909rewind Vol. 1… Sven Väth

Welcome to 909rewind, a new series from 909originals that delves into the early careers of some of dance music’s biggest names, uncovering hidden gems and familiar classics from the archives.

Over the course of the next two hours or so, we dive into an artist’s back catalogue to uncover rare singles, EPs, albums, remixes and more… the tracks that helped shape their sound and set them on the path to legendary status.

Kicking the series off, we feature an industry stalwart, lovingly referred to as ‘Papa’ by his fans… it could only be Obertshausen’s finest, Sven Väth.

Having had his first taste of Ibiza back in 1980 when he was just 16 – “It was the closest I ever came to becoming a fully paid-up hippy,” he told Mixmag in 2015 – the young Sven had his eyes more on the pop music industry, primarily with Off (Organisation for Fun), alongside Luca Anzilotti and Michael Münzing, who would later go on to form Snap!

Hang on Snoopy: Off (Organisation for Fun) promo shot c. 1985 … that’s a young Sven on the left.

Off stormed the European dance charts in 1986 with Electrica Salsa, a well as penning a myriad of new beat and early house classics.

The early 90s saw Sven launch seminal labels such as Eye Q (alongside Heinz Roth and Matthias Hoffman) and Harthouse Records (on which he recorded under the name Barbarella), as well as launching the Omen and Cocoon nightclubs, the latter of which evolved into a record label.

Along the way he also formed the group Astral Pilot with Steffen Britzke, as well as Metal Master (alongside Matthias Hoffmann), not to mention putting out any number of classic cuts under his own name.

Remarkably, this year marks the 20-year anniversary of Cocoon’s debut in Ibiza, with Sven still at the helm, the ringmaster of techno’s most hedonistic circus.

Enjoy this trip through some of the maestro’s early works.

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