Tag Archives: Schulz Music Group

Interview: Arkham Knights’ USA Debut at Avalon Hollywood


On the first Saturday of April I found myself dancing under illuminated neon lights at the historic Avalon Hollywood nightclub. I only arrived in Los Angeles a few hours before on an early Megabus from San Francisco. Prior to boarding the 12 hour overnight bus to LA, I was stepping off a plane from my month long vacation in Thailand. The journey from the other side of the world to the dance floor of Avalon was a long one: my body still jet lagged from the long flight, my mind still trying to grasp the change in time zones and my skin still smelled like a freshly burned tan from the Southeast Asian heat. But I made it to L.A., I made it onto the sticky, cocktail spilled dance floor (which has seen cleaner days) and I finally made it to my first Coldharbour Night in the City of Angels.

As the late Saturday night quickly bled into the dawning Sunday morning, I mentally prepared myself alongside a crowd of trance lovers ­who also craved dark, progressive melodies for the American debut of Leed’s rising star. Once the early clock struck two, the eager fans who had been waiting for hours, dancing their way through four amazing DJs, filled Avalon’s atmosphere with cries of joy, giving a warm California Trance Family welcome for Arkham Knights.

Before Stuart Turner, brother and one-half of AK, got behind the decks, I had an opportunity to sit down with him: getting a chance to peek underneath one of the masks that makes up this trance sensation that has been captivating fans with their techno-­infused style.

Hey, how’s it going?

All good thanks.

Where is Ben at right now?

He’s at home in the studio most probably, I have him chained up in there working 24/7 (laughs). It’s Mainly going to be me on the road playing gigs, Ben is more focused on production, although we are always in the studio together working on tracks. He’s got this real knack of bringing my ideas to fruition…he knows exactly what to do when we discuss an idea.

So I guess, everyone wants to know, where did the name Arkham Knights come from?

Well, (laughter) I was just trying to think of names and I had Arkham in my head for some reason. I used to be a fan of the old Batman comics. And I just put that with knights and bam! It was as simple as that. Then, like literally weeks later the actual game came out. It (Arkham) just really suit’s our style of the dark, groovy, techno-y kind of trance. We both loved the name and it stuck.

You guys definitely do a great job blending those two genres together. I remember I was on SoundCloud, refreshing your page, trying to catch a new Afterhours set, I saw that you posted your guest mix from the Judge Jules show. And it blew my mind. I like how you guys opened up with trance and blended it with techno and back to trance and ended it out with some hard tech-trance remixes. Are you guys like a trance first or techno?

You know, we love the techno grooves. Fuse that with trance and you got something special. We love the big lead lines too because trance was our first love. We focus a lot on grooves and you get a lot of groove from techno. So yeah, it makes sense to fuse the two together. Defiantly for our sets, I love playing techno and trance because it’s a great fusion.

Your last two tracks, “Legacy” and “Knightfall”, are huge success.

Yeah, they did real good. Did better than we thought.


Because obviously when you’re making them in the studio, you’re locked into this track for like two months or so. And you’re hearing it constantly everyday, and over and over, same bits and by the end of it you don’t realize whether it’s big or whatever, you just know that it’s something you like. So, you just go with it. The feedback from fans and of course Markus & the Coldharbour team is awesome…makes it all worth while.

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So how do you find that perfect medium between techno and trance?

There isn’t a script really. It’s hard to put into words, it just kind of happens, it’s just our vision of music built on what we love and are passionate about. We love it dark, lots of percs, heavy bass, driving grooves and in all that dark madness an uplifting lead. When writing a track I always imagine myself stood on a dance floor and getting that feeling you get when the DJ just dropped something special…if I get that feeling i know we are on to a good thing.

So how long have you and Ben been at this craft of blending those two genres together.

Since we started, in about 2008. We both sat down and started producing. Obviously, it took quite a long time to get there because it’s a hard thing to learn and  crafting your own sound is hard too.

Did you face any difficulties when you started coming out with this style?

Yeah sure, when your doing something different it’s always worrying how it’s going to be received. We still worry now, sometimes I think “have we gone to far out of the box this time” but Ben is always the voice of reason (laughs). Markus is such a great mentor, he really gets us & what we do, so we worry less these days since we joined Coldharbour.

I remember reading a quote in February edition of Raver Magazine where Markus (Schulz) compared your guys sound to the old school Tiesto sound. (Laughter) That’s a huge pedestal to be compared to. How did that make you guys feel?

Oh man that was overwhelming to read, because the old sets from Tiesto, the old Tiesto tracks were where we first really got into trance. Myself and Ben were big fans back in the day. I mean, I played around with trance on vinyl back in the mid to late 90’s. Defiantly like the early days of Tiesto & Markus saying that about us was like, “Wow”.

So, that must have been a huge confidence booster.

