Cosmic Gate talk about the importance of emotions behind music, taking risks and why everything is not about the ‘Drop’
By Afra Naushad Ali Khan
Nic Chagall and Bossi, the German tectonics on the Trance scene who have been collaborating as Cosmic Gate since 1999 speak about the latest release of their brand new LP ‘Start To Feel’.
What was the most important essence on ‘Start to Feel’?
Nic Chagall: When we started work on the album, the music was really big with the drops and stuff and for sure we wanted to bring back the feel and emotion into the music.
Bossi: Emotions are so hard to talk about. When five people are listening to a track they will each have different feelings about it. Everything was about a lot of percussion and the ‘Drop’. Tracks were just about that 20 seconds of having people with their hands in the air.
Nic Chagall: Which we loved too, but we wanted to make the tracks and songs deeper again. It doesn’t have to be just a highlight in the track. The song has to be different each time you listen to it.
Bossi: With the music we want to make we don’t want it to just be ‘consumers music’. We wanted to touch people and go a little bit deeper. We have a feeling that a lot of the music that is written now are tracks that work for a certain period of time. We want people to have a smile on their face when they listen to it or maybe dream a little bit. Even if it’s a positive track, to have just a little bit of melancholy in it, just a little bit. We wanted to write music that matters a little bit more and go down a few years.
Nic Chagall: When you only release club tracks or you only release singles you probably always go for the short-term success of a track but when you do an album you’re more open to try out things and that’s when things get more experimental and interesting in the end.
What was the prime idea about “Start to Feel”?
Bossi: It meant about having people to be touched. Not about enjoying it to jump just because a beat was coming, ya’ know what I mean? But to feel the music.
What was your business objective with the album? Was it to create something that was geared towards the club and/ festival or easy listening, or a mix-mash of everything?
Nic Chagall: It is in the end a mix-mash. It’s funny because even when we thought we wanted a song for listening to at home, maybe because we started as DJs and loved going to clubs, in the end it always has a club feeling, right Bossi? But really the goal is to be able to listen to it anywhere.
There seems to be a graduation from your previous albums in terms of sound and feel. Would you say there was a deliberate departure?
Bossi: The time after you finish working on one album and then work on the next album, say, after two years, there’s a lot of change in the production standards, and music in general changes, and you pick up things whether you want it or not. Two years later we are also different personalities, we are two years ahead. We just knew we wanted to be different.
We always say, producing music is not like cooking where we just follow some recipe and do it over and over again. We just go with the flow and we both know when we look at each other that it’s touching us, and we just follow it.
Nic Chagall: I have to say that for us, seriously, it’s a very emotional process, exactly how you say it Bossi. We don’t just cook, we go and search for things until it really moves us in a certain way and that’s how we produce.
Bossi: I would say it’s always a risk when you don’t do what’s a hit or hype at the moment but on the other side if you always produce what is the hype at the moment then the album comes out nine months later and then it means that after a year and a half no one wants to listen to it any more. So it is a risk you have to take. We still do it because we love it and we don’t do it to please a certain moment of a scene or hype. That’s what we would always do, what we feel at the moment.
Nic Chagall: We’re super happy at the moment. We always produce what we think is good and what we like. And like every producer and musician we hope that people like it too. We don’t want to follow any trend and do something different. But I think we always did different and were never sounding like others. And this will always be, forever…
What was the most challenging aspect of working on this album?
Bossi: The whole process of getting every song writer, singer and DJ colleague together. We have like 15 tracks on the album and 10 were collaborations. Just organizing the whole process, sending tracks back and forth was challenging, but our management did a great job, especially with us travelling. But when we had time in-between the gig, we tried to take the time to produce the album.
Are you really satisfied with how the sound emerged?
Nic Chagall: Actually for me, right now, i’m really satisfied with it. I think there’s always every producer who goes through this, when you like it soo much… and then there comes this doubting phase because you’ve heard it 1 million times and you think ‘Oh that’s not it.’ And then you step back for a little bit.
Actually for myself, a lot of the times when i’m in the car and I have listened to it, I really enjoyed myself and i’m really happy about that…that I do music that I love myself, you know.And I hope it’s the same with Bossi I guess..I hope so…
Bossi: I’m just going to go one step ahead and say that this is definitely the best album we ever produced.This is the most grown up and closest to perfection.There is no perfection as such, there is always something you think you could have done… this and that… here and there… but I’ve been so much looking forward to the release. This is something by far not mainstream, but people will listen to it and it can satisfy those who go to clubs and raves, but also satisfy normal people who can get a hint of what is going on in the club scene.
Did you guys experience any ‘magic moments’ during the whole journey of working on this album.
Nic Chagall: That is actually true, the first album we ever did, Bossi, I’m sure you remember it…Like within 30-40 minutes, the melodies of half of the album were done, and then we obviously took the rest of the months producing them. And it’s so true, that with every album we have that.
What kind of a feeling do you want your listeners to take away from this album?
Bossi: If we had to make 10 DJs listen to it, we would get 10 different opinions about the style of the album, but in the end, we hope it pleases our fans in a way that makes them wanna sing, dance and feel happy.
BUY HERE: COSMIC GATE- START TO FEEL