Hey everyone!

Buongiorno to you all from Milan. I am here on a brief overnight stay. Getting from Miami to Beirut doesn’t seem to be so simple, so they had me fly from Miami to Madrid, where I had a 5 hour layover and then to Milan where I am spending the night. In a couple of hours I will finally be on my way to Beirut, where I have been waiting to play for a long time. I have been told that the city is very beautiful and the crowds are really up for it.

I had a wonderful time last Friday in Houston at Bar Rio. I got to hang out with the Tritonal boys who played before me on the night. They are really developing and growing. They played a lot of their own productions, including the well known”Walk with Me”, and also two brand new tracks I recently signed to Coldharbour; “Daybreak” and “Spellbound”.

On Saturday afternoon I took a flight home to Miami and went out to Club Space to hear Erick Morillo and David Guetta. I can’t believe how packed the place was. Sunday was spent putting the finishing touches to my upcoming Essential Mix and sending the end product off to BBC Radio 1.

And now, the big day has arrived.

Tonight (or tomorrow morning depending on where you are) my first ever 2 hour studio Essential Mix will air on Radio 1 at 3am GMT. I am excited and nervous about it at the same time. I treated this mix as if I was preparing and constructing a CD for my mix compilation series. Over the past few weeks in the clubs I have roadtested a few tunes which are exclusively being debuted on the EM – tracks that have never been played on Global DJ Broadcast before – and I am very pleased with the reactions they have been getting.

As promised, the mix will contain a couple of new productions that I did under my moniker “Dakota”, an exclusive remix of a track I have been supporting on GDJB quite a bit over the past few weeks, a world premiere of another Coldharbour remix, and plenty of edits and big room reconstructions thrown in for good measure.

A lot of people regularly ask me about the Dakota moniker and the meaning behind it. In truth, it is just a name from the street called North Dakota Lane, which I lived on when residing in Arizona many years back. I signed a few tracks to labels such as Global Underground and Bedrock under that name (Swirl, Lost in Brixton, Himmel), and I have continued to use it in a couple of side production and remix projects over the past 2 years again.

I hope that you all enjoy the listening experience of the Essential Mix, and have a memorable journey through my vision musically. I will appreciate your support very much by tuning in.

You can find out all the details on how to listen to the show, along with the tracklist of the set while it airs, on my forum at http://www.markusschulz.com/forums

Speaking of compilations, you may have read on the message boards during the week that the city chosen to represent my next annual compilation has been announced. It was a very difficult decision, but I chose Toronto for a variety of reasons – from the amazing producers hailing from the city, such as Arnej and Glenn Morrison, to the incredible memories from playing at the Guvernment nightclub. And of course, all the trance addicts from there that have supported me so well over the years.

I will be spending the rest of December and January working heavily on this project, listening to submissions and signing new tracks, and working with producers I respect greatly as they produce something that fits the Markus Schulz Coldharbour sound. I will be sure to tell you ongoing developments about Toronto ’09 right here in my weekly blog.

If you listened to Global DJ Broadcast yesterday, you will know that we have begun preparing for our year-end celebration. We are taking 2 weeks to celebrate the end of the year. The reactions to the World Tour episodes over the past 12 months have been amazing. We are asking everyone to vote for your favorite World Tour episode of 2008. You can listen to all of them on-demand through http://www.globaldjbroadcast.com and then cast your vote for your favorite episode. The votes will be collated, and the most popular World Tour will air on the Christmas Day edition of Global DJ Broadcast. So get voting!

New Year’s Day will be my annual “Classics Showcase”. I am very excited for this, because when I was a kid, the radio station that I listened to would play nothing but classic songs on New Year’s Day. I would stay in my room and listen all day reminiscing. That is how the concept of doing a classics showcase at the end of the year came about. To have this year’s showcase take place on New Year’s Day to me is therefore very appropriate – it is what the concept was made for. Like previous years, I will be asking you to submit your favourite progressive and trance classics for the show, so have a think and I will talk more about the Classics Showcase next week.

Last week our thoughts were with the people of Mumbai and India, after the terrible attrocities that occured there. I was pleased to find out on Tuesday that my gigs there have been rescheduled for the beginning of February, so I am looking forward to performing and meeting the great people who wish to continue living happy lives.

So now I am going to get ready and prepare to play at the Biel Center in Beirut, Lebanon, which I am really looking forward to. Tomorrow I return to one of my favorite countries in the world, The Netherlands, to play at the Essence Festival in Utrecht. The festival is held at Jaarbeurs, where I have had previous experience from playing at a couple of Trance Energy events. It’s going to be a fun event, catching up with a few DJs that I haven’t seen for a while, including Armin. I’ll tell you about my experience next week.

So that wraps up everything for now. I hope you all enjoy the Essential Mix tonight, and that you all have a wonderful weekend!

Ciao bella,
Markus