Tying into the marketing of Cocoon's latest stint on the White Isle, Ten Years Cocoon Ibiza is a representation of the club's current sound rather than the sort of retrospective the title might suggest. Taking care of the first disc, and what could largely be said to represent Cocoon's main room, is Dubfire—a man whose white noise-drenched and triplet-filled productions have defined the big room techno sound of the late '00s.
While Dubfire's productions can often be spotted a mile off, his mix is relatively free of these elements. Instead Dubfire focuses on a constant undulating groove with only two stand out rave-like build ups to speak of. Starting with the dubbed out sounds of Basic Channel's "Mutism," the mix builds to reach a pleasantly driving and energetic feel. Highlights include Alessio Meru's "Attimo Vincente," a track with a stirringly bleepy top line strangely reminiscent of Ame's "Rej" as played by an ADHD child.
"Minutos" and "Tilt Tuck And Tighten"'s '90s style loops give a nod to Dubfire's heritage in Deep Dish, while Loco Dice's mix of "Beep Beep" jumps out at you as a record that will enjoy success across the techno and house board for some time. Surprisingly, the low light of the set comes in the shape of Dubfire's mix of "Split the Line"—but this is only because the production trademarks Dubfire uses have simply been ripped off and rinsed by lesser producers to the point of annoyance.
Dice's mix is a less bombastic but no less enticing affair. Focusing on dark and meditative percussive sounds, Dice takes much longer than Dubfire to get into the swing of things. Tracks such as Patrick Specke's "Bitchual Linestepper" create a spaciously dark atmosphere that's perfectly reflective of Cocoon's Terrace early hours. As usual, Loco Dice's mixing style is worthy of note.
Remarkably long, ultra smooth mixes that cleverly switch EQ's to transfer energy between tracks are the order of the day. High points of the disc include Mathias Kaden's off-center rework of "One Lobster, Please" and Ekkohaus' naggingly memorable "Unsound." By focusing on creating a hypnotic vibe free of definable peak-time moments, Dice delivers exactly the kind of mix you would expect him to play late on the White Isle—which may or may not be to everyone's taste.
One criticism of Ten Years Cocoon Ibiza is that its perhaps too close to a set at Amnesia. This in itself is not a bad thing, but with recorded DJ sets from around the world so freely available the question arises: "Is a CD of a club mix still worth £12?" Some of the most exciting mix albums of this year have benefited by offering elements that you wouldn't be able to hear in a normal club situation.
Whether it's Joris Voorn's complex editing style on Balance 14, Jay Haze's excursion into wonky 117 BPM weirdness on Fabric 49 or even Loco Dice's own exciting experimentations with warmer house sounds on The Lab 01; the most memorable dance compilations often offer something you can't get from a Saturday night's clubbing. For that reason, if you're looking for something a little more challenging or experimental, then this may not be the best place to start. However, if you're looking for a mix of credible underground club sounds or to relive a recent Balearic adventure, Ten Years Cocoon delivers admirably.