It’s night, again, and Markus Schulz is doing that thing he does. Industrial and strobe-struck, condensation sweating from the walls, he’s giving Arizona’s The Works… the full works. 500 and change are caught in the thrall. Things will be getting far hotter before they get any cooler kids, and on the floor it’ll be your great pleasure to burn.That was then. This is now… On The Works site today, a parking lot sits. Its legend though lies bedrock-deep. This is where the Markus you know was born.
A decade or two on and while the audiences have gotten bigger, Markus’ floor ethics haven’t shifted an inch. Schulz spends his professional life bringing you the out-on-the-edge experiences your parents warned you about. An endless sonic voltage, the deliverance of which others either can’t, or simply don’t dare.
Forged in the fires of Arizona’s seminal 90s warehouse/rave scene, Schulz went state, then national and with equal speed again, international. From the building blocks of progressive, trance & house, he crafted early anthems like ‘The New World’ and latter-day ones like ‘Destiny’. Caught between have been a half-dozen revered albums (most recently ‘Watch The World’ and the ‘Scream’ titles), an Everest of club hits and thousands of transfixing performances – played out before, now, untold millions. He’s helmed the scene-essential Coldharbour label for 10 years, chaired the Global DJ Broadcast radio show for 14 and remixed everyone from Moroder to Madonna.
His floor-bound adventures have met with comparable acclaim. Markus has scaled the upper reaches of the world’s DJ rankings and charts; is a two-time winner of DJ Times’ America’s Best DJ crown and has drawn acclaim from every electronic music portal & press outlet on the planet.
As he often says though, “there’s so much more to do”.
Markus Schulz – The DJ: Through his effortless audience affinity, flawless mixing, instinctual tune selection and now famous stylistically vast open-till-close sets, he has wowed crowds in every major city on Earth. Feeding off the other’s energy, Schulz’s DJ career has been symbiotically linked with his production one. In the early noughties, having focused on the hinterland between trance & progressive, he began to reach audiences farther and farther afield. Now a regular fixture at the world’s biggest & most famous club, arena and festival stages, weekly, he lays down his inimitable musical vision. In Europe, he’s floored audiences at events like Transmission, Electronic Family, Nature One and Dance Valley. He’s creamed Creamfields; gridlocked Global Gatherings and hosted his own stage at Tomorrowland. Stateside, EDC, Ultra, Nocturnal and numerous others have all similarly felt Schulz pressure. His legendary open-till-close sets, at spots like Space, Miami, LA’s Avalon, Stereo, Montreal, Amnesia, Ibiza and his International Residency at Ministry Of Sound have become rites of passage for fans around the world.
Having polled 4 consecutive years inside DJ Mag’s world’s top 10, Markus has remained a mainstay in its ranks for over a decade unbroken. He was also an IDMA Best American DJ recipient and is a two-time holder of DJ Times’ America’s Best DJ crown (’12 & ‘14).
How It Began: Born in Eschwege, Germany, in his early teens Markus moved to the US. His dance music dawn came through the country’s then-embryonic breakdance scene, whilst on trips to Boston and New York. Living in Arizona, he became a key player in its underground club, warehouse and radio scene, making his name at the seminal The Works club and through The Edge Factor show. His first production break came in 1993, when he remixed the cult classics ‘Bombscare’ by Two Bad Mice’ and Sagat’s ‘F** Dat’. Released through his own label of the same name, Markus’ freshman production followed in 1994 with the 6-track ‘Plastik Trax EP Vol 1’. Throughout the mid to late Nineties he maintained a steep career trajectory with a range of releases on numerous luminary U.S. labels. In 1998 he recorded ‘You Won’t See Me Cry’, which was inked by the UK’s Eve Records and subsequently became his first non-domestic release.
Coldharbour Recordings: Circa the millennium, his burgeoning success in Europe prompted a move to the UK. Following the formation of the Armada group in 2003, Armin van Buuren sought Markus out and asked him to compile tracks for a new vinyl series. The Coldharbour Sessions EPs launched in 2004, with its label namesake born shortly thereafter. Christened after Markus’ then-production base on London’s Coldharbour Lane, its output recognisably brought a new sonic to Armada’s repertoire.
