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Friday 16th, October 2009
Marcus Schossow - Outside The Box
Updated: Monday 19th, October 2009

With a career spanning over 5 years, Marcus has proven himself to be one of the most personable and creative producers within the trance realm. With the continuous rapid growth of his radio show and record label, both entitled "Tone Diary," it's a wonder why Marcus hasn't launched an album sooner. Although he hasn't always produced music that applied to my taste, the man deserves props as not only does he display serious talent and creativity at the production-level, but he consistently shows extreme character and individuality in everything he does. The title couldn't be any more fitting, as "Outside The Box" pretty much sums up everything about Marcus.

The album starts off with a lush, dreamy and yet somehow haunting opener titled "When Life Turns Grey", featuring twisting, distorted pads and filtered, slo-mo beats. Loads of FX contribute to the rich atmosphere. Next is Marcus' collab with Thomas Sagstad, "Yellow Cabs", a downbeat mellow house production with a soft, playful bassline and vast layers of pads and FX. The pace quickens with the terrifying techno track "Evil Machines Forever." Dominated by metallic buzz stabs and sweeps, this futuristic track is playful and almost fun, despite it sounding quite scary!

Turning the page is "Opener", which ushers in a more melodic chapter within the album. A playful progression is supported by solid percs and warm, lush synths, including a fantastic stab lead. "My Star" continues in the upbeat prog-trance trend, this time featuring some cool vocoder vox and housey percs and a chunky Ashley Wallbridge-esque bassline. The vox get a bit old in my opinion but they do fit well in the track. The track also features lots of playful melodic synths. Next is "A New Beginning," which is probably the most uplifting out of the bunch. A warm bright progression and a driving arp start off the track and are soon joined by a soaring lead. Very beautiful! Moving on Marcus teams up with Andy Duguid to deliver "Light," a deep melodic vocal trancer. Lush atmosphere and a playful arp lead are aptly suited with the vocal presence of Emma Hewitt.

The album takes a harder twist with "Knor," featuring crisp synths and a blistering bassline on top of punchy percs. The defining feature is probably the pure-sounding lead, which has a bit of a slowdown glitch effect at the end of each measure. "Beast" is up next, which boasts a similar progression but a much harder bassline and some rough saw plucks and a plucky saw lead. For the next track, Marcus brings in Robert Burian to deliver "Kofolo." Featuring a playful buzz lead and lush pads during the breakdowns, the track erupts into a frenzy during the chorus with its trippy bassline. Easily a club bomb, which is nothing new for Marcus and Robert! "In Russia Vodka Drinks You" takes a small step back in a melodic direction with its playful melody but the dark vibe and harder synths make it feel right at home within this part of the album.

The album goes even darker and harder with the massive "Snare." Suffering from a serious case of split-personality, one moment the track is melodic and upbeat with its sidechained bass pad and lead saw and the next its going into a distorted snare and bassline driven frenzy, the latter of which is insane (in a good way)! "Kaboom" keeps in line with the current trend, focusing on the playful yet dominating lead and the grizzly bassline. "From My Heart" is much more melodic and epic but the overall contents are quite rough and dark. The break features a massive supersaw lead reminiscent of 2004 and with the chunky percussion and synthwork, it works really well. Marcus concludes the album with "From Zero," mostly featuring sine arps and sine pads and is concluded with an FX sweep and a strange fade out.


"Outside The Box" is a diverse and forward-thinking album which I think most trance fans would appreciate. Marcus displays serious creativity and incorporates a wide range of styles to create something unique and memorable, which is exactly what an album should be. I also appreciate that he didn't include any rock-infused ballads like most trance artist albums seem to have! As far as standout tracks, my personal favorites include "The Opener," "A New Beginning" and "Snare". 4.5/5

"Outside the Box"

1. When Life Turns Grey
2. Yellow Cabs (With Thomas Sagstad)
3. Evil Machines Forever
4. The Opener
5. My Star
6. A New Beginning
7. Light (with Andy Duguid and Emma Hewitt)
8. Knor
9. Beast
10. Kofola (With Robert Burian)
11. In Russia Vodka Drinks You
12. Snare
13. Kaboom
14. From My Heart
15. From Zero

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