October 30, 2012
In an attempt to redeem myself after an interviews-gone-wrong fiasco at winter music conference, I decided to finally check out the unicorn slayer Markus Schulz at Sutra in Costa Mesa last night. Seven months ago, I had the opportunity to do an on-camera interview with Schulz after a night of heavy partying and let's just say I wish it wasn't caught on camera. But when he came to Orange County on Tuesday as a part of Sutra's seven-day Halloween party streak, I had no choice but to finally redeem myself and check out the trance master myself. Sutra was all decked out in spooky décor and the crowd was ready for a night of heart pounding, heavy hitting trance a la Mr. Coldharbour Recordings himself. The vibes at the club where rage valley inspired as hard core Schulz fans where there in full force ready for a Halloween treat.
By midnight the hype at Sutra was so overwhelming that fans were screaming Markus' name to get on stage. Normally known for playing over eight-hour sets the OC party crowd was ready for some deep dark and progressive unicorn slaying trance. Known as a genre that's full of fairy unicorn ladi dadi type music, Schulz has put trance music on the map for being able to go just as hard as any other electronic dance music genre known for their booming bass. In essence Markus Schulz has killed that fairy, rainbow lovey dovey melody infused style of music that is usually associated with trance and slayed away the unicorns with his hard sound. Still at a heart racing 140 beats-per-minute Schulz's own tracks like "Deep in the Night" and the infamous "Rotunda" prove that trance is not just for the love-sick music fans.
As soon as Schulz took over decks, fans with creative homemade signs pushed their way to the front of the dance floor to get a closer look at the legend himself. Schulz splices a lot of tech into his sets which is a perfect hybrid of dark trance, techno and big room house melodies for the Orange County crowd. OC are known as babies to the EDM scene and thus it was refreshing to have a DJ who doesn't conform to the mainstream crap. Our favorite part was not knowing what the song was, but knowing that the unicorn slayer himself felt it worthy enough to play and in essence enlighten us with his hardcore style. Of course he played tracks like his own "Nothing Without Me" that had the crowd singing along, but it was so seamlessly spliced together with songs like his "Loops & Tings" remix that made us holding up our iPhones shazaming the entire night.
When his signature trance hit "Digital Madness" finally came on, the crowd hummed in unison and threw their fists in the air as the epic bass drop made everyone from behind the DJ booth to the back of the dance floor rage. Schulz's sets are like a perfect rabbit hole that you never want to leave, similar to the tech house sound we have come to love. But what really made us love him the most was the fact that he stayed to give autographs and fans pictures until the Sutra management pretty much had to kick him out. At that point which we got to finally say hi and the first thing he said was "Hey I remember you from Miami." Needless to say he may have made me practically YouTube famous back in March, but I'm glad to have the privilege to finally see him in my own home town. Who knows maybe there is a re-do interview in our future.
Personal Bias: I'm a sucker for the lovey dovey Above & Beyond style trance that's melodic and redundant at times, but Markus has officially turned me on to this harder style of dark, deep trance.
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The Crowd: Lots of loyal trance heads that have been Markus Schulz fans from all over town, not exclusive to OC.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Bitches love unicorns too!"
Random Notebook Dump: Surprisingly there were not very many unicorn dressed fans. We did see unicorns in disguise though. They probably didn't want to get slayed!