Cosmic Gate @ Zouk: A Change of Pace
When world-renowned German producers Nic Chagall and DJ Bossi (better known by their moniker “Cosmic Gate”) took to the DJ booth at Zouk last Friday, I was honestly expecting a beat-focused, hard hitting style of trance music quite like what I experienced the last time they were here.
But nope, looks like they’ve decided to mellow things down a bit.
What greeted my ears as I entered the esteemed Zouk dance floor (ranked the #9 club in the world by popular dance music magazine “DJ Mag”), however, was not the thumping sound of beats being thrown out; it was the melody of countless soothing synthesized sounds as it blended with the laser projections. I thought to myself at that point: “Hmm, this was not the Cosmic Gate I heard.”
Sure enough, throughout most of their set, Cosmic Gate stuck to their newfound routine of mixing and mashing melodies, extended breaks, and getting the crowd moving with popular tracks such as “Sun and Moon” by Above and Beyond, “Disarm Yourself” by Dash Berlin, and their own tracks, like “Barra” and “Not Enough Time”. It was almost like a 3-hour-long continuous mix of dance-floor-destroying club megahits, filled with the occasional Cosmic Gate trademark of attempting to collapse the dance floor with inspired power-packed rhythms and beat dropping.
This largely differed from their playing style the previous time they were here, choosing to move away from the steady beats, head-banging riffs, and harder style of trance they were so well known for.
The main significant change in style was their reliance on popular tracks to keep the crowd going this time around. As popular remix artists, there was usually some sort of pride taken in getting clubbers to react to unique live mixes, mashups, and transitory melodies. The previous time at Zouk, Cosmic Gate heavily utilised live scratching and constantly added unique touches to various tracks by prolonging the break and adding stuttering effects to vocal tracks.
Despite the drastic shift in style, the change was not a negative one. It was evident from the energy in the crowd that blasting those club favourites was receiving positive feedback. The club-goers rushed from the bars to the dance floors whenever they recognised a track, they sang along to the lyrics, and generally responded fantastically well to the cues of the German duo.
When I finally got out of the club later that night, the lyrics of the various tracks Cosmic Gate was still ringing freshly in my mind. Was it a good night? Yes. Did I miss the former style Cosmic Gate used to employ at the booths? Yes. Did I like the new change in their format? Yes. I guess with true talent and a passion for the music they love so much, Cosmic Gate will remain as a worthy gem to the dance floors of the world, no matter how they change or what style they decide to turn to.
– Bjorn Teo
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