Oh, absolutely. We’re massive Markus fans. He’s a huge inspiration to us. I’ve followed Markus since 2005. Having him as a mentor and having these kind of comments come from him is just  overwhelming sometimes. And being sign on his label obviously is just…wow, it’s where we always wanted to be. So, it’s a massive achievement. To be honest, he’s  one of a few DJs that I go out of my way to go and listen to and make the effort to go see. His sets are both inspiring and educational.

Are there any other DJs that inspire your music?

We really like Eric Prydz. Another great artist is Solid Stone, He’s just amazing. But there are so many good artist out there, Nifra is blowing up as are Fisherman & Hawkins too. But really for inspiration we  look to the past, rather than the now, because I don’t really think that many people are doing the same thing that we do. We always go for that raw industrial feel. It really takes us back to the old days.

Do you think Arkham Knights are going to stay in the same realm of sound in the future? Or, maybe experiment with another sound?

Oh yes, definitely. But we’re always experimenting. We always try and aim to make each track different, changing the key elements in a track. Like in “Knightfall” you got the drums and “Legacy” has a big focus on a lead. We always try and do something different. In “Blackgate” we got a drum roll that comes out of the breakdown. So we always try and get those main characteristics, that really stands out, to fit in each track. Obviously, that takes a long time because you can run out of ideas. (Laughter).

When you and Ben throw together ideas, do you guys perhaps develop a track that is sometimes a little more techno than trance, or progressive trance, or big-room? Maybe creating another alias to produce those different kinds of music?

I mean, alias’s is good and works well for some, but for us we really want to keep focus on what & who we are. We don’t want to start doing alias’s right now while we are in the infancy of our career and have fans wonder who we are. Then when you start branching out people don’t know whether you’re going to turn up at a gig as this guy or this guy and same goes for tracks. So we just really need to be consistent with what we do, really have that focus on who we are as an artist and what identifies our sound.

And that sound has been doing really well. This week you guys had your debut guest mix on the Global DJ Broadcast and now you’re here for Arkham Knights first Coldharbour Night in L.A., a lot of great things and success are coming your way. Congrats on that. Are there any more goals left for you two?

You know, we never really expected this to be honest. If somebody would have asked us last year would we be here now, I would have said no. Because you just don’t expect it, it all just comes out of nowhere. There is no checklist to be honest, we love music and are very passionate about it. We’ll just keep going with what we love doing and see where it takes us.

Do you guys like to do anything else in your free time?

It really soaks up all your time. There is no free time. (Laughter) It’s the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. Now we’re here at Avalon. A dream come true.

Any words out there for Arkham Knights fans?

Thanks for your support we wouldn’t be here without you. We have now signed to Schulz Music Group so expect to see a lot more of us at future club nights.

Well, thank you for your time and speaking with Schulz Army.

Awesome mate, thank you, anytime.


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Review: Fisherman & Hawkins “Oblivion”

A few months ago, I heard an incredible track played by Markus during one of his sets. I immediately fell in love with this track but had no idea at that time who was behind it. It’s not so long ago that I had finally found out it was the new track from the Venlo’s dutch duo composed by Rob Koopmans & Isaac Vissers, better known as Fisherman & Hawkins.

This track, named “Oblivion”, has been released today and the original mix is really a 6:45 piece of gold. The piano break starting after about 2 minutes is really incredible. I have goosebumps every time I hear it! But it’s just the beginning… progressively the track goes from this beautiful piano solo to a very energetic and powerful section! It’s simply perfect!

Many of the best trance artists in the industry, including names like Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate are already playing this epic track, which is, as Markus Schulz said, “One of the biggest anthems of the summer, and maybe for the entire year.” Indeed, this track has everything to become, as Gouryella’s “Anahera” last year, the 2016 tune of the year!

Fisherman & Hawkins will be at the first Coldharbour Beach festival in a few weeks in the Netherlands, before they head to Canada and the USA. Do not hesitate to go to a party were they are playing, you will not regret it!

“Oblivion” is available at : https://coldharbour.choons.at/oblivion

Follow Fisherman & Hawkins
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Interview: Schulz Army Gets to Know Tenishia

As the Malta superstar duos Tenishia continues their epic quest for international DJ domination, the rising stars made their appearance on Coldharbour Night at the legendary Avalon Hollywood last December. Joven Grech and Cyprian Cassar are the two that have been winning the hearts of fans since 2005 on their intimate island. Their story started after the two met through mutual friends in the Summer of 2004 with a conversation about music. It was a perfect duo match. Joven was already DJing in the flourishing Maltese nightlife, while Cyprian, who started playing the piano at an early age, brought a little taste of classical music to the Tenishia sound, which would soon engulf their little island.

It wasn’t long until the two conquered their island and started to invade other form of media with their own TV shows and radio show. It wasn’t long until the head of Armada, Armin Van Buuren took noticed and signed these two in 2005 with their collaboration with Kirsty Hawkshaw, “Outsiders”. Tenishia eventually broke into the Top 100 of DJ MAG’s list, and eventually landing the 71st spot earlier last year. However, the two have been winning awards prior to their DJ MAG breakthrough. The two have won the “Best Dance Tune Award” three times in a row at the Malta Music Awards, “Best Live Performance 2005”, an IDMA Award nomination in 2011 at the WMC and many more that could be listed.


