the high-energy DJ duo consisting of Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten. The name derives from Markus Schulz’s hit, “The New World”, and Ferry Corsten’s massive anthem, “Punk”.
Over the last 10 years Markus Schulz has fused the individual musical identities of progressive, house & trance into his own creative, now inimitable hybrid sound.
Through a unique alignment of headlining DJ sets, Armada and Coldharbour label output and his highly prominent Global DJ Broadcast radio show, he’s spearheaded a sea change revolution in the US trance scene. This success has been reflected in weekly sets played in front of many tens of thousands, a GDJB listenership up in the millions & one Beatport chart-topper after another.
Following several highly ranked positions, in 2008 Schulz broke into the Top 10 of DJ Mag’s Top 100 chart. He’s remained there for the last four straight years (polling #9 in 2011) and now stands as the busiest international DJ playing out of the United States.
Born in Eschwege, central Germany, Markus emigrated to the United States. Age 13, his dance music awakening came during the grip of the country’s then-nascent breakdance scene. His early production and DJ career roughly tracked that of the second Stateside House explosion and he caught his first production break in 1993 when he remixed Sagat’s ‘Why Is It? (F** Dat)’ for FFrr.
Markus’ freshman production release followed in 1994 with the 6-track ‘Plastik Trax EP Vol 1’. Throughout the mid to late Nineties he continued to accrue acclaim with a range of releases on numerous luminary U.S. labels. In 1998 he recorded ‘You Won’t See Me Cry’ for Plastik Records (his first label), which was picked up by the UK’s Eve Records and became his first non-domestic release.
Through his natural audience affinity, flawless key-mixing and innate tune selection, he has wowed crowds in every major metropolis. Schulz’s DJ career has run largely parallel to that of his productions.
In the early noughties, having concentrated on the hinterland between trance & progressive, he began to reach audiences further and further afield. In 2004 he was signed to the David Lewis Productions agency (home to the World’s No.1 DJ Armin van Buuren) and his career took another big step forward.
Now a regular fixture at the world’s biggest & most famous clubs, arenas and festivals, he lays down his unique trance-progressive vision on a weekly basis. In Europe, he’s smashed Trance Energy, Nature One, Dance Valley, Sunrise, Tomorrowland, Transmission & Pleasure Island; worked tent-pegs loose at Creamfields; gridlocked Global Gatherings all around the world and twice played all-night 8hr solo sets at Armada @ Amnesia in Ibiza. Stateside the colossal Ultra, Electric Daisy & Nocturnal Festivals have all felt Schulz pressure and yet further afield still he’s engineered floor uproar in China and Australia.
He has polled 4 consecutive years inside DJ Mag’s world’s top 10, ranked as world’s #2 in the Trance Addict, FTB & Trance Podium 2010 charts and won Best American DJ at the IDMAs in 2009.
Schulz’s sound notably came quickest to the ears of continental European DJs. Following the formation of the Armada group in 2005, Armin sought Markus out and asked him to start compiling tracks for a new vinyl series.
The Coldharbour Selections EPs launched in 2004 (with the first 5 releases coming out on the already established Electronic Elements label).
In quick succession they began to sonically impact on dancefloors and within 12 months Coldharbour the label was born. Named after Markus’ then-production base in London’s Coldharbour Lane, its output immediately brought a new angle sound to Armada. It also became a lightning rod for a new generation of prog-inclined producers - setting in motion the careers of (amongst others) Santiago Nino, Rex Mundi, Mark Otten & Niklas Harding.
With 2005 under the spell of Coldharbour’s more sophisticated, minimal, but still melodic take on the prog-trance sound, Markus struck again with the first Coldharbour Sessions mix compilation. Such has been the success of the imprint that in 2007 it was joined by a sub-label, Coldharbour Red. This, in turn, was a launch pad for Marcus Schössow, tyDi, Glenn Morrison & Evol Waves and was the point of re-entry for early Schulz side-project, Dakota (*see section below).
