It has been almost 3 years since Markus Schulz rocked the electronic dance planet to its core with 'Progression' - his critically-acclaimed sophomore album. Since its 2007 release he has smashed countless clubs with his kinetic, captivating DJ sets (breaking into the world's top 10 ranks in the process), examined the musical make-up of cities with his compilation series and explored his darker, housier side with Dakota.
Now, in mid-2010, after 18 months of studio production sessions and an unrelenting pursuit of the perfect 'Progression' follow-up, he returns with 'Do You Dream?'
Since the earliest days of his Coldharbour label, fans and critics alike have seen Schulz as both the leading-light pioneer and ultimate standard-bearer of trance's new wave. The album instantly absorbs the listener back into that world, delivering a masterful start-to-finish audio experience.
Inducing the trancelike condition Markus wanted to stimulate for the album, D.Y.D. overtures with the beatless shimmered finery of 'Alpha State' (the phase the brain enters in order to dream). From that start-point it charts a tightly-plotted and uniquely Schulz course, embracing housey percussion, swirling atmospheric prog, drum & bass-ish b-lines, stunningly-cultivated vibrant trance riffs and a myriad of other sounds, effects and minutiae styles.
Vocals form just as much of a key constituent to Markus' music as everâ€¦ Sir Adrian - who was first introduced to the electronic dance world when he lent the massive Schulz-created mash-up 'The Perspective Space' its vocal - is back to bestow 'Away' with addictive, hook-laden lyrics & vocals. Once heard, near impossible to forget, the production's deeper, techier tangent continues paving the album multifarious feel.
During 'Do You Dream's production, Markus spent many in-studio and on-flight hours listening through show-reels to find the right singers to balance the production tracks. In two key cases though, they were camped out remarkably close to home. Showing a diverse, adaptable range, Khaz (who first appeared on the radar in early-2009 as a Coldharbour artist) positively blazes on two of its tracks. Bringing (the most recent single) 'Dark Heart Waiting' a transfixing, uplifting edge, he also radiates the poignancy of 'Last Man Standing's slow-motion, piano-tinged drama. Likewise Angelique Bergere was discovered in home-base Miami and makes her EDM debut on the chilled, echoing serenity to 'Lightwave' and adds mesmerizing pathos to 'Lifted'.