Miami-based DJ, Markus Schulz has unveiled the eighth annual instalment in his city-themed compilation series, Buenos Aires ’13, featuring a handful of new music and remixes from Schulz, as well as tracks from other trance and house artists. AUGUSTUS WELBY reports prior to his appearance at Future Music Festival on Sunday, March 2 at Arena Joondalup.
Schulz’s hefty touring commitments allow him to witness club culture all over the world and he believes the way audiences are responding to dance music has changed significantly in recent years.
“It used to be very similar, you know, with the internet things got to be very uniform all over the world. I would say in the last two years, countries where maybe dance music wasn’t as big have suddenly exploded, and in countries where dance music used to rule it seems like the intensity is starting to slow down,” he says.
Schulz was born in Germany but in his early teens his family moved to America, which is where he found his footing as a DJ. It’s in these two countries that he identifies a major shift in the popularity of different forms of dance music. “In Germany it has always been techno and traditional German music. I’m seeing that the kids in Germany now are hungry for really aggressive dance music. It’s the same thing in the USA. The USA used to be ruled by hip hop, but now it’s loud everywhere. You turn on the radio, there’s dance music; you go to the shopping centre, there’s dance music playing in the background.”
Schulz himself is pinpointed as a generative figure in the EDM revolution in the US and has repeatedly been ranked in the top 20 of DJ Mag’s yearly Top 100 DJs poll. Despite electronic dance music’s current ubiquity, Schulz says gaining exposure for music has become more difficult. “What’s going on now is you’ve got these big branding hype machines; that never used to be part of the scene. It always used to be about the music, people sharing the music… people discovering new artists on the internet – it didn’t matter where you lived, you could be heard on the internet. Nowadays it just seems like you have to have a huge marketing team behind you in order to get heard.”
Schulz is heading to Australia in March for Future Music Festival and he offers insight into the tactics he uses to get crowds moving at festivals.
“The tracks are a lot shorter, you get right to the main point quickly, bigger build-ups and you try to put more theatrics into your set when you have those shorter festival sets. When you’re playing the ten to 11-hour sets that’s when you can spread your wings and some of the tracks sound better when you let them build organically. You let the track unfold and tell its story on its own.”
Although he clearly relishes the freedom of an extended club set, Schulz doesn’t spurn the festival stage and enthuses that both environments have an influence. “I love them both. I could be at a festival and get like, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to get back into a club – I want to experiment with some different ideas.’ And then when you’re playing in a club, you try something and it makes the place go crazy and you’re like, ‘Woah! I can’t wait to try this in front of 30,000 people at a festival.’ It’s constantly exciting and you’re always looking to make the best of each situation.”
Markus Schulz plays Future Music Festival on Sunday, March 2 at Arena Joondalup.
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