With the wealth of production time that has afforded producers, many have turned to release artist albums, and Markus Schulz can say the same.
One might imagine that Markus would play an artistic card from his 2017 Dakota hand when times were tough. Quite the opposite.
What’s established inside the first three tracks of his eighth artist album Escape is that he’s headed in the opposite direction. Topping even the headily life-affirming heights of 2018’s We Are The Light, he’s delivered his most heartening, elevating new music assembly to date.
With ‘up’ its sole goal, Markus has put together a singer/co-writer team-sheet that feels instinctive in choice and proves alchemic in the outcome. Drawing on talent new and established, it splits its productions between solos, first-time debuts, and collaborative re-teams, developing in turn an album that tonally reaches from the eclectic to the mainstream.
Naturally, it includes Markus’s most recent singles: Indestructible and In Search Of Sunrise with Adina Butar, along with April’s releases of Are You With Me and Feel Alive with London Thor & Valentino Alessandrini.
It further features 11 previously unheard Schulz cuts, including numbers with HALIENE & Christina Novelli and first-time artistic partnerships with Roxanne Emery and Christian Burns.
Of the album and its release circumstances, Markus took to Facebook to share his thoughts at the start of September. “This year,” he says, “has undoubtedly been unprecedented due to the pandemic we are living through, and every day begins with a wish for normality while we battle anxiety and worries. As artists and DJs, we’ve all had to be creative in order to stay connected with you while the clubbing scene remains closed. And all of these little musical things I hope act as a means of escape from the outside world and daily struggles, even if it’s just for a little while.
It is for that reason that I am proud to announce that my next artist album is indeed titled ‘Escape,’ and you’re going to hear some of my soundscape visions like you’ve never heard them before, and indeed, never seen them before. ‘Escape’ arrives on Friday, September 25. In conjunction with the album, I’m going to be virtually taking you to some of the most breath-taking and stunning scenic locations to perform live.“
And that’s exactly what Markus did, tackling the challenge of the-DJ-debuting-their-album by reimagining the very essence of ‘the tour.’ From the deserts of Sedona, Arizona, and Utah’s Moab to iconic spots like Colorado’s The Rockies and Route 66, he set the album’s scene over the last month. Playing sets framed by some of the most awe-inspiring and emotionally elevating sights the United States has on offer; they provided the perfect backdrop-escape for Escape.
Episode 1 of his mix-tour (Escape To Sedona) launches online October 1, 2020, with new episodes dropping weekly throughout the Fall.
Musically, Markus doesn’t let its overture number pass before pointing the album’s tonal direction North. With ‘Escape’s title track setting a precedent, it’s quick to press the point with the abundant exuberance of current single Feel Alive.
Recruiting both Ethan Thompson & Soundland to Make It Last Forever, Schulz unites two Watch The World collaborators to one track.
Following recent paired outings, Escape’s midpoint meanwhile brings the vocal rush of Tidal Wave, In Search Of Sunrise, Not Afraid To Fall and Second Day, signaling swift recalls for the vocal talents of HALIENE, Adina Butar, Christina Novelli and JES.
Circles Around Me, Blue Dream, and Sunday Chords add calmer, but no-less-optimistic notes to the album’s stitch. However, its triumphant one-two closeout is reserved for a dual-collaboration-debut, with Markus working alongside Christian Burns on Wait For You and Roxanne Emery on its swan song Gold Dust.
Extraordinary times call for exceptional albums, and the eighth collection from Markus Schulz is that to its core and is available now through Black Hole Recordings/Coldharbour Recordings.
02. Feel Alive (with London Thor & Valentino Alessandrini)
03. Turn Me Down (with Singa)
04. Make It Last Forever (with Ethan Thompson & Soundland)
05. Not Afraid To Fall (with Christina Novelli)
06. Circles Around Me
07. In Search Of Sunrise (with Adina Butar)
08. Tidal Wave (with HALIENE)
09. Second Day (with JES)
10. Blue Dream
11. Sunday Chords
12. Indestructible (with Adina Butar)
13. Are You With Me (with Daimy Lotus)
14. Wait For You (with Christian Burns)
15. Gold Dust (with Roxanne Emery)
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