Ferry Corsten...'I feel that whole thing again that I was missing...'

We caught up with Ferry Corsten ahead of his return to play at The Gallery arena on day two of SW4! Fresh off the back of releasing his latest masterpiece 'Blueprint' we cannot wait to see what he has in store for us at this year’s festival.

You’re no stranger to playing with us at SW4, you’ve played with us a number of times now, can you tell us a bit about your memories playing the festival?

I’ve always thought it was great, firstly to do a festival which is actually in a city is pretty rare normally you have to drive an hour away into a random field so obviously the fact it’s in the city is cool. The vibe is very good as well!

Did you enjoy your set last time round?

Well it was with Markus Schulz. As you may know, whenever Markus and I play together the set is always very eclectic, there was trance but especially because it was a main stage set at SW4 it had more of a mixture of stuff. I remember playing a Sigma track that we would never usually drop so that’s one memory I have from that set and the response was unbelievable.

This year is a special year for us with the return of The Gallery Arena, a clubbing brand that’s celebrating its 22nd year running and I know you’ve been there from the start, so can you tell us a bit about your connection with The Gallery?

My first Gallery was at Turnmills and what I loved instantly about that night is the raw underground energy, the deeper the better vibe. It was a bit of a change as Ministry always had the Ministry vibe and this was different it was a bit grungier and it was always just a great night and I always loved playing there.

Obviously you were there last month for the launch party of your new album ‘Blueprint’, how was the show?

Yes, London has always been good and you feel it when you play at Gallery. It’s not just the Londoners there are so many different cultures and people there that you always get a very mixed crowd and I felt the purer my trance sets the better the reaction I get. So its always been a good one, that was the first blueprint show and it was an exciting night in that sense too.

Can you tell us a bit about the concept behind 'Blueprint'?

Well I think the best way to describe it is like a cross-breeding between an album and an audiobook. Its an album with a narrated story over the top so it really grabs you from the beginning gets you stuck into the story with the music actually supporting the story, when the story gets dark so does the music so it’s almost like a movie score. It was quite labour of love in a way because it was a long process but I always really wanted to do this. So I decided that instead of doing the 2 minute cuts I was going to make a 90-minute album with 17 tracks, but the story is what grabs you and what keeps you there!

In terms of Ferry Corsten productions back in the day how would you say your music has developed over the years?

Well I’ve now experimented with so many different styles and genres and I believe that whatever you try or experiment with leaves a mark and I think that’s still all there but yes after doing all that stuff I realised that the big epic stuff is really my thing. I feel that whole thing again that I was missing for a little while within myself.

Back to London now you are a regular feature inside the trance circuit around the world, what sets London apart from other clubbing destinations that you play at, is there a certain energy around London that keeps drawing you back?

It’s pretty much what I described a little earlier about the gallery stuff, other cities like New York have their own aura around them too, but with London you just feel like there is an extremely long history with this stuff, although it’s a new generation, everything up to the infrastructure to the way people are, you can just feel it, its difficult to describe in words.

How do you feel about the current state of trance music in the UK?

I think it’s the best it has been in years, people that I talk to think so as well, for example, Carl from DJ Mag who I spoke to at The Gallery night, I’ve really noticed that trance is coming back and people are really liking it again and longing for those melodies. I suppose it could be an answer to the decline of the ‘put your hands up’ EDM stuff as that has been around for so many years now that it could be time to go the other way, go for the melodies and the grooves, like now if you look at old school house its all back again, and this isn’t just exclusive to trance, it’s happening with all genres, people are going back to the stuff that was played in the mid to late 90’s and it’s all coming back.

What can we expect from your set at the festival this year and will you be digging into the crates & surprising fans with any Ferry classics?

Yes definitely, I mean I always like to do that, get a classic and drop it all of a sudden. Apart from that obviously there is going to be a lot of Blueprint stuff, lots of big strong melodies and emotion, going to give you all of it. Also some Gouryella stuff as well.

You mentioned Gouryella could you explain what that is for anyone who doesn’t know?

Gouryella is an old project, the last track I released under that name was 13 years ago, I then gave it a break as sound was changing and my music was changing, but then 2 years I realised I wanted to go back to making that kind of sound again so went into the studio and reopened the flood gates, found all my old material, and remembered how I was producing tracks then, when I released the first track after 13 years ‘Anahera’, the response was so good so I decided to do a live tour with it which was very visually driven.

Lastly what’s the strangest or most bizarre thing you’ve ever seen at a festival?

One of the coolest things I’ve seen was at Stereosonic in Australia, as I was playing one of my tracks I saw a kid in a wheelchair being lifted up by his group of mates on their shoulders and as the track dropped everyone started jumping so he went flying out of the chair and landed face first into the crowd again!

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