For every 50 episodes on his legendary radio show “A State of Trance” (ASOT), Armin van Buuren goes on a worldwide tour in the name of that milestone, bringing along the finest of trance to unite the world into one big, sizzling dance floor. For every 50 episodes on their timeless radio show “Group Therapy Radio” (ABGT), Above & Beyond spin the globe and pick a celebrated venue to hold a one night show of spectacular splendor.
Now, enter Cosmic Gate. On track to hitting their first 50th-episode-milestone on their radio show “Wake Your Mind Radio” (WYM Radio), trance-powerhouse Cosmic Gate is releasing a mix album compilation through Armada Music titled “Wake Your Mind Sessions 001”(WYM Sessions 001). The mix album is a timepiece, uniting the tracks that not only defined their deejay sets but also outshone on WYM Radio during this 50-episode-period. The album also features new music from the duo. Nic Chagall, the half that guides the musicality of Cosmic Gate’s tracks, describes “WYM Sessions 001” as:
“A 360° of what we do. That’s what we aim for these releases. Going forward, we feel that ‘WYM Sessions’ are going to be the centre-point of mixes we’ll put together throughout the year. As such, they’re the ones that must reflect, most explicitly, everything that Wake Your Mind Radio, WYM Records, Start To Feel, and naturally Cosmic Gate stands for.” (Stark Profiles+PR, 2015)
Composed of thirty-three seamlessly mixed tracks split into two discs, “WYM Sessions 001” crosses genres and pushes boundaries:
Disc I commences with a beaming smile and excellent kick-starter: 16 Bit Lolitas’s Mariana-entrenched hit “Deep In My Soul.” The track is then followed by the hard-hitting and intense “Portal,” by Greenhaven DJs’s, the melody and placement of which incurs a ‘foreboding’ emotion. Maceo Plex’s remix of GusGus’s “Crossfade” creeps up from the calm waters of the sea to un-surface a mystic-sounding monster of a track. Call me Ishmael. Upon reaching the shores of Barra, Rio at midnight, 8Kays’s remix of Azotti’s “Day and Night” has the city and its buildings glowing in like a kaleidoscope to the beat. Diverson’s “505” pulls us slowly into the Amazonian jungle with its ever-so-mellow, tribal-sounding bass. At the breakdown, we come upon a desolate area where three marvelous, ancient structures bathed in the milk of the full moon sit calmly. Taking a wooden boat ride up the Amazon, we drift past these remnants of The Old World and are met with the cannon fire of Jerome Isma-Ae’s remix of “Hide U” by Roger Shah and Sian Kosheen.
Enter Rodg’s “Pendejo,” which churns the twinkling stars of the midnight purple sky into a cosmic dance of bursting decadence. With Fehrplay’s “Pyara,” the towering trees along the river begin to shake, releasing a mesmerizing van Gogh painting of a torrent of fireflies swirling and pulsating to the melody. Surrounding the boat, the fireflies continue to dance and synchronize with the waltz of the stars with Yoel Lewis’s “Paradox.” Taking things a bit higher, Steve Brian’s remix of “This Will Be your Happyness” by Cosmic Gate & Jennifer Cooke takes us from the mouth of the Amazon and into the Atlantic, where the fireflies assemble to form a radiant, flying ship. The track’s climax lets us find our happiness as the ship takes to the star-struck sky where perfectly delineated constellations dance: Gemini chiming with Jupiter and Leo in tango with Aries. Followed by Maor Levi’s remix of Cosmic Gate & Kristina Antuna’s emotional “Alone,” the ship enters hyper-drive, taking twists and turns, and making barrel rolls through the night sky. Enter Cosmic Gate’s remix of Gareth Emery’s “Long Way Home,” as the ship settles and blissfully takes course along the drifting clouds.
