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Sven Vath- Techno, Drugs & Life After 40: Time For a Change

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, April 4, 2005
"I think it's important that the whole dance scene should move on. I'm 40 years old now, I think it's time to bring the whole thing onto a new level, a new step. I also want to get people my age out clubbing again."

Chatting down the phone from his Frankfurt headquarters, Germany's definitive superstar DJ Sven Vath admits he's inspired by the state of clubland 25 years after he started.

"There's a better musical cocktail right now, I still like the minimal tech house stuff, but now with the productions of producers like Tiefschwarz, Black Strobe or Anthony Rother it's freshening up the scene a little and making it much more song driven again," he continues. "I don't know what I want to call it though- electro, electronic song orientated music, I also still like Italo-disco, there's so many elements of italo-disco in the music right now."

Though he's enthused by the changes electro he remains firmly centred around the genre he helped create, techno, though he's long past the restrictions that nowadays often accompany the genre.

"We had our times in the "90's, especially with Harthouse and Eye Q, where we were focused just on one style for a very long time and after a while, I felt really bored by this style. Then people started calling it trance music," he chuckles. "And today, there are so many different musical styles out there yet I still see lots of DJs playing the same style for ten years. I can't imagine doing this myself," he adds.

While's he's happy about the mix and match eclecticism that's shaken up dancefloors in recent years, he's less comfortable with the same trend in drug use, despite being one of clubland's most legendary party animals.

"I'm really shocked about how much drugs people take and also how many different drugs they mix together just to get high these days; It's shocking for me somehow," says Sven.

"I know what it's like to take ecstasy and being funny for the night, but today when I watch the young ones taking ketamine and speed and then rohypnol, then smoking and taking speed again - I don't get it," he admits.

"We still have to give people a chance, especially the young people - give them an education in this. This is the most important thing. For the older people, people my age who are still doing it that bad, maybe they haven't learnt anything. It's a question of discipline. I quit smoking three years ago and I stopped cocaine 16 years ago when my daughter was born," he adds.

Learning discipline from practicing Ayurvedic meditation, he remains enormously enthusiastic about both DJing and building is Cocoon empire which includes a season of weekly parties and a brand new club in his beloved home town of Frankfurt. He's also just released a new compilation CD Sven Vath: The Sound of the Fifth Season, tying in with his Balearic jaunts.

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Your new mix CD Cocoon is the fifth such compilation you've now done, do you now have a particular formula-

Sven Vath: "There are separate projects we do with Cocoon recordings, firstly my mix CD, which is dedicated to the particular Ibiza season, then the Cocoon compilation series, starting with A, B, C and D. The D compilation was last year and we are just getting the new tracks for the new E compilation for this year. For my mix cd, there's not really a formula as such though the starting point for me with mix CDs is what's the point in doing a mix CD when I'm usually playing usually 8 hour sets, or even longer-

Before I started doing the Ibiza Cocoon parties, I never released a mix CD, because I found it too difficult to ask myself which tracks to put on a one and a half hour mix CD but then when I started with the Ibiza club night suddenly I had a good reason for doing one. Basically it became about picking the tracks of the season, and bringing them together in a nice way to provide something very special for all the people who were there, to give them something for the memories. The CDs const