Sep 15, 2016
Cosmic Gate's Exclusive Mix
Last month, ahead of their 125th Episode of Wake Your Mind radio, we talked with Cosmic Gate as they reflected on their career and dove deeper into their track selection and overall process for crafting each episode. They are back this month delivering an outstanding Exclusive Mix and story. Enjoy each track in its entirety as they take you on a journey while you get some insight into their 2016 productions and what lies ahead for the guys (Album!).
What was it like working with Eric Lumiere this time around on “Edge Of Life”?
Eric and us do have quite a history. He kind of knows what we like and what we can do. When you do a vocal track there are two options. The first option is where we write a demo, this worked with our first collaboration with Emma Hewitt – “Not Enough Time.” “Falling Back” with Eric was the same way. The other way is that you get just the piano line with the vocal and you build the track around that. With “Edge Of Life,” we felt it was just a great hookline and went from there this time around.
People are like, “How do you work a track?” Sometimes it’s just a sound you play and then [sings a melody] you have a melody to build the track around. Other times you have a nice bass sound and you play with the bassline, that’s what we did with “Yai” for instance. And then we found this vocal like “yaaaaaiii” and you just go and enjoy the way a track comes together.
When he sent you the piano and vocals, what first stood out to you about them?
You know, you listen to something first and you just close your eyes and try to imagine what you could add and what you like. I listen to tracks a second time and then just put them away for a few days. Then if I listen to it again and think, “Oh wow,” I know the song has really started to touch me. I really prefer to put the track away after the first one or two plays. Sometimes after two listens you’re under the shower and singing something and it’s like, “Well, what am I singing? Oh this was the demo we got!” That is always a good sign.
It’s different with every track. Some tracks stick in your mind right away, while others slowly work their magic after more listens. Those tracks can be even bigger and longer lasting hits. That’s the interesting thing about music. Each track works differently and touches you and others in different ways. Same with these demos. I’m not sure initially, but then you listen again after a few days and are like, “Oh My God! Where was I?! Was I too stressed out? I wasn’t focused.” Nobody is perfect. We’ve all surely missed a good track when we listened for the first time.
When you were producing “am2pm” did you have any idea how successful it would be?
Honestly you never know. We knew “am2pm” would work well but that success, staying at #1 on Beatport for weeks and then all around support from the trance scene, was just fantastic. People took notice and thought the track, while very modern, also has all these old school elements which bring everything together. It sounds like nothing else out there. Maybe in that moment that is the reason for the track’s success. There are not a lot of other tracks like it. But in the end you never know.
When we made “Exploration Of Space,” we gave it to the record company and we were like, “Oh my god, hopefully this is good enough.” We are never the guys to be like, “Oh wow this is the best we’ve ever done and this is a sure song.” We have to be satisfied with a track, we need to have a good feeling, but in the end you can never know how other people feel about a track.
Is there anyone supporting your music you get particular surprised or excited by?
It’s not that our tracks go to a massively wide audience out of the so called trance scene, but if we do some of these tracks and there are some of the EDM guys picking it up that is cool! It’s super nice, especially when it’s not their sound. Tiësto played “Edge Of Life” and it’s cool for him to be like, “Oh wow these guys have been around for forever and still they sound outstanding.” It’s a big compliment. And he plays nothing else in his Club Life show similar to “Edge Of Life,” so it was a big compliment.
With the Third Contact remix of “Exploration Of Space,” what does it mean to you guys to bring that song to a new group of listeners? Many of the younger generation of fans may not even realize how long ago that song came out.
That’s actually, you put it exactly the right way, we tried to remix it for a new generation of listeners while keeping the vibe of the original. It’s still the original break and really the original song, but we get some really hard criticism. “Oh my god this is my favorite song, how can you do this?!” Hey, this is just to introduce it to a younger generation. Someone who is 10, maybe 15 years younger than you are. We did not take the original mix off the market, it’s still there. Let’s be honest, we just made it a little bit more pumping and kicking for 2016, we aren’t living in 2000 anymore. This is exactly what we wanted, keeping the vibe of the original and bringing the production to a new younger club generation. We still think the feel with the build from the beginning is there otherwise we would not have done it.
