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Markus Schulz
Markus Schulz
Courtesy of the artist

Markus Schulz Goes Back Into the Light With His New Album, We Are the Light

The only constant in Markus Schulz’s life is change. Trance music is regularly part of his day, but sometimes it’s dark and other times bright. The sound of his albums changes, and his latest, which releases today, is a good example. Last year, under his Dakota alias, Schulz offered The Nine Skies. “That album came from a dark place, but in time, you realize enough is enough and we [of dance-music culture] need to be the light,” Schulz says.

Today, as Markus Schulz, he is releasing his tenth studio album, We Are the Light. Its 16 tracks veer toward the uplifting and vocal flavor of trance music.

"This is Markus Schulz positive,” he says.

This ever-changing self-expression and venting approach to music never stops. His original productions are reactive to world events. He tells stories in his 12-hour DJ sets, and a weekly podcast is in tune with the seasons. Some musicians enter the studio to make sick drops, and others tell stories — Schulz is the latter.

“Do You Dream” from 2009 is one of Schulz’s more popular music videos. It features international fetish model and performer RubberDoll. “That’s what we did back then," Schulz laughs. "She was in her [latex] outfit, and we went all over Amsterdam shooting the video, but I guess I’ve grown up a bit.” 

These days, the approach to Schulz's videos is less rubber fetish and more about beautiful landscapes. The “Safe From Harm” video, featuring vocalist Emma Hewitt, was filmed on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. “Calling for Love,” with Jes, was shot in the Nevada sand dunes. Schulz's latest visual is for the new album's title track, “We Are the Light,” featuring Nikki Flores. The video was shot over the course of one day during a blizzard in Northern California’s redwood forest.

There are so many lasers, disco balls, airports, and changes that simple things are most coveted. This week, Schulz has a few U.S. shows scheduled, followed by an appearance at Ultra Mexico, and then it’s back to Europe for most of November. However, there's one date he's excited about: Thanksgiving 2018. "Turkey and football — I can’t wait for Thanksgiving in Miami,” he says.

It’s a sad image, spending most Thanksgivings in gloomy, cold airports. But this year, festivities will commence with Trancegiving at SQL nightclub Wednesday, November 21. And then it’s a good old-fashioned American Thanksgiving Day with family, friends, turkey, dressing, stuffing, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions.

Rest assured that We Are the Light will get heavy play at the Miami show.

“I started working on this album two years ago, and I’m proud of it," he says. "I just played an open-to-close set in Montreal, and it was 12 hours in the rabbit hole. I played a lot of tracks from the new album, and, yes, they’re positive, but you have to be creative as a DJ to make it work.”

Trancegiving. With Markus Schulz, Arkham Knights, and Grube & Hovsepian. 10 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, at SQL Miami, 30 NE 14th St., Miami; 786-600-5151; sqlmiami.com. Tickets cost $15 to $30 via eventbrite.com.

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