Sven Väth made his return to Singapore in a highly-anticipated event at the new Zouk Singapore at Clarke Quay. Coming off a one-month break, Sven Väth is beginning 2017 with a string of shows across Asia before returning to grace the clubs and festivals in Europe. An established figure in the underground music scene, it is no surprise that the club was filled to the brim despite it being the first day of the Chinese New Year. This was also our first time to the new Zouk. With a spacious, open dance floor and tables out of sight, Zouk is a lot more inviting than previously. While it retains its swanky atmosphere, it is now easier to find your own comfortable space.
Ferng was the opening act, making it the second time in three months that he opened for a German dance music behemoth after Solomun in November. Besides his DJ-ing exploits, Ferng also recently released his first track “Modilate” on local label SoulMatters Recordings with remixes from Shawnn Lai and The Confuser. We were hoping to catch him playing his track in the last 45 minutes of his set but it was not to be. Sven Väth took over at 12am and after some slight hiccups in the booth, he was off for the next 4 hours with his signature vinyl sets.
Having become one of the leading figures in the electronic music scene, Sven Väth is naturally one of the biggest, if not the biggest, name on festival line-ups. Naturally, we were looking forward to him playing some of the most rinsed tracks in recent memory, a task generally reserved for the heavyweights. Sven Väth did not disappoint as he dropped such a track every once in a while, from KiNK’s “Chorus” to Redshape’s “Tel Aviv”. There’s something special hearing KiNK’s “Chorus” being played by someone like Sven Vath in Singapore. It’s amazing how far Midnight Shift, a label from our shores, has come and one can only be optimistic about what they will continue to bring to our local scene. Another track that we were just waiting for was Konstantin Sibold’s “Mutter”, which Sven Väth duly dropped in the last half hour. It’s no secret that Sven Väth was an early adopter of this track and he even rinsed it on both days of Awakenings 2016.
Papa Sven is also well-known for his multi-tasking abilities, having been pictured watching a live-stream of Germany in Euros 2016 midway through a set. Last night, he was in a buoyant mood as he posed for several pictures and caught up with several friends in the booth in between songs. It almost looked like a homecoming for him. His vibrancy and enthusiasm was also visible as he constantly interacted with the crowd to their delight. On a side note, the visuals were slightly awkward as a footage of a half-naked Papa Sven doing some sort of exercise/yoga routine looped continuously.
Sven Väth also explored the grittier, harder side of “Berlin-style” techno as well as raw tech house beats. It was particularly heartening to hear some of the heavier stuff in a place like Zouk and it leaves us wondering what it would belike if this was the kind of music every week. As the biggest club in Singapore, Zouk as an institution plays an important role in taste-making and we certainly hope these bookings do not stop. The 4-hour set eventually had to end and the calls for one more track were not entertained. Sven Väth, ever so friendly, thanked the crowd repeatedly.
With Nakadia joining the Cocoon family, the good news may be that it won’t be too long before Sven Väth comes back to Singapore.