Having only played in America a few times, not many fans in the States have had an intimate chance to get to know the minds behind Tenishia. After joining the Schulz Music Group last year, Schulz Army took this opportunity to ask the two a few question.

How would you define the style of the music that you produce?

We definitely like to produce emotional music, with emotional melodies. We definitely prefer eyes closing rather than hands in the air. Obviously, trance is one of our favorite genres but it has changed so much now, and it has become so vast that it goes from one extreme to the other and we have to admit that we do not like some of it. Progressive was always our favorite though. Dark, emotional and aggressive would be our main ingredients.  

When it comes to international touring, you guys have a pretty diverse tour calendar in Europe, Asia and Australia. Over the past few years, it appears as though your US tour dates have only included LA and San Francisco. In 2016 are you hoping to start to play more often in North America? What new cities are you hoping to get a chance to spin in?

Yes and yes… We do tend to play in various continents, especially in Asia, which is our biggest market at the moment. Our fan base there is growing by the minute and we have played some unreal events. We also have a monthly guest spot on MTV Asia, showcasing an hour of music videos and requests from China seem to be never ending. However, we plan to turn our focus on North America, now, and start growing our fan base bigger over there as well.

How many days a year are you on the road touring? How hard is it to find time to work on new productions with your tour schedule?

2015 has been crazy with touring and it’s starting to feel like home is actually a holiday. However, home means more work at the studio as we try to fit in our production in between the shows. We live on an island, weather is quite beautiful here and the beach is just around the corner from the studio. So yes it is quite tempting at times to just get a towel and just go to the beach but when you got music hungry fans waiting for their food, we have the duty of baking more cookies!

In recent interview, we read that you guys like to keep your health and fitness up, How do you two keep fit and eat healthy while being on the road?

This honestly keeps getting harder and harder. Being jet lagged most of the time after long flights doesn’t help at all but yes we do try our best. Eating healthy is also hard on the road but and it is quite frustrating at times when you step on the scales again after a three week tour. Sports, particularly Boxing, is the only thing that takes my mind off the music for a bit.

Your track “Five” was released on Coldharbour Recordings almost 10 years ago in 2006. How did you first get introduced to label boss Markus Schulz?

Markus was the one who introduced us properly in the international scene with that track! He was in Malta for a gig in a club where we used to play regularly and we handed him a CD with the track. At first we thought we’d just give it a try because we knew that he is a busy guy and god knows how many demo tracks he would get (we know that clearly now), however we thought we’ll give it a try. I believe it was October when we gave him the CD and six months after in March he played it on GDJB. There was a good reaction from the listeners and he liked the track and wanted to sign it to Coldharbour. It was the beginning of our international story.

A few more of your tracks were released on Coldharbour from 2007 to 2010, “Rush”, “Everything” and “Flesh”. After a five year break, how did it come about for Tenishia to be working more closely again with Markus and rest of the Coldharbour Recordings team releasing a new track “Don’t Let Go” featuring Adina Butar on vocals and then being signed to Schulz Music Group?

Wow, never thought there was a five year gap between our last and previous release on Coldharbour but that is actually true! Well, we still feel home at Coldharbour and also very comfortable to work with Markus. “Don’t let Go” was actually sitting on our hard drive for a while. We had a demo from Adina and we loved it but I think things got busy and it took a while to fully produce the track.

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You’ve placed in the DJ Magazine Top 100 DJs for the past few years. In the most recent 2015 poll you ranked number 71. What’s it like to be considered one of the world’s top DJs? How has it helped your career as a DJ?

It would be a total lie if I’d say that it didn’t help, but we surely do not do whatever we do to be in that list. Top 100 or not we love what we do and we’ll keep on doing it. Since EDM took over the scene, the list has become quite controversial and I think DJ MAG should really start categorizing it. Leave the top 100 as it is but also create sub lists, Trance, Underground, EDM, etc. I like to compare it with the list of top 100 athletes where Ronaldo or Messi would top the list because football is most popular sport, however how can I say that those football players are better than Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao who do a totally different sport.

What are some fun facts that Tenishia wants their fans to know that we probably don’t?

I’m a sucker for Boxing and Muhammad Ali. I love the guy to bits, I love his quotes and his funny moments, besides he is the greatest of all time! He is my total idol!

A little scared now after hearing about their boxing practices and idolization of Muhammad Ali. Just kidding. It was nice getting to know Joven Grech and Cyprian Cassar of Tenishia. Their love for sports and music explained why these two rapidly dominated all the top clubs in Malta. It was energizing to hear that Mr. Coldharbour, himself, was their first step to international stardom. Their addition to the Schulz Music Group will undoubtedly help these two with their dream to infiltrate more of the American scene. As life on the road continues to be home for Tenishia, let’s show them some good ole American hospitality as they continues to make music for the fans and not some Top 100 chart. You heard it from them earlier, Tenishia is baking trance cookies people, and let us chow down!

