Back in June 2010 one the world’s most celebrated DJ/producers asked EDM addicts everywhere the album-question, ‘Do You Dream?’ Fan praise, cross-genre DJ support and dance press acclaim greeted one chart-scaling, master-blasting single after another. From that album’s day of release though, Markus Schulz had already begun imagining and conceiving the sound designs that would make up his next long-playing excursion. Now – comprising a 19-track packed collection of ear catching, floor quenching, super-seismic audio – that ‘Dream’ is about to turn into a ‘Scream’!
“When you’re in the studio, deep in production mode on an album, the mind’s eye is forever picturing the reactions that tracks, and particular moments in tracks are going to generate”, says Markus. So in many respects the title ‘Scream’ is also this album’s mission statement. It’s that response, that surge of feeling and emotion I want to come back up off the floor when one of its tracks goes into the CDJ. When it happens, you know all the late hours in the studio, putting the pieces in place, have been worth it!”
With a single-minded quality-and-quantity credo, Markus has made astute use of known vocal talent on the album, matching it with new singer-songwriter blood. US songstress Jaren gives the chiming melodica of ‘Carry On’ its soul-searching lament, whilst Paper Aeroplanes front-woman Sarah Howells burns up the microphone, bringing a floor-enrapturing essence to ‘Tempted’.
Also joining ‘Scream’s vocal cast are precocious newer genii. NY-based singer Seri marries wildfire catchiness with mainstream hook on ‘Love Rain Down’. Elsewhere the sky-seeking synths of ‘Caught’ (vocalled by new Schulz discovery/protégée Adina Butar) have already brought a collective rush of blood to the head on club floors.
For every daytime radio bound number (‘Until Its Gone’ & Nothing Without Me’ to tag but a few), there’s a track lending ‘Scream’ it’s essential underground counterbalance. The haunting, redolence of ‘Deep In The Night’, the low-slung nonchalance of ‘I Like It’, the stripped-bare confession of ‘Absolution’ and the thrilling anthemia of its title track all make up the different colours and shades of ‘Scream’.
During the final weeks of the album’s production Markus observed that: “one of the side-effects of producing instrumental long-players like the Dakota ‘Thoughts Become Things’ series is that you keenly feel how much you miss working with lyrics and vocals. ‘Scream’ is without doubt my most vocal-oriented album yet and I believe that the singer-song-writing talent I’ve collaborated with, it will also make for my most accomplished”.
‘Scream’ though isn’t exclusively about the song and lyric. Building the consummate EDM album experience requires contrast. Markus knows that. Thus those of you of an instrumental disposition will not be going home empty handed. Far from it! From the scene-setting beat-free splendour of ‘Our Moment’ to the serrated synthery of firebrand floor-ammo like ‘Triotonic (with Elevation & KhoMha)’, ‘Soul Seeking ’ and ‘Loops & Things’ (with Ferry Corsten), it fulfills its panoramic, 360°, day-or-night-time remit.
Through the album Markus has once again demonstrated that the production side of his mind is alive, kicking and quite literally screaming with ideas! On August 31st it arrives. Planet EDM will never be quite the same again.