Still in a trance | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Trance music pioneer and DJ Ferry Corsten lives for the weekend

Being one of the early proponents of a musical style has the side effect of making one pine for things long gone, like an ex-girlfriend who was much more attractive 20 pounds ago.

Ferry Corsten, who was playing trance long before the cool kids even heard about it, is happy about electronic dance music’s introduction to a mainstream audience. However, like most people who come to a party early, he laments the weakening mental faculties of the people around him.

“The attention span is so short now,” he said, referring to his genre’s followers.

“It used to be great 10 years ago, when you could have a brand new track and you can play it for about four months and everybody would not know what it is. Everybody would want that record. You can really build it up. That’s what’s missing now. Now you play one track, and the next week everybody would know what it is. It’s really a shame that that’s gone.”

The Dutch DJ/producer, who has a Manila gig set for July 5, started making music in his teens and has not stopped since. He rose to fame in the late ’90s under the pseudonym “System F” and has since been a consistent occupant of the UK charts.

Good vibes

While he reminisces about the old days of trance, he’s not a cantankerous curmudgeon who chases kids off his lawn. In fact, his new album “WKND” is all about good vibes and dodging stress. “Whether you’re at work or school, you can’t wait for the weekend to get started. It’s all about that,” he said.

“No dreary stories weighing on the dance floor when you hear a breakup story. It’s not what you’re there for in the weekend. The whole message of the album is good times.”

His musical base, a mix of synth-based ’80s music, Italo-disco and classical, while odd for an old hand in a musical style that differentiates itself through beats per minute, explains his willingness to mix and match sonic aesthetics.

“I understand that people see me as a trance DJ, because that’s where I had my breakthrough, with that kind of music. But right now, I play the biggest house anthems, too. My own production, my own style of music has gone way more house-y,” he said.

The crossover attitude is evident in the new album. The record, which ranges from house-y grooves to “absolutely dance floor destroyer killer” tracks, expands to different territories while retaining Corsten’s trademark upbeat, big room trance vibe.

The album, which features collaborations with Armin van Buuren (“Brute”), Duane Harden (“Love Will”) and Betsie Larkin (“Not Coming Down”), sums up Corsten’s philosophy on the human condition. What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in profound simplicity. “The weekend is what we live for,” he said.

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