The DJ-producer duo Cosmic Gate and their “exploration of Texas” soars through the Lone Star State this weekend on a Houston-Dallas trance two-step. Saturday night’s show at Stereo Live Dallas backs a Houston stop as part of their 30-city, four-continent 20 Years Tour.
Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems joined forces around the turn of the century in Cologne, Germany. The region is hallowed ground for artistic innovation. Kraftwerk invented electronic music in 1970 in nearby Düsseldorf. And a two-hour train ride to the south in Würzburg is where Dirk Nowitzki’s masterpiece jumper was born and raised.
“Sadly, most of our gigs for time reasons are flying in and flying out again right after the show," Terhoeven says. "We never have the chance to spend a lot of time in Texas, but the one time, we of course had to see Dirk Nowitzki play for the Mavericks. It was a fantastic experience for us. Our first-ever major U.S. sports live event and our fellow German hero being involved."
Terhoeven and Bossems are in-flight from Philadelphia to Chicago during our chat with them. They promise to rinse the catalog with an “extended set” in Dallas. Fans on the dance floor should expect to hear Cosmic Gate cruise through two decades of varied, quality productions. Their early music has gritty bass lines, smashing hi-hats and 138 beats per minute like contemporary hard techno. While worlds apart, “The Drums” from 1999 sounds like what a popular Berlin techno nightclub looks like in 2019. Art evolves and artists seek reinvention — newer music like “Awaken” hovers around 128 BPMs and is a bit softer on the palate.
The dance floor loves to talk genres; Cosmic Gate not so much.
“Some techno guys start out playing classic trance tracks, or a lot of new techno productions sound very melodic," Bossems says. "Beatport has its own melodic techno genre now. What can we say, we always liked trance even when it was not cool, as it is now, all of the sudden when these guys play it. This is nothing new to us, though. We always were playing other genres, progressive and techno songs, especially in our longer sets. We do not think in terms of genres really. We think in musical quality and compatibility to our sets and music. This is all that matters to us.”
The last 18 months have been busy and fruitful. A phone call from another trance duo, Gabriel & Dresden, resulted in a Grammy nomination for Best Remixed Recording. Cosmic Gate’s remix of “Only Road” will certainly make Saturday’s set list.
“[Gabriel & Dresden] gave us free hand on choosing a track from the album, so we decided to use ‘Only Road,’ as the vocal part we felt would be perfect for us," Terhoeven says. "Then we tried to turn and twist this mellow album tune into a banging, full of feels club track because that’s what we feel a remix should do. In the end, we are just glad it turned out the way it did. We never ever expected it would result in a Grammy nomination."
The stage is set for an evening of Cosmic Gate classics and bangers-of-late. Perhaps Nowitzki will reciprocate and come out to support his German brethren. If there’s a 7-foot guy on the dance floor, that’s No. 41.
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