There is always a certain sense of anticipation when waiting for Cocoon’s annual ‘alphabet’ compilation to drop and this year is no exception as the label strike ‘Q’ in some style. Through intricate sound designs, the long-standing alphabet series provides a collection of tracks that showcase house and techno’s place on and beyond the main room dance floor.
The LP kicks off with Kamran Sadeghi, a producer who has always existed in both the worlds of art and club culture where his mix of ethereal synths, airy noises and modest drones are blended together to create a collage of broody sounds, here on ‘Anno Domini’. Although a more melodic opener could be expected here, to ease the listener into the album, ‘Anno Domini’ does not fail to grab your attention with its stripped back and engaging intensity.
The first half of ‘Cocoon Compilation Q’ keeps things in this pared back direction with a spacious offering from the UK’s Alex & Digby and some sublime rolling techno, threaded with icy melodies from Sebastian Mullaert in the shape of ‘Ode to Be’. This is a track perfectly calibrated for the club and showcases what the Minilogue man does so well.
The colourful ‘Spring’ by Sweden’s Harald Bjork sees the soundscape morph into an off-kilter and tantalizing affair peppered with harmonious synthlines that blossom into a sea of jacking stabs, whilst music from the likes Johannes Volk, Fort Romeau and John Tejada brings a maturity to the overall sound.
‘Cocoon Compilation Q’ does what so many of its alphabet predecessors have done before, providing a perfect window into the deliciously deep sound of one of techno’s most loved labels.