Great spotlight on valis, of Trip Inside This Houseon KDHX. valis is friend, guru, gentlemen and true believer. If you’re not familiar with his show and blog, I can’t urge you enough to dive in…He’s living proof that they still bake them like they used to.
88.1 KDHX DJ Spotlight: valis of Trip Inside This House
Written by Dani Kinnisonfont
Every early Tuesday morning, from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Central, valis guides 88.1 KDHX listeners through the netherworlds of psychedelic music on “Trip Inside This House.”In this interview, valis and I chat about his history with KDHX, his passion for psychedelic sounds and the obsessions of being a DJ.
Dani Kinnison: How did you get started DJing at KDHX?
valis: I didnt volunteer. I was strictly a listener, a longtime listener. We moved back to St. Louis in 2005 I think, and in July 2008 I went to the orientation at the urging of a good friend and my wife. So I went and had a great time at the orientation, and emailed Andy [Coco, Production Manager] the next day and said, “Heres the track I want,” the DJ track, and I think I went in a few days later and got through that portion of it.My trepidation has always been the technology fear. Theres too many buttons and stuff, and I was afraid I would either hyperventilate or just freeze around all that machinery. Jeff Hess [host of "Afternoon Delight"] allowed me to come on to his show, sit there for two hours watching him do the stuff. He confirmed what Andy told me: that well only use four buttons tops during the two-hour period. A lot of it is just superfluous. That eased my mind and about two and half months later I was offered a show and have been there since.
Before you do, roll around in it first…for a long time…before keeping off. Then good luck trying. The grass is greener, lusher and smoother than your favorite blend.
Refreshing and comfortable in equal measure, Keep Off the Grass is another top-shelf outing from Fruits de Mer Records and their bevy of inducers and interpretators: King Penguin float a stellar take on The Byrd’s Thoughts and Words; Sendelica strip down Journey to the Center of the Mind for maximum lift-off; The Dead Sea Apes bake Skip Spence’s Land of the Sun in their solar-flared oven; Earthling Society reveal new treasures under The Chocolate Watch Band’s Dark Side of the Mushroom and The Luck of Eden Hall drop yet another gem this year with their reminder of Something in the Air. A full bounty of others fill up the cornucopia to the gushing point. Favorites? Sure, but there’s not a weak link in the chain. Calling it another compilation of covers is a grave disservice. Elevated by each outfit with the highest of respect for the source material, Keep Off the Grass doesn’t simply drag the past out into the light, it shines a spotlight on it, maybe revealing some new blades that got trampled underfoot over the years. Take off those old comfortable shoes and take a walk barefoot through the fields. The ground feels the same, but the well-worn path goes places you may have not noticed before.
Journey to the Center of the Mind :: Sendelica :: Fruits de Mer Vol. 21 Keep Off the Grass (2011, Fruits de Mer Records)
I suggest multiple slices of Cranium Pie‘s outstanding full-length Mechanisms (Part 1). Gorge yourself. A veritable all-you-can-eat cornucopia of psychedelia saturated in a long tradition of pioneer freaks like Hawkwind, Floyd, Arthur Brown,…but sits with modern fractured like-minded outfits like equally, though differently, deranged Human Eye. There’s some mutated crustacean post-apocalyptic mechanized concept running through it, but the less said the better. Figure it out on your own. Or don’t. Maybe we can’t know it that intimately. Might not want to. All valid ways to enjoy their modern nostalgia tinged insanity. And there are many more ways and trips to take on this wigged out masterpiece as we wait for part 2 to materialize, probably out of a writhing mass of who knows what. It’s a constant stream churning over and over; oscillating, trippy instrumentation, baked distorted vocals and spoken breaks, levitating keys, and just about everything else you could want for your freak out. All with a wry sense of humor. Some of it has slight progressive leanings that might anchor it for those less inclined to being that far off their nut, but no matter how you slice it, it’s psychedelic space rock manna. Clearly looking to platters like Saucerful of Secrets as only one of many ground zeros, Cranium Pie are far too unhinged to ape anything; it doesn’t take too long to know what they’re all about as well as what they’re aiming at. It’s a lofty target and they nail it.
They really do make them like they used to.
And this is one that could only be made fresh today. Served up hot, plentiful, full of ingredients that you know are good for you and fully, fully baked. Recommended without question.
Mechanisms (Part 1) is out on vinyl on Fruits de Mer, limited to 500, unsurprisingly sold out with a waiting list. If it wasn’t, it’d be a crime against nature, sea life in particular. Cranium Pie have a download available through their site.
Rememberrr :: Cranium Pie :: Mechanisms (Part 1) (Fruits de Mer, 2011)
Scotland joins the space race with The Cosmic Dead‘s interstellar cassette The Cosmic Dead (Who Can You Trust? Records, 2011). Long flights need long jams: 4 tracks clocking in at 80 minutes full of muscular hypnotic space rock drone, The Cosmic Dead moves between Acid Mothers-like jamming, psych rock heft and bottom heavy Kosmische thump and trance. It’s not for the weak, but certainly not impenetrable. Rather than simply grafting the long Krautrock freakouts on top of the heavier, psych-fueled space rock, The Cosmic Dead find the places where the two meet and exploit them for all they’re worth. For all it’s excess, The Cosmic Dead never veers off into uncontrollable bombast: there’s a firm grip on the reins through the whole affair, jam after jam.
The Black Rabbit takes its time walking you to the launch pad before heading into full flight somewhere around the 3 minute mark for a deliriously unfolding stroll along the edge. Spice Melange Spectrum is a slower, gloomier work out that still keeps one eye on the heart of the sun as it marches forward full of distorted low-end grind determined to fill up any black hole. Or leave one. The Slow Death of The Infinite Godhead builds on a more Motorik beat, escalating in its own sweet time with some Velvety-drone/guitar oscillations. Opus Father Sky, Mother Earth eats up one side as easily as it eats planets. It’s an almost 40 minute caravan that grooves its way through more than one system without ever devolving to headless meandering. Rolling drums ebb and flow not only driving the trip, but giving a smoky point of reference in case you’re worried your tether has come undone from the mothership.
The Cosmic Dead is a monster of an outing that The Cosmic Dead keep airborne and orbiting even when it seems the whole thing should collapse under its own mind-warping weight. They weave in plenty of places to stop and replenish the tanks or just enjoy the view out there…where ever you end up. Or think you’ll end up. The cassette sheen adds a layer of insulation that doesn’t keep you out as much as it keeps some of your oxygen in so you can survive the flight—like a good thin blue line should. Buckle up and hear what they can unearth, even in places where none exists. A highly recommended soundtrack to the birth of planets…even yours.
It’s that time of year friends! The annual run-up to the High Holy Day, Summer Solstice! Who better to kick off the pre-Solstice celebrations than our great friend & psychedelic psounds Wizard, DJ Stod’..?
Though busier than a very busy thing, he’s taken the time to assemble a new mix of the great stuff because, as he says: “can’t get much time for mixes at the moment however as it’s THAT month then here you go…”
THAT month indeed! So, enjoy the weekend with this, and tune into June!
"This show is 110% … one of the most consistently awesome programs we have come across."
The Sunrise Ocean Bender sets sail every Monday morning, 1 – 3 a.m. on WRIR lp 97.3 FM, to find something for your ears, and something for your head … From psych to prog to pop and whatever tributary we can find on the way … and right back around again. There might be a map, but the destination is up for grabs. If it all goes right, we may just get lost. Meet me at the muster station … it might be a long week.