Tag Archives: Dakota

Dakota’s Nine Skies At Dreamstate SF


Since the release of Thoughts Become Things (2009) and Thoughts Become Things ll (2011), fans of Markus Schulz’s experiment with the darker, progressive side of electronic music have been yearning for a Dakota performance. Those who were at Dreamstate San Francisco 2017 had the privilege of witnessing the reemergence of Schulz’s Dakota alias and the debut of his Nine Skies project.

Schulz told Angus Thomas Paterson in an interview for Insomniac that the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the “turbulent political developments” of 2016 were some of the events that motivated the Miami-based artist to resurrect his techno infused trance. 

Schulz said about the upcoming project:

“What I’m doing with the Dakota show, it’s almost like a dark dancefloor musical. It’s called Nine Skies, and it’s the nine steps we go through in our quest for enlightenment . . . The live show has big moments . . . But it’s essentially a deeper, more thoughtful affair, and definitely not one of the shows where we’re shooting off fireworks at every drop.”

When the lights finally turned off Saturday night for Dakota, all of the chattering conversations turned into a roar as the screen behind Schulz was filled with bright stars mapping out a constellation of Earth and then of a (trance) baby. An ominous voice introduced us to the first “sky” as hymns filled the room. Everyone’s eyes glistened like the constellations on the screen, reflecting the LED lights projected from behind the man of the hour.

“I have been listening to Markus Schulz for years, and I love his Dakota stuff,” David Lopez, 28, Marin, told me before the set started. “To be honest, I never thought that we would even see a Dakota set. At least not in America.”

Fans were hypnotized by the beautiful visuals composed of vivid color and eliciting images that ranged from political strife to vast landscapes, to lustful bodies falling into carnal temptation. Schulz used symbolic images like the All-Seeing Eye (representing the physical, spiritual, and mental aspect of enlightenment) and the Power Fist to further highlight the message of a “sky” .

Dreamers heard a range of music from the familiar horns of “Mota-Mota”, a new production from Dakota, to classic tunes like “Cafe del Mar”. Schulz set was flawlessly strung together by powerful percussion and heavy synths. The crowd’s bodies became puppets to the string of beats from Dakota’s turntables. Aggressive kickdrums determined the intensity of one’s dance moves while euphoric melodies encompassed lovers to sway back-and-forth.   

Schulz also used lighting as a means to reflect the tone of the “skies”. When the theme contained pain, anger, and lust, shades of red and orange were used on the LED screen and shot through as lasers. Washes of blue and white illuminated the Civic Center during times of happiness and euphoria. A prime example was during Dakota’s recent release “Running Up That Hill” (featuring the angelic vocals of Bev Wild).

Emotions ran high during Sky Five: The Activist, the path of change in humanity. Fans saluted their middle fingers to the screen when a video of President Donald Trump’s inauguration played in black and white. The audio recording of Trump being sworn in was met with thundering anger from the fans. All of the rage in the room was soon soothed by images of Dr. King, Tupac, and the famous Tank Man at Tiananmen Square. Along with the iconic chords of “The Way It Is”, the duality of hate and peace was perfectly put together.

This was the moment in Schulz’s Nine Skies where I felt a connection with Dakota. A connection that I have not felt before in my ten years of festival attendance.

To be honest, I felt nervous during the first red-tinted video of CGI soldiers marching under a red sun. This feeling during a music festival was foreign to me, a little uncomfortable. I’m sure many others were in the same situation. But I realized this uneasy feeling was what Schulz wanted to evoke out of us, something that connects us to his artwork that transcends cliches of DJs and festivals. At the end of the whole journey, I was glad I was able to feel a rollercoaster of emotions at a music festival. Experiences like this are what makes a performance memorable.  

Before Schulz finished his time with Paterson, he spoke of his legacy and what he wanted to leave behind. “I want to create something that will endure for many, many years to come,” he said. “Something that people can look back at whenever they have hard times to listen to, watch it, and hopefully be enlightened by it as well.” It’s hard to not dwell on your own legacy when a man who has traveled the world and achieved many accomplishments in his life leaves you with pondering words.

The audiovisual experience of the Nine Skies sets a new benchmark of storytelling at a music festival. Trance Family SF will remember this masterpiece in their hearts as they reflect on Schulz’s legacy. With promises of a unique Nine Skies experience every show, I can only hope to see what Dakota has in store for the Electric Daisy Carnival.



