The life-affirming energy at the heart of Sven Väth‘s recent album Catharsis is revisited, reanimated,
and remixed by some of the most exciting names around, closing the circle on a superlative burst of
recent work that has not only given us the epic original LP, but also the extraordinary compilation What
I Used To Play.
Roman Flügel, Benjamin Damage, Robert Hood, Planetary Assault Systems, Mano Le Tough… do we
need to go on? This hand-picked list of luminaries have answered the call and certainly don’t
disappoint, each fusing their signature sound with Sven‘s DNA to create a wild, uncompromising
companion piece to the original album.
True to form, the running order is very much rooted on the dance floor, Silvi‘s Dream, revisited by
Damiano von Erckert, explodes like a Balearic sunrise. Dreamy strings with a touch of Detroit create a
lovely atmosphere while the beautiful piano sound goes right into your heart and appears as if you
could feel the warm sun on your skin. Roman Flügel’s acidic rework of What I Used To Play is a
homage to the 80s and the early sound of electronic music which creates nostalgic feelings and offers
a greatly produced retro soundscape à la Kraftwerk. Staying close to the original, but with the perfect
amount of spin, it’s a symbiotic interplay of synthetic bass pads, and a tiny bell melody. Robag
Wruhme’s cranking minimal funk takes us down The Worm-hole. A concise interference sound builds
up sustained tension, tangled but structured, deep and yet driving. Robag took over the deep and dirty
rhythms of the original perfectly and delivers a versatile piece. This opening salvo oozes quality and
sets things up perfectly for the electrified celebration of hi-octane technology come.
Jonathan Kaspar‘s growling interpretation of We Are provides a melancholic atmosphere with
fascinating percussion parts. Zaps shoot through the air like small laser pistols while we let ourselves
be carried away by the bass, the frisky vocal stutter effect is the icing on the cake. Speeding things up,
the euphoric trance that engulfs Krystal Klear’s epic version of Feiern. Expansive strings increase up
to ecstasy and guide us to a love-filled unity. This remix is sure to be an excellent peak-time smasher
for the open-air season. On to a wild ride of pure techno with Benjamin Damage, who delivers a dry
and uncompromising Berlin Techno version of Mystic Voices. Harder pace but the string synthesizer
harmony brings light to an otherwise gloomy environment. Next up is Luke Slater’s PAS Deep Heet
Mix to add a retro nineties vibe to proceedings on Nyx. Entering a rough space with gigantic clap
impacts, we are blessed with straightforward Techno. Shimmering and spooling, this groove hits the
mark. Then, as if it was ever in doubt, Sven‘s lofty place in the techno firmament is underlined by a
peak-time contribution by non-less than Detroit legend Robert Hood. Unmistakable, you must
recognize the signature Robert Hood drive on Butoh. Chord stabs fulfill the Detroit feeling with offtaking string elements and high-energy vocal transformations. It’s a warm embrace that triggers
emotions. Planetary Assault Systems then blasts things ever deeper into the cosmos on a second
outing of Nyx. Reduced and to the point but of course, true to form, with powerful tribal percussion
parts and intensive cutting hi-hats.
From there on in, the collection gradually re-enters the atmosphere, burning with a phosphorescent,
melancholy glow. Harald Björk extrapolates Being In Love into a hypnotic groove for the early hours. A
playful and atmospheric electronica interpretation to soothe our souls due to disharmonious synth
pads and a dreamy deformation of the original melody. Mano Le Tough harnesses the ethno-rhythms
and brooding energy of Catharsis into a low-slung, tribal stomper. Anomalous organ parts ring out and
link up with a trance-like sequence, summer feelings arouse as you feel like you can almost smell
Ibizan air. The collection comes full circle with a second equally seductive interpretation of Silvi‘s
Dream by Florian Hollerith. Stripped-down and hypnotic, the homage to Sven’s girlfriend Silvi is
extended as a reverence to Sven himself. Sven’s profound vocals clearly infuse time and space and
leave a forever-lasting memory of love.
By accident or design, it somehow leaves us with the reassuring sense that, although this specific part
of the journey may be drawing to a close, the mission of the man behind it all most definitely isn’t.
written & produced by: Sven Väth & Gregor Tresher