‘Start To Feel’s story couldn’t begin in a finer place than ‘Happyness’. Cooler on tempo, higher on life, its sun-dipped pianos and rhapsodic melodies fuse feel-great atmosphere into the album’s overture.
Through its female vocal troupe, the LP’s vision begins to broaden. Founded on faithfully syncopated 80s electro drum patterns & FX, Jaren cuts it soul-deep with ‘Try’, whilst ‘Be Your Sound’ heroine Emma Hewitt returns with the torch-song triumph of ‘Going Home’. Further in, ‘Shine Forever’ and ‘The Sparks After The Sunset’ (co-starring Alexander Popov & Jannika and Sarah Lynn respectively) radiate their spirited uplift.
An all-powerful atmosphere generator, ‘Yai’ dark charts the outer-reaches of progressive instrumentalism… then voyages further still. Likewise building more dissident characteristics into ‘S.T.F.’ is the Jerome Isma-Ae co-production ‘Telefunken’, which pans, echoes and tremors its square-form sonica, finally introducing a Kraftwerk-ian lead-line. Skilfully flipping the frequency dial, Kristina Antuna supplies mainline spark to ‘Alone’ – a track whose supremely catchy lyrics and song will be all over the world’s airwaves come summertime.
Naturally, no Cosmic Gate LP would be complete without a substantial bedrock of arena-razing atomics! Tracks like ‘So Get Up’ and ‘Crushed’ (exclusive to its iTunes release) have already given peak-time a heads-up of what’s incoming. Nic & Bossi reap further thunderous instrumental havoc through the complexly programmed fire & brimstone synthesis of Orjan Nilsen collab ‘Fair Game’ and the aural superstructure of KhoMha co-pro ‘Tormenta’.
‘S.T.F.’s gravities are brought into acuter focus through music like ‘No One Can Touch You Now’ and the album’s title track ‘Start To Feel’. All but erasing the line between deep trance & house, they bring never-previously-heard sounds and styles to Cosmic Gate’s production creed. Respectively, Mike Schmid and ‘WYM’ returnee Cary Brothers supply their vocal expression to tracks whose lyrical narratives play in the mind for days.
Making two appearances over its runtime, LA’s Eric Lumiere brings vocal elevation to “anthem-in-a-can” (DJ Mag) ‘Falling Back’ and a more deeply held pathos to ‘Run Away’. Heralding the album’s coda, early Nic Chagall singer/songwriter discovery Jonathan Mendelsohn brings an expressive, moving vocal magnetism to its iTunes exclusive swansong ‘All My Life’.
Music bible MIXMAG says ‘Start To Feel’ is: “stylistically fearless, panoramic, astonishing and by virtue-of, reaches that hallowed height of perfection.”