In 1999, two of the most iconic trance producers started a project under the name of ‘Gouryella’. It was one of the major stepping stones resulting in the rise of the then DJ Tiesto and producer Ferry Corsten. Of course no one can put their foot down on a certain year but many consider 1999 to be the golden year of trance. Once the production kicked off, the duo had ultimately managed twenty separate album releases of the four Gouryella tracks on nine different record labels. Their first single, ‘Gouryella’ itself had the honor of being released on 11 different record labels and by July 1999, the duo had been awarded a ‘gold record’ for the sales.
In an interview done in England, Tiesto famously, or infamously as some might say, answers the interviewer’s query regarding longevity of the “music that you’re producing which is trance” with the ironic but iconic “it will last forever”.
If you’ve just woken up or were born yesterday but really like trance, we are sorry to inform you but those services have been stopped. Its almost heart wrenching for some to watch Tiesto, once considered the king of the genre, claim that “this kind of music touches people in the heart because of the melody and it will last forever”. Nevertheless, his music will remain immortal and we can always apply his statement objectively to the Trance or EDM scene as a whole.
The 1998-2000 time period was a very important for three of the more famous names in today’s scene. ‘Gouryella’ and ‘System F’ were growing names in terms of trance and played a huge role in Ferry Corsten’s rise and reign in the trance scene, which has been decorated with beautiful melodies due to his sumptuous talent. Tiesto started his first imprint, Black Hole Recordings with Arny Bink in 1997. He began projects like ‘Gouryella’ and ‘Kamaya Painters’ with dutch stars Ferry Corsten and Benno de Goeij respectively and gave a boost to his glittering career. Armin Van Buuren was faring well with his start and had just inaugurated his very own label ‘Armind’ in 1999, he collaborated with Ferry Corsten and Tiesto and also managed to release ‘Eternity’ on Paul van Dyk’s Vandit Recordings. Some of the biggest names of today were just starting out as smaller acts and collaborations among themselves in those times. Gouryella is one of those names which comes on everyone’s lips when we turn back the clock.
The duos first single, Gouryella was and still remains a hit. With the iconic beats and a melody which takes you straight to “trance heaven”, the track is an absolute statement not only from the duo but also from the scene itself. It also is their most successful record and highest one on the charts.
Walhalla, the duos second single was their second best effort on the charts. It received a remix from Armin van Buuren’s Rising Star and the original also got a beautiful vocal mix. The track is based on samples from dutch singer Marco Borsato’s “Voor Altijd”. Needless to say, it remains as one of their most iconic productions.
The third and the last track Ferry did with Tijs under the Gouryella tag was Tenishi. ‘Tenshi’ got released on September 16, 2000 via “Tsunami”, including remixes from ATB, Transa, Ratty, Roland Klinkenberg and Mark Moon.
Things were great for the trance scene but not so much at the Gouryella camp. After finishing ‘Tenishi’ under the Gouryella tag, Tiesto decided to separate himself from Gouryella in 2000 to concentrate on his solo work. Ferry took the torch from then on. Up until late 2000 i.e. the time when Tiesto left, the duo had released 3 records under the Gouryella tag out of which ‘Gouryella’ (1999) and ‘Walhalla’ (2000) reached the gold sales status.
Ferry collaborated with John Ewbank, though still under the Gouryella tag, to write and produce ‘Ligaya’ in 2002. The track was released with remixes from Hiver & Hammer and Green Court but incidentally didn’t do as well as the older productions. ‘Ligaya’ would be the last production under the tag before the Gouryella camp would close. Some considered it the swan song of the project but it wasn’t meant to be. The vocal version of “Ligaya” contains vocals done by Dutch singer Patty Gaddum.
It took 10 years for Gouryella to resurface as news. The trance scene erupted with unconfirmed rumor of a 2012 return for the Gouryella project but Ferry Corsten himself rejected the rumors with a rather cheeky post on his official Facebook page. But on 27th May 2015, on the 413th episode of his podcast – ‘Corsten’s Countdown’, he gave everyone a surprise by announcing the return of the Gouryella project with the new track ‘Anahera’. Be it Tony from Above & Beyond approving his expectations, being surpassed by the track and the return on ABGT#133 or Arnej posting on his Facebook page about his opinion of the scene and his role behind the return of the project, the whole scene was showing an exciting reaction as to the return of Gouryella.
The melodic masterpiece has us in shambles after the breakdown. Uplifting to its core, ‘Anahera’ is a pinpoint mixture of the old Gouryella melodic sound and the newer sounds. The only question that is on every trance fan’s mind is “What will be the affect of this return on the current scene?”. We would be deeply disheartened if this doesn’t cause waves of positive comments from producers. And as for what the track makes us feel, we couldn’t have said it any better than Arnej did, “It’s not about a big bassline, it’s not about some crazy buildup and it’s not about some big “drop, it’s not about the latest production gimmick. It’s all about the journey through emotion and melody.”
It was one of those things which make you wonder, what would have become of Gouryella, Tiesto, Trance and the current scene had the duo not stopped producing. Perhaps these are things that we all wonder about but it in the uncanny words of Tiesto, the scene will never stop. “It will last forever”.
The track has garnered huge support from fellow trance artists such as Armin van Buuren, Mark Sherry, Bryan Kearney, Marcus Schulz, Solarstone, Ben Gold, Above & Beyond, Paul van Dyk, Alex M.O.R.P.H. and many more.
As of now, it is out on Beatport. Go ahead, bag yours and travel far away.