Cosmic Gate: From the valley to the mountain top

When the name Cosmic Gate comes to mind so do the words, hard, fast and alive. If you like solid basslines, driving melodies and funky hard beats, then stop what you’re doing and check them out!

In 1997 Claus Terhoeven (also known as Nic Chagall) and Steven Bossems (aka DJ Bossi) crossed paths at X-It Records. This was the beginning of a special partnership and the birth of Cosmic Gate. They have now become two of the most sought after German DJ and production teams on the scene. Whether it’s producing floor-killers like ‘The Drums’, ‘Mental Atmosphere’, ‘Exploration’ or ‘Firewire’, or performing DJ sets at huge events like Trance Energy in front of 35,000 people, Cosmic Gate are a force to be reckoned with!

Life on the road as a superstar DJ is hard work. Constant touring and the required hours spent in the studio leave little time for anything else. I had the chance to catch up with Stefan Bossems, following their return from two weeks in America. Having just mixed a disc for the latest Ministry of Sound Hard NRG CD (up to number 7 now!), this is what he had to say…

There has been a lot of discussion in the media regarding the state of trance, with many pronouncing it dead… You are lucky enough to be at most of the big events, what’s your view on this? Is trance dead or is it still alive and kicking?

Trance is definitely alive and well, I find it kind of funny when I read story’s like this considering seven of the top 10 DJs in the world are trance DJs. But to be very honest, on the other side trance is not very hip right now. House and progressive house are taking over more and more, but if you love trance who cares! It is like a circle, it is always coming back, up and down, in two years maybe R&B will have its overkill and maybe trance will be totally hip again. Trance got a very bad name because of loads of really cheesy dance productions and DJs. It hasn’t got a good name right now, but trance will never die.

Cosmic Gate have released a new single featuring Jan Johnston titled ‘I Feel Wonderful’. Where did u get the idea for this track?

 The track is a mix of Freefall’s ‘Skydive’ vocal on top of one of our own track “Bilingual”. The idea came from a very successful bootleg, so we decided to contact Jan Johnston who is a friend of ours. She said that she had also heard of the bootleg and was interested in collaborating with Cosmic Gate. Once we got publishing matters out of the way Jan Johnston came to our studio and we re-recorded her vocals. There is also the AMPM mix that guys like Tiesto, Armin and Paul are playing, a deeper more flowing alternative.

In DJ Mag’s 2004 Top 100 Cosmic Gate secured number 81 on the bill, what does it feel like to be on the list?

That is definitely a big honour for us. When we got in there two years ago we were never really into DJ charts, someone called us up and told us we were in it, and we were like “in what?” In the last two or three years a lot of people have been talking about these DJ charts and we know it’s very important to be on that list. We have worked very hard to get there and we hope to go even higher next year.

What new releases are on the horizon for Cosmic Gate?

We have just released Hard NRG 7 in Australia, and in a couple of weeks we will do ‘Cosmic Gate Back2Back In The Mix Volume 2’, which will also be released worldwide in late May or early June depending on the different territories. Ministry Of Sound Australia are going to release it as a double CD with a progressive sound on disc 1 leading into harderstyle on disc 2. Finally towards the end of the year in October or November we will be releasing a Cosmic Gate artist album, followed by a tour to Australia early next year. We are planning to play Perth, Darwin, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. We love Australia, the energy we feel in the clubs is electric!

Tell us about Hard NRG 7.

The Hard NRG7 CD has been released by Ministry Of Sound Australia. We mixed disc 1 and have included four Cosmic Gate tracks, including our new single ‘I Feel Wonderful’, as well as new tracks from Signum, Tiesto, Johan Gielen and Silent Electra. The mix showcases where we are right now and where trance is heading in the future, a must for hard trance heads.

Not only have you gained respect for mind blowing DJ sets and great production skills in the studio but you are also known for remixing other artists such as Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Blank and Jones and Svenson & Gielen to name a few. Which track did you enjoy remixing the most?

I guess the most enjoyable ones were Ferry Corsten’s ‘Digital Punk’ and Tiesto’s ‘Urban Train’.

Being part of a duo, how do you share the workload between the two of you? For example, who writes the melodies and who produces and mixes the tracks?

We do all the producing together, and with the DJing when we play together we always play back to back. Claus will play a track then I will play a track, it’s really all shared.

When your not behind the decks or in the studio, what do you like to do with your spare time?

We try to spend as much time as we can with the family. Claus with his wife and daughter and me with my girlfriend. When the weather is fine we go to the beach, go to the movies, look after the house and do some weeding in the garden, haha!

What is your most memorable gig to date?

Trance Energy in Holland! 35,000 people, we played the closing set, and that was really amazing! Everyone was talking about our set, we came home on the Sunday and our homepage was full of people talking about it, and still today we get emails from people telling us that was the best set they had ever heard. We touched people and we were touched as well, it was an honour, it was great!

Do you run your own label?

We have a label called E-Cuts and we release all our Cosmic Gate stuff on it and also some new tracks by new artists will be released in the near future.

Where do you see trance in the future?

I see it not being to hip right now, but it will go up and in two years it will be popular again. At the moment trance is in the valley, but soon it will be on top of the mountain again.

Ministry of Sound’s ‘Hard NRG 7’, mixed by Cosmic Gate & John Ferris, is out now through MoS/EMI. The Hard NRG tour continues in May, you can see John Ferris and Scott Alert at the following venues:

Fri 6th May, Rolling Rock – Noosa (John Ferris)
Sat 7th May, Sporties – Cairns (John Ferris & Scott Alert)
Fri 13th May, 21st Century – Frankston (John Ferris)
Fri 20th May, Liquid – Albury (John Ferris)
Fri 27th May, Syrup – Hobart (John Ferris & Scott Alert
Sat 28th May, Saloon – Launceston (John Ferris & Scott Alert)