In August 2010 Coldharbour celebrated its 100th release with Markus’ cover of Cass & Slide’s ‘Perception’. Seven years after its birth, Coldharbour stands at the top tier of the world’s trance & progressive labels.
M.S. Productions 2005 – 2009:
Perfectly intersecting the quality/quantity axis, Markus’ own productions have been fundamental of components in marshalling clubbers and music lovers to his sound.
Over the course of the last half-decade singles like ‘First Time’ & ‘Without You Near’ (2005), ‘Fly To Colors’, ‘Never Be The Same Again’ & ‘I Am’ (2007) ‘Perfect’ & ‘Cause You Know’ (2008) & most recently ‘The New World’ & ‘Do You Dream?’ have each played their vital part.
Markus is also a keen production collaborator.
In 2005 he famously teamed up with like minded producers Gabriel & Dresden and Departure for ‘Without You Near’, did the same with Andy Moor on ‘Daydream’ and most recently on ‘Goodbye’ with Max Graham. The impact of all the singles has been catalysed by his studio albums ‘Without You Near’ (2005), ‘Progression’ (2007).
In February 2010, Schulz completed principle recording on his third long-player, ‘Do You Dream?’ The 16-track album was released on June the 15th in many key territories. Its release prompted Tilllate Magazine to say its “sonic explorations went into every conceivable angle” & that the album was “energetic” & “exhilarating”.
DJ Mag said “it guides (the listener) through dreamy ambient, downbeat chords, fist-pumping prog, house and trance, as well as the odd skipping breakbeat” and went on to say “it’s hard to see why you won’t completely adore this”.
On April the 1st, 2011 the album’s remix edition was released. It included track remakes from heavyweights including Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate & Super8 & Tab as well as core Coldharbour artists like Tucandeo, Mr Pit and Mike Foyle. The remix edition was joined by Schulz’s first DVD release in May ‘11, which documented his ‘Do You Dream?’ world tour.
Markus has only made rare use of pseudonyms throughout his career - seeing them only as valuable if they represented an outlet for something other than his ‘regular’ material. At the turn of the millennium he released 3 tracks (‘Swirl’, ‘Frozen’ & ‘Lost in Brixton’) under the Dakota alias.
Over time the tracks became first points of contact for many new fans.
In 2009 Schulz paid dues to that by resurrecting the guise, recalibrating its sound and directed his attentions to a whole album of material. ‘Thoughts Become Things’ was the result and it became a route diversion that branched out to embrace techno, house and other sub-genres.
It swelled both Schulz’s fanbase and the range of DJ support for his music. The album justified 7 single releases that have included particular fan-favourites ‘Chinook’, ‘Johnny the Fox’, ‘Koolhaus’ & ‘Mr Cappuccino’. Such was its success in July of 2011 he followed it up with the sequel – ‘Thoughts Become Things II’.
Giving it their prized Album of the Month award, MIXMAG said “With ‘Thoughts II’ Schulz’s Dakota guise could be about to take centre stage”, while DJ Mag said it contained “lush riffs at a housier tempo” and was “epic stuff”. To date it has spawned 5 singles, ‘Sinners’, ‘Sleepwalkers’, Katowice’ and the AA ‘In A Green Valley’/’Saints’.
Now in its tenth year Schulz’s GDJB has continued to be a beacon for an always-growing throng of trance & progressive dance fans. Having begun life on Miami’s Party 93.1 station, it is now broadcast through DI.fm and Sirius/XM satellite, the Global DJ Broadcast site and over 50 other FM stations around the planet.
Based on a regular format, the first show of each month is a two hour long mix from one of Schulz’s rolling World Tour gigs - ones that have of late included Medellin, Columbia, St Petersberg, Russia & Amnesia in Ibiza. Subsequent shows in the month feature Markus mixing his broad-span pick of the current electronic dance music best for an hour (which includes the forum-voted Global Selection track of the week) followed by guest mixes from both established and up-and-coming DJs.