In August 2010, Coldharbour Recs celebrated its 100th release, with Schulz’s cover of the Cass & Slide classic, ‘Perception’. Receiving regular props from the press, DJ Mag stated that Coldharbour was: “an imprint in the rudest of good health!” while Mixmag said it was: “fair brimming with ready-to-break production talent”. The label became a lightning rod for several new generations of producer, most recently setting in motion the careers of Nifra, Grube & Hovsepian, Fisherman & Hawkins, Mr. Pit and Arkham Knights. To further the impact of its talent circle, in 2012 Markus formed the Schulz Music Group. A formal artist management company, SMG nurtures the best of the best of its production house. Also key to the label’s infrastructure are its famed Coldharbour Nights. In tandem with the opening of SMG, they expanded their scope, showcasing the label’s artists with greater regularity – both domestically and abroad. In late 2015 the Coldharbour-released “9/10” scoring, “brilliantly structured”, “instantly embraceable” ‘Zenith’ from M.I.K.E. Push vs. Rank 1 bagged the label yet another DJ Mag Single of the Month. After a decade of frontline label operations, 2016 sees Coldharbour on the brink of its milestone 250th release.
M.S. Productions 2005 – 2009: Over the course of the second half of the Noughties, singles like ‘Never Be The Same Again’ & ‘I Am’ (2007), ‘Perfect’ (2008) & all-out anthems like ‘The New World’ & ‘Do You Dream?’ each played their part in Schulz’s ascension. Markus, now a seasoned production collaborator, first began to explore studio partnerships around this time. In 2005, having just moved to Miami, he famously teamed up with Gabriel & Dresden for ‘Without You Near’, latterly doing the same with Andy Moor on ‘Daydream’ and Airwave on ‘Ballymena’. The impact of these co-productions was catalysed by the release of his studio albums, ‘Without You Near’ (2005) and ‘Progression’ (2007).
M.S. Productions 2010 – 2012 / The ‘Do You Dream?’ album: In 2010, Schulz released the ‘Do You Dream?’ album. “Energetic” & “exhilarating”, was Tilllate Magazine’s verdict, whilst DJ Mag stated: “it’s hard to see why you won’t completely adore this!” The following year saw the album’s remix edition arrive. It included remakes from heavyweights including Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate and Super8 & Tab. The remix edition was followed a month later by Schulz’s first DVD release, which documented ‘Do You Dream?’s round-the-world tour.
Markus Schulz – ‘Scream’ and ‘Scream 2’: Released at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2014, respectively, these two albums brought together a wide range of talent from chart-topping vocalists to Coldharbour songwriters and producers. Each album contains an impressive array of Schulz originals and collaborations, including features with CeCe Penniston, Lady V, Adina Butar, Ana Diaz, Paul Aiden, and a host of other industry-established artists. 2013 saw Markus touring the globe with his new album, reaching some of the largest festivals, parties, and events the world has to offer. ‘Scream 2’ is a continuation of the series’ journey towards club-oriented tracks, with a stronger focus on songs that are as at home on the radio as they are on a festival main stage and instrumentals like the IDMA-nominated ‘Remember This’ and ‘Destino’.
Markus Schulz – Watch The World: on the 29th of Feb 2016, Markus revealed first details of his sixth studio album. Announcing the title as ‘Watch The World’, he confirmed that it would include his Beatport #1 single ‘Destiny’ and (in Markus Schulz Remix form) the boundary-breaking Soundland collab ‘Face Down’. He also stated that previously unheard vocal follow-ups with singers Delacey and Lady V would be amongst the tracks involved. Unveiling a more enigmatically themed cover than usual, he gave the global release date as April 29, 2016.
Aliases: Markus has made rare alias use throughout his career, seeing them as only valuable if they represented an outlet for a significantly different sound. Formatively, at the turn of the millennium he released 3 tracks (‘Swirl’, ‘Frozen’ & ‘Lost in Brixton’) under the pseudonym, Dakota. 2009 saw Schulz resurrect Dakota and develop it into an album project. The result, ‘Thoughts Become Things’ included seams of techno, house & other sub-genres. The release included fan-favourite singles ‘Sin City’ ‘Chinook’, ‘Johnny the Fox’ & ‘Koolhaus’. Such was its reception that it quickly reaped a sequel, 2011’s ‘Thoughts Become Things II’. Giving it their Album of the Month nod, MIXMAG said: “With ‘Thoughts II’, Schulz’s Dakota guise could be about to take centrestage”, while DJ Mag portrayed it as “epic” and containing “lush riffs at a housier tempo”. America’s DJ Times wrote of ‘TBT II’: “every track pushes great sounds and solid club vibes that throw you off your feet!“, whilst Germany’s Raveline suggested that “no DJ should miss out on the techier, darker and more progressive side of the Schulz sound“. It spawned several singles, including ‘Katowice’ ‘Sinners’ and ‘Sleepwalkers’. On stage, Dakota exists almost exclusively in Markus’ open-till-close sets. Having rested it to focus on other album projects, the alias made new appearances in 2014 with ‘CLXXV’ & the 22-minute epic ‘Doors Open’ and through the City Series release, ‘Cathedral [Montreal]’ a year later.
