Album Review: Cosmic Gate – Start To Feel

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Nic (Nic Chagall) and Bossi (Stefan Bossems) are respected veterans in the EDM scene who have been churning out authentic Trance tunes under the moniker Cosmic Gate since 1999 and more recently, radio friendly dance music.  Cosmic Gate is revered for their timeless anthems that continue to fill dance floors into the present day (i.e., Exploration of Space and Fire Wire) and is also known for their propensity to successfully dabble outside of the inner realm of Trance Family with some gentler offerings (i.e., Be Your Sound, Wake Your Mind, and Over The Rainbow).  When Cosmic Gate touches down in your city for the evening, the room is always thick with a mixture of lifelong fans, baby ravers, and the curious simply hopeful for a good set.  These German imports have a lengthy body of work beyond production that includes remixing and DJing.  Nic and Bossi have also released solo projects that were well received but it’s together as the duo Cosmic Gate when they really shine.

Rather than bore you with lofty discussion of rhapsodic melodies and ethereal vocals, please allow me to throw my thesaurus out the window and tell you exactly what you can expect to hear on this album in layman’s terms.  You’ve already gotten brief glimpses into this upcoming project by way of So Get Up and Falling Back.  Having heard the unreleased tracks that will be bundled up with them, I can tell you that this is the same Cosmic Gate that most of you already know and love continuing down the path of easy listening EDM with a splash of real Trance as a nod to their roots and the original fanbase that has continued to support them throughout their career.

There isn’t anything shocking or unpleasant on Start To Feel and there are no generic-sounding forced collaborations with Matthew Koma.  Having never been the type to work with disposable fly-by-night vocalists that they met in the hotel elevator on their way to the checkout desk during Miami Music Week, Cosmic Gate continues to strive for quality in the final product on their sixth studio album by hand selecting not only well-known industry workhorses Emma Hewitt, Jonathan Mendelsohn, and Cary Brothers but by making excellent use of rarity Eric Lumiere, whose work on Filo & Peri’s Anthem nearly seven years ago still remains fresh on ours minds and iPods.  The contribution from these artists is not unlike their previous work with Cosmic Gate and/or other producers.  If you’ve enjoyed their work in the past then you will readily continue that trend by supporting them on this album.

Start To Feel begins with a warm progressive house instrumental to welcome you to the album before taking you on a journey around the world across at least several genres, occasionally with no definitive answer as to which one you’re currently visiting.  There are some of the usual promising energetic ballads on the album that Cosmic Gate has been producing with ease for years now.  Those of us in the community are going to call these tracks Vocal Trance and people outside of our neighborhood are going to classify them as Dance Music.  Regardless of the stamp put on these songs by listeners, they’re sure to please both groups of people.

There is one epic Trance banger on Start To Feel that is guaranteed to pop up in various DJ sets and podcasts not only this summer but for the remainder of 2014, with major potential to survive the long haul and carry on into future sets for years to come.

There are at least two downtempo tracks with vocals that will be well-received by fans of both acoustic and chill out versions of EDM songs.  It’s entirely plausible that these tracks may find new life in future incarnations by way of remix.

Start To Feel in its entirety is very well produced and an extremely easy listen.  However, if songs were racehorses, I’d bet on these three:

Fair Game (with Orjan Nilsen)
When artists you love work together and the result is mediocre, there are no winners.  I’m ecstatic and relieved that this collaboration was successful.  Fair Game’s foundation and walls were built by Orjan but Cosmic Gate nailed the roof on.  It’s very noticeably a quality Orjan track but with definite contribution from Nic and Bossi, as it sounds like a track that Orjan initiated then handed over to Cosmic Gate for cleaning up and final touches.  This track will make it to Beatport’s Top 10 Trance Chart and could easily climb to number 1.  I predict heavy support on A State of Trance with spillover support on neighboring shows like Corsten’s Countdown.

Falling Back (with Eric Lumiere)
This track has already been receiving heavy support from Armin van Buuren on A State of Trance for the last few weeks which is always a big gold star on any artist’s homework.  This boost also indicates that Falling Back is the song on the album that’s on the cusp of being pushed on the masses, and with good reason.  This song should be a really easy sell to all the mainstream dance outlets and their audiences.

Alone (with Kristina Antuna)
This song has a slight touch of progressive house but is mainstream dance music at its core.  I’d compare this sound to recent Kaskade if not for the fact that Cosmic Gate has already explored the territory before.  Alone is extremely radio friendly and won’t have to jump over any hurdles to garner attention from satellite and Internet radio.  If this track is too soft for you, get used to it. Your girlfriend is going to be playing it in the car all summer.

With a clear conscience and my arm not being twisted behind my back by Cosmic Gate’s public relations team until I acquiesce, I can sincerely give Start To Feel the rating listed below.  In this day and age, music consumers mainly buy individual tracks as opposed to a full release, but with this album you could realistically load up the full product on any of your devices and it would be a very pleasant listening experience.  The talent Cosmic Gate chose to work with is top notch and the overall production work is very clean.  Even the order placement of the tracks has a good flow with obvious thought behind it.

Cosmic Gate’s existing fans will be all over Start To Feel when it’s released on June 27th, followed by the baby ravers, and then the curious shortly after getting lured in by the hourly plays of Falling Back about to hit on satellite and Internet radio.

Aimee for EDMNYC

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Tracklist:

01 Happyness
02 Falling Back (with Eric Lumiere)
03 Fair Game (with Orjan Nilsen)
04 Alone (with Kristina Antuna)
05 No One Can Touch You Now (with Mike Schmid)
06 Telefunken (with Jerome Isma-Ae)
07 Run Away (with Eric Lumiere)
08 Going Home (with Emma Hewitt)
09 Sparks After The Sunset (with Sarah Lynn)
10 Yai
11 So Get Up
12 Try (with Jaren)
13 Start To Feel (with Cary Brothers)
14 Shine Forever (with Alexander Popov & Jannika)
15 Crushed
16 Tormenta (with KhoMha)
17 Falling Back (Radio Edit) (with Eric Lumiere) Bonus Track
18 All My Life (with Jonathan Mendelsohn) Bonus Track

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