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Follow Tenishia
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Artist Spotlight: Grube & Hovsepian

As the saying goes two heads are better than one. This is the case in the duo of Tim Grube & Mike Hovsepian. Grube & Hovsepian was formed in 2008 after Tim heard Markus Schulz dropping a few of Mike’s tracks. Soon after Tim contacted him and the story starts there. As A&R for Schulz’s record label,  he proposed a new partnership for the pair. They have been quite successful so far playing in various venues across the globe. These  venues include stateside at LA’s Avalon, Miami’s Mansion, and main stage performances at European arena events including the legendary Transmission.


Virginia Beach native, Tim Grube started out bringing the sound locally in clubs opening for well-known DJs, solo gigs, as well as producing his own pieces during his spare time in Washington D.C.  Mike created a comparable trail over on the west coast. Now both are based in Miami, their progressive trance and electro-accented sets have brought electronic music fans right to the front of the line. In the studio they are steadily creating amazing tracks and fantastic remixes. Among them have been “City of Angels”, “Venom”, “Memory Lane”, “Invisible”, “Conviction” and “Pressure”. Showing great skill with these simply perfect tracks, the mix of uplifting and progressive comes easy to these two.


In 2012 they became one of the first signings to the Schulz Music Group. After onboarding them Markus Schulz said,

“When he (Tim) teamed up with Mike Hovsepian, I immediately saw that they’d found a connection that was going to work for them both. For me, they have become the most exciting duo to come along in the last 3 years.”

After being in the scene and doing what they have done this must have been amazing to hear from an artist with such stature as Markus Schulz. Along with show productions, Grube & Hovsepian showcase their radio show, ‘Grube & Hovsepian Radio’, which is broadcasted every Tuesday at 11 am EST on DI.FM‘s DJ Mixes channel. This radio show is heard by thousands and has become a favorite of many trance family members around the world including myself. Along with their successful radio show they have also been supported by numerous top artists including Armin Van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, Paul Van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Gareth Emery, and Sander van Doorn to name a few.


Aside from their amazing accomplishments so far, I’ve had the pleasure to chat with Mike and Tim. Both of them are amazing guys that make everyone feel as part of the group. I look forward to the next time I can catch one of their shows, until then I’ll keep enjoying their amazing tunes and fantastic broadcasts!

Follow Grube & Hovsepian:   Website Twitter Facebook Soundcloud

Grube & Hovsepian, Recorded Live From Club Space Miami Terrace (November 14, 2015)

Coldharbour Sessions 015: Grube & Hovsepian (March 2015)

Review: Sean & Xander “Replicant”


M.I.K.E. Push joined Schulz Music Group in 2013, and since then has been working hard to make the Coldharbour Recordings label a force to be reckoned with. With such a legend on the team, it’s of no surprise when two hot newcomers, Sean Gorey & Alex Lueth (AKA Sean & Xander), emerged from Coldharbour Recordings’ new sub-label, “M.I.K.E. Push Studio” to win our ears with their latest single “Replicant”, recently played on the August 20th, 2015 episode of Global DJ Broadcast.

This fresh track kicks off with a combination of snares and kick-drums that smoothly transition into an uplifting melody that is accompanied by the seductive sounds of a Siren. The vocals echo like the ancient temptress of the sea, seducing us into the track without hesitation by way of nostalgia of classic trance. Once we are fully entranced, a new set of drums takes us off from our epic trance state and into a new speed that is brought forth with fierce drums and a new overpowering minimalistic bassline that pulses perfectly with a new synths. The faultless combination of instruments and electronic sounds are perfectly amplified as the track reaches its closing note. Just like the track began, the smooth alluring sounds of an echoing Siren leads us out of its spell with a fury of snares, drums and melodic synths.


Despite this being their first production that has aired on GDJB, the two men have torn up dance floors all over Seattle and have accumulated quite a bit of experience and guidance. This can be seen in “Replicant”. The song has all the elements of a dark progressive Coldharbour track with a touch of euphoric vocals that are equally captivating and pulsingly powerful. Seeing as how their first bootleg was their take on the classic evil robot franchise Terminator, we can see their love for futuristic robots with the title of this track. You don’t need techno robot ears to enjoy this hit.  Quite a debut tune for Sean & Xander; “Replicant” will be their track to bust open the doors of stardom and turn a few heads. In the Wild West of New DJs, these new players are a duo to watch out for.

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Follow Sean & Xander
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Interview: Trance Legend M.I.K.E. Push

Mike Push is probably best known for his legendary trance classics “Universal Nation”, “Strange World” and “Legacy” which were first released in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Today you can still find him in his New York based studio continuing to produce some massive trance tracks.

