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TranceFix Review: Markus Schulz pres. Afterdark Volume One [Coldharbour Recordings Black]

Markus Schulz‘s beloved “Coldharbour Recordings” has had yet again a sublime amount of releases this year, showcasing tunes and remixes by some of the finest artists on the label. “Coldharbour” has always been like an extended group of friends, a family if you will, of like minded individuals each doing what they love and sharing it with a global audience. Over the past months a handful of releases came along that embody the music that fills the wee hours of the night, those precious moments which Markus himself describes as his favorite part of the night. I am of course referring to the infamous “Rabbit Hole” hour. Fueled by passion and a need to properly document these upcoming releases a new imprint was launched on “Coldharbour Recordings” known as “Coldharbour Black“.

The first release is inspired by the special themed yearly “Afterdark” episode of the mighty “Global DJ Broadcast” that always airs close to Halloween itself. Here is “Afterdark Volume One” in celebration of the madness of the weird and wonderful. It is indeed a dark and twisted three track release, absolutely suited to launch off the imprint properly. Let’s dig in deep into this abysmal box of tunes and see what is in store for our ears and senses.


First track on this darker than dark E.P is Markus’s collaboration with dance music legend “Jam El Mar” (former member of the well known dance music outfit “Jam & Spoon“). Lotus is a track that has it all: dark, moody rhythms and techy vibrations while in the midst of it all it is flooded with mystical melodies, “Binary Finary 1998” reminiscent melodic vocal shots, a surprise spiritual vocal one-liner narrative by “Adina Butar” and an instant hypnotical groove that will undoubtedly send shivers down any dance music lover’s spine. Let your ears and mind take in the musical essence of the lotus flower and re-emerge a whole new being casting away the darkness of the past and embracing the beauty of the light.

Something About You“:

On this next tune the journey into darkness continues, this time courtesy of “Turner” brothers (“Arkham Knights“), one of the hottest producer duo exports out of the UK and “Markus Schulz” under his deeper alter ego, the “Dakota” alias. The techy tension filled rhythms the brothers are known for blend harmonically alongside the deeper moving aural soundscapes provided by Markus while fragments of incoherent speech add to the mystery and wonder of this diverse track. Two minds are better than one and in this case three are even better. Deeper, moving tuneage which illuminates our curiosity as well as paints mental images within one’s mind.

Wake Me Up“:

For the last track on the E.P a surprise collab is in store for you all. For the first time ever the “Arkham Knights” collaborate with “Jam El Mar” and what a brilliant idea that was. This is the darkest one of them all and takes you to a shadowy realm absent of light and warmth. Techy, grunty rhythms play the leading role here while surrounded by an eerie, abysmal atmosphere decorated in curious organ-like melodies and steam inspired effects while shadowy leads take care of the rest. Feed on the darkness within and let yourself become utterly consumed by it all.

An excellent release on “Coldharbour Black” which drives one’s curiosity to see what may come next round the corner.

Released: 16/11/2018

Label: Coldharbour Recordings Black



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