Markus is also responsible for one of the longest running and most respected compilation album series in trance history.
Kicking off in 2005 in Miami, its city-hopping concept has subsequently landed in Ibiza in ’06, Amsterdam in ’08 & Toronto in ’09. In 2010 it homed in on Las Vegas (for an album that Mixmag said: “managed the rarity of living up to the hype” and “ranked as his best yet”) and in February 2011 it returned to Europe to focus on Prague.
Providing a microcosmic view of his sound, the albums have become cornerstones for fans CD & mp3 collections, with each new travelogue edition bringing in a fresh wave of supporters. Notably, the Amsterdam ’08 release was nominated for an IDMA award for Best Full Length DJ Mix (in the same year that Markus took home the trophy for Best American DJ).
Markus started his remix career in the early 90s with a 30-strong volley of high-profile reworks.
Over the course of the decade he re-tooled the production works of Euro dominators like The Real McCoy & Technotronic, house masters & divas including Armand van Helden & Liz Torres, legendary Nineties icons RuPaul, Bette Midler & Sandra Bernhard and fully-fledged A-listers like Madonna (on Love Don’t Live Here Anymore).
As the Millennium arrived he began to work on deeper, more intrinsically electronic dance fare... In 2000 he remixed trance innovator Pablo Gargano’s ‘Absolution’, PQM’s Renaissance classic ‘The Flying Song’ and Fatboy Slim’s ‘Sunset (Bird of Prey). Satisfied that he’d found the right dance strata to focus on Markus has gone on to rewire tracks by Oceanlab, Motorcycle, Dance 2 Trance, Cosmic Gate, Nalin & Kane, Kyau & Albert, John O’Callaghan, & Space Manoeuvres amongst many, many others.
Prepared by Tim Stark.
Hailing from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Ferry Corsten’s lustrous career is exemplified by a passion for music that began as a hobby and spiralled into a full-blown profession. Today, as it was in the beginning, Corsten’s skills lie in his ability to coax the maximum emotional impact from electronic dance music of all genres, not just trance, but also progressive-house and electro.
He remains and has always been ahead-of-his time, making music that becomes a template for others to follow. It was the album, Out Of The Blue, that started it all. As Corsten’s sophomoric artist album under the alias, System F, the eponymous single became a worldwide hit and charted in the UK’s Top 20 UK singles charts and Japan’s Top 10 singles charts for three consecutive years after its release.
Corsten’s rapid success ignited a steady flow of releases including ‘Gouryella’ with Tiësto. It was during this time that Corsten’s remix of William Orbit’s ‘Barber’s Adagio For Strings’ became a clubland anthem. Though the instantly recognizable original appeared in the film, Platoon (directed by Oliver Stone), it was Corsten’s heady remix that took the original composition’s strongest elements and amplified them into a singular, explosive masterpiece.
Offers for remix work have poured in furiously ever since, with the latest being a remix of Listenbee’s ‘Save Me’. Corsten has also consistently appeared near the top of international DJ polls and has won his share of industry awards. Over the years, Ferry Corsten has released a steady flow of new music.
He has seven full-length studio albums under his belt, namely: Looking Forward as Ferr; Out Of The Blue and Together as System F; and Right Of Way, L.E.F., Twice In A Blue Moon and WKND as Ferry Corsten. These seven killer albums have yielded more than their share of Gold records, including ‘Punk,’ ‘Out Of The Blue,’ ‘Rock Your Body Rock,’ and other world-class hits including ‘Made Of Love’ featuring Betsie Larkin and ‘Radio Crash.’
More recently, the release of his three acclaimed ‘Hello World’ EPs solidified him as an ever relevant presence in trance music, demonstrating his constantly changing and mutating sound and his consistent ability to stay ahead of the curve. ‘Hearts Beating Faster’ ft.
