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Feeling the beat of the Cosmic Gate drum

Author: michelle pirovich
Wednesday, 29 January 2003
Hard trance is a misunderstood genre, often passed off by the self appointed elite as cheesy and lacking in substance. Michelle talks to German hard trance superstars 'Cosmic Gate' who remain unaffected by the flack and whose torrents of hard and heavy beats that rip from that needle and out through those speakers are today coming at us stronger than ever.

Stefan Bossems (DJ Bossi) and Claus Terhoeven (Nic Chagall) make up Germany's Cosmic Gate and for many a Melbourne Shuffler their name has become synonymous with soaring energy levels that leave the lightweights beaten into submission.

Forming in 1998 people began to take notice of the pairs production work with their first release 'The Drums', soon to follow was 'Mental Atmosphere' and 'Exploration of Space', their polished production and dizzying energy firmly placing them amongst the upper echelons of German trance.

It was however the unforgettable 'Fire Wire' that shot Cosmic Gate into stardom; making it to # 9 on the UK club charts, it was not only thrashed by DJs the world over, but in what may also be a clubbing first, clubbers in Ibiza took to bringing in signs saying 'Fire' and 'Wire' and waved them accordingly when the track came on. 'We haven't seen it ourselves but we have heard that people actually made those signs. We thought that was kind of crazy, but I guess it shows that people like the track.'

With the production of a massive hit comes the inevitable added pressure as everyone anticipates your next track to be not only as good the last but infact better, Stefan and Claus however don't let this get in their way. 'In our eyes, it would be a real mistake to put ourselves under too much pressure. We always enjoy the time we have in the studio together which is normally spent working with other partners, leaving us only a maximum of 20 % of our complete studio time to produce new Cosmic Gate stuff, so we are always thinking of what we like personally, not what would be good for the market.'

Fortunately what pleases Cosmic Gate seems to please the rest of us and for having only been in the production biz for four years they have a firm grasp on how it should work and why. 'Music has two totally different sides; the technical, and the emotional, you can't be a good producer, if one of these sides is missing. When we go into the studio we are all this in one; writer, producer, act, sound engineer, and often the vocalist.' Stephan adds 'I do find it hard though to describe the reason why certain music is successful. Music is a feeling, it has to hit emotions, for sure a good club track needs pumpin' beats, but the hit factor can be a vocal, or a melody, or even just a single tone, like a siren for example.'

Their second last single 'The Truth' recently went to # 1 on the German dance charts, and unbeknownst to them were named one of Mix Mag's top 5 German Producers 'In the UK, Mix Mag- In the top 5- We didn't know that!!! This is great for any producer or DJ to be in these charts. We know how soon the press may start to 'diss' you only months after being 'pushed', that's why we always try to do better tracks than the one before.'

Onto the dissing and as I said earlier hard trance certainly receives its fair share of knocks from across the genre grid. When I put the comment to Stephan that many think hard trance is cheesy and not even difficult to produce he answers without even the slightest flinch. 'There are always people that think their kind of music is better than other people's music and that supposedly makes them feel cooler. We like music of all genres, particularly techno, progressive and trance, which may be why we have respect from people in totally different scenes. Plus we all know how hard the music business is regardless of genre.'

Yes the music biz is hard, but when you have hundreds of adoring fans going absolutely nuts to your music, surely it has to be all worth it- 'It is maybe the best feeling you can have…nearly as g
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