TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
Markus Schulz Markus Schulz is a US trance music DJ and producer who orginates from Germany. Though he was active throughout the nineties his career didn’t really take off until the noughties.  Schulz's many releases and remixes occupy the progressive end of the trance spectrum. Repeatedly voted in DJ Magazine’s top 10 DJs and recipient of multiple awards, Schulz headlines festivals and clubs across the globe and hosts an internationally syndcated radio show 'The Global DJ Broadcast show'.  He is signed to Armin van Burren’s Armada Music and he runs his own label Coldharbour Recordings, which is distributed by Armada.
Markus Schulz scales of success
Markus Schulz timeline

Markus Schulz early years

Early Years: 1993-2004

Markus Schulz was born in Eschwege in Germany but in the mid 1980’s, aged 13, his family emigrated to the US.  Despite his German origins Schulz is considerd as an American artist, as do his fans.  Remixing as early as 1993 Schulz become an important figure in the US electronic dance music scene of the 1990’s. Though his first original production release was in 1994 (‘Plastik Trax EP Vol 1’) it was his 1998 release ‘You Won’t See Me Cry’ on his own Plastik Records that that first got him global attention.  ‘You Won’t See Me Cry’ was licensed in the UK by Eve Records. It's bubbling Euro trance bassline, piano, sweeping arpeggios and big vocals were typical of the sound of the time but is a long way from the more progressive and techy sound that Schulz would soon become renowned for.

By 1999 Markus Schulz was releasing under his alias Dakota (which he was to return to in the late noughties).  The dark techo influenced progressive rhythms of the 2002 Dakota track ‘Lost In Brixton’ contrast strongly with the dreamy trance sound of ‘You Won’t See Me Cry’. Within a couple of years Schulz released a track which was the first sign of what was to become his trademark sounds.  The track, released in 2004, was ‘Largo’, under another alias, Elevation.  In ‘Largo’ Schulz uses the progressive beats of ‘Lost In Brixton’ but layers arpeggios and a minimal lead line.  The sound is more progressive house than it is trance yet ‘Largo’ has become recognized as something of a trance classic.  This blurring of the boundaries between progressive house and trance has become an art on which Markus Schulz has since built global fame. 
In 2004 he released his first major compilation ‘Coldhabour Lane Sessions 2004.

Markus Schulz peak yearsPeak Years: 2005 to Present

In 2005 Markus Schulz signed to Dutch trance superstar Armin van Buuren’s Armada Music group and within a year had set up Coldharbour Recordings which Armada distribute.  Schulz has been friends with van Buuren since 1999 and signing to Armada proved to be the turning point in his Schulz’s career.  Since being there he has averaged four releases a year (plus numerous remixes).  He has collaborated with the likes of Gabriel & Dresden (‘Without You Near’ in 2005) and Andy Moor (‘Daydream’ in 2008) and released multiple mix compilations and solo albums.

During his time at Armada his sound and productions have evolved further, leaning once more towards vocals and big trance lead lines.  However, his releases are still much more on the progressive end of the trance spectrum than much of music for which van Buuren and Armada are best known for.  Schulz considers himself to be part of a new wave of trance music that is reinventing the genre and it is fair to say that his progressive house leanings and driving but subtle productions enable him to deliver tracks with big lead lines that stand little risk of falling into the trap of formula and cliché that so much of 21st century trance does. Tracks like ‘The New World’ (2008) and ‘Do You Dream’ (2009) are clearly big room trance anthems but at the same time they’re dark and brooding affairs with driving beats.

In 2009 Schulz dusted off his Dakota alias and releases a series of productions and an album (‘Thoughts Become Things’) which pursue a more techy and progressive sound.  Tracks such as ‘Koolhaus’ and ‘Roxy 84’ strip away the big leads and vocals of many of the Markus Schulz tracks, leaving the driving techy beats.  Some of the Dakota releases - such as ‘Mr Cappuccino’ even end up in pure tech house territory.  After ‘Thoughts Become Things’ Schulz returned to releasing under his own name and released the 2010 album ‘Do You Dream?’.  Unlike his work as Dakota this album features multiple artists and a much stronger trance sounds with tracks such as ‘Dark Heart’ (featuring Khaz) and ‘Perception’ (featuring Justine).

I n 2008 Schulz was voted Best American DJ at the IDMAs and in 2009 was voted number 8 in the DJ Magazine global DJ poll.  Throughout 2009 and 2010 Schulz’s career continued to accelerate with an endless stream of global headlining slots at clubs and festivals including Trance Energy, Dance Valley, the Love Parade,  Global Gathering, Ultra and Creamfields. In 2009 alone he played over 190 gigs.

Markus Schulz has worked long and hard to achieve the global success which he is now enjoying.  His early years saw a strong appetite for experimentation and a desire to find ‘his sound’.  He has become famous for a progressive tinged sound and has played a major role in helping reinvent trance as a genre, helping it move away from tired cliché. Although some of his more recent Armada releases see him leaning towards the mainstream he’s done well to move away from, his releases as Dakota and his DJ sets continue to fly the flag for the progressive end of the trance spectrum.

Markus Schulz owns flats in Berlin and Miami.  His main production software is ProTools though he also runs Logic Studio and Ableton.  He largely uses plug-ins though he does have a collection of vintage synthesizers which he uses on most of his tracks.