Madrid, Spain—Is there a better time than the dead of winter to flee the frozen deadzone of NYC for an extended weekend in Spain? We didn’t think so either.
So, as we do, we sought the hottest party in town this past weekend, and ended up at Madrid’s Sala La Riviera where Germany’s Cocoon club brand took over for an evening of techno bliss.
Though the party went on without Cocoon founder Sven Väth in the booth, the event’s line-up remained stellar with Martinez, Markus Fix, and Chris Tietjen on the decks. And they didn’t disappoint, providing an evening of aural butterfly beats for the room full of raving caterpillars.
Upon arrival, the first hero in the evening’s line-up—Markus Fix—was dropping twitchy techno tracks. (And… was that vinyl? Yes, fancy meeting you here again—it’s been awhile!) The room was starting to saturate when he threw down an instrumental interlude of Pirupa’s “Party Non Stop”—never a bad time for that track.
Our vinyl opener was followed by Chris Tietjen and it was during his set that the room really began to swell. He mixed old-school proggy ’90s with big-beat realness, some techno, a little Wu Tang, a bit of diva disco samples, and straight back into that sweet, sick, pounding techno.
Next up? Martinez. Tell us, Martinez, what do you have in store for us? “I’m gonna shut this muddafuggin’ party down,” he answered. Seal it with a backwards high-five and you’ve got a deal.
Mission shut-down accomplished. Sala Riviera’s center-stage palm trees were dropping disco coconuts with each sweet techno beat. He began his set with a sick, jazzy bassline and took us on a techno rollercoaster from there on out. Who does that? Martinez. That’s who.
The crowd remained dense until the wee hours of the morning. So what could make this party better? A giant furry blue costumed blob, bopping its way around the club, of course. Ah, the powers of absurdity. According to my Cocoon companion, this breathing blob is a regular fixture at Sala Riviera. I can only imagine how this goes down at rock shows. For the sake of costumed consistency, the blob was dressed as casually as the rest of the ravers. Much like the three German DJs, who were rocking the regulation black crew necks, the revelers revealed a sea of sneaker and t-shirt level casual. All the easier to get down in.
Knowing when to leave a party is always the hardest decision to make during a night, but an evening at Cocoon is just beyond. All you have to do is let yourself unravel in order to truly appreciate it. Shed that skin and enjoy and what lies beneath. Cocoon—danke schön.
– Natalie Raben