Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

'We've lost the open-mindedness that the trance scene had': DJ Ferry Corsten opens up about his new music project

Collaborative project Unity sees the electronic music artist attempt to heal the rift within the trance scene

DJ Ferry Corsten is collaborating with other trance artists in his new project, Unity. Getty Images
DJ Ferry Corsten is collaborating with other trance artists in his new project, Unity. Getty Images

Ferry Corsten’s latest project is not so much a new musical venture, but a creative call to arms to all trance music DJs. Titled Unity, the project is a series of singles released by Corsten that has him teaming up with various artists across the wider trance world.

Since its inception last year, Corsten already dropped singles such as Rosetta with Jordan Suckley, We're Not Going Home with Ilhan Bluestone and a Slice of Heaven with Paul Oakenfold, the latter performed as part of Special Olympics Abu Dhabi World Games.

The aim of the eclectic tracks, Corsten says, is to break misguided perceptions of what trance music is and should be. “Trance music is about going forward and exploration,” he says. “There was never any rule book to it. I wanted to remind people of that.”

Here, we put a few questions to the legendary DJ about his present and future work.

What is the overarching mission of Unity?

The message behind it really is to demonstrate that the scene can work well together. Especially in the trance scene; I feel we are a big movement with a lot of fans and a lot of great DJs but we are sort of, as a music genre, split into halves.

What tribes are clear in the trance scene?

Well, one half is the kind of EDM group, Above and Beyond type of vocal stuff, and the other side, you have artists Aly and Fila with their 140bpm banging stuff. I feel that in the trance scene, there is still that divide between the DJs who play 128 bpm, the slower sound, and those who will never play a 140bpm record and the other way around.

How do you plan to mend that split?

What I'm trying to achieve with Unity is working with people from the different two sides and try to find the middle ground. Also, when you put two very unlikely characters together some interesting things happen. That’s what I miss about the trance scene at the moment. We lost the open mindedness that it had in the beginning. It was something we were all proud about in those days.

Is this split in the trance scene more down to a generational divide that exists among artists and fans?

Maybe it is. I don't know. There all these rules now in trance that wasn’t there before. Things like statements by people who say, "Oh, if it's not 140 bpm, it's not trance". There has never been rules, so I don't know why or where that came from. It is only by trying different things that we push the genre forward.

So the success of Unity is not dependent on the popularity of the tracks, but instead the experimentation within the music?

That's what I am trying to do here, and I'm not saying, "OK guys, all listen to me because all I'm saying is right". If I fail, then I fail. At least I tried it and that's what I'm trying to say: at least try something. Try not to be somebody else. Try to do something new and different, and if people don't like it then at least you know you can go a different direction.


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Updated: April 10, 2019 09:55 AM



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