Markus Schulz: “It’s the fever pitch of it all that keeps you going.”
A summer of highlights, from crazy wild Ibiza parties to the second Dakota album release and official Be At Space compilation. Markus Schulz has been busy chasing sun, mixing musical cocktails and bring the crowds that much-wanted moment of musical bliss. No rest for the wicked though, cause the German-rooted American DJ/producer is already working on a follow-up to his ‘Do You Dream?’ album, and is about to rumble the Transmission 2011 visitors with an official anthem, ‘Digital Madness’. Markus had plenty in stores to turn winter into an after-summer thrill, so you best brace yourself. Be prepared, as we hook up with Markus to find out what he’s up to!
Hey Markus, how are you doing?
Markus:”Good thanks, guys! Hope you and everyone out there in Armada-land are too!”
Did you survive the European summer and the killing gig schedule that came along with it?
Markus:”I’d say more thrived rather than survived! I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of you, but there is just this huge sense of anticipation about the summer. It really gets the juices going and, for me, that only gets stronger each year. You know it’s going to be full-on, you know there’s going to be some long stretches without proper sleep (at one point I played 3 gigs in 3 different cities inside 24hrs!) but that’s to be embraced, you know!? It’s the craziness and the fever pitch of it all that keeps you going.”
Not too long ago, you rocked the official Space Closing Fiesta with Paris Hilton dancing on stage. Madness. How do you look back upon this year’s Ibiza season?
Markus:”It was very cool indeed – I really loved it. When the news came through that we were moving to Space this year, it was a little bittersweet. Amnesia was a temple to me, but Space presented a new challenge and I’m always up for one of those. Be did an awesome job, right throughout the summer, putting on one great party and one great line up after another. It was a thrilling feeling to headline nights in both the mainroom and the terrace, all inside my first season. Seeing Paris there, yeah that was a giggle. Getting some wind under her wings, when Sleepwalkers was ripping the place to pieces – its an image I’ll remember for some time! Roll on next year, whatever it might bring!”
Of course there was the Be At Space compilation, for which you and Fedde Le Grand both mixed a CD. Was it a hard one to capture a night out at Space into 80 minutes?
Markus:”Tough, certainly. It’s never going to be easy to squeeze an entire summer’s worth of music into that short an amount of time and create a really accurate snapshot of how both the mainroom and terrace sounded. However I was really happy that we did manage to achieve that. The preparation and criteria for tracks had to be a lot different to, say a city series compilation. It was a mixture of yearlong staples (Caress 2 Impress and Outsider from Prague ’11 for instance), and unreleased material (like Rex Mundi - Interstate of Lightning, Skytech’s Intensity and Klauss Goulart - No Man’s Land).“
You also featured some of Dakota’s ‘Thoughts Become Things II’ tracks on it. When the release came out, you told us it was more important than ever to produce this type of music and have a studio ‘other self’. What does Dakota give you that ‘Markus Schulz’ can’t?
Markus:”Dakota can be more club and less radio focused and that’s a more valuable thing for an artist than some might realize. If you’re released from the constraints of wondering how a track is going to fair at daytime radio on dance stations (to the greater degree anyway!), it gives you a lot more freedom to go different places with it. Do You Dream? had a lot of vocals on it and I will always love working with them. But when you take them out of the equation for a while and you can come up with an album that has real legs and major club versatility. Stand by for the remixes. That’s all I’m saying!”
Can you give us a little inside on what you are working on right now in the studio?
Markus:”Basically just powering away at the next Markus Schulz album. Wider ranging than Do You Dream even?? Watch this space!”
On to the next few months..you’ve got another anthem ready for the Transmission event in Prague, the third one in a row. What is it about this event that connects you so much?
Markus:”Well this will be my sixth Transmission played and when you keep getting asked back to spin at parties that get bigger and better every year (and one doesn’t always mean the other), there’s a one serious connector right there! It’s strange in a way as despite being a huge event for 15,000 people, there’s also this weird intimacy to it. I don’t know how they do that, but you really get a close atmosphere off the crowd and aside from everything else, that’s a big vibe booster! Also its Prague and anyone who’ve followed my career, especially over the last year, will know I have a big, big love for that city. As I know I said before it just seems to have the perfect balance of small, medium and large sized quality venues, all doing their things. It is very much a, if not the, hub of Eastern European clubbing.”
What can you tell us about the theme, ‘Digital Madness’?
Markus:”It’s big, its badass and its got a riff that won’t quit! Well that’s what the marketing guys will tell you, and it is one way of putting it, I guess! It’s probably as good an example of what people would see as a Markus Schulz peak-time play these days and it has got a bit of a organic Dakota continuation to it. Digital Madness is both the title and description wrapped into one! Come November 19th its sound design is aimed at getting as many hands in the air and feet on the floor in the O2 Arena, Prague as possible! “
This week, during the Amsterdam Dance Event, you’ll be playing at the DJ Mag Top 100 party at the Passenger Terminal. The past 3 years, you’ve been number 8 in the renowned poll. What’s your expectation for this year?
Markus:”If I catch myself thinking about the Top 100 for longer than 30 seconds at a time I force my head off the topic and onto something bigger-picture. I know some DJ’s tie themselves into knots about it around this time of year with it. I refuse for that person to be me though! I look at it in as much of a philosophical manner as possible. It’s nice to do well – for sure, but it isn’t, in anyway the be-all and end-all and I’ll never let a position in any poll define me. What I do is to play music to people who know. :) So when it comes to the Top 100 party, that’s what I’ll be thinking about for longer that 30 secs! A lot longer, actually! It’s going to be an incredible night. Passenger Terminal is looking like a great venue and with (no doubt) all the Armada hometown fans out to play, I’m betting it’s going to be as kick-ass as last year’s ADE set at Escape!”
Anywhere else we should catch you partying in these next few months?
Markus:”A whole load of places – I’ve got a five-date tour of Australia over Christmas and New Year, with a whole lot of other artists (Pendulum, Calvin Harris, Moby, Sasha, Snoop, Grandmaster Flash and others) that I’m really looking forward to. But seriously guys, if you’ve not done a Transmission before, come to Prague for that. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing!”
Get Markus’s ‘Dakota – Saints/In A Green Valley’ on Beatport!
Be At Space - on iTunes
Dakota - Thoughts Become Things II on iTunes