Many of Ferry Corsten’s nights are spent in full-tilt nightclubs with vodka-soaked dance floors. Ravers kiss trees, and reality is laughable. Sometimes, though, Corsten and his wife shop for furniture, which is what he’s doing while he speaks by phone to New Times. Officially Mr. and Mrs. Corsten since 2002, they’re outfitting a new house in his hometown of Rotterdam, Netherlands. They raise two kids there and live a somewhat typical family lifestyle. Two things, however, make this home unique. One is the state-of-the-art studio; the other is the exterior paint job. Casa de Corsten is black.
“We built this one from the ground up. It’s modern and sophisticated, yet it has classic lines. It’s both contemporary and traditional. And, yes, it’s black, the color of the DJ,” the 44-year-old Corsten laughs. “The studio was separate in our last house, but this one is nice because we can keep the family together. My son is 4 and likes to come in and play the piano.”
Perhaps the 4-year-old's proclivity for the ivories is in the genes. Dad is arguably the greatest trance producer of all time. In fact, Corsten deserves strong consideration for dance music’s overall best producer. He cranks out a lot of good tunes. As Gouryella, System F, Moonman, Pulp Victim, and Albion, he has more aliases than a crook on the run. His 1998 single, "Out of the Blue," is framed on the hallowed walls at Armada Music headquarters in Amsterdam.
In 1999, Corsten made "Gouryella," which sounds like a flight through clouds on the back of Falkor the Luckeragon. “Tenshi,” “Beautiful,” “Exhale,” “Festival Crash,” and a list of hits longer than a CVS receipt followed. He’s not slowing down. This year with Paul Oakenfold, he released another trance anthem, “A Slice of Heaven.”
“I’ve gone on Discogs.com a few times, and it’s amazing to see all the music I’ve made. Honestly, I don’t remember them all,” he says.
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Corsten is humble. Longtime Ferry fan Nate Young attests. His support of Corsten has spurred several road trips from Winter Music Conference to Boston throughout the years. A 2003 show at Avalon in New York stands out. Young waited for Corsten to enter the DJ booth in hopes of a signature on his "OceanLab - Clear Blue Water (Ferry Corsten Remix)" vinyl. Corsten obliged. To end the set, Corsten invited Young into the DJ booth. Then Corsten played young's freshly autographed record. “Still today, Ferry is the only person that’s ever played that record,” Young says. "No doubt about it, he's the nicest DJ I've ever met, and I've met a lot of them."
That doesn't mean there is no ego. Asked if there's a better trance producer today, he replies, "Ahhhhhhh, I can’t really think of one."