Crowning high summer in the time-honoured (and frankly only decent!) fashion, this year’s ‘In Search Of Sunrise’ is on the none-to-distant horizon. Its 18th expedition, the series that MIXMAG dubbed “the Superbowl of mixcomps” and “the greatest trance series of them all” returns for more epic, sun-questing exploits.

With both hands firmly on its stylistic yoke, Markus Schulz delivers his fifth from the lead-mix position. Stuffed to capacity with exclusives, first-hears and bespoke-created studio work, as fluidly as ever its sonics travel the innerspace of progressive, trance and euphoric techno.

If any electronic music compilation album can lay claim to having its very own lane, it’s ‘ISOS’. Defined more by its feel, tempo & vibe than any one genre, the continuance of its unique atmosphere has been a matter of honour for every spinner entrusted with it. Following in the path of previous ‘ISOS’-creating artists, (Giuseppe Ottaviani, Jerome Isma-Ae, Andy Moor, Kryder, Kyau & Albert & Gabriel & Dresden among them), 2022’s sees Markus joined by France’s Matt Fax and fellow German, Dennis Sheperd. Collectively, ‘ISOS18’s co-mixers have once again summoned the one-of-a-kind feel and fashioned it into nigh-on four hours of dawn-adorning audio.

Featuring music from Above & Beyond & Mat Zo, Purple Haze, Ferry Corsten/Gouryella, Grum, Will Atkinson, Solarstone, Chicane, BT, Sunny Lax and a galaxy of other renowned music producers from across its spectrum, ‘In Search of Sunrise 18’ sees the light on September 2.

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Few DJs who operate with more stylistic latitude than Markus Schulz (something that probably helped land him the ISOS role in the first place!). He brings all that formative open-till-close nous to bare on a mix that’s twenty tracks rich, an hour & fifteen deep and mind-expandingly wide. Overturing with his quintessentially sunrise-esque ‘When the Light Breaks in Sarmi’, he elevates straight into recent Emma Hewitt collab, ‘Into My Arms’. When it comes to renowned names, Markus pulls no punches, drawing on the latest from Above & Beyond & Mat Zo, Purple Haze, Jam & Spoon, Will Atkinson, Kyau & Albert, Grum and others to keep 2022’s ‘Search’ dialled in. Peppered throughout is plenty from Markus’s own Coldharbour cohort, too, with spear-sharp material from Daxson, NOMADSignal, Mike EFEX and others. Markus also has a direct production hand in no less than eight of the tracks in his fifth trip. Amongst them are ‘Equinox’ and ‘Atlas’: new collabs respectively with Ferry Corsten & Copini. There are also new custom-created Down the Rabbit Hole remixes of Probspot’s ‘Blueberry’ and Rapid Eye’s ‘Circa-Forever’. He also takes another walk to the Dakota dark-side with ‘Manray’, while (echoing ISOS 18’s rocky visual aesthetic) ‘From The Ridge’ plays out another consummate Schulz summer summerizer!

In finding his own sound and groove in amongst the myriad of electronic music producers, Matt Fax is a man who’s pulled off the hardest of latter-day tricks. Getting his ISOS call-up, he codes his set-time into the titles of its bookending tracks. Commencing with/at ‘4.38 AM’, he wastes no time in working his recent revision of Gouryella’s eponymous classic. New Fax-er ‘Compass’ is quickly followed by his purpose-created remix of Kamaya Painters’ ‘Summerbreeze’. Matt proceeds to sandwich a new ISOS-themed take on his own ‘Longing’ release between Solarstone’s languid ‘island’ and the beautiful ache of Eco’s ‘Let You Down’. Giving you what he knows you want, Matt then feeds some stonecold ISOS classics into his mix. Chaining The Thrillseekers remix of Chicane’s ‘Autumn Tactics’, with ‘Eugina’ from Salt Tank, Solarstone’s Seven Cities’ and BT’s ‘Mercury & Solace’, he signs the mix off with his own sun-up track, ‘5.49 AM’

