Jan 25, 2017
Cosmic Gate Explore Materia
Trance fans and dance music fans worldwide are rejoicing this week following the release of Chapter.One of Cosmic Gate’s new album Materia this past Friday. The album is a tantalizing array of tracks featuring their hit singles “Edge Of Life” with Eric Lumiere and “am2pm,” as well as superb collaborations with trance heavyweights Ferry Corsten and Ilan Bluestone. The album also features work with repeat collaborator JES and new projects with vocalists Alastor, Tim White and Julie Thompson. The duo joined us for an honest, in depth look at putting the album together, exploring all sides of their productions, and how the tracks are being integrated into their sets ahead of their Materia tour.
You guys have tended to put out studio albums every few years. What do you like about releasing music in album form?
For us to produce an album simply is an expression of our artistic profile and freedom. We can write music on an album that is simply different to just producing singles. Let’s be honest, for us as DJs, tracks first have to work on the dancefloor and hopefully on radio too. With a lot of album tracks, we simply write without any pictures or ideas in our head at all and we definitely think that is a good thing. We work more freely and without pressure.
So we see an album as something that helps us to express a wider range of music. It allows us introduce music that maybe wouldn’t be expected first hand from us, and that’s what we like; it helps us push our boundaries and limits, and maybe boundaries for the whole scene. In the end, changes are important for a growing and thriving trance scene.
All of this keeps us going, pushing our musical horizons ahead, coming up with music that hopefully surprises, and an album is the perfect way to do it. For our fans maybe it make us stick out from other trance acts by delivering things that are fresh and different.
When did you guys decide to make another album and how long have you been working on organizing tracks for the album?
It’s actually not a matter of a decision, it’s a natural thing. After releasing an album, we go on a tour and free our minds from the production and style before. After adding some time and fresh inspirations, the need to do a new album comes quite automatically. From that moment on it simply feels good to go and hit the studio again, and so it did in the beginning of 2016 when we started the first work for Materia. In the end an album for us always seems to end up taking about nearly a year, and so it did with Materia as well, even more now with us still in the process to finish tracks for the release of Chapter.Two later in the year.
What do you think ties these tracks together and makes them unified as album tracks?
In the end it’s hard to say, but also easy; it’s simply the mindset that we are in at a certain time, the music that inspires us, the touring, where we live, what we do – all of this in the end reflects on an album and the music. As different as certain tracks are to others on the album, it still feels like one big complex building to us; every room is different, but adds up to a hopefully perfect overall home you want to live in. Every single song adds up to a hopefully good overall album and story, and we hope the listeners will agree and feel what we felt when we were writing the music in the studio.
What prompted the decision to release the album in two chapters?
In the end it was pretty simple, we had too many good tracks that we wanted to release and could simply not get them done on time to release all in one. Another reason why we actually like the concept of two chapters is to give our fans more time to really explore the music on each Chapter. To release 17 tracks as we did with Start To Feel is great, but when people four weeks after the release ask, “so when do we hear new music?” Then we, as the people that have been busting on the album for a year, don’t really know how to react.
The album is a project that took all of our heart, soul, energy and mostly creative potential for a year. It’s not like pushing a button and saying, hey, here is more music for you. So we’ve spread the release and hopefully get people excited after Chapter.One and anxious for Chapter.Two to be released. Our answer in case of anyone asking for more, Chapter.Two will be there soon!
Can you discuss your decision to name the album Materia? How do the tracks on the album reflect this title?
Well to explain at first, Materia is the Latin term for matter, the substance that all things are made of. So in the end, it’s the basics of everything around us and even ourselves as human beings. When we started the first songs and demos for the album, we got a feeling that even with pushing boundaries further, the music is very basic and kind of “original” Cosmic Gate. It’s somehow very much us, a lot from today, on top of elements from say 5 to 7 years ago, but also reminiscing some of the beginning of Cosmic Gate as well. Basically the best of our works during the years brought together.
That’s why we felt Materia was a great working title, and after a while we were like, “Hey, actually it’s better than just a working title, lets go for it!” It’s different and simply reflects the music and our feel for what we were doing, and here we are, the first singles have been received beyond our expectations and we are thrilled with the final album release.
How did the collaboration with Ilan Bluestone on “Spectrum” come about? Can you talk a little about the production process for that track and what it was like working with Ilan?
We were touring together with Ilan in the States and simply on a few days off stopped in Bossi’s place in Vegas. We enjoyed a good time hanging out and of course used the time to hit the studio as well, as we had been planning to do a collaboration for quite a while already. So a few days later including some studio jam time here and there, the basics were set and “Spectrum” was born. The rest we finished on a studio session in London at Ilan’s place in November. It was very easy and smooth, and we hope “Spectrum” reflects this feel and the chemistry that the three of us have.
Following up on “Event Horizon” with Ferry Corsten last year, what was it like working with Ferry again on “Dynamic”?
Well Ferry and us have been good mates for so long, that actually to only now work on music together is a bit of a thing we all don’t understand. But hey, we came up with two tracks. This should make up for the time delay, well, for a bit at least!
Talking about the music, things actually went so well that both ideas that we started working on felt like a must to release to all of us, so we decided to release “Event Horizon” on Ferry’s Flashover last year first, and to wait and put “Dynamic” on Materia and our Wake Your Mind label. We can’t wait for the public to know this track, the first club plays been just awesome and it’s one of our favorites to play out in the clubs!
“Fight The Feeling” with Alastor and “Fireflies” featuring Julie Thompson are some deeper and darker tracks from you guys. Can you talk a little about getting to showcase that side of your productions on the album?
Knowing and looking into our history, the albums always have had a wider range of styles, which as we said before already is a huge part of why we are into producing albums that much. They give us the chance to do tracks that we could not necessarily release as singles that easily, and for us as artists, it’s challenging and fun at the same time to push the boundaries of our music further. We also think that’s very important, because let’s be honest, a lot of trance or let’s say club music in general is sounding pretty much the same. We try to not be part of this repetitive game too much.
To talk about the tracks, Alastor has had some fantastic tunes during the last year. For example, his track “Floyd” together with Jerome Isma-Ae was one of our favorites of 2016. It was great to work with him, he is a great guy and very talented musician, and “Fight The Feeling” for us is just a perfect musical addition to Materia and for our DJ sets as well.
Julie Thompson has been a personal favorite of ours for many years and we are just happy we got the chance to work together. “Fireflies” sure is the most downtempo track on the album, but we personally love it and think our fans appreciate such tracks too. Real songs that are made just for listening, songs that carry some depth, and perfectly add to the album to complete it as a whole.
What should people expect from your Materia tour? When you’re approaching your sets, how do you decide between playing the original, a mashup, a remix or an edit of your album tracks?
We will play nothing but the album mixes, but in the extended more DJ friendly version. To us it won’t make sense to do mashups before the fans can even purchase the original, and all of the album tracks are so clubby on top. They are club mixes basically anyway, so we cannot wait for the tour to start and play basically the complete Materia Chapter.One album. If you’re wondering when we come to your city, please check the complete dates on cosmic-gate.de.
Thus far, what is your favorite album track to play live?
Wow, this is kinda impossible to say, as the whole album turned out super clubby and it’s just a bunch of unreleased tunes that go off every time we pick them! Plus “am2pm” and “Edge Of Live” are on it as well. Please make your own pick, we struggle too much here!
You can stream or buy Chapter.One of Materia on your platform of choice today: https://cosmicgate.choons.at/materia
Be sure to catch Cosmic Gate in a city near you to celebrate the album with them! http://cosmic-gate.de/tour-dates/
short link 1001.tl/30snu2