Ethan Thompson became one of most revered tracks from the EP, charting high in radio playlists worldwide, finding extended support across the scene’s biggest named spinners and to date receiving in excess of 2 million streams on Spotify. Early 2016 also saw Ferry nominated for two International Dance Music Awards – ‘Best Trance DJ’ and ‘Best trace track’ for ‘Anahera’ - once again proving the longevity of his talents.
In 2006 when Corsten released ‘Fire’ with Duran Duran frontman Simon LeBon, that record also became a solid radio hit. The following year, Corsten’s smash single, ‘Beautiful,’ was released to widespread acclaim, and even today that soaring song is demanded by Corsten’s audiences around the globe whenever he DJs. Early 2012 he released his latest artist album WKND, which includes a collaboration with Armin van Buuren called ‘Brute.’
That track is a current favourite with electronic dance music (EDM) lovers across the globe and has since led to various work including projects with EDM stalwarts Bassjackers and current world-beaters Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. In 2005, Corsten launched his Flashover Recordings imprint and he spends an enormous amount of time scouring the world for fresh talent and releasing music by cutting-edge producers, giving them a voice on the world stage.
Corsten has also released numerous compilations, including releases for the Trance Nation series for Ministry Of Sound, one of the more successful compilation series to date and having sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. Corsten’s own Once Upon A Night series has itself been a platform for new talent and late-breaking tunes, with volume three released in late-2012.
From the outset, Corsten has been a prolific music-maker. So much so that in the early years his musical output was so plentiful and diverse that he felt the need to release music under different aliases. Those pseudonyms included System F., Gouryella (with Tiësto), Moonman and others. 2015 saw the resurrection of the legendary Gouryella, with the comeback single ‘Anahera’ going on to be one of the standout tracks of 2015 and topping Beatport’s trance chart at the year’s end.
Such was the positive furore around the return that Ferry decided to breathe life back into Gouryella and bring the much-loved project from the studio to the stage. In 2016 ‘Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella’ became a reality, with a stunning full stage production, the live show hit the biggest arenas and festivals the scene had to offer. Launching the live show at the Allphones Arena in Sydney Australia on March 11th 2016, to a rapturous fan response, this eagerly awaited tour took in exclusive appearances at events such as Balaton Sound Festival, Beyond Wonderland, EDC UK, EDC NYC, Ultra Europe and Belgium’s iconic Tomorrowland festival.
The live show was bookended by the release of a 12 track limited edition Gouryella Box set for the music collector and a documentary on the big screen. Fitting given its world premiere in Melbourne where the Gouryella live show began, ‘Gouryella - From The Heavens’ was unveiled as the official movie that details the full story of one of dance music’s most revered and mystical dance acts.
Having always created music with a timeless appeal, Corsten was asked by U2 to do a remix for their ‘New Year’s Day’ in 1999, but it wasn’t until 2008 when U2 released their re-mastered War album that the band decided to include Corsten’s edit. Corsten has produced and remixed for Justin Bieber, Moby, Faithless, The Killers, William Orbit, Duran Duran, Public Enemy, Nelly Furtado, Alexis Jordan, Betsie Larkin and many others including TV’s winner of the ‘X-Factor,’ Melanie Amaro.
It’s no wonder that established superstars and pop culture celebrities alike seek Ferry Corsten for remixes, for it’s his winning command of music that is his magnetic draw. Original releases such as ‘Pogo’ and ‘Hyper Love’ Feat. Nat Dunn (which went Top 10 in the US) continue to entice fans, and after all these years his productions still sound as fresh as ever, regularly entering Beatport’s Trance chart.
In 2001 when Corsten released ‘Punk,’ that record annihilated dancefloors from Dallas to Dubai and from Morocco to Miami. Corsten discovered Russian producer Arty several years later, and it’s the Arty Rock N Rolla Mix of ‘Punk’ that was one of the biggest records of 2011 and 2012, played by every DJ across a wide spectrum of styles. As a natural performer, the live show is tantamount to Corsten’s appeal as a DJ. Ever the shepherd of the clubbing masses, working up a sweat while championing people’s inalienable right to dance, Corsten’s live DJ performances have evolved with technology and cultural shifts.
