From timeless classics like “Exploration of Space” to festival bangers like “So Get Up,” Cosmic Gate has been at the forefront of trance and progressive music. Throughout the years, their tracks have received constant support from industry-leaders like Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond. On January 20th, they released their seventh studio album, Materia Chapter.One; the first of two volumes. Featuring nine tracks and seven features, the album is a diverse musical journey filled with elements both old and new. In the following interview, Cosmic Gate discusses Materia Chapter.One, providing an analysis of its major tracks, features and intrinsic elements:
Congratulations on the release of your 7th studio album, Materia Chapter.One! What led you to title the piece ‘Materia,’ and why did you decide to split it into two volumes? What key factors separate Chapter.One from Chapter.Two?
Thank you very much, guys! Materia is the Latin term for ‘matter,’ the substance that all things are made of – the basics of everything around us and even ourselves. When we started on the first tracks and demos for the album, we got the feeling that the music felt very fundamentally ‘Cosmic Gate’ even when we were pushing our musical boundaries further. This album brings together modern and old elements (from ~5 to 7 years ago), the latter of which reminisces the beginning of our sound and our finest works. That’s why we felt Materia was a great working title – even more so, it’s different, 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 the iTunes releases have been climbing the charts, which was a pleasant surprise for us.
We decided to split it into two parts, because we had too many good tracks that we wanted to release and simply could not get them done on time to release them all together. Another reason was to give our fans more time to really explore the music on each Chapter. Releasing 17 tracks as we did with Start to Feel was great, but we didn’t know how to react when people started asking us for new music about 4 weeks after its release. It was a project that took all our heart, soul and energy channeled into creative potential for a year! It wasn’t like pushing a button and saying, “Hey, here’s more music for you!” So we decided to spread-out the release in two volumes to get people excited for the release of Chapter.Two – it will be out soon! For now, submerge yourselves into Chapter.One.
The album opens with the soft voice of JES in “Fall Into You” and soars into the realms of trance with Ilan Bluestone in “Spectrum.” Why did you choose “Fall Into You” as the album’s first track? What led you to collaborate with Ilan Bluestone, and what characteristics did he bring into the production process that you otherwise could not?
Like everything we do, we just followed our guts and feelings. “Fall Into You” just felt great to us; opening the album with JES’s fantastic voice and the vibe coming from the track was the perfect introduction to give an idea of what to expect from Materia. About Ilan, we were touring together throughout the U.S. quite a lot and would stop by my place in Las Vegas for a few days. 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 at that point. So, a few days after some studio jam time, the basics were set and “Spectrum” was born. The rest we finished during a studio session in London at Ilan’s place in November. This is basically how it went: very easy and smooth. We hope “Spectrum” reflects this feel and the chemistry that the three of us have.
The album winds down with “Fireflies,” merging iron-clad waves of bass and Julie Thompson’s ethereal voice into a harmonious duality. It also signals a deviation from your trance and progressive tunes. What inspired the track’s elements?
If you follow the history of our albums, we always do tracks that are different (downtempo in “Fireflies,” for example) We have been fans of Julie’s voice and songwriting for many years, so when we heard “Fireflies” we liked it right away and decided to give it a darker, edgy feel. We felt that this complimented her unique voice. It’s simply a song to dive into, but it also has the potential to get transmitted into a great dancefloor song. Let’s see where we can take it with some remixes!
Concluding with what I would describe as ‘the quintessence’ of your sound, “Halo” signals the end of a musical journey through space and leaves us itching for more.
We certainly do hope so! The term ‘last-but-not-least’ surely counts for “Halo;” it received so much support from deejays and positive feedback from crowds. It’s simply a melodic track that puts a smile on your face, but it has that progressive and dark feel on top to make a crowd in a club explode after the break – an absolute must in our sets for the Materia U.S. Tour.
Most artists tend to organize their tracks to tell a tale or deliver a message. What did you intend for Materia Chapter.One to communicate to listeners?
In the end, we try to find a running order that makes the most sense, so we try to build an imaginary deejay set for the album: lead through a night with ups and downs. And so it is with the album; its single tracks create a whole that tells a complete story. We hope it will make the listener urge for more on Chapter.Two!
Get tickets to the Materia U.S. Tour here.
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