Ferry Corsten

Ferri Corsten @ PalladiumFerry Corsten



There are great DJ's and there are great producers. Never standing still, Ferry Corsten is one of the rare breed that have always excelled as both. As happy on stage at the globe’s biggest dance events as he is burrowed in his Rotterdam studio, the dedicated artist never fails to pour every drop of his passion into each project he takes on. And his energy never goes unnoticed. Voted the sixth best DJ in the world by DJMag readers, Corsten’s seventeen year production career is one of the most prolific and successful of any dance artist. Just check the countless gold discs, awards and albums for the evidence.

For so many clubbers, hearing a Ferry Corsten production for the first time is a moment they’ll always remember. Who could forget the first time ‘Out Of The Blue’ (as System F) erupted out of the speakers as its epic breakdowns, euphoric synths and infectious melodies burst literally ‘out of the blue’ to open up a fresh era of Dutch trance. Red Jerry and the Hooj Tunes label quickly clambered to sign it but it was Pete Tong and Essential that pipped a lucrative, fiercely contested bidding war. Just two months later, ‘Out Of The Blue’ was riding high in the UK top twenty, Corsten was snapped up by Ministry Of Sound to mix their new Trance Nation series and his myriad of aliases were responsible for some of the biggest dance tracks of their time. At one point, you couldn’t step foot onto the ecstatic dancefloors of clubs like Gatecrasher or Godskitchen without hearing a stream of Ferry’s euphoric productions, one after the other.

Times have moved on though and Corsten has moved well ahead of them. So many key figures of the late 90s trance era have fallen below the radar but Ferry continues to ride high at the pinnacle of the modern dance movement both as a DJ and, more importantly, a producer. As much as tracks like 99’s Gouryella (as Gouryella) and the uplifting ‘Carte Blanche’ (as Veracocha) became the defining trance anthems of the late 90's, Corsten was never going to be anchored down to pure euphoric trance alone. Even way before his production had conquered the UK charts and the globe’s dancefloors, he had already experimented with ambient productions, drum and bass and even gabba.

Since the turn of the millennium, Corsten’s productions have not only displayed his versatility in full focus but pushed melodic dance music into totally new areas.  Many hold Corsten as the producer responsible for giving trance a new sheen and introducing fresh electro influences into what was becoming a generic sound. Rightly so, his 2002 electro-fused anthem ‘Punk’ sounded like nothing that had gone before it. The first track that Corsten released under his own name, ‘Punk’s’ infectious weaving electro-synth blended the Dutchman’s trademark big room sound with the electro influences he first absorbed as a Rotterdam teenager. Years ahead of its time, ‘Punk’ not only rose high as the biggest trance anthem of the year but achieved crossover success through its fresh uniqueness.

Hitting number 29 in the UK charts, ‘Punk’ is just one in a wealth of gold selling singles. After all, it’s no secret that Corsten is responsible for more UK top forty records than any trance related producer. Across a nine year span, the prolific producer has earned ten top forty hits, half of which have penetrated the top twenty. Never afraid to court populist appeal, Corsten has taken his sound to the masses without ever compromising his musical honesty. Anthems like ‘Rock Your Body, Rock’, the soaring ‘Cry’ as System F and ‘Fire’ have rested as happily on the MTV playlists as they have the dancefloors of Ibiza’s Amnesia or LA’s Avalon.

Not content with creating massive selling singles, Corsten is one of trance music’s only true album artists. Ferry is a producer as capable of creating diverse richly textured artist albums as he is those instant, explosive dancefloor rushes. Something two global selling albums under his own name have demonstrated. Released in 2003, his first solo LP ‘Right Of Way’ was Corsten’s way of announcing ‘make way, I’m coming through’ as he explored everything from ambient William Orbit-styled pop, futuristic trance and groove fuelled melodic creations. Each track always carrying its own stamp of Corsten quality.

Taking things one step further last year’s Loud Electronic Ferocious (L.E.F.) highlighted his position as one of the most forward thinking artists in dance music. As well as more electro edged trance and classy electronic pop, it branched out further to include the rock influenced breakbeat of ‘Junk’ and ‘L.E.F’s stomping electro house. One of the finest dance albums of 06, L.E.F. duly sailed straight into #1 on the Itunes chart. Not only that, the album highlighted his ability to collaborate with a range of globally respected artists from synth pop pioneer Howard Jones to underground hip hop rapper Guru. The first single from the album, the uplifting electro house anthem ‘Fire’ with Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon hit the Dutch charts and was an Ibiza classic in 2006.

A tireless producer who has been fascinated by studio equipment ever since he began producing as fresh faced teenager (his first release was at just sixteen), Corsten has always found time to conjure some of the most magical remixes around. His 99 rework of ‘Madagascar’ is the defining version of the Art Of Trance classic, licensed to nearly every classic trance compilation in existence. Irish rock giants U2, the legendary Moby and dance leaders Faithless are just some of the acts to call on his Midas touch. His rework of ‘Barber’s Adagio For Strings’ stands tall as one trance’s biggest crossover hits in history. Coaxing a wondrous, soaring energy from Barber’s timeless, emotional score, Corsten’s epic rework hit the top ten pop charts all over the globe.

Of course, Corsten’s ear for music has never been in question. As an astute A&R man his labels Tsunami Record and more recently Flashover and Aleph Recordings have continually been responsible for some of the freshest, most euphoric trance around. During a trip to USA, Ferry’s favourite Breakfast recently came into prominence with deep percussive trance builders like ‘Storm’ and the blissful electro tweaked ‘The Air Between’. Just 17 years of age, Breakfast’s prodigious talents were recently highlighted by UK clubbing bible Mixmag as one of the brightest talents in the scene. 

As a DJ, Corsten’s musical journeys never fail to inspire, excite and entertain, blending the most futuristic trance with dashes of techno and electro. Like all the best DJ's, Corsten manages to turn each set into a story in itself but never forgets why he’s there; to give clubbers a time they’ll never forget. Globally adored by the legions of trance fans, the fanatical response to his sets are the same whether it be in any club or festival around the world.