Summer’s over…but some of us have to do some clean up. If you’re doing time with the maintenance crew, a few things to make the wrap up go down a touch easier…
Dirty Blonde Asylum/Dirty Blonde Asylum EP
Debut EP from Shrewsbury’s Jack Chamberlain under the guise of Dirty Blonde Asylum was recently another fine valis Pick of the Week.A strong shoegaze pulse beats in Dirty Blonde Asylum, with thicker and meatier cuts like The Fall and Screaming Jesus, picking up some space rock chug. Other cuts mine a mellower drugged out haze that shoot for more bliss without losing any weight. A full production gives DBA plenty of space to move and ricochet around in. (Your Ignorance is) My Bliss uses that to full effect, easing out and layering up into an extended vibrating workout.
Montgomery’s Jeff McLeod goes in a different direction after Under Dim Selfwith Forthinking, Vol. 1, an ‘experimental electronic series using a minimal setup of an iOS MIDI control application, a Moog Voyager and an Ensoniq Fizmo. All takes were recorded live in one performance pass, after initial setup & testing of the entire rig as a playable instrument.’ Far more electronic obviously than Under Dim Self, Forthinking, Vol. 1 still has McLeod’s off-kilter aura, with many of the cuts sounding like the result of a sonic spasm. There are song bones under the skin, but Forthinking, Vol. 1 works best as a loose collage of sounds, compressed and decompressed through McLeod’s inner and outer filters. Though constructed through the self-described ‘minimal setup,’ Forthinking, Vol. 1 actually moves through a wide range of sounds and vibes. Shawtninhorn is a frenetic hummer that feels like a circus march gone awry, while Circulus bounces around more spacey chambers. McLeod also has Scalps of Godsavailable, which falls more in line with Under Dim Self, incorporating vocals and a thicker, more menacing sound.
Shawtninhorn :: Jeff McLeod :: Forthinking, Vol. 1 (2012, Jeff McLeod)
Turgidity :: :: Jeff McLeod :: Scalps of Gods (2012, Jeff McLeod)
Another valis Pick of the Weekvet, Cleveland’s The Volta Sound are putting their wares out under the umbrella of The Davenport Collective. With a pretty stripped down approach, Like Entropy is packed full of psych pop, moving from the dreamy (Meditation Station, Nobody Knew) to the driving (Don’t Bring Me Down) and a few detours along the way. With a bright, open production that keeps the record feeling up, Like Entropy uses the open circulating air to keep it crisp and elevated without losing any of the hooks.
An outstanding ‘electronic post-rock’ album from Cardiff’s Dementio13. El Lissitzky may fall under electronica, but Demetio13 works in many more textures and flourishes than one might expect when going down that pigeon-hole. There’s drone spaceways on cuts like Summerisle, hopped up frantic throb-runs like the fantastic Sameness and dreamy pop influenced gems like Collision Courses. Standout cuts Fatty Pork and Phallanx effortlesslywork in a bit more rock structure, adding another side to Dementio13 and rounding out their self-described tag of electronic post-rock in stellar form. Like its namesake, El Lissitzky seems to be at its best when threading and weaving in and out of more than one discipline. Wonderfully constructed, El Lissitzky provesDementio13 knows a few sides to discipline. An eclectic record at the very least, it never goes into the ditch of schizophrenic overreaching. Dementio13 keeps a certain level of moderation throughout that never stifles and by the end that emerges more as tastefulness than any kind of restriction.
Fatty Pork :: Demention 13 :: El Lissitzky(2012, Dementio13)
Kingdom of the Holy Sun/Jesus in India; Pharmacokinetics
The sun never sets apparently; two follow-ups to their self-titled in the coffers from Seattle’s Kingdom of the Holy Sun. Jesus in India and Pharmacokinetics take the druggy haze and seesaw bliss of their s/t’s foundation and build on it without forgetting what made it a great first step to begin with. KOTHS still have that teetering edge to their walk, but there’s something in how these play out that expands their mission while exerting more control at the same time. There’s still the shoegaze patina and the Brian Jonestown-esque narcotics of cuts like Dazed and Phased, while others dip into an interstellar Doors vibe taking more direct cues from 60s psychedelia.
RKO (Radio Knockouts) seeks to profile hosts and producers of real radio . Think of these features as a guide to finding those who present diverse programming that can’t be found on mainstream media outlets. These are real people who love sharing the music and/or content they are providing.
Today, we feature Valis Hertel. Valis hosts the show Trip Inside This House, which can be heard every Tuesday from 5am to 7am CST operating from 88.1 KDHX, independent media for St. Louis and beyond.
Tell me a little bit about the history of you and your radio show Trip Inside This House?
The complete truth behind the genesis of the show is this: my wife and I moved back to St. Louis in 2005, after a 14-year odyssey, or ”Odessey” if you like, away. A great friend of mine would come over for adult beverages and I’d play new music for him, mixed in with older stuff.
