It’s always such a joy when two dance music legends come together for a collab. For trance music legend, Ferry Corsten, he’s been taking his collabs to the next level with the UNITY series, where Ferry has attempted to unite all the different genres of trance under one umbrella. He’s already dropped hits with the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Gabriel & Dresden, BT, Ilan Bluestone, and many others in the trance realm. Now he’s back with one of his biggest UNITY collabs to date, “Flanging” with Sander van Doorn’s alter-ego Purple Haze.
“Flanging” is heavy on the old school rave vibes, as heavy synths and a nice drum buildup give us the perfect rave-trance tune. The synths work well, and the BPM forces you to jump very quickly. As Ferry alludes to in the interview, this is a track that any DJ can play and get a solid response from the crowd.
Check out our joint interview with the two Dutch legends, Ferry Corsten and Sander van Doorn and hear what they had to say about music, production tips, and working together.
Hi Ferry, Hi Sander, thanks for chatting with us. First off, tell us about the new song “Flanging.” How did you guys come up with the track?
Ferry: “Sander and I had this idea to work on a track together for a long time, but, somehow it never really happened. You know it’s always like, hey man we gotta do a track together, I’ll send you something next week and then that never happens. So, we had a gig together in Thailand last year, and we were on the way to the festival and Sander played me a track of his, maybe you can tell more about that track Sander.”
Sander: “Yeah, I was working on a few setups in the studio, one of the setups I thought really connected to Ferry’s sound as well. So, I showed him the track in the car and Ferry was really excited. So, we finally ended up in the studio, we first met up in Ferry’s studio and we used the basic beats of the first setup and then we created the melody for the breakdown, kind of the general idea of how we wanted to go into the drop. And then we kind of finished the track in both studios in the end.”
Ferry: “Yeah, the skeleton was definitely there after the first day. Sander took the files with him, fine tuned it a bit, sent it back, I made a few more tweaks, and yeah, that was the end…It took about a decade. But, it was fun that there was a basic idea that Sander had, so we moved on from there, which was cool.”
For Ferry, the last time I talked to you was the very first Unity single. Tell me how the project has evolved and what more can fans expect from Unity?
Ferry: “Well, so far, the fans have come to realize that whenever there’s a UNITY release it’s a collab, right? And the whole point of UNITY is a collab in the widest sense of the word. Mostly trance related, yes, but within trance nowadays, there’s so many different genres. So doing the UNITY thing, it’s cool to get a certain sound that crosses all these genres. So, every DJ can almost play it, from the 140 guys to the 128 guys. That’s basically the ballpark of how I want it to feel all the UNITY tracks. So, I believe 2018 saw the biggest focus on it, because that year was all about UNITY, but it didn’t mean that after 2018 we stopped altogether. It’s a continuous thing, if there’s a cool collab and my partner in the collab feels that it’s cool to do it as UNITY, then it’s going to be the next UNITY track.”
For Sander, you’re a legend in your own right, however, you’ve really been going strong as Purple Haze over the past few years. What originally inspired the project and how has it evolved and changed over the years?
Sander: “Actually, the first track I produced under Purple Haze was I think around 12 years ago now. It’s been quite awhile, for me it was kind of an outlet in the studio because I wanted to produce an experiment with different sounds. Purple Haze was different from Sander van Doorn, Sander van Doorn is a little bit more tech-y, Purple Haze was more like an outlet with a little bit more darker adjectives when it comes to melodies, a little more experimental. So I started producing a few tracks like 12 years ago and then I kind of started to focus more on Sander van Doorn. Kind of went 100% for that.
A few years ago I was producing a track in the studio that was supposed to be a Sander van Doorn track and before I knew it this track was born that was actually more of a Purple Haze track than Sander van Doorn. My wife actually pushed me to produce more of those tracks. So I started producing more and more and before I knew it the SPECTRVM album was finished. So, I really felt like, okay this is something that it’s been sitting there for so many years and I really need to do something with it. So that was about three years ago when I decided to go live with it as well.”
For Ferry tell us about the upcoming What the F tour, how did you decide to package all of your different aliases into one show? How will this differ from a normal Ferry set or when you play as Gouryella 2.0 at EDC?
Ferry: “I’ve done so many tracks over the years also with so many different aliases not just Gouryella and System F and tracks under Ferry Corsten. So, I was like, okay, I kinda want to combine everything and make it one cohesive sounding night where I do a solo thing and I play open to close. Rather than having an open to close where you have just a long set, I’m playing just an open to close with just my music. Everything that I’ve produced over the years, including the System F show that I already have, including the Gouryella show, 2.0, 3.0, 5.0 whatever it is.
