With everyone still buzzing from the hype of last week’s Miami Music Week and Ultra’s 20th Anniversary, we’re taking some time to reflect on some of our favorite shows of the week. That being said, Friday night’s Cosmic Gate Wake Your Mind Sessions showdown at The W Rooftop certainly made the cut. We also had the chance to sit down with Bossi of Cosmic Gate earlier in the week to discuss new music, sub-genres, sunset cruises, and of course, all things MMW.
Walking into The W Downtown Miami is like walking into another world for a moment in time. With all the opulent and upscale venues around the city, The W has earned quite possibly one of the swankiest and most luxurious atmospheres around. Cosmic Gate fans were escorted up 50 floors all the way to the rooftop party where the legendary duo held down over a two and a half hour set. Walking in, the crowd first moseys through a wide open room overlooking the entire Miami skyline. As far as you can see was simply a sea of lights. Following the bass and moving outside the rest of the crowd gathered with a serene and untouched pool in the center, lit up by sexy red, green and blue lights. Cosmic Gate fit the entire vibe and scene of The W with their full of emotion and energy set, leaving ample room for everyone to groove all night long under the beautiful moon and sky.
This Friday night show held part of the week long Denial Music Week, put on by Denial Events. Sort of a music week within music week, Denial Events proceeded with shows and artists from Markus Schulz and Sander van Doorn as Dakota and Purple Haze, to Above & Beyond and Seven Lions for Common Ground Miami, to Corona Electric Beach with Chris Lake and Mija, to closing out the week with Audien and Arty. With an absolutely stacked lineup, it was no surprise Denial scored the ultimate music week of talent, new music, innovative performances and total audience captivation.
The Nocturnal Times: We’re here at Ultra’s 20th Anniversary and yet another Miami Music Week. How are we feeling? What vibes are you getting so far?
Cosmic Gate: Well, the vibes are so far really good because things are just starting. Everyone you run into is excited, the weather is good and it’s not like that every year. I’ve met a lot of good spirits and good minds so everything is wonderful so far.
The Nocturnal Times: You’ve got a few shows lined up this week like your annual sunset cruise on Saturday. Tell us what about that you love so much and why you keep returning every year?
Cosmic Gate: The answer is pretty easy. It’s maybe the most intimate party for us during the entire year. It brings together Cosmic Gate fans from all around the world, and when you’re on that boat, it sounds a little cheap but the love and the vibe on that boat – I’d say 90% of people on that boat can sing every single lyric at least of the bigger tracks and singles, so it’s very special. The vibe is just great and it’s like it’s a big family. We did some music videos and when you watch them you see it’s dancing and hugging and it’s a very special event for Nick and me every year, we don’t want to miss out on it.
The Nocturnal Times: The night before the sunset cruise is your show at the W, what difference can we expect?
Cosmic Gate: We’re going to play three hours on the boat. We’re also going to do at least two and a half hours at the W which is a different setup. It’s on a rooftop and it’s going to be a different vibe, maybe a different crowd but it should be very cool. I’ve only seen pictures and it looks really nice so it should be great, but every night is different. When you’re a resident DJ somewhere, which Nick and me were, you know that every night is different. One week Friday you play, then the same amount of people are there next week and the vibe is different. The same song that was killing it a week before may not do it the week after. That’s what the real thing about DJing is, you have to read the crowd, read the night, you feel different, the crowd feels different. That’s why the art of DJing is to play the right music. Mixing is important but it’s still to play the right music at the right moments. Sometimes a track in the set has to come later or earlier, just let the crowd decide.
The Nocturnal Times: We’re interested in getting insight to your production style because as you guys say, you’ve created this ongoing love and family. Can you walk us through any production in particular?
Cosmic Gate: It’s easy to explain if I throw an analogy out. To produce music it’s not like cooking. You don’t follow the recipe. So sometimes say with Emma, we write the music first – harmonies, piano, and send it to her with some beats and she writes on top. With “Tonight” for example, she just had a very light piano and she delivered us the vocals and we wrote the music for that. So it was totally different than “Be Yourself” for example. On an instrumental track you can just find a good bass sound and play the bassline, then maybe add the beats or you start with melody then later on you add bass and layer it up. It can be totally different, when you work together with someone its like you can add something and send it back. There’s a million different ways and that’s the good thing about art and creating music, otherwise everything would sound the same. You’ve got to be inspired and in writing music you can’t just press a button. Sometimes you’re sitting there for 3 days and things go, but you know it doesn’t get there yet. We’re also not often in the studio together anymore. We used to live in Germany and lived 200 meters from each other… and we had these moments where you look at the other and we knew that was that combining thing that was missing. And now you have to feel and turn it up and these are some of the key moments. Now, I feel the track and now we found something which brings the whole thing together.
