Welcome to the monthly rave review for July 2017. Featuring Cocoon In The Park, Defected, Sankeys London, Audio Rehab and MADE.

Cocoon In The Park ★

The decision always proves particularly difficult when it comes down to making up my mind as to which event or rave stood out to me during my month to month antics, but after a considerable amount of deliberation it had to be Cocoon In The Park. For several years now the German godfather of techno Sven Vath, commonly referred to as ‘Papa Sven’ by his disciples of underground music, has been amalgamating the driving force of his Cocoon record label and music event not just to the likes of Ibiza, but he has also delivered unforgettable parties at Temple Newsam in Leeds too.

The idea of spending an entire day basking in the beauty of techno in such a large space and being able to dance so freely appealed to me immediately, and before I knew it the 8th July had arrived. It started at 10am and even by my hectic standards this was an earlier start than usual. I decided I would be tactical and go to London on the Friday night so I could get to Leeds in the morning without sitting on a train for nearly 5 hours. I managed to arrive at the festival at 9:45am.

As soon as the entrance gates flung open I sprung into action and down the hill where the open air stage was situated, and I knew straight away this was going to be a special day with the combination of some of my favourite techno artists and a glorious summers day in this amazing northern city.

The bill consisted of numerous world class DJs in the techno scene, with crowds being drawn to the likes of Drumcode don Adam Beyer, and also the more uplifting and contrasting displays from the Italian maestro Joseph Capriati, a man who consistently does the business with gargantuan performances and has been lifted to the top table to sit alongside the cream of the crop. Concluding proceedings on what was overall an unbelievable day at Cocoon In The Park was none other than the main man himself, ‘Papa Sven’. The musical journey we were taken on was unforgettable, as the king of vinyl mixing and his hard hitting record selection was as impeccable as it always is, and I fully intend to return next year for another instalment.

Defected Day Rave

But at the beginning of the month I ventured to Motion Bristol, a venue I have visited many times before with it only being a stones throw away from home. The top quality ‘Defected’ brand were dictating their free spirited, proper party and zero pretence philosophy to vast crowds that had showed up to what was yet another fiercely hot summers day – and I really was beginning to feel spoilt with that now being the second event in a row where the weather was firmly on my side.

Taking part in the main courtyard in Motion (the best part), the scene was stripped back with simplistic surroundings of a stage cocooned by nothing but concrete, but I didn’t let this deceive me as I knew that with a strong fusion of the lineup and a hefty sound system this was certainly not going to disappoint. And anyway, we all know the best kind of raves are the gritty ones we marvel over in the videos we see from back in the glory days of the 80’s and 90’s!

Within an hour of it starting the rave had already begun to ooze energy:

It was great to have a dance with Jacky too after he turned up:

Sankeys London

It had been 2 years since I last attended an event at Studio 338, so I decided to check it out again. The new refurbishment really is a credit to those involved with the design work, with a whole new garden terrace being neatly assembled –  and it really is great.

I could only stay a few hours as I had a meeting to attend to do with future rave related opportunities that I’m sure I can shed more light on in the near future, but my time there was as good as I expected it to be with groovy, bouncy sounds being fired out by the talented DJs on the day. Despite the weather unfortunately not blessing me for a third consecutive time during my rave based adventures, the organisers were one step ahead with a colossal marquee being erected to cover us all and ensure our days were still as enjoyable as we had initially planned. It was a real pleasure as always to see my good friend Tommy Vercetti who was one of the main acts on the bill, and an individual I have danced with more times than I can remember in the past whilst visiting Birmingham and watching him play at the likes of VOID Digbeth, the Rainbow Venues and Secret City. Furthermore, it’s great to see him making real movements and having his disco tinged underground house production work being recognised, and I am confident he will continue to climb the ladder of success in the industry.

Audio Rehab

I first attended a Audio Rehab night at the prestigious and well respected Ministry of Sound nightclub back in December of 2016, and due to how much of a lasting impression it had on me it was a real no brainer to head back there several months later.

The legendary label needs no real introduction or explanation, and equally neither does one of London’s main hotspots for those seeking a proper night out consisting of the best underground sounds. Don’t let the fact that I didn’t capture any videos deceive you into thinking it wasn’t a highlight for me, as I was too busy getting fully involved in the antics and highly charged atmosphere that ensued throughout the night.

The Box was pumping from start to finish and Audio Rehab made me feel welcome as always, and I am thoroughly looking forward to visiting this class venue again after seeing the likes of OC & VERDE and also one of the main men involved with the brand Mark Radford create a really solid vibe.

Made Festival

Taking part in the industrial heartland of the Digbeth triangle, MADE is a multi genre festival that with no surprise seems to be growing more successful and popular whilst attracting crowds from far and wide year after year. The festival was taking place in several different areas of the legendary Rainbow Venues, from the stunning skyline views from the roof terrace to the cleverly converted car parks and taxi ranks that morph into amazing outdoor arenas and spaces hosted by the likes of one of my favourite brands Hospitality:

What makes MADE festival particularly unique that I made reference to before is its setting, as you would never expect such a monumentally sized event to operate so well in an inner city – and to also please everyone in such a diverse and wonderful city like Birmingham’s. Genres at the festival range from drum and bass and grime in the outdoor arenas, to the more commonly heard sounds you’ll come across in Digbeth with underground house, tech & bass in the warehouse and blackbox.

I have to say as well that whether it be the intimate or larger scale events at the Rainbow Venues, I am always guaranteed to have a good time and be nothing but myself (as I always do anyway no matter where I go) as the fellow ravers offer nothing but kind words, and Lenny and his security team always look after me and welcome me with open arms!

But finally, even though it hasn’t been long since Chapter XII – another giant day out for me at the Rainbow for MADE festival has already got my eyes transfixed for 2018 to next years instalment for the thirteenth chapter of hopefully many more in this marvellous real life book of underground house and techno.

The taxi rank stage was also great as myself and many others were raving early doors to high flying ABODE resident GW Harrison’s king of a track – ‘When House Takes A Journey’, which has been doing the damage all over at many a top party

Beatport link: https://www.beatport.com/track/when-house-takes-a-journey-original-mix/9375981

Authors: Bradley Gunn, Callum Hughes (Editor)


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