Going to see Sven Väth is always a pretty epic experience. We're almost certain that the German master has the ability to to move mountains with his stadium-sized techno and one of his most astonishing gigs to date was his 50th birthday party at Timewarp in Mannheim.
The 15,000-capacity hangar was filled with adoring fans and ravers who wanted to celebrate with the Papa in style. Richie Hawtin was there, Luciano played a set and DJ Koze warmed things up nicely. Sven played a couple of three-hour sets, both mesmerising and both loaded with outrageous tunes.
One song stuck out though. It was the highlight moment of the night. You know, that moment where you feel shivers down your spine and can't help but grin ear-to-ear. That song was 'L' Eternita Di Un Attimo' by Luca Ballerini and those nine minutes of ecstasy have stayed with us ever since.
Even putting it on now makes us quiver and we knew from then on that Ballerini had a serious amount of talent. We made it our mission to listen to everything the Italian newcomer had released and have followed him ever since. He hasn't disappointed.
The track that Sven killed the rave with was taken from his first EP on Cocoon in 2014 but Luca's journey through techno and other-worldly electronica started a few years prior to that.
He had released a few EPs on Wax Jam before founding his own imprint, Musical Metaphor. The vinyl-only label has only released a few EPs to date, both from Luca and both showcasing a distinct style and sound that's since become unique to him.
That Cocoon release was the push he needed for his music to be truly heard. Since then it's been an upward trajectory, that after hearing Sven play his tune, we knew was well-overdue. 2015 has been Luca's biggest and best year to date and we've been there every step of the way.
Cocoon weren't the only world-renowned label to realise the potential in Luca's sound. We thought 'L' Eternita Di Un Attimo' was big but then we heard 'Amore & Psiche' and we found ourselves in a similar position once again. The whirlwind cut released on Innervision's praised 'Secret Weapons' compilation is another example of the melodic, high-octane and super soulful techno that he's making. It wasn't long before it started sneaking its way onto more soundsystems worldwide.
We were at the top of a mountain at Snowbombing earlier in the year, dancing in the sub-zero Arctic Disco, while Dubfire was causing a certified heatwave. All of a sudden those grinding synths and delicate riffs from 'Amore & Psiche' came trickling in. We knew Luca had done it again.
Those who've seen him play this year will have either been partying in Italy where most of his gigs are booked or at DC-10, where he's taken over the Circo Loco terrace for some of the best sets of the season. A true testament to the flight path of the newcomer, another track on the Cocoon compilation, 'Hanami (Armonia Rosa)', followed and with another full EP for Sven's imprint penciled in for the end of the month, it really is the year of the Ballerini.
We're thrilled that Luca's finally had the time to record his debut In Session mix and we're sure you're going to love it. No tracklist this time, just pure grooves and uplifting techno that's as much intergalactic as it is thumping. Who knows, maybe you'll have your goose-bump moment. Check it.
Luca Ballerini's 'Impression of a Dawn' EP will be released on September 28 via Cocoon
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They visit the venue on November 23
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The line-up for the first of the 12-week shows has been announced