FNT Catches up With Ferry Corsten at Electric Zoo 2013

Posted by on September 10, 2013

Ferry Corsten @ Electric Zoo 2013

The FNT squad caught up with perennial trance king Ferry Corsten on Friday before his Electric Zoo set — and as always, Ferry had lots of excellent insights into the state of trance, what’s in store for the the scene, and (of course) his buddy Markus Schulz. Before doing anything else, including reading this interview, check out his set below if you missed the vibes. While he played a solid mix of new stuff (including his forthcoming track), he also dipped into the archives and brought out a few vaunted members of the old guard — like 2009’s “Beautiful,” an insane bootleg of the ever-funky “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim, and of course recent Beatport-topper “Gouryella.” And let’s not forget his recent collaboration with Giuseppe Ottavani, “Magenta,” which is certainly old at heart.

FNT: The last time we spoke to you, it was at the end of March and you were preparing to take the stage with Markus Schulz at Madison Square Garden [as the New World Punx at A State of Trance 600]. Obviously it’s been a whirlwind summer for you guys – can you tell us what the past few months have been like?

Ferry Corsten: Very busy in that sense! What can I say, almost behind closed doors in a way — we’ve been shooting stuff back and forth and we’re very active with sending each other new tracks and new ideas. We’re also working on a new track which is not finished yet. We had Lebanon the other day which was really cool, we have Romania coming up, and we’re planning a tour in the US, in the States, for the fall. Once Upon a Night 4 is coming out, my compilation, at the end of the year, and I’m just in the studio nonstop for lots of new stuff.

FNT: And let’s not forget that “Gouryella” by Gouryella came back up on the Beatport trance charts, and you and Tiesto actually wound up getting involved in what had pretty much been a fan-based social media effort. What was the impetus behind all of that?

FC: It was cool! So it was this guy going under the moniker of “Trance Classics” on Twitter (ed. note: @trance3classics) and he started this whole thing like, “Hey, we need these big trance classics back in the Beatport Top 100 and top 10, and let’s start with ‘Gouryella.'” He was rallying everybody up, and this whole hive just exploded on Twitter. I was like, “okay, this is cool, let’s support this.” So, I contacted Tijs and said, “okay, everything that comes out of this, let’s just donate it to charity and let’s see where it goes and let’s make it happen.” And it went to number 3, which is pretty cool for a fourteen year old track! Laughs.

FNT: And to think that back in 2012 you’d get articles saying “Is Trance Dead,” what’s happening with trance, and you see something like this happening — even as you see the direction trance is going in, people calling it “trouse” or “trance 2.0” — what do you think something like that effort says about where the genre is now, even in the United States?

FC: I think trance is far from dead. Of course there’s still a very pure form of it, but trance has become the taste maker on the table, you know what I mean? The big house records that you hear today wouldn’t be like this if it wasn’t for the trance formula, with the big melodies and the big break and boom, you know? That’s old school trance, what’s happening right there. Even techno is very melodic right now — it’s more melodic than ever before. Sometimes if you ask me, “is this a techno record or is it a trance record?” I’d say it’s a trance record, because it’s so melodic. Trance is all about the melody and nothing more, really. It’s not about 140 bpm or 128 bpm. It’s the melody, it’s the emotion that’s in it, and that seems to be forgotten sometimes. But yeah, I think when people refer to trance it’s that 138, 140 bpm, diggity-diggita-diggita-doo-doo kind of stuff that is not there so much right now, but like I said, it has become the tastemaker in the electronic music genre.

FNT: But it’s coming back — even Armin has got his “Who’s Afraid of 138” campaign, and that seems to be gaining a lot of traction — so maybe there’s this almost retro resurgence, this renewed interest in this old, pure sort of trance?

FC: That whole “Gouryella” story, the fact that that blew up like that, is sort of like a signal from the community, from the fans, like “we want that sound back!” It’s something that — I’ve seen it. Laughs. I’ve picked up on it.

FNT: Do you find that creatively limiting at all as an artist?

FC: No, not really, because the last time I made a track like that was probably 10 or 12 years ago. So it would be cool to give that a try again. Right now there’s nothing planned yet, but — you know — the seed is planted in my head. Once it’s there, it’s a matter of time, really.

FNT: You’re also bringing back old tracks like “Rock Your Body Rock,” but with a remix with an updated sound, and that’s obviously getting a huge reaction on the dance floor. People are loving that.

FC: Yeah, so I mean with “Gouryella” and stuff like that — I don’t know if that would work, because trance fans are so protective of that sound. If I were to bring that back with a certain remix that sounds like today — they don’t want it to sound like today. That’s the whole thing; they want it to sound like —

FNT: Yesterday?

Ferry Corsten: Maybe, yeah. Laughs. So I’m not sure if that’s going to work, but maybe new tracks that sound like that? You know — we’ll see. That’s a good thing for me to experiment — it leaves a lot for experimentation.

FNT: It’s exciting! Now to change directions completely — window or aisle when you’re flying?

FC: Window. Because I’d rather be the one that’s passing over the other one — instead of being the one that gets passed over. Laughs. And I can rest my head against the window.

FNT: Makes a lot of sense. And — this is probably the question that’s on everyone’s mind: if you and Markus were to get into a dance battle, who would win?

FC: Markus. Yeah. Well, we both come from an electric boogie and breakdance background, but —

FNT: Yes, that’s right….Markus was a breakdancer —

FC: Yup, and I actually used to do that too, but Markus last year actually showed some moves to me, and I was like “Alright. You still have it, my friend.” Laughs. I even have it on video, but that’s exclusive…

FNT: Not gonna put that up on YouTube?

FC: Laughs. Nahhhhh, for Markus’s sake!

Ed. Note: looks like Markus actually beat him to it…this is almost certainly the footage in question. Enjoy.

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