WHP – Cocoon

After a fairly relaxing week, that Friday feeling rolled around once again. And for the second time in 7 days we had a WHP adventure booked. At 9pm, Friday 22nd Oct, we found ourselves seated aboard the direct train to Manchester, plenty of booze in hand and a desperate wishing that Villalobos had recovered after his disappointing no-show at Fabric the weekend before.

Rumours had been floating around that afternoon that Villalobos was scheduled to play a 12-5 set. I had made a mental note to immediately forgive Ricardo for his absence at Fabric if he really did have a 5-hour musical journey in store for me… Turns out the rumours were true.

We met up with the rest of the group outside at about 11.20pm, including a good friend who was celebrating her birthday that night and the rest of her party, and made our way in side. Once again there was an epic queue for the cloakroom and I would seriously urge people to consider not taking a jacket with them if you don’t enjoy spending the first and last 20 minutes of your night standing in line.

Once this was out the way we made our way into the pleasingly-familiar main room, where one of my good friends informed us that Villalobos would be playing a 5-hour back to back set with Raresh starting at midnight. I checked my watch, it was 11.45pm! Looking at back at the night now, I think that 15 minutes may have gone by more slowly that the entrie back to back set.

We took up our regular spot about mid-way down the dancefloor, which was as busy as it had been the week before for Minus. To be honest, the crowd were a lot better this week. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact difference, perhaps the girls were slightly more attractive or perhaps the stacked, sweaty northern blokes appeared to want to punch everyone a little bit less this time, anyway the overall vibe was brilliant.  You could feel the excited anticipation on the dance floor.

I haven’t seen many 5-hour back to back sets in my time. I have been told however that often Villalobos is too wasted to do much of the hard work and often spends most of his time passing tunes and looking like he’d had a better night the night before than you were likely to have in your entire night. Not this time. He looked as clear headed as the sometimes liability of a DJ ever looks, and spent most of the set on the decks himself. The visuals perfectly accompanied the solid techno sound that the Cocoon label is renowned for:

The best thing about having five hours for a set is that it allows the DJ to have complete freedom to explore and test the crowd with different directions and sounds and play to the crowd’s response. I have probably never experienced a better example of how this should be done than on this night. The set was divided up, it started off strong but slow, it developed over the first hour and then took unexpected twists and turns, in directions I don’t think anyone was fully ready for. I found myself once or twice pleasantly trapepd in a weird musical sound, with no idea where it had come from or how to escape. I had to experience this as close to the duo as possible so I grabbed a friend and we pushed and squirmed our way right to the front, in the middle of the dancefloor. It was absolutely packed and difficult to breathe so we only spent 15 minutes or so in that spot, but it was an incredible experience. The sound was even richer, the lights even brighter and the extra bonus of being able to see the master at work so close up helped to blank out the mosh pit that we were engulfed in. I managed to take a quick video at this point:

We decided to catch our breath after this, and headed out to the smoking area, which rather frustratingly has a fast-food van kicking out an extremely offensive smokey, smelly haze over us all. It was, however, a much needed recovery, but not long until we were back inside, a fresh round of drinks in hand and back on the dancefloor. The set had really picked up by this point. I recognised a couple of the more well-known tunes from the Cocoon label but the majority of the sound was new to me and I couldn’t have been happier. I had more than forgiven Ricardo for lettting me down by cancelling the week before, and had already decided that this night would go down as a very tough to beat Warehouse Project.

I needed to rest my legs for a few minutes around 3am, after which I went back to catch the rest of the set. Unfortunately the cloak room queue was so long, that I opted to miss the last fifteen minutes of the set to go get all the coats so that we didn’t miss our train back. It proved to be a good idea, and to be honest by 4.45 I was completely spent.

We made our way back up towards Manchester Piccadilly station, taking a slight detour to pick up the few cans of beer and cider that we had cleverly hidden in some bushes, having been unable to finish them on the way there. The train journey seemed less exciting than the previous week so we used the time to catch a few winks:

We finally got back to the reasurring warmth of the flat at about 8am and couldn’t help staying up for a little bit longer to recap on the night, the music, and the impressive Villalobos/Raresh collaboration that had blown us all away. I was completely shattered though by this point, with both my body and mind screaming out for a chance to recharge. As far as the weekend was concerned, that was one rave down and one to go… As always, I’ll see you on the dancefloor ;-)

2 Comments to “WHP – Cocoon”

  • Someone else caught the same song as your video:


    I absolutely love this track, if anyone has any idea what it is then please post!

    • According to a comment left on the YouTube video, it is:
      Marco Faraone, Arado -? Strange Neighbors (Original Mix) [Moon Harbour Recordings]

      Let me know if it’s the right one.