In an era of dance music that sees almost every DJ attempt to defy genre, and producers seemingly incapable of making tracks without either screaming guitars or samples of pop hits from yesteryear, Sven Vath is refreshing in his conservatism.
There will be no Bloc Party or digressions into disco in a Vath set. Just techno.
Vath’s music moves between minimal and hard techno; live instruments feature on few of the songs he plays, and his focus tends to be on the mind-bending, dark and psychedelic side of his chosen genre.
Vath has been a staple of the German club scene since the early 1980s, and he broke internationally during the dance explosion of the ’90s. Back then, he was dubbed “the only German pop star” by his nation’s press — an honor that Vath may not be too pleased to have received, given that the biggest international pop star in Germany at that time was David Hasselhoff.
Since the ’90s, having opened the state-of-the-art Cocoon club in Frankfurt — voted 19th best club in the world by DJ Magazine, two places below Tokyo club Womb — and promoting his Cocoon night in Ibiza, Vath has managed to make himself a global phenomenon, famous for his hedonism, long sets (he will play for the entire night when he takes the decks at Womb) and association with Richie Hawtin, the pioneer of minimal techno, with whom he often spins.
Like most techno artists, Vath’s sound is better understood through his mixing than through his own productions, and the new CD “In the Mix: Sound of the Seventh Season,” which captures the aforementioned sound of the the DJ’s 2007 Ibiza parties, is a good way of doing this.
The German “Godfather of Techno” always has a good crowd on hand. But get your coat to leave early — a couple of years ago Womb was so packed during one of his events that the line for the cloakroom had clubbers waiting for two hours after Vath stopped spinning at some time after 5:30 a.m.
Sven Vath: the Sound of the Eighth Season will be held Jan. 26 at Womb, 2-16 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Tickets are ¥4,000 (¥3,500 with flyer). For more information, call (03) 5459-00390 or visit www.womb.ne.jp.