Over the past couple of years I’ve been lucky enough to catch some of M.I.K.E. Push’s live sets in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. A little while back before one of his shows, I had some time to chat with him and found out that some of the music he enjoyed listening to back in the late 1980s to early 1990s were some of my favorites from back then too (Industrial music including VNV Nation, Front 242 among others). So I was really excited when I got the opportunity to ask him some questions about his music background, new tracks he’s recently released, plus more!


When did you know that music was your calling?

It all started when I was really young. I loved buying records at the local vinyl shop and getting home and playing it for hours. I would make mix tapes and fell in love with the thought of how one could make or create music.

Who were some of your earliest influences when you first started producing and DJing?

Actually, what really inspired me was the synthpop of the ’80s. The image, the sounds. From Depeche Mode to New Order. And then when I first heard dance music coming into the ’90s, I started doing my own projects under M.I.K.E., Push, Plastic Boy, Solar Factor and many other aliases!

How would you define your style when you first started producing to where it is today? When did you start to think of yourself as a trance DJ/producer (I read somewhere that you started producing before there even was “trance”)?

I started early into the ’90s. Music for me was started off as a hobby. I thought I would become a football (soccer) player someday. But I had to choose. And music was my calling. I made so much music from dark techno to acid in the earlier times, but I soon found more melodic sounds and I just let go from there! How music evolves plays a big part in how a music producer evolves in his own productions. But I always say that the foundation shall always remain.

Most recently you’ve been known by M.I.K.E. Push , but you’ve had many different aliases over the years (M.I.K.E. , PUSH, Plastic Boy, etc.). How did some of those aliases come about?

Many of these aliases have a different sound. I love experimenting with different types of trance. So many aliases come with a particular sound. Sometimes I have trouble naming them all.

You’ve been in the music scene for a while. What’s it been like to watch trance, and dance music in general, evolve from when you first got started to where it is today?

When I started producing trance in my earlier days, it was ALL about the music. Going out to hear that new sound and music. Buying it for the first time on vinyl. It was special. People didn’t have all the easy sources they have today in order to get their hands on that new song. The internet went so fast with music. A lot of bad came out of it, but also good being, like being exposed to new markets.

I’ve noticed the trend in the past year or so there are more and more DJs are starting to play extended or open to close sets. Also there seems to be a resurgence of trance classics being played and even classics only sets. What do you think is driving this change?

I believe there is a desire for the real reason why trance was made. Why people would go out to hear music. Why the excitement for their favorite artist coming to play at their favorite venue was so exciting. People want this feeling back. Today a DJ will typically play a one hour set. Extended makes it more intimate. It’s almost like going into the underground. And I’m down with that. I produced by music coming from my heart and not aimed at radio air play.

Are there other genres besides trance or even outside of dance music that you listen to just for enjoyment or to find inspiration?

Yes. I enjoy ’80s synth pop very much. I also appreciate jazz, Latin and classical music. It’s important to listen and appreciate all kinds of music as a musician. It inspires me in the studio.

Recently you’ve released “Starcraft”, “Pushed Away” and “Visions Become Reality” on Coldharbour Recordings. (Great tracks by the way!) Do you have any other new tracks in the works?

I have a big release coming up on July 20th called “Juno” [High Contrast Recordings] with Rank 1, which I’m sure you’ve already heard on every radio show from A State Of Trance to my own radio show Club Elite Sessions! It’s a BIGGIE! You can check out the teaser on my SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/mikepush. There’s always something brewing in my Bayside Studios.

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How does your track selection differ on your weekly radio show Club Elite Sessions on di.fm to when you’re playing a club or festival?

The music you hear on my sets is to create an entire experience. I want to see people with their hands up, dancing and feeling the trance going through them. My radio show is aimed to give exposure to up and coming artist with a blend of my live sets and exclusive goodies.

[You can listen to Club Elite Sessions every Thursday at 1 pm PT | 4 pm ET |  on di.fm/trance.]

Since you’re originally from Belgium, Tomorrowland must hold a special place in your heart. What are some of your favorite memories playing that festival?

Well being a resident I was one of the first artists way back for its first edition. We closed out the festival together with Sasha. I’ll never forget it. We danced together on stage to “Universal Nation” and fireworks went off. The crowd went nuts! A very intimate moment with no more than 2,000 people at the time. I’m very proud of the organizers and I love it all these years later. Each year is a different experience.

When you’re not in the studio or on the road how do enjoy spending your time?

I love spending my time with my two boys. Some football (soccer) play, family trips or just a good movie makes me feel recharged from the madness that is the touring/DJ lifestyle. My family keeps me grounded.

Check out all my websites and socials at mikepush.com.