The Nocturnal Times: People tend to see the “glamorous” side of everything, obviously we know it’s very much long hours, long days in the studio and hectic traveling. What has kept you in the game all this year despite all that?
Cosmic Gate: It’s the thing that despite all the work, all the stress, all the jet lag, all the pressure, still, when I DJ, and when I do what I do, I don’t work a single day. Because DJing has been my hobby, and I still make money and I travel the world by doing my hobby. If that would be doing work, these long days, hours and craziness – I wouldn’t like it. It’s that passion. That passion for what we do is what drives us and hopefully when we’re up there it shows for the crowd and the people that we enjoy. Of course not every minute, sometimes you feel sick or you have a fever and you’re not totally enjoying it but, overall, the passion that Nick and me have for what we do is what keeps us going.
The Nocturnal Times: Two songs by you guys are “Bigger Than We Are” and “Edge of Life” feature the same artist, Eric Lumiere and they have a similar sound- what is it about those songs that give the crowd such energy?
Cosmic Gate: So those are the more commercial vocal tracks. We also like the lyrics with JES, they’re even more emotional and deeper than the ones that Eric does. Eric is more the crying out and the shouting out while JES is more of the missing kind of thing. We don’t want to do the same thing all the time so some of our tracks are vocal on one side and some on the other, some are instrumentals that are really harsh in the face. That’s the other thing that keeps us going. We can do Cosmic Gate but we kind of trained our fans that there’s different sides of us. We wouldn’t want to do the same thing all the time, like just write vocal tracks or just write instrumentals. We just go and see what happens and sometimes you start a track and in the end it works out totally different than what you first had in mind, but that’s the beauty about writing music. Another thing that keeps us going, we always push boundaries of music. We bring in different influences, we’re both big lovers of techno and deep house but not only in the last two years since it’s “hip.” We’re coming from that scene. In Germany we grew up with house, techno and early trance.
The Nocturnal Times: Is there anything you miss about when dance first originated or is it mostly exciting seeing all the new styles?
Cosmic Gate: It was way more exciting in the late 80s early 90s when you would see new synthesizers, new sounds, new songs that you were like WHAT is this?? When you’re in it for so long and now when you’re more in the studio it’s hard to be as excited about things as much as it used to be, like the times when techno was new. I think it was more exciting than now with people sitting there with the digital technique. I think there’s a lot of good music around and people should dive deep in…there’s so much good music still.
The Nocturnal Times: As someone who has produced for nearly two decades and has been in the scene everyday, all the time, what do you think about all these sub- genres?
Cosmic Gate: It’s one of the favorite questions. There could be 5 big DJs sitting in a room, you play them 5 songs, and one would say this is progressive to me, the other would say this is actually more techno, the third would say yeah but it’s more tech- house, so there could be like two or three opinions between 5 DJs about what overall genre the song is. But that’s a good thing, that’s creativity. Things blend together and I think a good DJ picks from different genres and builds a set. It does not matter what genre a song is considered to be in, it’s about if you like it or not.
The Nocturnal Times: In the last year, you released Materia Chapters 1 and 2, what can you tell us about the inspiration between the two parts. They’re cohesive but how do they also differ?
Cosmic Gate: That’s something we could talk about for hours. In all honesty, the final reason we decided to split it into two parts was that we had, in our opinion, too much music that was too deserving to see the day of light. We didn’t want to push it and then we came up with the idea that hey, if we separate them that’s like a part 1 we can finish now, and then we gave it a few months and when the option came to do a second chapter we were at first iffy, but then said you know what, we can spread out the whole marketing, the release timing, every single would have more time to develop and so on. After we did it, now we just love it. Music wise, I think part 2 continues and you hear it’s one production process. Materia 1 and 2 from the production, from the technique we used and the mindset we were in ourselves, you hear it’s one thing and one period. Our 20th year is also coming up and we’re going to do something for the 20 years, so we’re keeping it busy. We’ve got a lot of ideas, there’s going to be a tour, but we are a year until then and until the tour. We can’t release everything to you guys but there’s new music coming!
Featured Photos: Courtesy of Cosmic Gate’s Facebook
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