decoded_ Something for your mind… Something for your mind…

June 24, 2007

Köln & Cocoon

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 1:29 am

I Love Köln

This morning I’m suffering the effects of too much Red Bull and Jägermeister at Cocoon during the early hours of this morning, can you say dehydrated?

I hope you’re all well and all is going well. We’re doing great, enjoying our time in Frankfurt muchly. The weather has turned though, it’s been cold, wet and windy the past couple of days with many isolated thunderstorms. Nowhere near as cold, wet and windy as we’ve heard Sydney has been! We’re keeping tabs on home via SMH too. Great to hear Sydney’s water supply has had a boost though.

We had a busy day yesterday. Joanne and I did a day trip to Köln (Cologne), catching an ICE (Inter-City Express) fast train there and back, 1 hr 15 mins each way, wow, they really go very fast!

Köln was great. It’s a lot bigger city than Frankfurt. We visited the huge Köln Dom Cathedral, where I climbed the 500+ narrow spiraling steps up to the highest point, 153m, and back down again. Awesome views of Köln from up there.

We also visited the Lindt Chocolate Museum. Joanne loved that, especially the large chocolate shop at the end, with 1000’s of different types of chocolates to buy. I had to drag her out of there, as she did me at Kompakt Records.

Museum Ludwig was excellent, lots of pop art, minimal art, and surrealism paintings and installations. Some really abstract stuff there, fantastic works by Roy Litchenstein, Andy Warhol, Max Earnst, Salvidor Dali, Pablo Piccasso and more.

Being into techno a visit to Köln must also include a visit to Kompakt Records HQ. It’s quite far from centre/main shops area of Köln. It’s a nice, large spacious shop, heaps of vinyl as you would expect, but lots of CDs too, everything sorted mostly by label, a few specific artist sections. Lots of label’s back catalogue vinyl, and it’s all techno/tech-house. I found a few old techno things I had been hunting for in years gone by, but they looked in second hand condition, and I really don’t have the same burning desire for them anymore. I’d hate to think how much money I would have spent there, having visited during the peak of my vinyl buying addiction 5-7 years ago. I couldn’t visit without at least buying something though, so I picked up the new Johnny Future out on Perfect World 03 picture disc 12″ (mastered and cut by Andreas). Joanne bought a great DVD about Köln’s techno scene, artists, labels etc.

I liked Köln, would be cool to spend a few days there next time. Cool shops in Köln. We discovered a massive Lego shop, where you can even buy every individual Lego brick/part if you want… I could only dream of that possibility as a kid!

There is so much more choice/stock/brands in all the shops here in Europe, it’s really quite overwhelming, a head-spin! The amount of different alcohol available in all sorts of shops here is amazing too, so cheap!

Cocoon Club - Frankfurt-Am-Main

Cocoon Club…

After returning from Köln, we rested our sore feet, had some home cooked pasta, took a nap, woke up, showered and freshened up, and around midnight Andreas picked us up and zoomed us off to Cocoon Club near Offenbäch. We went via Club Monza in Frankfurt city hoping to also see Matthias Tanzmann play prior, but he wasn’t arriving/playing till very late, and was yet to submit the guest-list we were on. Access denied, so on to Cocoon…

We were really lucky to be able to see Frankfurt legend, and all things Cocoon, main man Sven Väth (pronounced Swen Faid) DJing for us in his own club.

Cocoon is a really impressive nightclub, probably the coolest club I’ve ever been in. It’s like being inside an alien space ship.

The club is the ground floor level of a boring multi level office building. Inside it’s a large rectangular space and within that is an oval (pod/cocoon) shaped area as the main room, separated/surrounded by white honey-comb walls. It’s all organic shapes/curves and alien… decor, forms/shapes, displays, pulsing lights, and projections everywhere (and I mean everywhere!). Every Sci-Fi fan’s dream come true! It sounds tacky, but it’s far from it. Someone has watched a lot of great Sci-Fi movies to put that club together! There are cool little green lit pods for groups to sit in around the walls. The outer spaces have lots of areas to sit and chill, there are large, clean, modern toilets, an all night hot food bar, a couple of restaurants (for earlier in the night), another (more chill) dance area, and a Cocoon merchandise shop. Lots of bars to get drinks from everywhere too. Great air-conditioning, It’s the perfect club, nothing to complain about! The main dance floor area consists of organic shapped multi-level spaces to dance on, there are also a couple of podiums with strangely dressed performers ‘doing their thang’ on them. The DJ booth is in this elevated white pod above the dance floor, branching out of one wall. It looks like the command centre of an alien space ship inside, with all the lighting, projection, and DJing gear inside. We got VIP wrist straps and spent a little time in there, watching Sven up close, very cool. There are huge speaker stacks suspended from the ceiling all round, and heaps of bass you can feel from the floor. It’s loud! The intelligent lighting is full on, very disorientating (in a good way). They also have a couple of those Ibizia super-club style smoke machines in the ceiling, that pump out a massive high pressured blast of freezing, ice cold, thick, white smoke, with a loud whoosh (timed to the music), quite a shock when they go off, they fill the club with smoke instantly, you can’t see your hand infront of your face! but then seconds later all smoke has vanished. They always bring a big cheer, and they don’t use them very often, which keeps them exciting. It’s a really unique feeling to experience, makes you tingle with cold for a few seconds.

Music?

Sven played a mixed up range of techno styles/sounds, quite varied intensities from track to track, some harder techno, some electro-house, some chunky house, some minimal, some trance-ish stuff, even a breaks track. I knew a few tracks, but didn’t know a lot of what he played, either did Andreas. I surprisingly liked pretty much everything he played, some really nice tracks. His mixing was super tight, and he’s fun to watch, he’s all about the vinyl, always waving records around, they’re a big part of his performance, he refuses to go digital.

We also got to see… Sleeparchive perform live

Roger behing his laptop was joined on stage by DJ Pete (Hardwax Berlin) helping out with knob twiddling, and live 909 jamming (Jeff Mills style; he was even wearing an Axis T-Shirt). Lots of simplistic 909, 808, RZ-1 drum patterns, static/noise loops, reverb washes, bleeps and not much else, apart from the odd repeated vocal phrase occasionaly, for an hour and a bit. It’s cool, but so simplistic, minimal, rigid, and lacking in any kind of melodic data that it cleared a large number of people from the dance-floor/club. Joanne had a chat with them after whilst we were in the DJ booth, doing the VIP thang. Sven played before/after them.

Crowd is really mixed, lots of shirts mixed with lots of clubbers, lots of different social groups, quite a range of ages too. It’s quite a commercial club, but still has an underground feel for us. It was funny seeing Sven’s mum doing the ‘hands in the air’ at the front of the DJ booth for a while earlier on, which Andreas pointed out to us. There was a really good friendly vibe in the club I thought, it really lifted you up and put you in a good mood, or maybe it was all those drinks I had! Lots of people dancing, but still with space to groove as well. The club probably holds around 1500 people, there was probably half that there I guess. We left around 5am, had it not been overcast and raining it would have been full sunlight.

We’re having another chill day today, then we’re heading off to the Robert-Johnson club with Andreas tonight, no idea who is playing, as they don’t advertise it, will let you know who we saw tomorrow…

2 Comments »

  1. Chocolate!!! Art!!! Techno!!! Yah!!! 🙂

    Comment by Rozie — June 25, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

  2. Redbull and Jägermeister eh? the HARD stuff

    Comment by Matt — June 30, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

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