Sailing through the incredibly successful Thoughts Become Things II album, Markus Schulz once again unveils his devilish alter ego for a brand new one off single on Coldharbour Recordings.  The era of Dakota began in the early 2000’s with he created three, separate singles entitled Swirl, Frozen and Lost in Brixton, where they all provided a vast, different sound to contrast his Markus Schulz brand. Rarely utilizing other monikers, this project was conceived to explore the darker recesses of his intuitive mind and create a whole new style of club ready music by utilizing completely different production parameters. He had this to say about the project: “To me, the audio that Dakota presents and the music which I put out under my own name stand completely apart. It’s an entirely separate set of tempos, sound-ranges and FX rules. To have this ‘other [studio] self’ with which to produce this type of music is more important to me than ever“. After the release of his debut TBTII album, (which was exclusively dedicated to the enigmatic character), Dakota became silent once more for a number of years until now with the release of his brand new single, CLXXV. As the monumental 175th official release of Coldharbour Recordings, CLXXV delivers a pure interpretation of instrumental Trance and a real, welcome change of tone for Markus‘ style.

As a Dakota single, the theme is less focused on the grumbly, angst ridden Coldharbour sound and more on achieving a dark toned Trance infused sound. Personally, I love the fact that his alter alias conforms to a different set of production rules as the quality of sound design keenly reminds me of Giuseppe Ottaviani or Alex M.O.R.P.H. within its high caliber texture alignments. Within its rumbling basslines, the gorgeous melodies are perfectly crisp and concise, and the clear cut percussion is both brisk and uniformed. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that this in one of my favorite Markus tracks in a really long time, simply because it is a welcome return to basics within its own existence. In today’s world of Trouse, Trance 2.0, Armada Sound, Uplifting, Mental Asylum sound and FSOE sound, we rarely, (if ever), get a true representation of Trance without some gimmick or brand infused in the track. But CLXXV is what Trance should strive to be: high production value, soaring melodies and a smooth, elegant shape that expands through the entire track.

Markus Schulz‘s CLXXV is now available on Coldharbour Recordings via Beatport, so make sure you purchase a copy and support real talent!


Keep the music alive. -Q