Its that time of year again when Cocoon Recordings goes into overdrive with the next installment of their legendary compilation series. Incredibly, its already reached the letter 'S' and just like anything of vintage, the passing of time steadily enhances both the depth and the quality. As always the album brings together some of the most relevant artists of the moment, while the vibe is driven by Cocoons trusted formula of organic electronics.
Love Over Entropy gets the ball rolling with "As If", offering up smooth, mediterranean vibes designed to stimulate heart-felt communication. Its an open invitation to leave your troubles at the door, exorcise the ghosts of everyday life and return to the source. Stimmings "The Gift That Never Stops To Give" continues in a low slung, tribal vein peppered with jazzed out, tubular percussion as the psychedelics gently take hold. Abstract echoes abound and peripheral effects disorientate around an exquisite hook line found gliding over sun drenched shores. John Talabot and Axel Boman aka Talaboman not only win the most bombastic track name of the year competition, but do a good job living up to it on "Big Room Anthemic Groovy Pounding Trance Dub Bomb. Superb!" The extended intro delivers a heightened sense of anticipation, as gentle bleeps, angular trance riffs and weird frequency occilations toast the synapses.
Emanuele Saties "Planet XXX" is a perfectly balanced tech house groover, climaxing with an ecstatic breakdown primed to generate an explosion on the dancefloor. "End Days" from Edward then ups the ante with a metallic, 'New Beat' vibe that swamps us in wild analogue noise before the deep brooding pads take over. The abstract, discordant central theme also confirms that we are leaving the warmth and security of the compilations opening section for darker territories. Analogue squiggles dominate the opening exchanges on Florian Holleriths "KURZVOR12" as the soundsystem starts pounding relentlessly into the early hours. A strong head is certainly required under pressure from the hypnotic, rasping synth lines.
Raxon gets things rolling on "The Turbulent" with electric hihats snaking through a dense mesh of banging snares that accompany a morphing acid line that seems to ricochet off the walls of some cavernous pressure chamber. "Jaded" then takes us into the realms of full-on industrial techno as Mark Broom transports us back to the genres mid 90s heyday. Egbert ramps up the distortion on "Tering" with a flapping sub bass, played out across heavenly vox pads and acid washes. The dream like, retro sci-fi motif makes it one of the stand out tracks due to the fusion of a relentless battery of drums with a crystalline beauty.
As we enter the final straight, "Keep Changing Basslines" from Italian maestro Dino Lenny journeys deeper still, before it unfurls to reveal a myriad of arpeggiating synth and bass lines as the vocal sample of the title suggests. Deep, thoughtful and intelligent, theres also a hint of retro rave culture thrown in for good measure. Neil Landstrumm then takes us to Casio heaven on "Flesh Is A Prison", utilizing crisp sound that carries a laser-guided sting in the tail before Red Axes close things out with "Hevk". A long, spacey intro and more razor-edged riffs that morph and stutter perfectly encapsulate everything that has gone before.
Brimming with timeless melodies, rampaging beats and pressed on eye-catching yellow vinyl, Cocoons Compilation S effortlessly spans a broad spectrum of contemporary dance music from both veterans and relative fresh talents to the scene. Like a snake constantly shedding its skin, its reassuring that in 2019 the genre is still mutating and reinventing itself and above all, has so much more to offer. One of the best Cocoon Compilations without a doubt.