Cocoon Recordings' tenth edition in its compilation series—titled J, naturally—doesn't re-write the rule book but nevertheless includes a generous share of top-notch tracks. One of the most notable is its lead-off “Cocoon Dark Dub,” a six-minute slice of deep dub-techno from Moritz Von Oswald, who shows in his Cocoon debut just how mileage one can get from a buoyant bass pulse, echoing chords, and careening metallic textures. Also contributing to Sven Väth's latest label compilation are game-changers like Loco Dice, DJ Koze, and Ricardo Villalobos, alongside Dubfire, Reboot, and Extrawelt, among others.
What recommends the compilation most is the fact that the change from one cut to the next seems to bring with it a new sound every time, and each of the producers' tracks adds a new personality to the mix. The crystalline tech-house thrust of Pantha Du Prince's shape-shifter “Bolder” could hardly be mistaken for the tripped-out stalker swing of Mathias Kaden's “Rave Strikes Back,” for example, nor could the charging tribal house of Nick Curly's “Keep On” be more different than Basti Grub & Komaton's deliciously woozy “Sick,” which snakes a winding path through a gothic maze of entrancing vocals and trippy synth effects. Though it might share the kinetic drive of Kraftwerk's “Tour de France,” Loco Dice's “La Bicicletta” inhabits its own jacking zone, while DJ Koze's “Sbooty” is as heady as one might expect (in this case a stomping, horn-laden riff on Portable-styled house music) and Paris-based Popof takes flight in “Roxy” with a jacking blend of creepy vocal distortion and fiery synth delirium. Villalobos also weighs in with a rare exercise in economy and restraint via the seven-minute mood piece “Humusweg.” As stated, J's not a rule-breaker by any stretch, but is a solid enough collection nevertheless. There's no major surprises, then—the Moritz Von Oswald track the arguable exception—but no missteps either, but just a solid eighty-minute roundup of Coccoon circa 2010.