After a few years of this he and my wife began urging me to give KDHX, the local community radio station a try. This went on for some time, the constant badgering. My trepidation wasn’t with speaking on-air, nor with any lack of a musical focus for a show; it was the technology which drove the production. I thought it would be too much for me to sit there amidst all that gadgetry and try and breathe, too. Finally, my friend offered to go through the orientation with me and go through this process so I could at least rely on him if it got to be too much “techno-fear”, to quote the immortal Neil.
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.
Hail Voyagers! Once more ’round the Sun and we’ve arrived back where we belong! And, once again, we’re here to bring you a psychedelic soundtrack to your Summer, 2012 style. I love each of the prior four volumes of this series in equal measure – like a parent, but make no mistake this is a precocious little edition.
Out of the gate running! Yes, a Sun Gate. Sixteen bands, five countries, all took up the challenge and have given us their time and talent to bring you. I’m forever grateful and hope you are, too. Let ‘em know, in your own way, either via a comment here or direct contact via other means. Appreciation goes a long way.
So, before the Solstice settles on Europa and the Isle just west, let’s on with it!
“It’s been some time since we last heard from Mattias Gustavsson, and his project apart from his work in Dungen. Four years to be precise, if you’re into that. He sent this out: Hey Hey Hello Hello! Last year I almost died and as revenge we have made a new mini album with Life on Earth! Check it out!
The “mini album”, a/k/a an EP, is entitled The Perfect Spot, and he wants you to have it, here!”
The esteemed valis has corralled the end of the year round up and I’m honored to throw out, and possibly up, my 2¢. In no particular order or ranking…it’s hard enough as it is to have to draw the line, and considering the wealth of goods that flew through the doors, hard enough to keep that line stationary. Rampantly subjective and vigorously incomplete to say the least…
An outstanding psych rock record from start to finish from Oakland’s Lumerians. From pulsing to droning to throbbing to rocking and, at times, psych funky…a psych-rock record that moves across all kinds of territory without ever devolving into a trite genre-excercise. From the album art to the outfits to the wholesome and nutritious psych goodness inside the grooves, Transmilinnia is going to top a lot lists at the end of 2011′s run. Bet on it. They handle everything so sublimely that by the time the phantasmagoria comes to a close you’ll forget just how much you took in; Atlanta Brook‘s quiet interlude, the epic Longwave, the bouncing Black Tusk, etc, etc … this one really does have it all.
A man far wiser than me described it as such: ‘Take a big helping of early Floyd, a dash of Tadpoles, a half-pound of primo bud and shake vigorously ….’
All Out Revolution is a whip-smart slab of psych rock and pop that would roll off your speakers’ tongue if they had one. Maybe they do; anything is possible. But if you’re not ready for a little tongue just yet, then at least get a big, warm kiss from the Buddha…a wonderful gem of a record that has been likened to the Zombies, Love, our beloved Syd Barrett, and the heyday of garage and psych pop. Moving through harder edged rockers (Soldier Boy) and melodic psych washed power pop (Daisy Love), All Out Revolution is packed start to finish with a crisp production that plays to all their strengths, consistency and songwriting savvy.
I got to lump these two together…This is what ‘pop’ music should be: honeyed, thick, creamy and packing stones. Everyone who should know, knows pop disintegrated into empty calorie pabulum a long, long time ago and I for one need nourishment from my food. Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 1 and 2 prove that you can not only have your cake (with lots of frosting) and eat it too, but that you can get more than a cheap sugar rush out of it to keep going. I’m a firm believer that cream doesn’t rise to the top; shit floats. I’m happy to say that LOEH prove me wrong. Twice. Vol. 2 is as top shelf as Vol. , with a tinge more melancholy. Concept record? I’ll ask them, but it doesn’t matter. A whopping helping of dual-layer psych pop/rock cake with just the right amount of sonic frosting.
Hills follow-up their debut Hills with the outstanding Master Sleeps picking up right where they left off and going exactly where you wanted them to. It’s a stellar follow-up that in no way diminishes the excitement of their first. Hills simply deliver again on the manifesto of foundation, showing what that foundation is made of and not getting showy or bloated. If anything, Hills knows how to use moderation like an instrument. Like a hill, or mountain, at their core, they simply are. And that’s more than enough…The earthy and intergalactic Master Sleeps is the sophomore platter minus all the slump. A slump is downward bound and this one is anything but. It heads out into multiple spaces with long ropy roots that obviously show no signs of snapping. Master Sleeps is a hefty being that knows that its presence alone is a big enough calling card.
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…They really do make them like they used to.
I got the call to help out DJ-brother in arms-guru, valis, of the mighty Trip Inside This House, launching out of St. Louis on KDHX, with some chocolate visuals to get into his aural peanut butter.
Every year valis does a Summer Solstice compilation for the event that you can grab at his stellar blog gratis. Well worth checking out if you need fuel in your rocket. Point that mouse in the proper compass direction, click, put up your feet, take a deep breath, put on your helmet and enjoy the free ride…
It was an honor to be asked to hop on board. Just look at our esteemed co-pilots:
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.