Remember when Sven Väth decided to rip it all up and start again…? [March 1998]

Remember The Harlequin, The Robot And The Ballet Dancer, Sven Väth’s 1994 concept album that displayed the three ‘sides’ to the enigmatic German’s personality?

Today, it is seen as another milestone in a career that has been anything but uninteresting – with ‘Papa Sven’ now hailed as an avuncular techno ambassador. But in 1998, as he told Mixmag, it was perhaps a concept too far, and it was time to go back to the drawing board.

“I don’t make excuses,” he told journalist Dorian Lynskey at the time. “You do something, that’s it, go on. At the time I came up with these ideas I wanted to show people what I was about. I had some very good reactions, but I think for the English, I was a bit too much of a personality.”

Trance, after all, was changing. “I see the trance sound today as like pop music in Germany,” he explains. “Energy 52’s Café Del Mar is in the charts today.”

Besides, having just recently turned 30 (he’s now 53), the younger Sven had other things on his mind – for one thing, he had just given up drugs, cigarettes and coffee. No, seriously.

“It’s a kind of stage,” he told Mixmag. “Things that we’re important in your 20s aren’t that important now.

“I need to think about the future. I think you make your own fate. If you wait too long for things they might not come.”

Looking back now, after two decades of Cocoon Ibiza, countless weekend-long sessions and a myriad of memorable nights, we suspect the older Sven might suggest that his younger model lighten up a bit.

[Article taken from Mixmag, March 1998. Words by Dorian Lynskey, pictures by Jill Flett. Kudos to Abstructure for the YouTube upload]

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