Follow M.I.K.E. Push
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Listen to tracks from M.I.K.E. Push’s ‘Starcraft’ EP available on Coldharbour Recordings
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Download on Beatport: bit.ly/clhr210bp

Interview: Nifra Unleashes “Rampage” out on the Dance Floor

Since Nifra kicked off her DJ career back in 2008, she has played alongside and supported such acts as Markus Schulz, Armin van Buuren and Tiesto to name a few, which lead to her becoming quickly recognized as a massive talent. This progressive trance mastermind has really exploded after signing with Coldharbour Recordings. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask the “Queen” of Coldharbour a few questions.


What has been your most memorable show so far that you’ve played with other artists from Coldharbour and Markus Schulz? What made this show stand out to you more than the others?

Definitely the Coldharbour Night at Club Space in March during the Miami Music Week. You know, all of the Coldharbour guys were there and Markus as well. It was like a family gathering. It was my debut and I remember sitting in a car on my way to the club driving through beautiful Miami at night and it felt a little surreal. At that point I didn’t even know how good the gig was going to be. I was completely surprised by the crowd, really amazing energy and was just really grateful that I got to be part of such an amazing night.

You have reached episode 100 in your ‘Be Progressed’ radio show. How does it feel to hit a milestone like this? Will you miss this project since deciding to end it?

It’s crazy, I started the radio show when I just turned 19 so I felt that after 8 years its time for something new and fresh. Eventually I decided that the 100th episode would be the last one. I will definitely miss it, as it represents a lot of important years in my career but I will be also busy with a new project. 😉

Recently “Rampage” was released, what was the inspiration for this track? Are there any new tracks or collaborations you are working on now?

Danny (from Tucandeo) and I were talking about doing a collaboration for quite some time. We started to work on something 2 years ago but I guess the timing just wasn’t right. They were into more deeper prog trance so now that Danny started a new project called Artisan with a more aggressive sound it was just a matter of time till we make a track together. When Danny sent me a demo of what eventually became Rampage I was like, yeah this is the one. I asked him for parts and immediately started to work on it. I really enjoyed collaborating with him and this is probably not our last one as the feedback on Rampage has been totally overwhelming. I have a lot lined up, some more secret collabs, singles and a remix. Stay tuned 🙂

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Your sound is very unique, can you describe what’s included and what is not included that creates your Coldharbour sound?

My sound evolved throughout the years just as the Coldharbour sound did and I tend to describe it as progressive trance with balls. I just really like energy in combination with the deeper basses and huge leads and that’s what I always try to achieve in my productions.

What was the dance music scene like in Slovakia when you started compared to how it is today?

Just like everywhere else the dancing music blew up into the mainstream in the recent years but when I started to go to clubs when I was 16, there was already a pretty good underground scene, mainly techno and house events with a couple of thousand of people in attendance. Trance was not popular at all, usually we got side stages at parties, if we were lucky. Nowadays trance and house events are filling up the halls and clubs and techno is nowhere near its peak like it was in the past. I’m glad I have experienced both periods in Slovakia.

You’ve been touring a lot this year, what’s it like to be on the road so much?

Honestly I love it! I’ve always enjoyed travelling anyways so performing, seeing different countries and meeting people from all over the world is really inspiring and I’m really thankful for all those experiences. You know there are jetlags and long hours in the airplanes but you forget it all once you get up on the stage and see all the smiling faces.

What club and festival would you like to play that you have not yet?

There is so many places I haven’t visited yet. I’ve heard a lot about the crazy South American crowd, so this is on my to do list, China would be cool to experience, Japan, Australia. So probably clubs or festivals in those countries.

Have you attended any music schools to learn how to produce, or you are self-taught? What program for production do you prefer to use?

Unfortunately I haven’t attended any music school. Back when I started to dig into music production there were no schools in Slovakia and I think there are still no schools for electronic music production down here. So the only option I had was to just learn it myself. I’ve always been a nerd since i was little when it came to education so I enjoy learning new things and I don’t give up. A couple of years back I attended piano classes for one and a half years, but that’s about it as far as the education goes, everything else is self taught. For production I use Ableton 9, and it is my go to software for basically everything including mixes and edits.

Obviously you have a huge passion for trance, are there any other genres that you enjoy?

I’m a music lover and I try to have open mind because if you don’t you might miss a lot of great music out there. I love electronic music in general (and not just electronic) and the artists that I usually play on my iPod besides trance are Guy J, Kolsch, Com Truise, Nero, etc. So its really a fusion – vast spectrum of different genres from progressive house through synth pop to drum n bass as long as the music expresses some kind of emotion.

What was the reason you began producing music and DJing? Who has been your biggest inspiration so far through out your career?

It all started with ATB when I was 13 years old. You know music channels like Viva and MTV were full of the euro trance videos and ATB stood out because of the emotion in his music, I was totally captivated by it. It eventually developed into obsession with electronic music. Step by step I discovered a lot of artists and got trapped in the progressive trance genre which was obviously ruled by Markus Schulz. It somehow just felt right for me and consequently my production has been inspired by Markus Schulz and the Coldharbour sound ever since.

I know this next question may be difficult considering how many talented artists there are, but who would you say is your favorite artist at the moment?

