Tag Archives: San Francisco

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.



Review: Markus Schulz “Golden Gate (San Francisco)”

San Francisco is the third city to be a part of the Markus Schulz’s City Series compilation. “Golden Gate” is the title of the track dedicated to the beautiful city of San Francisco- which holds a rich history of love, progress, and the keys to the future as tech geniuses continues to innovate the world and its technologies.

Following its predecessor “Bine Facut,” “Golden Gate” holds its own with a different and unique sound that is equivalent to “The City” of San Francisco. The track starts off with your classic Markus kick drums to invoke an energy and then it drops you into a soothing melody that lifts you up and down, ride after ride of euphoric feels. Its symmetric pounding basslines accompanied with a relaxing synth provides the right amount of groove for a groovy San Francisco.

As the track vibrates through my ears, I can’t help but picture myself flying down Market St. and up through Chinatown, across North Beach and the historical Fishermen’s Wharf and above the Golden Gate Bridge, then reaching the final destination of our Golden Gate tour, Ruby Skye: a prominent club Markus has spun at many times.

The combination of the house beats blended with elements of trance is of perfect balance. When Markus first debut this track in late March at Ruby Skye, I couldn’t help but be transported through time; relieving my memories of all the past times I’ve been able to witness Markus Schulz live at the iconic venue.
If “Bine Facut” translates into ‘well done,’ then “Golden Gate” must translate into ‘love’ …because that is what I feel when I hear his San Francisco tune.

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Markus Schulz “Golden Gate (San Francisco)” is available via Coldharbour Recordings
Beatport: bit.ly/clhr204bp
iTunes: bit.ly/clhr204it
Spotify: bit.ly/clhr204sp

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Markus Schulz Twitter Q&A and Unicorn Hunting Techniques

Markus Schulz took some time on Twitter on Tuesday to go through a Q&A with fans outside of the normal Global DJ Broadcast time slot. There’s always a lot of great questions asked and great answers in return. Here’s a handful of things we learned during this recent session.

There seemed to be a reluctance for a while for Markus to accept the term unicorn slayer to which he replied, “I think the biggest thing for me was not to make people think it was a marketing gimmick. It was created solely by the fans.”

Best technique for hunting unicorns? “Lure them into a false sense of security then go in for the kill.”

An 8 hour set in India? Find him a venue!

San Francisco and New York City are on his to-do list to plan open to close sets.

About Electric Daisy Carnival 2013 in Las Vegas..

Schulz Army has two meetups planned, join the events and meet other members of the Army through Facebook!

Electric Daisy Carnival Saturday June 22, 2013 & Tao Beach Invite June 23, 2013

Tao Beach time slot – Expected to hit the decks around 1-ish. You’ll still want to get there early!

Do not expect a New World Punx main stage gig at the festival itself. Ferry Corsten is playing on Sunday and Markus is playing on Saturday. If there was any hope of a New World Punx show the answers would likely be a little more secretive or the question would be avoided.

How was his experience at EDC Chicago? “Fans deserve all the praise. How you guys were willing to party and support while getting soaked to the skin was unforgettable.”

He had a great time at the Scream Bus Tour stop in Buffalo and said, “I honestly think Buffalo is one of the fastest growing scenes in the US. It will only get bigger and bigger there.” That was a great gig. Buffalo might be known as a sports town but it has some deep roots in electronic music.

Toronto is gearing up for their first open to close with Markus Schulz on June 29 at The Guvernment. When asked how fans should prepare he said, “Sleep well and don’t plan an early night.”

Any classics during the Toronto gig? “Yeah for sure. In the later hours when we hit the rabbit hole I throw in the classics.”

Going to the Toronto event? Join our Facebook Event Here. Need tickets for that event? Purchase tickets here.

How excited is he about the gig? “Massively. I’ve longed to do a solo set there for years and years. Great venue and the Toronto fans are amazing.”

How late will he play? “As long as you guys want me to and plenty of you stick around until the very small hours.”

There could be a new Dakota track on the city compilation album if it is finished in time. He also stated that the last track he listened to was Markus Schulz presents Dakota – ID Test Bounce June 11 2013.

A New World Punx track was premiered at Ministry of Sound last Friday. Did anyone get a recording of an unknown ID? Markus stated it still needs some work but there’s a new track coming.

Who is the mischievous between Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz? “Definitely Ferry. I am a good boy and would never get anyone into trouble #nolies.”

The big room reconstruction of ‘Remember Magnetic North’ will never be released due to licensing rights. Enjoy it in mixes and live sets.

His favorite KhoMha track is ‘Mind Gamer’.

If he could meet anyone past or present who would it and why and he stated, “Larry Levan. I’d ask him a million questions about the Paradise Garage NYC days.”

Do you think managers/promoters influence DJs to change their style? Do you feel restricted depending on the location? The reply was, “Not really. Location and type of gig are an influence though, you have to be able to adjust.”

Future plans with Justine Suissa? “I’d dearly love to. Wanted to get her on Scream album but couldn’t track her down. Door always open to work with Justine.”

And if you haven’t already, download ‘Romper’ for free at http://www.newworldpunx.com/romper/