Grammy-nominated trance duo Cosmic Gate recently released Chapter One of their hotly-anticipated two-part album MOSAIIK, which is packed with hair-raising emotion and deep undulating undertones.
The duo recently took the stage at New York City’s three-day music festival Electric Zoo where EDMunplugged had the esteemed opportunity to speak with the pair about the album, their performance, and what is to come in the near/distant future.
Cosmic Gate in an exclusive interview
Why do you consider MOSAIIK the start of a new era in sound for Cosmic Gate? What makes this album different for you both as artists?
“Somehow after our anniversary album ‘Forward Ever Backward Never,’ it did not just feel like just a new LP, but more like the start in a new era. There were some signs that our fans were as ready as we were. I mean accepting of a deeper, more progressed sound and production direction. No one told us we needed to do this change. We very naturally felt this from within, as we’ve always followed our intuitions over the years.
When the clubbing world was pretty much severed from dancefloors last March, that circumstance gave us even more artistic latitude. Thus ‘MOSAIIK’s music-making became less symmetric and floor-focused, and all the more enriching for it. It As weird as it sounds, we somehow became even freer in our work, while life outside was actually the opposite. We tried to take the worst of possible circumstances and turn it into more of a chance and less of an obstacle.
After a fair while, we laid out all of ‘MOSAIIK’s ideas, drafts, and demos, and quickly realized that there was so much material, we needed to split it into two again, (as we did before with the ‘Materia’ series).”
If you had to describe MOSAIIK in one word what would it be and why?
“Wow, that’s quite a task! If we could stretch to two, it would be FEEL IT! Like one of the singles from the album, simply as we think the music is as deep and emotional as it is danceable. More ‘feelable’ maybe! Do listen and share your thoughts though. It’s hard to talk about our own music at times. We hope in the listening, our music is speaking for itself!”
What is the creative process like for you both in the studio when creating music?
“The creative process to be honest, is often pretty wild, simply as songs happen very differently for us. Sometimes we have a melody idea first, then it’s a string, or bassline, or a vocal demo maybe that we play around with. Or sometimes we even listen to demos we never finished years ago and suddenly find parts that seem like they were made to be used in the track we’re currently working on. On top of that, at times we work on several tunes in parallel. When a production doesn’t flow smooth anymore, we just set it aside. Quite often, sometime without listening to a demo kind of resets the brain and allows context. This can simply be down to even the best idea listened to hundreds of times in a loop can get too much. You lose the feel for it, most producers might agree here and know the problem. Then it’s time to step back and give it some time, to hopefully feel the beauty of the track a few weeks later with, with as we call it, ‘fresh ears’…”
What sets MOSAIIK Chapter One apart from MOSAIIK Chapter Two?
“Hard to say really as, at present, Chapter Two is pretty much mostly a big bunch of demos and ideas that are being whittled down and refined. So that is a question hard to answer. What we can say is, like with the Materia series, MOSAIIK will be a complete album sound of its own. Only together both Chapters will tell the full story, and we hope the first introduction with Chapter 1 was making appetite to wait and listen Chapter 2. Chapter 1 is definitely setting the tone for Chapter 2 though!”
Which single/s has/have become your favorite/s from the MOSAIIK project?
“To be quite honest, we tend to never answer this question, simply, as we’re not able. It’s like asking parents to point out one of their kids is above the others. It’s impossible to choose. All the tracks are our creations and mean a lot. All that matters to us in the end, is that our fans, or new listeners that have not heard of us before, hopefully find some tracks they like, or maybe even love. They put them in their favourite playlist or introduce them to their friends. Then our time in the studio was wells spend and we could not be any happier.”
You have provided fans with an array of livestreams to promote the album. Will there be more to come for MOSAIIK Chapter Two?
“Yes, there will certainly be more streams coming, simply as it seems to be something that suits us and our style. We enjoy introducing new music, and building up a set, through a proper DJ style and working with those cinematic backgrounds too. We hope our streams are at least a bit of a fun alternative or addition to our live sets.”
You recently killed it in New York City at Electric Zoo Festival on Friday, September 3. What can fans expect from a live Cosmic Gate performance? Are there any surprises?
“It was amazing. So, so good to be back doing major events in NY. We played some new tracks we have signed, some classics we haven’t played in way too long and of course music from MOSAIIK. We have aftermovie coming in the third week of September. So if you didn’t make it, you can still get a look at what happened!”
Are there any upcoming releases/shows you are looking forward to?
“At first let us say it feels so, so good to be back on the road and play to our fans again live and direct. Nothing in the world can replace a good audience. We are feeding so much from the reaction of our crowd. We missed it so badly. We had outstanding shows since coming back, and one we are in particular waiting for is both the EDCs in Vegas and Orlando. It will be outstanding, Vegas is always Vegas, the look of the city only truly changes once a year, and this is when EDC happens. Our EDC community literally takes over the city, we will be there, and ready!”
You both have become legends in the dance music industry with a career spanning over 20 years. What would you both consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
“We are proud on a lot of things in our career, records, albums, the amount of successful shows we played, or our Grammy nomination with ‘Only Road’, to mention a few. Thinking about it though, what matters most for us, after now 22 years to still be as relevant as we are and feel the love and support of our fans. That’s what we are most happy and proud about. To be out with a somewhat new and fresh sound, that most importantly still totally has our handwriting all over is wonderful. All the fun we have doing what we do, this in the end might be the biggest accomplishment, and a true blessing!”
With that being said, what goals/aspirations do you have yourselves in the near/distant future?
“If the last 18 months have proved one thing, it maybe is that things are unfortunately pretty hard to plan ahead in the future too much. And this is how we do our things now – step by step. We have our goals, certainly: festivals we haven’t played, or collaborations we liked to do, songs we feel we have in us that are simply not out yet. So many things that we hope our fans will join us in!”
EDMunplugged would like to humbly thank Cosmic Gate for taking the time for this interview. For additional information regarding the duo, please visit their official website.