In 2007, Corsten launched his FULL ON live show concept whereby he melds different styles of dance music by playing back-to-back sets with his cherry-picked roster of DJ/producer friends and a state-of-the-art stage setup. Fellow DJs and producers such as Alesso, Dash Berlin, Aly & Fila, Mark Knight, Bassjackers, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Shogun, Cosmic Gate, and many more have accompanied Ferry on multiple venues and FULL ON stages in festivals worldwide.
Since then, Full On has gone from strength to strength, with numerous residencies at the likes of Space Ibiza, a sold out ADE show at Panama, and a slot at Dance Valley in his native Netherlands. However, the show hit unprecedented heights when it was given its own stage at Tomorrowland’s 10th anniversary festival in 2013, which saw over 360,000 fans attend the festival across two weekends.
In 2012, Corsten launched ‘Ferry’s Fix,’ a monthly DJ mix that is currently aired on more than 37 radio stations worldwide. In 2012, Corsten released his app for iPad and Android devices commemorating more than 20 years as a world-class DJ and producer. He also has his official Ferry Corsten app for fans. DJs have eclipsed rockstars as this generation’s entertainment industry icons, and Corsten, ever the graceful maestro, is an enduring example of the consummate professional.
On top of this, Ferry’s radio show ‘Corsten’s Countdown’ continues to be a compelling weekly broadcast of the very latest releases and future hits from across the EDM spectrum including trance, house and progressive. Known as the only EDM interactive weekly music chart show, ‘Corsten’s Countdown’ currently broadcasts on radio stations in more than 40 countries via 210 radio stations worldwide. The show can also be heard as a weekly iTunes podcast or on YouTube.
In January 2017 Ferry celebrated an historic 500 episodes with an 8-hour live broadcast from his hometown of Rotterdam, as part of a special one-off CC500 event where he was joined by a stellar selection of named spinners that include Giuseppe Ottaviani (Live 2.0), Robert Nickson, Solarstone and Stoneface & Terminal.
It was around this time that Corsten announced his new project, the now legendary New World Punx with fellow trance pioneer Markus Schulz. The collaboration sent trance fans into a frenzy and the duo immediately sold out their debut show at Mansion during Miami Music Week 2013.
A second show at the world-famous Madison Square Garden followed this, as did another sold out show at Montreal’s Bal en Blanc, solidifying the project as one of the most celebrated of the decade.
Ferry Corsten’s 2016 saw him find his way into the studio to complete the first collaboration between Ferry and Cosmic Gate. Titled ‘Event Horizon’, this highly anticipated group effort following years of remixing each other’s work, was the perfect fusion of pounding bass line and a simple catchy melody, mastering essential trance elements for a timeless record.
Famed interpretive painter Norton Williams, who’s collaborated with events from the 2002 Winter Olympics to Coachella Music Festival provided remarkable live art display time-lapse as the music video for the single, giving a striking visual element to the singles release.
Most recently (2017) fans were treated to a remix bundle of his classic track ‘Live Forever ft. Aruna’, which includes remixes from Gareth Emery and Solid Stone. Both remixers highlighted Corsten’s rich harmonies and Aruna’s ethereal vocals in their respective renditions, an ode to the euphoric feeling that launched ‘Live Forever’ into the limelight when it was released back in 2012.
Now the iconic Rotterdam native strides towards his 5th artist album – Blueprint. Out May 2017, this interstellar storyline-driven epic is something unlike any Ferry Corsten record before it. A conceptual masterpiece the album sees Ferry taking his music into an entirely new world combining his love of storytelling, his passion for science fiction and his lifelong bond with music.
Striving always for excellence, this is an artist who is never satisfied with all that he’s accomplished, instead always pushing for the next exciting idea. For Ferry Corsten, the possibilities are boundless.