Your final dawnseeker for 2022 is Dennis Sheperd and weighing in with six of his own, he’s been burning plenty of midnight studio oil too. Amongst them as are the JES-collab’ing ‘By My Side’; his x York x Iris meet-up ‘The Fall’ and – overturing the mix – his most recent single, ‘Intouchable’. In and around those, Dennis weaves instrumental treasure like Sunny Lax’s ‘Ayahuasca’ and ‘Signal’ from Kudus. There’s plenty of vocal manna too, not least, the Diana Miro-sung ‘Too Many Games’ from Tim van Werd and his own ‘Torture’, stunningly vocalled by Mira Feder. As the mix crosses its meridian, its tone develops even more stride, as ‘All We Ever Need’ from Paul Arcane, Dennis’s mix of Minus One’s ‘As Memories Fade’ and Florida Forgotten’s ‘Without You’ all apply further surge. Signing ‘ISOS18’ off in grand style, Dennis deploys George Jema’s ‘Meet Me At Sunset’, his own ‘Break The Ice’ and DJ T.H. & Deirdre McLaughlin’s ‘Over And Over Again’ to devasting and evocative effect.

With the series closing in on its landmark 20th release, 2022’s ‘ISOS’ drops Sept 2. Kiss the summer off in the only sensible manner, hereabouts []!

‘In Search of Sunrise 18 tracklist:

Mix 1 – Markus Schulz

01. Markus Schulz – When the Light Breaks in Sarmi
02. Emma Hewitt x Markus Schulz – Into My Arms
03. Will Atkinson – Pipe Dreams (Jerome Isma-Ae Remix)
04. Kyau & Albert – Falling Anywhere (David Broaders Remix)
05. Markus Schulz x Ferry Corsten – Equinox
06. Grum – Our Cosmic Insignificance
07. Markus Schulz x Copini – Atlas
08. Above & Beyond and Mat Zo – Always Do
09. NOMADsignal – Ever Forward
10. Daxson – First Light
11. Probspot – Blueberry (Markus Schulz Down the Rabbit Hole Remix)
12. Giuseppe Ottaviani – Fahrenheit
13. Purple Haze – Manoeuvres
14. Mike EFEX – Evolution
15. Rapid Eye – Circa-Forever (Markus Schulz Down the Rabbit Hole Remix)
16. Markus Schulz presents Dakota – Manray
17. Jam & Spoon – Odyssey to Anyoona (Wehbba Remix)
18. Mario Ochoa – Gaia
19. Daxson – Hakuba
20. Markus Schulz – From the Ridge

Mix 2 – Matt Fax

01. Matt Fax – 4:38 AM
02. Gouryella – Gouryella (Matt Fax Remix)
03. Matt Fax – Compass
04. Kamaya Painters – Summerbreeze (Matt Fax In Search Of Sunrise Remix)
05. Solarstone – Island
06. Matt Fax – Longing (Matt Fax In Search Of Sunrise Mix)
07. Eco – Let You Down
08. Hoopoe – Matahari (Narel Remix)
09. SØNIN – Cry (Club Mix)
10. Chicane – Autumn Tactics (The Thrillseekers Remix)
11. Salt Tank – Eugina (Michael Woods Remix)
12. Solarstone – Seven Cities (Original Atlantis Mix)
13. BT – Mercury & Solace (BT 12″ Mastermix)
14. Matt Fax – 5:49 AM

Mix 3 – Dennis Sheperd

01. Dennis Sheperd x Brandon Le – Intouchable
02. Simon Leon – The Slow Dusk
03. Kudus – Signal
04. Tim van Werd featuring Diana Miro – Too Many Games
05. Sunny Lax – Ayahuasca
06. Dennis Sheperd & JES – By My Side (Joston Remix)
07. Dennis Sheperd x York x Iris – The Fall
08. Sunnteck – Explorers (DIM3NSION Remix)
09. Dennis Sheperd x MR. CLN x Gid Sedgwick – Wishful Thinking
10. Paul Arcane – All We Ever Need
11. Minus One – As Memories Fade (Dennis Sheperd Remix)
12. Freak E Beatz – Here 4 U
13. Florida Forgotten – Without You
14. Dennis Sheperd x Mira Feder – Torture
15. Liuck & London Thor – Until I See You Again
16. Hypaton – Treasure Island
17. George Jema – Meet Me At Sunset
18. Dennis Sheperd & Freak E Beatz – Break The Ice
19. DJ T.H. & Deirdre McLaughlin – Over And Over Again