Dakota Suite, Dag Rosenqvist and Emanuele Errante – What Matters Most – Album Review by Killian Laher
Dakota Suite are practically an institution at this stage. Although unknown by all but a discerning few, Chris Hooson and co produce exquisite albums every couple of years or so that provide a perfect soundtrack for moments when you need to hide away from the world. This time they have teamed up with avant-garde composers, Swedish artist Dag Rosenqvist and Italian artist Emanuele Errante.
It’s very much a business as usual Dakota Suite album. Almost half of the album is made up of pretty piano-led instrumental tracks such as Constanta 1992 and Now I Am Lost, adding strings and ambient noise to create tasteful, brooding music. Also excellent is De Zietke Van Emile which features foreboding saxophone and keyboards and the merest hint of guitar.
Nothing Is As Effective As Defeat is so fantastically miserable that when you listen to it, it will probably rain wherever you are, with its gently plucked guitar, keyboard and electronics. We also get the fragile, guitar-picked Now That You Know, and Falling Apart In Stages, with lyrics like “this world I breathe it breaks me” over a pedal steel whine and keyboards. Music to just sink into. It’s all about the detail with Dakota Suite, the small touches that set this apart. The treated piano and voice ballad I Survive Only In Someone Else would seem inconsequential but for the creeping ambient noise. Hooson is a fairly unassuming vocalist, preferring to let his voice blend into the whole.
Final track Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You is unlike any previous Dakota Suite music, featuring a choir of voices and a warm, rounded out sound akin to A Winged Victory For The Sullen. It’s really gorgeous.
It’s as strong an album as anything else Dakota Suite have done, full of great music. It’s as good a place as any to start with this band, and a perfect album for times when you just want to drift…
1. Constanta, 1992
2. Now That You Know
3. De Zietke Van Emile
4. Nothing Is As Effective As Defeat
5. Shadows Are More Accurate Than Truth
6. Now I Am Lost
7. Falling Apart In Stages
8. I Survive Only In Someone Else
9. Broken Things Are The Glue of the World
10. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You
Now That You Know