Despite no real management or booking agent the band manages to start getting worldwide press and some shows.
From the outset the music is multi-layered, chris from a young age has been inspired by a diet of kiss, bill evans, lee morgan, david darling and arvo part. from the initial ep on the template is set, inspired graphically by the german label ECM, the artwork is stark and always completed by photography by chris’s wife, johanna, who also plays occasional clarinet. the music is hard to categorise and hard to market, but the band signs to the mighty glitterhouse label and starts to make music without instructions. the debut record is followed by dakota suite’s first full instrumental work, ‘navigators yard’ which celebrated the deaths of several people close to chris and his own struggle with feelings of loss.
Thus the pattern is set, dakota suite release records with singing and records with vast cinematic soundscapes, all of which sound like scenes from films. that is no accident, chris says that all the music he writes is a direct response to a specific scene or feeling in his life. chris is often quoted saying ‘I never pick up the guitar to consciously ‘write’ a song, I only ever pick it up because something inside me tells me if I don’t in response to a feeling I have or something I have seen, that I will go mad’. dakota suite is now chris hooson and the genius of david buxton creating music mainly alone in various houses with the help of a growing list of musicians they have come to know over the years.
In 2009 chris realised a lifetime ambition by making a record with his hero, david darling. ‘the end of trying’ was a reflection of a particularly difficult time in chris’s life and the pieces were written with the sole purpose of david accompanying them. the pieces were then remixed by people like machinefabriek, loscil, peter broderick, and emanuel errante. a real stellar list of ambient composers. dakota suite then worked with one of the remixers, emanuele errante on a series of pensive hymns for chris and johanna’s sister-in-law who died of cancer, ‘the north green down’ was a liturgy for her memory and inspired by a last walk with hannah in southwold, suffolk.
A show in bari, italy to promote ‘the end of trying’ rendered those songs live and also provided the occasion for chris to meet quentin sirjacq. the show was released as live document ‘valissa’ and has now led to a new record, ‘the side of her inexhaustible heart’ is a conscious effort to bring all the disparate elements of dakota suite into one place. the record is a string quartet, with cinematic longing and singing too. it brings all things together, like it was in the beginning!
Chris has from an early stage wanted to make music for films, several of the songs have been used over the years but now chris has been asked to write for films specifically and hopes dakota suite will be able to make the jump into full film scoring.
Dakota SuiteAn Almost Silent Life
Release Date: 11/23/2012 · Format: CD/LP (+CD) · Cat-No: GRCD/LP 742
Dakota SuiteThe Side Of Her Inexhaustible Heart
Release Date: 11/07/2011 · Format: 2-CD / 2-LP (180 Gramm Fold Out Cover) · Cat-No: GRCD/LP 730
Dakota Suitew/ David Darling, Quentin Sirjacq - Vallisa
Release Date: 10/10/2010 · Format: LP / CD · Cat-No: GR 707
Dakota SuiteWaiting For The Dawn To Crawl Through And Take Away Your Life
Release Date: 02/02/2007 · Format: CD+DVD · Cat-No: GR 656
Dakota SuiteThis River Only Brings Poison
Release Date: 09/23/2002 · Format: CD · Cat-No: GR 566
Dakota SuiteSongs For A Barbed Wire Fence
Release Date: 04/05/1999 · Format: CD · Cat-No: GR 455