Moving onto the release itself, broadly what approach did you want to take to its compilation & mixing? How did ‘Trance Nation’ differ from the curating & mixing of, say, one of your City Series compilations?
Markus: It was different in the sense that for the city series compilations, it’s a brand that’s deeply associated with me, and all of my own fans will know about it’s development, creativity and build their own anticipation towards the release day.
Markus Schulz at Ministry of Sound
However, Ministry of Sound and Trance Nation are iconic brands on their own, and there will be a large volume of people out there who religiously collect the Trance Nation CDs, but possibly never have heard or bought a Markus Schulz compilation before.
So the challenge of Trance Nation Mixed by Markus Schulz was twofold – present lots of unreleased exclusive material to satisfy the expectations of the hardcore followers, and to provide a fair snapshot of who I am and the musical passion I represent; so that for the casual fan who follows Trance Nation, it may interest them enough to explore my work further.
With that series moving from a mix-comp to a run of city dedicated singles, this year has been an even more prodigious one on the production front. What of the studio creations under your own name are we seeing on the album?
Markus: Trance Nation features the three that were released between June and August, because the compilation had to be completed and submitted before the end of the latter month.
My mantra with the city series production project has been to feature clubs or events in municipals that have played a crucial role in the development of the scene, and also for me personally.
Because of the Ministry of Sound residency, London was always a guaranteed fixture in the series, and also for the Trance Nation compilation. From London we moved to Belgium and to the biggest European festival of the year – Tomorrowland. I also have a special connection there; due to the open to close solo sets on my own stage. This year was a special occasion, because I was one of the chosen three selected for the Daybreak sessions on the main stage, so naturally there should be a track to reflect that.
And the final track on the album is dedicated to another solo set destination, Avalon in Los Angeles.
You are very well known for being a DJ that’s equally at ease playing the deeper end of the genre as you are with the tougher stuff. Is this something you were able to translate into the ‘Trance Nation’ mixes you’ve done?
Markus: Yes, absolutely.
Anyone who follows me closely knows that I have a broad palette when it comes to music; with everything built around the magic of the melodies. And I think that’s well represented when you collate the members of the Coldharbour family.
So hopefully when people are listening to the compilation, there is a sense of progression from first track to last.
Markus Schulz explains more about his ‘Destiny’ single on next page