Up next is Genix’s all-killer-no-survivor track “Durban,” which sends charging tail-winds that launch the ship toward the northeast with such high speed that its surroundings are left in a warp-state (not too unlike Matthew McConaughey’s trip through the worm-hole in Christopher Nolan’s stellar “Interstellar”). The yellow-pink shoots out the horizon as the Sun makes its debut appearance, in search of sunrise, with Cosmic Gate & JES’s gorgeous “Yai (Here We Go Again).” As JES begins to tell her tale, the ship is accompanied by a sea of floating lanterns as it drifts slowly toward its destination. JES’s repetitive warning ‘here we go again’ plays like a broken record as the ship takes a sharp dive to London. Just then, Ilan Bluestone’s murderous “Big Ben” kicks-in as the ship disintegrates and vanishes into the ether. The mesmerizing breakdown occurs as we are suspended in the air by masses of fireflies on the bottoms of our shoes. The drop causes the gears of London’s very own Big Ben to fast-forward time, with the hands moving clockwise in hyper-speed ’til Apollo’s chariot can no longer keep up. Disc I’s adventure comes to a close with Alex Di Stefano’s mystifying, ethereal “I’ve Got the Power.” With a melody sounding not too unlike that of Lange & Cosmic Gate’s very own “Wanderlust,” we are caught chasing another adventure with Disc II.
Disc I’s Tracklist:
01. 16 Bit Lolitas – Deep In My Soul
02. Greenhaven DJs – Portal
03. GusGus – Crossfade (Maceo Plex Mix)
04. Azotti feat. Bagga Bownz – Day And Night (IRA’ presents 8Kays Remix)
05. Diversion – 505
06. Roger Shah & Sian Kosheen – Hide U (Jerome Isma-Ae Remix)
07. Rodg – Pendejo
08. Fehrplay – Pyara
09. Yoel Lewis – Paradox
10. Cosmic Gate & Jennifer Cooke – This Will Be Your Happyness (Steve Brian Remix)
11. Cosmic Gate & Kristina Antuna – Alone (Maor Levi Remix)
12. Gareth Emery – Long Way Home (Cosmic Gate Remix)
13. Genix – Durban
14. Cosmic Gate & JES – Yai (Here We Go Again)
15. ilan Bluestone – Big Ben
16. Alex Di Stefano – I’ve Got The Power
Disc II adorns us with strapping spacesuits as we exit the sub-lunar Earth, kicking off with a Cosmic Gate mash-up of Arty’s massive “Flashback” and Cosmic Gate’s “Body of Conflict.” The breakdown builds ever-so-slowly as we enter the disorderly ordered solar system, passing by Luna’s centripetal orbits around Terra. The track’s drop takes us deep into our love, deep into our hearts, and deep into surrender, as we enter Jupiter’s gravitational pull. Above & Beyond’s emotionally-infused “Sticky Fingers” gives us the spectacle of the loving, symbiotic relationship between Io and Jupiter, incurring memories of our very own old-time and golden-time lovers. Yet, with the friendly reminder of Paavo’s LED backdrop message “IT’S OVER, BE FREE,” we rip ourselves from the tantalizing grip of Jupiter at the track’s drop as we soar towards your anu — just kidding — Neptune (thanks, Paavo). The surrounding ocean of stars begins to pulsate to the melody of Steve Brian & Tabasco Bob’s retro-sounding “Time & Time,” emitting radiant glows of spectra. With Cosmic Gate & Ørjan Nilsen’s intensely gripping “Fair Game,” we enter the storm-chasing Eye of Neptune and are indeed caught in an array of storms. Spiraling from vortex to vortex, we are flung into the track’s relentless, vigorous drop.
When the bass of Cosmic Gate & Eric Lumiere’s “Falling Back” kicks in, Neptune’s Eye shoots us out, spiraling us toward Andromeda. Travelling across the Milky Way, we observe the timeless, stellar swirl of celestial bodies as well as the illuminating pulsation of the stars that are in symphony with the track’s melody. Bearing witness to a spectacle such as this, we’re falling back in love, indeed. As we travel through space debris, Simon de Jano & Bottai’s dark track “Delorean” hits us in waves of asteroids and multi-colored comets with its renegade bass-line. Then, as we exit the debris area, a moment of stillness occurs — enter Nic Chagall & Jonathan Mendelsohn’s pleasant track “This Time.” We witness the age-old clusters of stellar remnants from dead stars, where new stars are formed, as the track’s soothing piano keys are struck one by one. An illuminating cloud of stellar particles — not too unlike The Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula (shown below) — is quite the spectacle: imagine vast clouds of stellar, poly-painted dust. It’s nice to see that Nic and Jonathan are back at it again since their hit “This Moment,” which is an absolute-all-time favorite of mine. Well, back to the review.