Following a run of spontaneous gig appearances together, under the name New World Punx, Markus & Ferry Corsten formalised a stage & studio partnership in 2013. Deriving their alias’ name from Schulz hit ‘The New World’ and Corsten’s anthem,‘Punk’, they initially promoted their releases & shows solely through anime-style cartoon imagery. They made their official New World Punx debut together at Madison Square Garden on March 30th, premiering their debut single ‘Romper’ during the performance. Further club hits have followed, including ‘Torque’ and ‘Pullover’ in 2014 and ‘Memories’ and ‘Bang’ the following year.
The Global DJ Broadcast show: Now in its fourteenth year of transmission, Schulz’s Global DJ Broadcast show is an emplaced weekly staple of trance & progressive dance fans worldwide. Over that time it has been nominated in the IDMA’s Best Podcast and Best Radio Show categories on multiple occasions. Having begun life on Miami’s Party 93.1 station, GDJB is now broadcast through DI.fm and Sirius/XM satellite, and over 50 other FM stations around the planet.
As unique two hour live-set mixes, the World Tour episodes broadcast at the start of each month, bringing Markus’ in-club exploits direct to music lovers’ desktops. They see him zero in on one specific city and one audience, recording a show, which captures every fader flip and its resultant crowd reaction. The World Tour show concept is designed to take the listener as close to the event as its possible to get without actually being there.
The City Album/Single Series & other compilations: Markus is also behind one of the longest running & most respected album (and latterly singles) series’ in trance history. Providing capsule-like views of his sound, the City series mix-comps became foundation blocks of trance lovers’ collections, with each travelogue edition bringing a new intake in along with it. Starting in 2005 with ‘Miami’, it moved to ‘Ibiza’ in ’06, then ‘Amsterdam’ for its IDMA-nominated ’08 edition and onto ‘Toronto’ in 2009. The following year Mixmag observed that Schulz was “notably ahead of the curve” with his ‘Las Vegas ’10’, which presaged the city’s EDM rise by 12 or more months. In 2011 he zeroed in on dance music’s surge in popularity in Eastern Europe with ‘Prague’11’, before returning to the States for ‘Los Angeles ‘12’. In giving the latter another Album of the Month nod, Mixmag said: “Schulz clearly demonstrates his understanding of the uncompromising sounds that hold sway over LA’s clubs and arenas”.
Following ‘Buenos Aires ‘13’, Markus paused the City projects to focus on his ‘Scream’ albums, before returning to it, even more emphatically a year later. 2015 saw it transform into a month-to-month audio travel log, with 12 city-highlighting singles throughout. From January’s “goosebump-inducing” (said Dancing Astronaut) ‘Bayfront’, it went on to visit Mumbai with ‘Bombay’, ‘Avalon’ for LA and the “ethereal waveforms” (per The Bangin Beats.com) of San Francisco’s ‘Golden Gate’. More recent releases include the “8.5/10” DJ Mag-scoring “polygraph-level tension” of ‘Cathedral’, ‘Lost In The Box’ and the Beatport #5 charting ‘Gotham Serenade’.
In October of 2015, Markus also mixed a long awaited/much requested edition of Ministry Of Sound’s estimable ‘Trance Nation’ series. The 2-disc release, which contained 15 previously unheard exclusives from Markus and his fellow Coldharbour-ites also featured music from Ferry Corsten, Chicane, Rank 1 & M.I.K.E. Push, Solarstone, Tritonal and others.
Remixes: Markus has had a remix career almost as illustrious as his production one. Over its duration, it’s seen him rework the music of everyone from Madonna to Giorgio Moroder. Throughout the 90s he re-tooled the production works of chart dominators like The Real McCoy & Technotronic and house- masters & divas including Armand van Helden & Liz Torres. Legendary Nineties icons RuPaul, Bette Midler & Sandra Bernhard and fully-fledged A-listers like Madonna (on ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’) have also felt his remix touch. As the millennium arrived he refocused on deeper, more intrinsically electronic dance fare… In 2000 he remixed trance innovator Pablo Gargano’s ‘Absolution’, Renaissance classic ‘The Flying Song’ by PQM and Fatboy Slim’s ‘Sunset (Bird of Prey). Markus has gone on to rewire tracks by Oceanlab, Motorcycle, Dance 2 Trance, Cosmic Gate, Nalin & Kane, Kyau & Albert, John O’Callaghan, & Space Manoeuvres amongst many, many others.
Most recently, in 2015, Schulz realized a lifelong ambition, when he reworked the title track from Giorgio Moroder’s album ‘Déjà Vu’ (featuring Sia on vocals) for the legendary Italian producer.