In a day in which most EDM artists travel with little more than an overnight bag, a laptop, and a USB drive, Markus Schulz wanted to do something bigger. Along with Schulz Music Group’s rising star, Khomha, and genre transcending The M Machine, Markus chose to take his show on the road quite literally with a bus tour across the Northeast USA.

Markus had wanted to do bigger and better visual effects for his parties, similar to what you would get at clubs such as Privilege in Ibiza, but found that most clubs in this region didn’t have such equipment at their disposal. Therefore he decided to bring it with him.

And I must say, this added a whole new quality to the Soundgarden Party. There were some LED effects when Paul Van Dyk came to Philly on his Evolution tour, but these were some of the crispest, freshest visuals I’ve seen at a trance party outside of an Armin performance.

This was an awesome party, even moreso considering it was a Thursday night in a secondary US market. Two weeks ago Markus was in NYC with Ferry Corsten for their arena debut of their New World Punks project. However, true Markus fans, know that the styles of music are quite different, and that certainly added to the draw.

It was great to finally see KhoMha, as I had always heard such great things about his sets in NYC at the Sullivan Room among other of my favorite spots. I wasn’t entirely focused on track ID’s for his set, as I was a little distracted by my interview with the Slayer about halfway through his set, but I can say what I caught was quite impressive.

The M Machine was truly entertaining. Since I personally hadn’t heard of them before, I wasn’t sure why they were on after KhoMha. But what I guess I sometimes forget as a trancehead is that, one of the reasons that Markus is such a talented artist is that he’s always listening to what’s new and fresh and brought an act on this tour that you won’t find on ASOT or at Luminosity as they blend genres.

Now… there are a number of DJ’s nowadays who try to mix up the lineups for their major parties, but there can also be wildly mixed results.

It’s just that a trance fan might enjoy a 30 sec / min dubstep drop to a fresh track, but they will despise you if they hear “Cinema.” They will cheer when they hear the ASOT 550 theme “Invasion” but if you bring W&W into a trance lineup there will be complaints. I’m not going to get into a debate about whether it’s right or wrong. It just is.

Well, this wasn’t the case with The M Machine. And I think it has something to do with the cleanness and purity of the sound at the root of the tracks. Trance is a pretty music genre. Whether it’s Balearic, Psy, or 140, the vast majority of the tracks that become classics have melodies and or vocals that stand out. Electro can be ok if you’re a Ferry Corsten and can balance it out consistently, but it won’t always work.

The M Machine to me is what you’d get if Depeche Mode had formed 2 years ago. It was cool, and I’d see them again for sure.

What can I say about Markus Schulz that hasn’t been said before? No one will ever question the fact that he cares about as much as his fans as any artist I’ve ever seen, with a meet and greet for lucky fans ahead of time, plenty of press availability, pictures with fans after his set… the whole bit. He also keeps his sets as fresh as anyone you’ll see as well. You’ll hear Mark Sixma’s uberbomb “Requiem” and Omnia’s “The Light” which were only recently introduced on ASOT. Speaking of which, the recognizable theme from the ASOT600 parties “Expedition” was a crowd pleaser, as was his Trancemission theme “The Spiritual Gateway.” My personal favs were that he dropped two Beat Service tracks “Fortuna,” and “Impulse.” The only thing that would have made the night better would have been a 6 hour set instead of the 2 he was allotted.

Anyway, great night at Soundgarden Hall. Next up is Sander Van Doorn’s SGH debut on April 19th. Sander was last in town back in September at Rumor, so this should be good. – DISCO STU

Markus Schulz Selected Tracklisting – Soundgarden Hall Philadelphia

Fisherman and Hawkins – “Apache”

Markus – “Nothing Without Me”

Markus- “Spiritual Gateway”

Beat Service – “Fortuna”

Beat Service – “Impulse”

Markus – “Finish Line”

Markus – “The Expedition”

Markus and Ferry – “Loops and Tings”

Markus ft. SERi – “Love Rain Down”

Armin & W&W – “D# Fat”

Markus & Justine Suissa – Perception (Rafael Frost Remix)

Markus ft. Ken Spector – “Scream”

Ferry Corsten ft. Aruna – “Live Forever”

Mark Sixma – “Requiem”

Markus ft. Sarah Howells – “Tempted”

Omnia – “The Light”

Markus – “Cause You Know”

Review by Stuart Fleishman

This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.

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