I really can’t say one favorite artist. If you check my live sets you will know who are my favorites immediately. 😉

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Interview: Getting to Know Fisherman & Hawkins, From Hardstyle to Trance

I don’t remember the first time I heard the hypnotizing synth and heart thumping bassline of Fisherman & Hawkins’ “Apache”, but I will say that I feel in love with their sounds from that moment on. Being an avid listener to the harder style of trance, Fisherman & Hawkins’ music was like bread and butter to my ears from the very first moment on. Even today when I would hear the slow but hard progressive beginning of a Fisherman & Hawkins’ song at a show, I will burst in excitement and jump up and down, all around the dance floor.

Isaac Vissers and Rob Koopmans are the two gents from Venlo, Southern Netherlands, behind the name Fisherman & Hawkins. I got an opportunity to send these two some questions to get to know them a little better.



How did you two meet? And how would you describe your relationship? Is it like two bros chilling producing music, or more like the ‘Odd Couple’?

We actually met for about 10 years ago or something. We both went to the same parties all the time at Perron55 in our hometown, a club that is now closed since late 2014. It didn’t matter if it was techno, trance or any other dance genre. Most of the times we were both there with friends and as you know, music connects people. We were both DJs already in that time. I (Isaac) played progressive and trance and Rob played tech house and techno. We both share the same kind of humor so a good friendship was born right away haha.

How did it feel like when Fisherman & Hawkins started to get noticed after the success of “Apache”? Did it feel like Fisherman & Hawkins as a trance name has made it big or is there still a lot more room for exposure?

The success of that track was kinda unexpected to be honest. Although we have to say that the melody was so addictive when we played it in the studio, we couldn’t get it out of our heads for days. And as soon as such things happen you just know it’s something special. When we got a reply from Markus, after sending it to Coldharbour Recordings, saying he absolutely loved it, we still didn’t know what to expect until all the madness started when he played it as an ID for months in his sets. The reactions were huge and everyone wanted to know what it was haha. After its release it was crazy to see how many A list DJs played it out, even today the track does the job when Markus or Armin drops it somewhere. Really overwhelming to see that.

What drives you as a DJ/pushes you to play the songs you play and produce the music you do? What kind of feelings do you get when you play a gig? Is there a difference when you play for a packed club? Or how about a half filled club but filled with fans of Fisherman & Hawkins?

We love to make and play energetic pounding tracks. Maybe because we are already DJs for about 15 years and attending parties ever since then makes us understand what kind of grooves and melodies could work on the dancefloor, I don’t know. In the past we went to hardstyle, hardcore, hardtrance, techno, trance and house parties and you might say you can hear all these influences in our music too.

Of course it’s always nice to play in a packed club, especially if the crowd is already warmed up and ready for yet another adventure of slamming beats. But we also love to play open to close sets as well where you can see the audience coming into the club and slowly getting into a certain vibe. On those nights we play a lot of different stuff and like to play deep progressive and techno tracks too. Taking the crowd on a journey is so much fun as you have all the time to build things up and bring everything to one big climax.

I know that making art, especially music, is difficult, but how does the magical music happen? Does one of you guys create a beat or an idea and send it to one another? Or do you two have to be in the same room so that your music can manifest and grow?

I (Isaac) make most of the ideas like the melodies, chords, grooves, etc and every now and then Rob joins me in the studio and has fresh new ideas about how to get the best out of certain things. After we have made all the basics we sit down with a good friend of us and build the entire arrangement of the track. This is the moment where the magic happens.

I just listened to your guys opening set for Ferry Corsten, it was much more uplifting than your past ASOT set or your Coldharbour Night sets. How do you two decide on what type of music to play? Does country or different region of a state/country have a particular role in this track selection?

Funny you noticed this haha. In a way you are right, that set is slightly different from what we usually play. But as we had to play right before Ferry Corsten, who was the headliner that night in Grenswerk we felt it wouldn’t be the right place to play as aggressive as we normally do. For that reason we played a little bit more uplifting or proggy, and we actually loved it. It was perfect for that night. We even had the chance to record it and the set blew up when we uploaded it later on our soundcloud page.

I saw that in an interview, you two have some roots or interest in hardstyle and hardcore before settling into trance with Coldharbour label boss, Markus Schulz. Is there some chance the Fisherman & Hawkins sound might have a shift to some harder and darker side of electronic music? Perhaps under a different alias?

Haha yes that’s true. We both have a history with hardstyle and hardcore. Especially hardstyle is a style we were both completely in to from 2000 till 2003 or so. If you listen to Qlimax compilations from that time, especially the ones from Dana (early 2001) and Pavo (late 2001) you can hear a lot of darker sounds but always with a special vibe in it. Hardstyle or hardhouse/hardtrance, whatever you wanna call it, was totally different back in the day. Almost every track had a unique sound, a unique kick, bass or loop. It was fresh and mindblowing. But after 2002, hardstyle began to sound like slow hardcore and we started to get bored of it all. So, we enjoyed those times but I don’t think we will re-enter that specific genre any time soon haha.

