one: Respect the sound, maintain its integrity and gradually push things forward. Brick-by-brick, the sound became a signature felt across club land, but a connection remains between the sound of Adam’s earliest work and the sought after productions he now brandishes.
At the helm of Adam Beyer’s career stands a brand that has taken techno to truly global heights. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016, Drumcode’s full-hearted philosophy of releasing music always with the DJ in mind has allowed the label to expand into an all-encompassing brand, one now heralded as much as a musical identity as it is an attitude among the underground community. Providing a rare opportunity for Beyer to simultaneously renew what is current whilst looking to the next generation of talents, it’s expansion into branded nights across the globe has made this one of the best travelled brands in modern techno, with its branded radio show taking further flight with broadcasts across more than 53 different countries. Its sound has been imitated, it’s durability tested by the changing tides of the music industry, but Drumcode’s ongoing peak is a testament to a brand that has dared to take the long way around in the name of becoming a sustainable and consistent musical powerhouse.
Behind the decks, there are many different forces to be experienced from Beyer. Be it an international festival headline spot or a more intimate club show, his solo sets adapt and evolve to fit the various moods of his globetrotting tour schedule. Alongside partner Ida Engberg, looser afterhours sets with the ability to focus on songs have become a favourite across the international club circuit. Paired alongside his ability to take the stage with numerous members of the global techno community, Adam Beyer’s live persona truly knows no limits.
Opting for business as usual over tired celebratory gimmicks, Beyer approaches 2016 in fighting form. Kick-starting a brand new venture in the form of Junction 2 Festival, a suitably stacked out summer of international festival and Ibiza dates add to a marker year for Beyer. Whether it’s on record, behind the decks or under the reliable Drumcode umbrella, Adam Beyer continues to unravel an unprecedented success story for the global underground circuit.
Born and raised in the southern Italian city of Caserta, less than 30km from Naples, Joseph Capriati’s emergence as significant force within Techno continues the strong lineage of talent from the city as he follows in the footsteps of Marco Carola, Rino Cerrone, Gaetano Parisio and Markantonio. Having grown up on a diet of early hip hop and classic house from the likes of Masters At Work, Todd Terry and Eddie Amador, Capriati bought his first DJ console at the tender age of 11; cutting his teeth playing to his friends in garages and basements after school. It was not until he was old enough to attend his first rave party that his passion for techno over-shadowed his early musical influences and set in motion the journey that has taken him to the position he is in today. As Joseph himself remembers, “the first time I heard techno was at Old River Park in Naples in 2003. It was a 12 hours party with Dave Clarke, Billy Nasty and Rino Cerrone. I was totally impressed by that sound and something in my mind changed.”
Inspired and energized, Joseph made the leap into production; slaving away on a home PC and hi-fi speakers, honing his skills for three years and eventually creating his first important records like C’est La Vie and Microbiotik which found their way on to two of the most influential Neapolitan techno labels; Analytic Trail and Globox Records. From this moment on Joseph was made. What followed was an explosion in profile at home and abroad. From his first high profile gig at Naples’s infamous 5000 capacity Golden Gate venue in October 2007, the young Neapolitan has not looked back; spreading his wings and travelling all over the globe. Now located out of Barcelona, Spain Joseph has settled into a good rhythm for his life with his studio based within his home so he can make the most of the increasingly limited time he has available in-between touring to make music and also find time to relax.
Always quick to understand the professionalism and determination required in order to carve out a career for himself; Joseph’s passion and conviction is plain to see in the way he has gone about making and playing music. Whether it be having the confidence to release a debut album containing ambient tracks and Drum & Bass; or the discipline and creativity displayed to convince Adam Beyer to release two multiple-track EP’s on his Drumcode label; or the versatility and insightfulness that characterizes Josephs DJ sets and enables him to connect with crowds across the world; whether he be tearing up an after party in a dark basement with a pitch perfect mix of tech house, or thundering out a peak-time mix to crowds in the desert at Monegros Festival, instinctively dove-tailing with other DJs during back-2-back sessions, or hosting his own marathon parties and playing for 12 hours.
With a path laid out before him and the force of momentum behind him, Joseph Capriati welcomes the future with excited anticipation. “I just want to make music or play gigs everyday. It is the most important thing in my life. When I am in the studio or on stage I feel disconnected from the world and I enter another dimension where there is just the music, the people and myself. I could be sick, or be feeling sad about something, but when I’m playing I totally forget everything and this makes me happier. Looking at the people dancing and following my musical trip is an amazing thing. There is nothing better than this for me.” So the future for Joseph Capriati is simple. Keep on doing what he loves and do it with a passion and commitment that has proved so potent a driving force to this point.
Richy Ahmed is at the forefront of UK house music; having played a major part in the British house music’s recent renaissance, he takes cues from disco, techno, funk, electro and hiphop.
Hailing from South Shields in the north of the UK, Richy continues to make regular appearances at events across Britain whilst touring internationally. His hardworking approach has seen him play everywhere from BPM Mexico and Blue Marlin Dubai to Berlin’s infamous Panorama Bar. His Ibiza presence is undeniable; this season, he held down his well-known residency at Paradise, DC-10 whilst also becoming one of seven all-night guests to take over the Space Terrace for elrow. With so many high profile gigs, he’s earned himself a spot in Resident Advisor’s top 100 DJs for the past three years running.
Whilst Richy is certainly a mainstay within the Hot Creations family, one of his key releases of 2015 was the ‘Can’t You See’ EP on revered dance label Strictly Rhythm. He remains a prolific remixer, with these appearing on the likes of Circus, Suara, Truesoul, Crosstown Rebels, FFRR and Hotflush Recordings to name a few.
Now, Richy is branching out with his brand new label, Four Thirty Two. It launched with his well-received ‘Put Me In A Trance’ EP in 2016. The label offers Richy a chance to A&R the music he loves, as well as to put out unique material of his own. It will be kept to a few releases a year, often from undiscovered and smaller artists who are putting out the high quality material that Richy believes in. A strong focus on artwork and vinyl are at the center of the label’s ethos, with certain releases being tuned exactly to 432 Hz - a method commonly used by John Lennon and Bob Marley, and the label’s namesake.
The release of ‘Put Me In A Trance’ followed two of Richy’s own branded Four Thirty Two UK tours, where he played sold-out nights across the UK from Glasgow’s Sub Club to Mint Club in Leeds. The Four Thirty Two parties swiftly gained a reputation for both their intimate venues and quality atmosphere in 2016.
Richy’s reputation as one of the best DJs and producers around is firmly established. 2017 looks set to see Richy continue to reinvent and branch out, a sign of true sticking power in a fast paced industry.
ALEX & DIGBY
Having grown up in South Africa on a staple diet of Dire Straits, Tina Turner & Bryan Adams, brothers Alex & Digby had to find their own way musically. Playing in bands for many years, and having spent the best part of a decade as engineers in landmark London studios, they are deft practitioners of analogue sound. Obsessive vinyl collectors across genres, they are fast becoming known for their esoteric sets and bold selection. Their experimental imprint FLASH AS A RAT is a vent of continual eccentricity, and has garnered wide scale underground support.