So it’s basically a night where whoever comes to walks away and be like everything I heard tonight was done by Ferry. I heard so many tracks I didn’t even know you were behind. Or it could be a completely experimental new track that isn’t even finished yet, that I sort of want to finish with the input I get from the crowd. But, you should know that when you go there, everything you hear comes from my hand. That’s What the F? Factor, like what the fuck? I felt it was right, I had so many people over the years asking me to do a producer set and so many people asking me to do an open to close set. So I said okay I’ll do an open to close producer set.”
For Sander, I know you’ll be playing at Ultra [Editor’s note: Interview was conducted before Ultra was cancelled, but as the rest of the question pertains to festival season as a whole, we’ve elected to keep it in], what do your fans have to look forward to this festival season. Will he have any proper SVD shows or are you continuing to tour as Purple Haze?
“Actually, I’m touring both a lot over the coming weeks. Purple Haze is going to be at Ultra Festival. I’ve been producing away in the studio the last couple of months, producing loads of new stuff, also for Sander van Doorn. I have a few collabs with both projects, before I go to Miami for Ultra, I’m doing a few shows for Sander van Doorn over in the US and Canada. And after that I’m playing to Asia, so it’s going to be like 50/50 with Sander van Doorn and Purple Haze.”
The music industry has changed so much since each of you first broke out. How have you guys each managed to maintain your passion for music and remained fresh for so long?
Sander: “When it comes to me, it’s all about reinventing yourself in the studio and doing collabs together like Ferry and I did. That’s a great way to keep fresh in the music industry. Obviously it’s an ever-evolving industry, styles change a lot, but it also makes it more interesting. And more interesting to bring it back in the studio and come up with new genres and new ways to get the crowd going.”
Ferry: “Yeah, same for me, just reinventing yourself, in the sense that it’s so easy to get stuck in your ways. Not even your ways, the ways of your fans, what they want to hear, so you keep accommodating them. And it’s not about, if everyone would do that only, then music would stand still, and you in the studio you go numb. So really finding that thing where you also shake up your fans a little, with good comments, bad comments, doesn’t matter, it needs to be done, just to keep the needle moving basically.
And, also for yourself, you’ve gotta step away from the thing you’ve been doing all the time, and just go for crazy sounds, different genres, play around, whatever. So I would say, keep one foot firmly in your own genre where you can be identified and at the same time your other foot is dancing around, like what else is happening in the industry around you. See what you can do with that, how can you spice up your own sound.”
Sander: “That’s actually great, it’s educating yourself on the market and in the studio, and with that, also your fanbase. That’s a way you can keep on going for many years to come.”
What other new music can we expect from each of you in 2020, that you can talk about?
Ferry: “Well I’m sure there’s a few more UNITY releases there in the pipeline. I’m working on a new album as well. And I have another surprise coming up in a few weeks that we’ll announce, but I can’t say much yet.”
Sander: “You know, with me, I’ve been working away in the studio for the last four months, so I have a lot of Sander van Doorn as well as Purple Haze releases, a few collabs coming up as well. And also I’m thinking about perhaps starting a new artist album, which name, I’m not too sure about yet. But, yeah, there’s going to be a lot of stuff coming up.”
Anything else you want to tell the fans?
Ferry: “From my end we covered it. I mean, What the F is one of the main things for me this year, so hope to see you at one of the shows.”
Sander: “For me, always, huge thanks for all the support and see all the fans at all the shows this year.”
Do each of you have a favorite moment from 2019 that you want to share?
Ferry: “Since I’m in Winter holiday spirit right now, I had a real fun two shows, one on a Sunday, one on a Tuesday in Whistler, Canada. Yeah, it was amazing, it was like snowboarding all day, then coming down the slopes around 5 o’clock, and I played at the Longhorn Saloon, which was awesome. So then Monday, snowboarding, Tuesday, snowboarding, and then I played at this Swedish Afterhours, just a night that was bonkers. Not even a night, it’s like an after-ski. But it was really really cool, I enjoyed combining both things that I love doing most.”
Sander: “ For me personally last year was a really special year with the birth of my daughter, she just turned 1 today.”
Listen to Ferry Corsten & Purple Haze “Flanging” out now on both artists’ own record labels, Flashover and Doorn. Make sure to check out Ferry and Sander on each of their respective upcoming tour dates. Ultra Miami may not be happening anymore but you can still catch Purple Haze on the road.
Sander van Doorn Upcoming Tour Dates
Mar 13 – Palace Theatre – Vancouver, BC
Mar 27 – Ravine – Atlanta, GA
Mar 28 – Avalon – Los Angeles, CA [Purple Haze]