July 27, 2008

Coldharbour Recordings - The Path To 50

1165 days, 50 releases.

On Monday May 30th 2005, .due to his immense growth in popularity around the world, Markus Schulz was rewarded with the opportunity to express his musical vision beyond his radio show and live sets, and Coldharbour Recordings was born.

The label allowed Markus Schulz to give his cherished crown jewels in his Global DJ Broadcast sets an identity, a home. The name has a true meaning, due to Markus' time living on Coldharbour Lane in the London suburbs, where he found the inspiration to discover his true inner expression musically. Every release on the label has to have that distinctive sound, one that resonates with the soul in the unique way only a Coldharbour record can.

From the outset, Markus' mission statement on the label was clear - to give the best up and coming talent a platform to launch, or enhance, their careers. Today, he still lives to that promise, and those who have seized the opportunity with both hands have already become part of Coldharbour folklore.

If you browse through Coldharbur's discography, one can clearly identify the tracks that have influenced Markus Schulz's sound throughout the Global DJ Broadcast era.

So lets take a trip back and remember the early days, and see how far Coldharbour Recordings has come in just over three short years.

The summer of 2005 was dominated by Hammer & Bennett's "Language". With the original being given a berth on a previous Coldharbour Selections, two additional remixes would prove to dominate dancefloors all summer long, particularly highlighted by Markus sets in places such as GodsKitchen in England, Spirit in New York City, and Labour of Love in Toronto. The people in question were Markus' protégé Elevation, and Columbia's Santiago Nino, delivering his then trademark dub tech interpretation, with outstanding results.

That very summer also saw the breakthrough of several names, such as Funabashi, Niklas Harding and Kenneth Thomas, with their tracks "Daylight", "Ice Beach" and "Tonic" respectively. Today, KT has moved on to become one of Paul Oakenfold's selected disciples and tours the United States regularly, Niklas Harding has seen his gig itinerary increase rapidly, with regular appearances across Europe, and Funabashi continue to feature on Coldharbour in a remix capacity, remixing forthcoming releases by Hammer & Herbick feat. Boytronic and Mr. Pit. The three tracks mentioned were a fixture for many of the world's top DJs, firmly putting Coldharbour Recordings on the map.

American Noel Sanger has been a staple of the label, with remixes released in 2005 (Keo Nozari's "Close Enough"), 2006 (Seroya's "Beautiful") and 2007 (Flash Brothers feat. Tiff Lacey "Stay"). His wife, Dauby, of course featured on vocal duty for Markus' monster hit from 2008, "Perfect".

2006 proved to be a breaththrough year for another Dane named Ben Bording, better known to many as Benya. He has continued to go from strength to strength since his debut appearance on Coldharbour Selections with his wonderfully mysterious "Prometheus", providing remixes for Jan Johnston Meets J Joy's "Rush" and Markus' latest release "Daydream".

The summertime proved to be another successful period for the label, notably with the inclusion of piano-laden hit "Collision" by New York's Chuck Luis. However, that summer will forever be remembered as the time vocalist Karen Overton brought back a 1994 hit by Billie Ray Martin back to life, "Your Loving Arms". Furthermore, Markus teamed up with Elevation to create a little bootleg of the track, exclusively for Markus' live sets. When Markus gave a debut the track in Miami for Winter Music Conference, the reaction was overwhelming. Such was the demand for the track following plays at festivals such as Global Gathering and Nature One, the remix saw a full release on Coldharbour Selections, and remains an anthem today.

2007 would be the year that Coldharbour favourite Andrew Bennett shined, with three full releases which many regard as some of the best the label has had to offer. "Menar", "Safe From Harm" and in particular "Heaven Sent" struck a unique rapport with Global DJ Broadcast listeners, as it received the accolade of Global Selection on no less than 4 occasions - a record yet to be broken. Andrew has also featured on several other tracks on remix duties, notably for Markus' collaboration with Chakra, entitled "I Am".

The year would also be dominated by one of Markus' trademark mashups. Taking the vocals of Ronski Speed's The Space We Are and weaving it with Rex Mundi's Perspective, the dominant "Perspective Space" was born, and destroyed dancefloors and festivals worldwide, from Trance Energy to Sensation White, Planetlove to Monster Massive, and everywhere in between.

Late 2007 and early 2008 resulted in a mini-Polish invasion to the label, with groups Sonic Division and Anguilla Project (Skytech) establishing themselves as names to watch out for in the future. With tracks such as "Bulky Hero" and "Floating Clouds" respectively already synonymous with Global DJ Broadcast, we certainly have not heard the last from these guys.

On Global DJ Broadcast in 2008, Markus Schulz opened up his show for the year by debuting what would transpire to be a pure dancefloor smash, as Canadian Arnej delivered "They Always Come Back". It was a track impossible to ignore, as it became one of the real anthems throughout Markus' Australian tour in March.

However, 2008 so far has belonged to Romania's Adrian Ivan, aka Mr. Pit. Following on from his Coldharbour Selections appearance in 2007 with "Isolarium", his double EP release "Shana / Love You More" has delivered an immense reaction throughout all of trance music, receiving support from many of the big DJs on the world circuit. Looking forward, Mr. Pit will feature beyond the 50th, with his new vocal smash "Back For More".

Last but not least, Coldharbour Recordings would not be Coldharbour Recordings were it not for the headline releases by the label owner himself. Markus Schulz commenced proceedings on May 30th 2005 with the release of "First Time", and on July 28th 2008, he celebrates the 50th release in style, with the wonderfully epic "Daydream", which many regard as a major contender to scoop track of the year. From Without You Near to Never Be The Same Again, Cause You Know to Perfect, there have been many memories along the way for Markus Schulz and Global DJ Broadcast fans, and the time has come to celebrate in reflection, and anticipate what the future holds in the next 50 releases.

It is impossible to deny that the Coldharbour sound has failed to shape the landscape of trance today. As we look to the future of the label, you can expect releases and remixes from names such as Agnelli & Nelson, Element One, Mr. Pit, Funabashi, Dyor, Blake Jarrell and Jody Wisternoff, to name but a few.

Let's raise a toast to Coldharbour Recordings, and here's to the next 50.

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