Cocoon @ Pacha Ibiza – Wednesday 4th of July 2018 by Tighearnan O’Neill

We finished our ice cold gin & tonics at the hotel bar and stepped out into the warm midnight air of Ibiza. Walking into San Antonio we board the Discobus to make the 18km trip to Pacha in Ibiza Town.

Upon entering Pacha it’s evident that many changes have taken place recently, the DJ box has been moved, an excellent d&b audiotechnik sound system has been installed, not to mention the club is now under new management. Once feted as a club with a big VIP culture, the new Pacha feels much more dance floor focused, which to me can only be a good thing.

It has also been a year of big changes for Cocoon. From 1999 to 2017, Cocoon held a residency in San Rafael’s Amnesia. This year however, they made a move that surprised many by relocating to Pacha. Before entering the club I wondered how Cocoon at Pacha would feel, after so many defining years at Amnesia. So, how does it feel I hear you ask?

In short – Cocoon at Pacha is the perfect fit. The club feels warm and inviting, the sound system is the best I’ve heard on the island this summer, the crowd is sexy and cosmopolitan and the moving LED lighting rig casts a lovely, red glow over the dance floor.

Tonight there is no sign of Cocoon head honcho Sven Väth, instead he has left the club in the hands of Ricardo Villalobos and Seth Troxler, and boy, what capable hands they are.

We walk into the club at the start of Ricardo’s set. The dance floor is comfortably packed and the sumptuous 12’’ Disco Version of DJ Koze’s record Pick Up emanates from the speakers. Shortly after he drops Farabegoli Adamo’s Banko, a tropical sounding record with jangly, melodic percussion. Then Ricardo takes us into more tech house territory with Sasse’s Soul Sounds, a slinky, spacey piece. After this, he plays a track with a thunderous, tribal groove. When the warm, dubby baseline of Xpress 2’s Muzik Xpress comes through the system it really sets the dancefloor alight. Things only get more intense during the breakdown. Next its the joyfully trippy sounds of Swimmin’ With Sharks by Gemini through to the truly weird Instrument of Change by Random Noise Generation.

He also chops and cuts atmospheric soundscapes over the top of 4/4 records. Never have we heard a DJ put two slabs of vinyl together as well as Ricardo Villalobos did on this night. Never have we seen a DJ’s set work so well in a club with so many contradictory yet complimentary elements. Every track is perfectly selected, the EQ and mixing are totally on point. Yet Ricardo makes it all look too easy. He seems totally relaxed in the booth, occasionally turning to talk to friends during the breakdown, before swirling around and cutting the fader a bar before the beat kicks in. He smiles at the crowd regularly. Somewhat camp, his laissez faire attitude to DJing is very endearing.

He’s the ultimate unprofessional professional, a man who knows his records inside out and who can select and play them with ease. Shortly after his set finishes, I step out of the club and into the cool morning daylight. It’s time to go home. Later in the day I wake with a fairly bad hangover (putting it mildly), a reminder of the hierbas and spirits consumed the night before. With most hangovers I immediately regret going out the previous evening. Not this time, it was worth it.

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