Cosmic Gate & Jerome Isma-Ae’s industrial “Telefunken” triggers the stellar clouds to shoot out new stars in all directions with the drop’s segmented bass-line. The track is quickly followed by Alexander Popov’s remix of LTN’s “Feeling Like (Yeah),” featuring the lovely vocals of Christina Novelli. The track’s drop gives us momentum as we go toward Andromeda. Feeling like astronauts (and like ‘yeah’), Bart Claessen’s intergalactic and thought-provoking “E.T. Astronaut” begins. The astronomical melody, coupled with a mysterious, raspy-sounding transmittance repeating that “we come in peace,” grants us entrance through Andromeda’s cosmic gate. On the centripetal, stellar path to anywhere and nowhere, we are told that the time is right to go back home by the smooth-sounding Emma Hewitt in Cosmic Gate’s club mix of “Going Home.” Taking heed to her warning, we embark on the intergalactic battleship that is Stoneface & Terminal’s astronomical “Caligula” and undertake the Earth-bound journey. At the track’s drop, we enter warp-speed toward our familiar Milky Way.
The powerful “Lush” by Axis follows, and guides us through the Milky Way to our Solar System. Cosmic Gate’s octane-infused “So Get Up” has us bear witness to Earth under siege by an intergalactic empire. During the track’s breakdown, we exchange plucks of sound (in Morse Code, because math is the universal language) with the empire’s ship. As per the transmittance of vigorous and shorter interval plucks, it is quickly understood that the empire is relentless and possesses sinister intentions. As the end of the Earth is upon us, and it will pretty soon all turn to dust, we then have a blast (or two, or five, or a thousand) against the empire’s ship during the track’s drop. Over time, the empty space is filled with a kaleidoscope of bright explosions to the explosive bass of Andrew Bennett’s radioactive remix of The Thrillseekers’s “Synaesthesia.” Though it seems like mutually assured destruction is upon both factions, we reign supreme. Yeah, it went down like that. One sentence. As we drift toward Earth’s familiar atmosphere victorious, Super8 & Tab’s “No Frontiers” begins. When the track’s bass kicks in, our ship begins to catch fire as we make the descent to Earth’s gleaming azure. As the ship disintegrates — don’t fret, those awesome spacesuits we’re wearing protect us from these kind of plot-holes (sponsored by Marvel) — Julie Thompson’s vocals remind us that there are indeed no frontiers for us humans. There are no longer any battle-lines, nor any rules to this game of life. As we plunge into the outro’s ocean, we descend battle-torn, but arise battle-born.
Disc II’s Tracklist:
01./02. Arty vs. Cosmic Gate – Flashback Of Conflict (Cosmic Gate Mash-Up)
03. Above & Beyond feat. Alex Vargas – Sticky Fingers
04. Steve Brian & Tabasco Bob – Time & Time
05. Cosmic Gate & Ørjan Nilsen – Fair Game
06. Cosmic Gate & Eric Lumiere – Falling Back
07. Simon de Jano & Bottai – Delorean
08. Nic Chagall & Jonathan Mendelsohn – This Time
09. Cosmic Gate & Jerome Isma-Ae – Telefunken (Festival Edit)
10. LTN feat. Christina Novelli – Feeling Like (Yeah) (Alexander Popov Remix)
11. Bart Claessen – E.T. Astronaut
12. Cosmic Gate & Emma Hewitt – Going Home (Club Mix)
13. Stoneface & Terminal – Caligula
14. Axis – Lush
15. Cosmic Gate – So Get Up
16. The Thrillseekers – Synaesthesia (Andrew Bennett Remix)
17. Super8 & Tab feat. Julie Thompson – No Frontiers
I hope you enjoyed this story-review as much as I enjoyed making it. Huge props to Cosmic Gate for putting together a cohesive, multi-genre mix compilation. I would expect nothing less from the duo. Be sure to pre-order “WYM Sessions 001” here, and to subscribe to Cosmic Gate’s weekly podcast WYM Radio here. Also, if you’re interested in knowing more about the men behind Cosmic Gate, here’s an interview article that you could sink your teeth into.