VA: Ten Years Cocoon Ibiza (Mixed by Dubfire / Loco Dice)

The ever-reliable Cocoon label celebrates its tenth year in Ibiza with a fine double-CD collection featuring sets by Dubfire (aka Ali Shirazinia) and Loco Dice. Ten Years Cocoon Ibiza continues the label's tradition of double-disc mixes, and it's as solid as those that have come before. Of course, much of the release's quality stems from the mixers and the selections, and in that regard Dubfire and Loco Dice don't disappoint. Both sets are in the seventy-five-minute vicinity and well-managed affairs, with smooth segues keeping things from ever getting too much out of hand.

Based on the evidence of disc one, Shirazinia's got a serious jones for rumbling bass lines and buoyant tech-house grooves, both of which keep the set at a relentless broil. He opens the mix with the vaporous clangour of Basic Channel's “Mutism” before sliding into the silken seduction of Tadeo's remix of Djorvin Clain's “Unwritten Secret.” The mix rolls through cuts by Fritz Zander (“Keep Focused”) and Sebrok (“Vision”) before turning steamier in Alessio Mereu's “Attimo Vincente.” Showing his Deep Dish roots, Shirazinia's own “Dubfire Mega Remix” of Paul Ritch's “Split The Line” brings an epic deep house vibe to the mix. The tripped-out track's groove roils royally for eight minutes while voice fragments and swollen synth flourishes repeatedly pepper its storming skip. Shirazinia nods to his co-mixer in featuring Loco Dice's slippery overhaul of Tiga's “Beep Beep,” and eventually moves on to epic territory via Yapacc's menacing banger “Conga De Terre” and its haunting synth motif, before coming to rest with a nimble-footed Dubfire overhaul of Minilogue's “Jamaica” and brief “Mutism” reprise.

In his thoroughly wicked mix, Loco Dice ( Tunisian-born and currently Brooklyn-based Dice Corleone) shakes off any of the “minimal” associations with which he's been saddled through his Minus connections. Driven by a desire to capture the terrace vibe that reigns during Cocoon nights at Ibiza, Corleone serves up a set that, compared to Dubfire's, is slightly wilder and more stylistically expansive. That's immediately apparent in his choice of Jin Choi's “Carnivores” as the opening piece, especially when Sam Leigh Brown's laid-back vocal musings roll over the track's breezy surfaces. With the metallic shadow of Berlin dub-techno peering over its shoulder, Levon Vincent's “Woman Is The Devil” locks into goosestep tech-house, after which the summery open fields of Patrick Specke's “A Bitchual Linestepper” set the stage for the jazzy sax-fueled swing of Jay Haze and Ricardo Villalobos's “Mellow Dee.” Vlad Caia's “Chango” brings Latin flavour to the set and “Fubu” from DJ Yellow Presents Mindz Kontrol Ultra (DJ Yellow and Hi-Tech2) brings the funk, while wailing vocals add a soul vibe to the locomotive drive of “Jada Jada” / “Wallshaker” by Reboot / Aaron-Carl. Further confirming the disc's wide-ranging character, Ambivalent's “Breath” provides a few Minus moments, and Marco Carola's “90's” gallops and chugs with a deep, bass-heavy house rumble.

In some ways, the release doesn't depart from the Cocoon template—it totals about 150 minutes, the mixers execute their respective sets with smooth professionalism, and the tracks exhibit an even-keeled quality level from start to finish without any tracks necessarily standing forth as particularly incredible—but it's nevertheless another solid outing from the label.

September 2009