Cosmic Gate Brings It Full Circle With ‘Start To Feel’ [Album Review]

Cosmic Gate – Start To Feel
: WYM Records (Armada Music) | Release Date: June 27, 2014
Pre Order On iTunes

The German powerhouse duo of Nic Chagall & Bossi’s upcoming 6th studio album entitled “Start To Feel” manifested at a point in my life where its level of poignancy couldn’t have been further understood or greater appreciated. The pair decided to stay along the thematic trail of the over-arching concept from their previous LP release, previously urging us all to “Wake Your Mind”…and bringing that concept full circle with the next transitional step in that personal evolutionary process of opening up and allowing yourself to: “Start To Feel” complete with an album tagline of:

First they woke your Mind…now Start to Feel!”

Our overall aim is the long game“, expands Bossi. “In the studio we want to create tracks with real life expectancy. We want to make ‘years-from-now’ music, where every time you come back to a track, you hear something new, something different, something more than you caught the last time. There are so many more moments and elements with which you can start to feel a track. We want to encourage people to experience electronic music in a deeper, wider, more complete way“.

Not only simply a tagline, that ethos is packed into every melody, in each build up and subsequent breakdown, and lined throughout each and every vocal presence made throughout the albums’ impressive runtime of just under an hour and a half. When word initially dropped of a future Cosmic album coming fairly close to release of WYM, admittedly some reservations were harbored (seeing how many producers in the industry are looking to stake a quick claim in the more mainstream of production styles while the going is hot)…however, these possible qualms were instantaneously quelled upon first listen of the album’s lead-off single in the incredibly anthemic and powerfully poignant track “Falling Back” supported by vocalist Eric Lumiere’s purely captivating vocals. During each subsequent listen, emotional chords were continually struck inside of me…ones that I never realized were present, until the trance duo from Deutschland dragged them out of me and held them up in a floor-to-ceiling mirror, incessantly urging those buried emotions to come to a head, and simultaneously allowing your being to directly connect with their presence – even within our sometimes technologically walled-off existences. And this was only from the lead-off single.

 “What we would like to get across through “Start To Feel“, says Nic Chagall “is that electronic music doesn’t need to always start and stop at the drop. It doesn’t have to be all about that 60 seconds. We love that type of music. If we didn’t we wouldn’t have made tracks like ‘So Get Up’ and a dozen others. But those are start points to Cosmic Gate’s music. Not end ones.”

In a smart marketing move, Cosmic also released a few additional instrumental tracks on the heels of the lead-off single, which garnered an insane amount of support from PODcasts across the board in “Happiness,” “Fair Game” with Ørjan Nilsen and “Yai”.  The album could not have kicked off in a stronger gear than with “Happiness” and its wonder-of-life vibe inspiring atmosphere interspersed with immaculately smooth and chilled out piano infusions. As an audience, at many points throughout the LP we are reminded that not all feelings are the warm and fuzzy ones: that there is a gamut of emotion out there in our world. “Fair Game” and “Yai” dip into the darker of our spectra of emotions with haunting chord constructions, powerful rhythms and thundering bass layers constructing an overall darker aura. Showcasing this wide-array of emotion among the pre-release singles shows clarity of artistic vision that may very well be unmatched in dance music of today.

“Start To Feel” is absolutely loaded with vocal tracks, which makes sense…because what better way to help convey a variety of feelings than through a smorgasbord of vocal approaches overlaid with the boys’ tightly produced productions? Of the most personally notable: “Alone” with Kristina Atuna, “Run Away” featuring Eric Lumiere once again, comprised of some of the LP’s most massively emotionally-charged synth layers and addictively powerful chords backed by crisp drum kicks. The title track “Start To Feel” with Cary Brothers’ gliding vocals features a mystical progression and punchy drum kicks which emanate a gripping and hopeful atmospheric aura. Last but not least, my favorite track of the entire album in the insanely euphoric “Sparks After The Sunset” showcasing the hypnotic vocals of Sarah Lynn with its textbook-definition rhapsodic melodies and punchy bass lines.

Instrumentally, the album takes a bit of an edgier approach, making sure to not leave those feelings of intensity, drive, and release out of the equation. The brand new collaboration with Jerome Isma-Ae in “Telefunken” trembles with heavy-footed bass and an explosive aura, while their Khomha collab “Tormenta” is comprised of a fierce beat with a darker and more brooding vibe evidencing clear influences of Khomha’s more sinister stylings. Of course, review of the album would not be complete without mention of the inclusion of a couple of prior-released tracks in “So Get Up” and “Crushed,” as well as the bonus track “All My Life” with none other than Jonathan Mendelsohn on the mic.

It becomes apparent that a producer has succeeded in their sonic mission at that singular moment when an album legitimately speaks to the listener and in turn imparts a sense of wisdom and perspective that previously lacked in said persons’ awareness prior to the aural experience.  How did “Start To Feel” speak to me? All in all, it urged me to become more open to direct interactions with others…to experience our 3 dimensional existences in as full and all-encompassing sense as we are able. Not only this, but just because we believe that we are performing/feeling to our best abilities, does not mean this is the case – we need to continually push ourselves to move forward, to put ourselves out there more…to throw down and not be afraid to feel. Feelings are not only the happy-go-lucky, frolicking in the forest vibes…but also those melancholy Debbie-downer doldrums vibes, and those feelings of longing. With Cosmic Gate’s masterpiece of an album in “Start To Feel” we are reminded that we are timeless and ethereal souls having a temporary physical experience, and Bossi and Nic urge us to fully embrace the gamut of emotions applicable to our short-lived time on this pale blue dot we call Earth.

Sehr gut, meine Freunde.


01 Happyness
02 Falling Back (with Eric Lumiere)
03 Fair Game (with Ørjan Nilsen)
04 Alone (with Kristina Antuna)
05 No One Can Touch You Now (with Mike Schmid)
06 Telefunken (with Jerome Isma-Ae)
07 Run Away (with Eric Lumiere)
08 Going Home (with Emma Hewitt)
09 Sparks After The Sunset (with Sarah Lynn)
10 Yai
11 So Get Up
12 Try (with Jaren)
13 Start To Feel (with Cary Brothers)
14 Shine Forever (with Alexander Popov & Jannika)
15 Crushed
16 Tormenta (with KhoMha)
17 Falling Back (Radio Edit) (with Eric Lumiere) Bonus Track
18 All My Life (with Jonathan Mendelsohn) Bonus Track