New Music Review: Dakota – CLXXV

Markus Schulz’s acclaimed Coldharbour Recordings label reaches another milestone, and in continuing with tradition, signifies the achievement with a production from the man himself. For release number 175, Markus delves into his clubbier, instrumental-driven Dakota alias, with a track aptly titled, CLXXV.

The track debuted in grand fashion during his solo set at Space in Miami during Winter Music Conference, and was an ever-present throughout the recent Scream 2 Bus Tour, along with becoming the most requested ID in his Global DJ Broadcast sets. After listening to this phenomenal track you can understand why it was his most requested ID. Right out of the gate CLXXV hits you in the face with a fist full of musical love! This incredible drive is something that will hit the hearts and feet of every clubber and festival goer within ears reach. You can can really hear everything that embodies Markus Schulz, deep rolling bass lines with soulful melodies. This track is a perfect combination of the driving sounds we crave and the uplifting melodies we need. After this track plays you will love Markus Schulz aka Dakota even more. 

I had the chance to close out my set with CLXXV last night and it was a perfect ending to an incredible night! This track sounds like pure bliss over a professional sound systems and I soon found myself staring at a sea on smiles.

You can buy the track at:

Beatport: http://bit.ly/clhr175bp
Itunes: http://bit.ly/clhr175itunes

Follow Markus Schulz:
Website  | Website – GDJB | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | SoundCloud | Beatport | Spotify

Review: Buenos Aires ’13 by Markus Schulz Plus Signed CD Giveaway

It’s that time of year again when Markus Schulz releases his newest compilation in his city series and the 2013 version is dedicated to Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. The two CD set features 38 songs will be released on October 4, 2013 and you’ll likely be in a loop of listening to over and over. We live in a world full of throwaway music that is often listened to a couple of times and often forgotten but the tracks picked for this mix will have the staying power. The two discs do exactly what a dance music compilation should do, take you on a ride. There’s two vocal tracks on the mix, one of those being “Nothing Without Me” and the voice of Ana Diaz has never sounded better in this shadows of Coldharbour remix by Markus.

The first CD opens with “Momento de Gloria” by Marscela and there’s no time wasted as “We Evolve” by Sequ3l starts with a steady beat and builds into a melody that sets the tone for the rest of the way. The drum roll into the melodies of “Sin City” by Sensetive5 has the elements of a track that could be played at any time during a set. Crystal Design’s “Scarface” is has a smooth rolling beat followed perfectly by Rodg & Ruben de Ronde’s “Remain Different” that will likely be a regular in many sets with its big room sound. Tucandeo’s “To an End” has a dark progressive sound with an added piano element that takes us right into KhoMha’s “Cyclone” that has been a hit in sets all summer. The snare drum build up of Rex Mundi’s “Aureolo” carries over into “Progressive Dreams” by Ruffault that plays out as one of the longer tracks at almost five minutes. Grube & Hovsepian take some time in “Palermo” to just let the piano do the talking without the need for any type of drum underneath it. Danilo Ercole’s “Point of View” builds up into a breakdown that should make you start dancing. Markus makes his first appearance on the mix as he presents a new Dakota track titled “Barracas”. Wellenrausch & Basil O’Glue collaboration on “Wickaninnish” is a track that I can imagine listening to late at night in a set and before you know it you’ll be singing along with Ana Diaz. The Shadows of Coldharbour remix by Markus of “Nothing Without Me” gives the track a fresh new progressive sound. The newest member of the Schulz Music Group, M.I.K.E. (also known as Push), takes us out of stalker mode with the upbeat “Before Dawn”. The next track, “Remember This”, hits the point of putting your arms in the air to the memorable melody that has been a staple in sets for Markus Schulz throughout the summer of 2013. The last three tracks by Mr. Pit, Aaron Camz and Rex Mundi close out the first CD with tracks that will be timeless for years to come.

