‘Not so straightforward, is it?’ remarks Markus. Both generally and rhetorically, he’s passing comment on life. However, in the closing weeks of 2017 & opening months of 2018, he could as easily be talking about the ‘how’, ‘what’ & ‘why?’ of Dakota’s stage show and its December-released 18-track companion, The Nine Skies.
Dakota has had its spiritual side from the off. The first and second ‘Thoughts Become Things’ albums were the pathfinders for this new, and possibly most definitive of Dakota projects. These releases were measures deployed to see if electronic music’s citizenry were receptive to something deeper and more involved.
Word back from the ‘Thoughts’ generation was: “ready”. Ready to undertake the nine steps towards enlightenment.
Markus considers that if there’s one thing enlightenment does take, it’s time. ”Rarely, if ever, in life does something happen overnight”, he says. The release of the album’s first four singles was designed to reflect one of the possible journey arcs from darkness to enlightenment. That started with early album track, ‘Mota Mota’ and ended with its penultimate one, ‘The Spirit of the Warrior’. “Its over-arch moved from one of the most ominous darkly-minded, night-black numbers I’ve written to possibly Dakota’s most uplifting, emancipating moment ever”, says Markus.
The underlying theme of each of the 18 tracks on the album broadly falls into one of the Skies’ nine realms. “That, cautions Markus, is not something that’s going to be immediately apparent the first time you listen to it. Give it time though, and over subsequent spins I think, you’ll get an ever-greater feel for the transitional passage the album is taking. From Sky.One’s The Follower, transcending right the way over to the ninth Sky: Nirvana.”
Dakota’s extraordinary The Nine Skies album is out now via Coldharbour Recordings. You can order it through: http://markusschulz.choons.at/thenineskies
The Nine Skies album tracklist:
01. The Nine Skies Intro
02. Bravo on the Go
03. Follow Me
05. Who Are You
07. Running Up That Hill
08. Eve’s Doorway
11. The Way it Is
12. Cafe Del Mar
13. The Master
15. In Search of Something Better
16. Future Shock
17. The Spirit of the Warrior
18. The Ninth Sky