Various Artists – Sound of the Eigth Season, mixed by Sven Vath

Creative, unique, sharp – Sven Ví¤th has made a name for himself across the globe as a DJ/producer who definitely does not follow the crowd. As label boss of Cocoon Records and resident at Cocoon Club Ibiza, his sound is eclectic and encompasses a range of tech house, techno, minimal and electro, often sitting on the outskirts of the conventional flavours of these genres. This 2CD set encapsulates this diversity, featuring the best tracks out of Sven’s ‘eighth season’ at Cocoon Club Ibiza, the most successful summer residency of the Frankfurt club yet. After an extremely successful Australian tour as part of the Future Music Festival, this compilation is sure to delight those that saw him in the flesh as he oozed coolness and attitude when he played here.

This is forward-thinking dance music that is leading the way for many DJs, producers and music lovers across the globe. It may even be too futuristic for some, as Sven Ví¤th creates sounds and experiences that twist your mind and take you places that you did not know you could go with music. Starting at the Freak, disc one is more focused on a home recovery party that is more like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, twisted and kooky. I found it hard to find my feet in this disc, paddling around and around, never finding grounding and constantly feeling overwhelmed with bleeps, glitches, minimal, electro-fused tripped out beats that are presented more like art than music. Names like Radical Majik, John Spring, The Amazing, Plan Tec, J.T.C., Steve Rachmad, Alter Ego and Chrom encompass this through their tracks and if you like this kind of sound, then you’re in for a real treat! Joris Voorn’s The Deep reaches me with its rolling driving techy beats and is a breathe of fresh air smack bang in the middle of disc one. Although I don’t really get the sound on this disc, I can respect it and appreciate the creativity that is being exposed by Vath.

Disc two is a hazy journey through hard and soft moments and yet twists and turns through a dancefloor experience. Tolga Fidan, a name not being too well-known to many, has made it to the tracklisting of Sven’s album for the second time with his dark track Tanbulistan . Breaking away, Vath then moves into the fantastic Junior Boy’s Like a Child (Carl Craig remix) and grooves it on into Paulo Olarte’s Solo Tu, a worldly exotic track with a delicious techy beat underneath. Continuing on this vibe, Rene Et Gaston’s Meluche Ideale and Alejandro Vivanco’s Madre Tierra chills you out while maintaining that driving groove. Jamie Jones’ Harajuku changes the direction, moving into more tech house, Mark August’s Old Joy trips it out and Martin Buttrich’s Hunter further deepens the mood with glittery melodies and spaced out vibes – this track is an absolute winner! Chaton’s Catch the Beat totally loses me again and Pepe Bradock’s Rhapsody in Pain – how do you describe a track like this?! Disturbing and well completely brave of Ví¤th to use it. But hell, that’s Ví¤th – never afraid to step outside the square and beyond.

Sven Ví¤th is an innovator. He creates music that explores unknown territory. I may not have understood all that is expressed on this compilation but I do know this: Sven Ví¤th creates his own rules and indeed has the creativity and staying power to evolve with time. This is only the beginning.