The second CD wastes no time starting off with Protoculture’s “Talisman” and builds into “Towards the Sun” by Markus Schulz and Rex Mundi which is the second of two vocal tracks on the two CDs. The vocals are effective while being simple with only seven different words letting you know to keep on walking, keep on moving and to walk towards the sun. KhoMha’s “Dimensional” has more piano than we’ve been used to in his productions and you almost wouldn’t be able to identify it as one his own except for two minor breaks with his signature kick drum sound. The build and progression of “Stratosphere” by Digital X gives the track a quality where it could be played at any time of the night. “Praia da Adraga” by Purple Stories appears to be named after a beach in Portugal and the track has the melodies to make you want to be on a beach. As you think about a beach get up and head towards the club for Danilo Ercole’s “Freezing Rain” which takes you into “The Battle” by Fisherman & Hawkins vs. Nifra, a peak time track that can be imagined playing on any festival stage. The same can be said about “Fair Winds” by Elevation vs. Grube & Hovsepian. Vassilakis & Tarr’s “Galea” slows things down just a little bit away from the big room sound before the massive “Trickster” takes control to lead into the second half of the CD. Basil O’Glue’s “Gilgamesh” and “Scrambled” by Solid Stone keep the pace moving leading into “Mardi Gras” by Markus Schulz, a track that was only known as an ID early in 2013. “Royal Flush” by Harry Square has an excellent build that’ll have you running on the dance floor. “Phantom” by Digital X and “The Other Side” by Skytech are two familiar tunes if you’re a diehard listening to live sets and they’re familiar in a good way as they are great tracks. Elevation’s “Stadium Control” could’ve gone anywhere in the mix but is fitting towards the end leading into the Markus Schulz Coldharbour remix of the classic Solarstone track “Solarcoaster”. The track is trance perfection and leads into “Viaje Completo” by Marscela who had also been given intro duty for the first disc.

The city series is out later in the year than usual but Markus Schulz delivers another memorable compilation that should please fans of years gone by to anyone just discovering Markus. Whether you want some music to listen to at work, in the car, before going out or for the after party these discs can fit well in any scenario.

Continue reading below for your chance to win an autographed copy of Markus Schulz’s Buenos Aires ’13 CD.

Pre-order the CD from Armada Shop

Pre-order on iTunes Buenos Aires ’13 – Markus Schulz

Disc 1:
01. Marscela – Momento de Gloria
02. Sequ3l – We Evolve
03. Sensetive5 – Sin City
04. Crystal Design – Scarface
05. Rodg & Ruben de Ronde – Remain Different
06. Tucandeo – To an End
07. KhoMha – Cyclone
08. Rex Mundi – Aureolo
09. Ruffault – Progressive Dreams
10. Grube & Hovsepian – Palermo
11. Danilo Ercole – Point of View
12. Markus Schulz presents Dakota – Barracas
13. Wellenrausch & Basil O’Glue – Wickaninnish
14. Markus Schulz featuring Ana Diaz – Nothing Without Me (Markus Schulz Shadows of Coldharbour Remix)
15. M.I.K.E. – Before Dawn
16. Markus Schulz – Remember This
17. Mr. Pit – Catch Me
18. Aaron Camz – Suburbia
19. Rex Mundi – Backpain

Disc 2:
01. Protoculture – Talisman
02. Markus Schulz & Rex Mundi – Towards the Sun
03. KhoMha – Dimensional
04. Digital X – Stratosphere
05. Purple Stories – Praia da Adraga
06. Danilo Ercole – Freezing Rain
07. Fisherman & Hawkins vs. Nifra – The Battle
08. Elevation vs. Grube & Hovsepian – Fair Winds
09. Vassilakis & Tarr – Galea
10. Grube & Hovsepian – Trickster
11. Basil O’Glue – Gilgamesh
12. Solid Stone – Scrambled
13. Markus Schulz – Mardi Gras
14. Harry Square – Royal Flush
15. Digital X – Phantom
16. Skytech – The Other Side
17. Elevation – Stadium Control
18. Solarstone – Solarcoaster (Markus Schulz Coldharbour Remix)
19. Marscela – Viaje Completo


CONTEST HAS ENDED. Here’s your chance to win an autographed copy of Markus Schulz’s Buenos Aire’s ’13 CD:
The contest is pretty simple. Each like, follow, tweet gives you one entry into the contest. You don’t have to select them all, it’s just one less entry. One winner will be chosen at random on October 7.

UPDATE: Congratulations to the contest winners:

Week 1: Zoltán Fehér
Week 2: Timothy Yip
Week 3: Alejandra Gonzalez Madrid
Week 4: Jose Luis Pereda
Week 5: To Be Deteremined




Pre-order the CD from Armada Shop

Pre-order on iTunes Buenos Aires ’13 – Markus Schulz

10 Things We Learned During the April 4 Global DJ Broadcast Chat

Another trance Thursday on April 4 is in the books and the Global DJ Broadcast World Tour featured was from The Terrace at Space in Miami during Winter Music Conference week. Markus was online chatting with the army and while eavesdropping we learned these 10 things:

1) The 2013 city compilation will be coming in mid-June. The city is still top secret but he will be mixing it when the Scream Bus Tour ends next month. There’s also the possibility of a new Dakota track for the compilation. He was asked about a new album but a new track will have to be acceptable.