How do you find tracks for your podcast? Since there are two of you, who has the final say in Fisherman & Hawkins?

We both download and gather all the tracks we like that enter our promo inbox. And of course we also check Beatport every week to see what we’ve missed ourselves haha. As you might know we like to start our radio show with a deep vibe and we build up the tempo halfway during the show. The radio show is a perfect platform to play what we love and gives us the chance to play some tracks we normally don’t get to play out during peak time sets because of the style.

I got to say, I love the track “Skypunch” and “Underworld”. Are there any new tracks from Fisherman & Hawkins in the works that fans can look forward to in the coming months? Should we expect some stuff that might be a little different?

Well thank you. Of course you can expect a brand new single real soon that is in that same fist pumping style. As well as a remix we did of a track we were super excited and honored for when we received the request. Besides this we are also working on a couple of vocal tracks that will absolutely blow your mind haha.

Since festival season is rapidly approaching us, is there any big festival you would like to play at or will be playing?

On July 19th we will play at Harbour On The Beach at Beachclub in Montreal, Canada. When you see the complete line-up filled with Coldharbour artists you just know it’s going to be a mental ride with lots of hands in the air.

We also just announced that we will be playing on Ibiza for the first time this year. Markus Schulz invited us to join him at the amazing Privilege this year together with our good friends Nifra and Mr. Pit. No doubt that night is going to be one for the books.

What’s your guys’ favorite/most embarrassing moment as Fisherman & Hawkins?

Most favorite moment is definitely playing at the legendary Club Space in Miami earlier this year. Sharing the stage with Markus Schulz and all the other Coldharbour friends was an experience we will never forget. And of course our set at ASOT650 last year is unforgettable too. So many great artists were there at the same time. Amazing night.

So far no embarrassing moments that we can share, maybe if you’d ask us again in a few years we can give you some haha.

What are some things you two do to take your mind off music? I see that on your Facebook, you used one of Jimmy Tatro’s videos about missing the beat to promote the “United” single release. Quite funny. Your Twitter also has some funny memes. So is it safe to say that when you guys aren’t making music or playing a show, you like to troll the internet for some giggles?

We both like to entertain. Wether it’s with music or with humor. Both are important pieces in life and can’t be missed. While Rob enjoys a good sports game every now and then I (Isaac) take my mind off from music by enjoying some spare time with my kids. They can suck out a lot of energy from time to time but so can sports haha. Let’s just say it keeps you young, right? 😉

Outside of trance, what kind of music do you listen to? Is there anything you listen to that isn’t part of the electronic genre?

Of course! We like all kinds of music. From Coldplay to London Grammar and from the Foo Fighters to our very own Dutch rock band Kensington. As long as it’s catchy and euphoric we are into it.


These two gents sound like a fun bunch. Not only do they mean business, but they also have time to play. I can’t wait to hear what fist pumping sound these two will produce in the near future. Whatever it is, I’m sure they will still continue to carry the same aesthetics that makes them Fisherman & Hawkins and a Coldharbour favorite.

Follow Fisherman & Hawkins
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Fisherman & Hawkins Join Schulz Music Group


From the Schulz Music Group:

A new year brings an early new addition to the Schulz Music Group (SMG) family, as we welcome the dynamic Fisherman & Hawkins.

Dutch natives Isaac Vissers & Rob Koopmans have contributed significantly to Markus Schulz’s Coldharbour Recordings imprint over the past three years; with their debut release “Apache” becoming one of the most successful and memorable releases in the label’s history. Their excellent body of work has continued throughout, including 2014’s smash “Underworld” and the imminent release of “Skypunch”, alongside their remix of Markus & Lady V’s acclaimed piece “Winter Kills Me”.

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Following a starred appearance at the Netherlands’ freshman Coldharbour Night in Venlo, SMG is delighted to add Fisherman & Hawkins to an immensely talented roster, which in the past 12 months includes the addition of M.I.K.E. Push, Nifra, Omair Mirza and Purple Stories.


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Contest: Win a Pair of Tickets to Coldharbour Night NYC at Melrose Ballroom

Here’s your chance to win a pair of tickets to see KhoMha, Grube & Hovsepian and Beat Service at Coldharbour Night NYC on Friday, August 22 at Melrose Ballroom.


The contest is pretty simple. Each like, follow, tweet, etc. gives you an entry into the contest. You don’t have to select them all, it’s just less entries. Contest ends on August 20 and two winners will be chosen at random by August 21.

Win a Pair of Tickets to Coldharbour Night NYC with

If the contest doesn’t load on the page, then you can click here to enter: Win a Pair of Tickets to Coldharbour Night NYC at Melrose Ballroom

Not feeling lucky, you can also purchase tickets to the show here: http://bit.ly/CLHRNightNYC8-22

Coldharbour Night NYC