Back as far as its turn-of-the-millennium origins, Markus' alter ego was always conceived as a channel through which he could explore the darker and more devoutly club side of his mind. "To me the audio that Dakota presents and the music which I put out under my own name stand totally apart. It's an entirely separate set of tempos, sound-ranges and FX rules. To have this studio 'other self' with which to produce this type of music is more important to me than ever", he says.
The first 'Thoughts' long-player proved nothing short of a revelation, drawing Schulz's productions into the CDJs of an entirely different type of DJ. Two years on and its sequel is on final approach. A fully floor-equipped, 14 track album, 'Thoughts Become Things II' again explores every cleft and crevasse of the prog/trance/techno/house panoply.
Stylistically 'Thoughts II' picks up precisely where the first album left off, in the deeply trenched progressive of 'Gypsy Room'. From there the unmistakable churning, techno glint of 'Red Star' and the shadowy atmospherics of 'Where It Went Wrong' continue to build the bridge between the two albums. Each one a Dakota device purpose built to send strobe-lit underground dance spots unrelentingly towards critical mass.
Expanding its style sheet further is the house-led thematic of 'Terrace 5AM. Recalibrating Moroder's immortal, discofied 'I Feel Love' bassline to 2011 levels, its set to become a much-demanded spin at Schulz's new Space Ibiza residency. Equally 80's inclined is 'Tears', who's poignant, film-noir channels Vangelis' enigmatic 'Blade Runner' theme.
Every bit as redolent is the low-tempo industrial roll of 'Katowice's dystopian main line, the flowing transcendental melod-prog of 'In a Green Valley' and 'Apollo' -- the expansive, epic album dénouement.
Dakota fans' first contact with 'Thoughts II' will inevitably have come through the propulsive twin-turbines of its first two singles... Together, over the last three months, 'Sinners' and 'Sleepwalkers' have nitro-injected Schulz's sets time and time again. The latter has already developed its own early cult status, when its emergence during his set at ASOT500 pushed Schulz into Twitter's worldwide trending top 10.
'Thoughts Become Things II' holds back its toughest sonic punches till last, with a closing track triumvirate. The gated synthery of 'Miami', the hard-ratcheting white-knuckle-tension of 'Cape Town' and stridently riffed, big-room suspense of 'Saints' all collectively producing the album its mighty endgame.
As with its first installment, 'Thoughts Become Things II will have resonance with DJs of numerous electronic dance disciplines. With barely a track over the 130bpm mark and referencing many a dance sub-genre, it is this summer's most intrepid, creative long-player.
It arrives in shops and download stores bright and early on the 1st of July 2011.