If it’s in the middle of nowhere, hard to find, loaded with natural beauty and an energy vortex, the Schulz family is interested in a stay. When the office is a laser show and subwoofer cubicle, then the remote, energy vortex mountains of Romania in Eastern Europe are a welcomed change. Markus Schulz is there with wife-singer Adina Butar, and newborn son Liam when we catch up. Butar’s originally from Romania so it’s a convenient hub for playing shows around Europe and catching up with the in-laws.
Bali is another family travel favorite along with Sedona in the Arizona desert, also an energy vortex and not far from where Schulz started as a young DJ in Phoenix over in the States. And for someone with a zillion frequent flyer miles, Iceland, Bora Bora and Fiji have evaded the “Unicorn Slayer,” but are high on his travel to-do list.
Schulz arrives at the Ministry of Sound this Friday, fresh off gigs aboard Groove Cruise Miami, and shows in Denver, Colorado; The Netherlands and Transformations festival in Poland. Gigs here in The Box are always special for the Coldharbour Recordings founder. Schulz left Phoenix in the late 90’s for London as a young DJ-producer and credits this decision as the turning point in his career.
“Without the move to London, I would be lost,” Schulz tells us.
“When I left Phoenix for the UK, I focused on myself and learned who I was as a musician.”
Schulz rented studio space on Coldharbour Lane, the namesake for his label. He shared walls with UK drum and bass producers and grew fond of their basslines which he injected into his trance productions. The result was Schulz’s original flavor of reverberating, banging trance sets he’s become famous for. Today, Coldharbour Recordings is a hub for new music and touring DJs such as Rex Mundi, Jam El Mar, Grube & Hovsepian, Nifra, Denzo, Nomad Signal and others.
This Friday’s show will be extra special when Schulz drops the needle on an oldie, but goodie “Circa-Forever.” Londoner Tim Stark AKA Rapid Eye will surely pack the place with his entourage and bask in the glow of Schulz’s remake of his early 00’s trance classic.
“I always love playing in London. I know the energy and vibe there – I know they like it darker. There’s a lot of pinned up tension so when you go out – Londoners need the release. And I look forward to playing “Circa-Forever” (Markus Schulz Down the Rabbit Hole Mix) and giving Tim his momento di gloria,” he laughs.
Good DJs match music with moments and Schulz is nimble on the controls. Sometimes Schulz plays for daybreak moments, other times it’s main stages and there are sets for dim dens like Ministry of Sound. The London dungeon is a prime room to wander about during the legendary rabbit hole portion of his set where Schulz bends and mends music.
Schulz mixed the 18th edition of In Search of Sunrise 18 compilation album which dropped back in September. The long running trance tradition was started by Tiesto in 1999 and veers for a more cheerful, daybreak style of trance. And while there might be a few of those jolly moments on Friday – Schulz typically arrives at the Ministry of Sound with a chip on his shoulder — primed to destroy The Box.
Daxon, also a Coldharbour Recordings artist and Colombian trance ambassador Khoma join Schulz Friday night on the bill, tickets start at just 15 quid
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Written by: Tim Hopkins