As an unwritten rule throughout all of the music industry, the pressure to deliver a second artist album which will live up to the expectations of everyone due to a successful debut is incredibly intense. For Markus Schulz however, after completing this first album “Without You Near”, which he described as “lifting a huge emotional burden off my shoulders”, he decided to be more creative and expressive with his followup release.
Released in July 2007, Progression quickly established itself as essential listening, both by the fans, and by the DJs who immediately started playing their favourite tracks from the album out in the clubs. However, keen to acquire the best possible alternative perspectives for some of the marquee tracks, Markus began the task of assembling the remixes.
“When the album was completed, my next main goal was to compile the best package of remixes for each of the singles released”, says Markus. It proved to be incredibly successful, as remixes of tunes such as “I Am”, “Fly To Colors” and “Cause You Know” dominated playlists of the world’s biggest DJs, and featured heavily in fans’ wishlists.
Due to the success of the Progression project, Markus embarked on an immense schedule of touring, thus giving himself the ideal platform of showcasing the remixes to the maximum potential. Whether it was Sensation White or Monster Massive, tracks such as the Genix remix of “Fly To Colors” or Agnelli & Nelson’s stunning interpretation of “Perfect” became the highlight moments, and the tracks the fans wanted to hear the most.
When reflecting on his gigs over the past year, Markus said, “The amazing thing that really makes you think is that I have played in all five continents over the past year – different languages, cultures, religion and so on, yet everyone knows the words and sings along to Perfect, including myself!”.
However, when it comes to deciding which of the remixes from the album took the accolade of his personal favourite, Markus found it difficult to choose: “I think the great thing about each track on the album is that it can fill you with a different emotion. For instance, “Perfect” is a completely feel-good track, whereas “Cause You Know” has really deep meaning and can give you that pensive feeling. It also depends on the time of the year and each setting – with the summer you have the opportunity to play at more big arena events and festivals than usual. My big summer anthem this year has been Daydream; it was the one track everyone wanted from the album immediately. Bringing in Lemon & Einar K to remix the track just turned out to be the perfect moment.”
Whilst the majority of fans will have heard the signature remixes that have been released so far, there are several unreleased tracks from the original Progression album which have been given the remix treatment for this release. One of the hidden gems, “Let It Go”, comes with a remix from Monogato, a firm Global DJ Broadcast listener favourite. Dutchman Mark Otten returns to remix his second Markus Schulz track in four years (the first being “Largo”), offering a groovy club interpretation of the originally chilled “On a Wave”, and Mike EFEX, an up and coming producer from Los Angeles and who has featured regularly on playlists over the past year, provides the club version of “Lost Cause”.
Markus himself features on the album in a remix capacity, with his Coldharbour Mix of “Daydream” finally seeing a full release. However, as the Progression chapter comes to a close, Markus looks to the future, as he includes his latest production on the album, entitled “The New World”.
This coming November, Markus will play at his third Transmission event in Prague, Czech Republic. To commemorate the event, the organisers asked Markus to compose a special theme for the night, and the reaction from fans and clubbers to the track has been spectacular. The track has been produced with the big room arenas and festivals specifically in mind, and has the potential to become a future anthem over the next year. The full package of The New World, including remixes, will be released in early 2009.
Not content to rest on his laurels, Markus himself is already looking forward to his next challenge: “I hope that I can start work on my third artist album in the next few months. With this remix album we are saying thank you to all the amazing producers who contributed their time and efforts in providing their fantastic remixes over the past year, and finally closing the chapter of Progression. Then it will be time to move on, challenging myself to produce something even better than before. I love being creative in the studio”.
Progression Progressed will be available from Armada Music, on CD and through digital download portals, from Monday October 27th.
01. I Am (vs. Chakra) (Mat Zo Remix)
02. Fly To Colors (Genix Remix)
03. Daydream (vs. Andy Moor) (Lemon & Einar K Uplifting Remix)
04. Perfect (feat. Dauby) (Agnelli & Nelson Remix)
05. Cause You Know (feat. Departure) (Nic Chagall Remix)
06. The New World
07. On A Wave (feat. Anita Kelsey) (Mark Otten Remix)
08. Let It Go (Monogato Remix)
09. Lost Cause (feat. Carrie Skipper) (Mike EFEX Remix)
10. Daydream (vs. Andy Moor) (Markus Schulz Coldharbour Mix)