It looks like you guys have been playing the Alex Di Stefano remix of “So Get Up” a lot?
He’s for sure one of the new kids on the block if I can say that. He has his, I don’t want to say tech trance, but it’s a little techy approach and he uses these fat strings. It’s simply well done. This mix is extremely well done. This is the meaning of doing a remix. To take certain parts of a track and then put your own handwriting on it. This is how we approach our remixes too. We can say big, big hats off, we love playing it as much as we like playing our original and we are sure to play it for a long time.
What was your favorite show of the summer?
It was the Ibiza shows with Above & Beyond at Cream. Digital Dreams in Toronto was just really, really good. Ile Soniq in Montreal was just a lot of fun. I don’t want to forget anyone now, but these are certainly some that stick out!
What were you must plays this summer?
Let’s see..the new Sunny Lax - “Aeons” and we love the new Kryder remix of Chicane – “Saltwater.”
What’s the fall going to be like with the album coming up?
We have an album to finish by the end of November. We are touring a lot, but we still have to be in the studio so it will be a little bit hardcore. We have the three singles which will be on the album of course. We have three to four really nice collaborations with names that go through the 1001tracklists database very frequently that will be on the album. We are just sending some things back and forth and finishing things up. We have one coming out at the end of this month actually! Pretty big name that is a good friend of ours.
We are going to work with a few guys you’ve seen us on stage with and we’ve been touring with recently. One or two nice surprises, guys that have been out there even longer than we have, we’ve found our way together. Hopefully we have a last idea for one of those tracks. We are very, very excited.
Are you working with any big vocalists? Another Emma Hewitt track maybe?
We just got an email from Emma with a few good ideas, but good ideas in theory, you just never know. Sure, we would like to get something done, but sometimes when there are deadlines it doesn’t work out. We do have some good names from the past, some new exciting names, it’s going to be interesting for everyone.
How many tracks will you go in with and how many tracks make it out?
We will for sure not put an album out with 17 tracks like we did with Start To Feel. To be honest, you release an album and four weeks later people ask, “So when do we listen to new stuff?” And it’s like, “Oh my god, there’s 16 tracks you haven’t heard before and we’ve been working on this for a year, and after four weeks you ask for new music.” This is like asking someone who just finished a marathon a day later, “Oh are you ready for the next marathon?” It seems like it’s more about quantity than quality these days. DJs are just having one track, one track, one remix. That simply with the fact that they all use ghost producers. If you’re touring as much as many of them do and still have so many releases - guys, be a little bit suspicious about where that music is coming from. It’s not going to be 17, but we will have a nice amount of tracks on the album. How many? 10-12 maybe. It’s unfortunate, but everything has such a short life span these days.
To release an album already is kind of old school, but we think as real artists it’s important to write albums. If you just do singles from the artistic side you limit yourself. There are so many different stories we want to tell, but if we just produce singles, it won’t happen. It’s all focused more or less on the dancefloor; we are DJs, a single has to work on the dancefloor. But on an album we do tracks that are just different. Like “Happyness” - we would have never produced the way that it is without doing an album. As a single it would’ve sounded totally different. For us it’s important to write albums because we want to deliver tracks and do different things. Otherwise you can get bored, and that’s certainly not a good thing as an artist.
How do you test album tracks on a dancefloor?
Some certainly get tested out. Like “Edge Of Life,” we tested it two or three times. In the end it’s about the mixdown more than anything else. When we played it, it was so on point that we didn’t have to change much. Especially with the club singles, it feels good to play them out and hear how they sound on a big system and see people react. As long as I see there is no one recording.
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