2) As just about any musician would say after getting the chance to playing at Madison Square Garden, “It’s up there among accomplishments in my career.”

3) The SchulzArmy and trance family is massive and Markus hopes to return to Mexico this summer.

4) Serato is for time code, not mixing. Someone asked what was on his laptop in the picture and the answer was Serato. The follow up to that was, “I should stress that I’m not using Serato for DJing and mixing. I use it to send timecode to front of house so that when I am playing vocal tracks off my album, the visuals can get synced to the audio.”

5) We need teleporters! If Markus had a teleporter he’d be at Pop2013 in Oakland and A State of Trance 600 Den Bosch but as he said, “Just unfortunate they haven’t invented the teleporter where I could do Den Bosch and Oakland on the same night.” Oakland you win!

6) Ferry and Markus mesh well together, they aren’t competing. During the previous weeks broadcast that featured a 30 minute guest mix from Ferry Corsten there was a lot of criticism of Ferry. Markus addressed that writing, “I did have a read through all the comments last Friday morning. To be honest the way I look at it is that I have my own style and Ferry has his, but there are parts of it that overlap and mesh together. The thing I want to stress is that both Ferry and I will continue to be solo artists, and the NWP project will only be a small percentage of what either of us do in a year. But it’s fun when we do it together.”

7) Romper is taking over dance floors. “My heart was going a million miles a minute when we started with this on Saturday. 18. New World Punx – Romper”

8) Right now the all time undisputable rabbit hole track is ‘Nothing Matters’ by Mark Knight. He said all time would probably have to be Daft Punk – ‘Alive,’ ‘Be Yourself’ or ‘Plastic Dreams.’ Here’s a glimpse of ‘Nothing Matters’ from Toronto in September 2012.

9) EDC Vegas 2013 is close! Electric Daisy Carnival 2012 was shut down early on the second night due to high winds and it ended just as Markus was playing Loops & Tings. During the broadcast I had asked that he open his set with it to pick up where he left off and the reply was, “yeah EDC Vegas and I have unfinished business this year.” Sounds like there’s a great chance he’ll be in Vegas for Electric Daisy Carnival yet again.

10) Give vocalists the credit! A question was asked about the inspiration for lyrics, like ‘Nothing Without Me’ and ‘Caught.’ Markus replied stating, “To be honest I can’t take the credit for writing the lyrics to either of us, the respective vocalists are the ones to credit there.”

You can download this weeks broadcast here: https://soundcloud.com/markusschulz/gdjb-worldtour-wmcmiami


Markus Schulz (Recorded Live from The Terrace at Space in Miami – March 17th 2013)
01. Markus Schulz Presents Dakota – I’m Where it Went Wrong
02. Tucandeo – Grey Goose
03. Danilo Ercole – A Man with Two Names
04. Greg Downey Presents R.I.C.O. – Afraid of the Dark
05. Microtrauma – Reflection
06. Aerofoil vs. E&G – One Word (Markus Schulz Big Room Reconstruction)
07. Khomha – Dejavu
08. Omnia – The Light
09. Markus Schulz Featuring Sarah Howells – Tempted
10. ID (Track 10 from GDJB World Tour Johannesburg Set)
11. Dimitri Vegas, Moguai & Like Mike – Mammoth
12. Khomha – Dusk Riddles
13. Orjan Nilsen – No Saint Out of Me
14. Dannic – Clobber
15. Markus Schulz & Elevation – Finish Line
16. Digital X – Raptor
17. Ferry Corsten & Markus Schulz – Stella
18. New World Punx – Romper
19. Markus Schulz & Ferry Corsten – Loops & Tings
20. ID (Track 04 from Markus ASOT 600 Miami Set)
21. Cosmic Gate – Storm Chaser (Khomha Remix)
22. ID
23. Ashley Wallbridge & Rafael Frost vs. Tristian Garner – Overdrive Zorro (Markus Schulz Mashup)
24. Armin van Buuren vs. W&W – D# Fat
25. MKB – Katana (Markus Schulz Big Room Reconstruction)
26. Markus Schulz Featuring Ana Diaz – Nothing Without Me (Beat Service Remix)
27. Grube & Hovsepian – Trickster
28. Markus Schulz – The Spiritual Gateway
29. ID