SEE THE HIDDEN TRUTHS BEYOND THE LORE BY JUMPING THROUGH THE ORANGE LINKS…
TRAVIS KEATS ROSS‘ southwestern roots instilled in him an itch for the esoteric that only the harrowing arroyos and monumental mesas of NEW MEXICO could conjure. It was in that sun-bleached limbo of NM, and Arizona, that formed a need to create – forever gasping with the hope of escape – one medium after another. He always wrote, and has never lived a 24hr cycle without putting prose to paper – that he can recall. His earliest memories consist of falling asleep in DJ booths at his step-father’s nightclub as a toddler or manipulating and editing cassette/ vhs tapes as a tyke – all which lead to releasing long playing albums of original material at 13 years old. Under the pseudonym of DAKOTA SLIM (the name taken from BIKINI BEACH’s character “SOUTH DAKOTA SLIM” – played by Timothy Carey – Ross was fascinated by Carey’s portrayal of Frankie and Annette’s antagonist was so bizarrely grim) he began distributing original music under what he dubbed:
A term he utilizes to cover his ghostly production, charmed themes, and specifically an admittance of his guilt ridden choruses.
The voodoo and lore of ROCKNROLL was prescient at a remarkably young age as the ghost of his “touched” american soul manifested in rebellion, albeit his curiosity with the OCCULT which only solidified his superstition. Between his ears, since he could walk, the glossolalia of porch hymnals, electric guitars, clamoring kitchen sounds and unidentified symbols bellowed with the unseen things to revel in understood purpose: To document those spells… and share them.
This was Y2K. It was the frontline of the digital-music-distribution-revolution. He’s rarely missed a year without releasing a collection of songs, since, one way or another.
DAKOTA SLIM‘s highschool career set out to record impossible ideas and even attempt to trick friends with cassette tapes released under the SLIM moniker to hear their true opinions of the music that had been bleeding from his brain, yet rejection was too hard. That he created them was reason enough to mask his passions through fiction as an unhealthy defense mechanism for a mentally anguished self-hating teenager gave him the freedom to act, write, and wrap projects across many mediums unbeknownst to anyone except the closest of cohorts.
This obsession with not wanting to be his “genes” led to dramatizing the story around SLIM, going so far as to create a fake record label “KADABRA RECORDS” (his first foray into the marriage of art and magick).
The symbol he designed for KADABRA’S logo became the first sigil he constructed and still adorns his body and his body of work. With school built websites and doctored jacket tapes, ROSS found the marriage of all his dreams intertwined: that of the caster – the “man with many hats”.
The beauty of the public documentation of growth is somewhat revelatory for his musings on writing, a medium he seldom and infrequently releases he aims to change now, well into his music career.
For ROSS it was always life outside the his created universe to prove to be sometimes dark, a lot of times mishandled, and almost entirely lost on many occasions.
A notorious advocate for finding the narrows of any situation and/or his obsession to rebel is apparent through the many concepts and genres explored through the numerous recordings that were ignited by his journey to self-dom: the lovelorn debris, car living, passionate destruction, tests of decay, and other sinisterly inviting things to he was always so unhealthily curious of. The “album” became a journalistic document, a means of validity, through his spiritual pains and helped keep contact to the outside world through common and unlikely ailments, determined to take unique routes, eventually lost on muted highways and found rejoicing with purpose to preach and publish back in the streets.
Seemingly dormant other than whispers of many relocations to multiple states around the west coast and south western region from which he hails have followed since his 4th and 5th releases, an individual or companion piece of two trans-coastal albums entitled “THE BUNGLED AND THE BOTCHED” was released in 2010. He has since wrestled the devil in the desert, consorted with corruption, cheated angels and lain with the forelorn only to finally get his fill of his unmasked ultimate foes, apathy and inertia. With his psychic self recalibrated at the depths of morality that tried and tested his conditioning, finally, he has found peace with the great spider’s venomous web we tangle to tango in, and honors those excursions, heeds them, and survived. Over the past year he has quit stalling his progress due to relocations. More human than ever, and more adept at purpose, he has humbly returned to his old haunt of Portland, OR. The very place that tried and tested his faith at the green age of 18. Yet this time, it’s like he’s decided to enjoy his rediscovery of ROCKNROLL AND THE GOSPEL OF through admiration, hard at work at re-establishing DAKOTA SLIM with the same fervor he did with his personal life.
Soon, and only to those willing to forgive, he will be reveling in the release of his new album “PRAGMAGICK“. A name inspired from one of my father’s many late cohorts “THE AQUARIAN CONSPIRACY’S” MARILYN FERGUSON, a very controversial thinker and looming childhood presence who’s rare tome’s overall theme of creating a mythology and dismissing the frivolous by taking control of personal hinderances through utilizing custom incantations and rituals match SLIM’s (2013) autibiographical revelations and occult wisdom in true spirit. This is the first release to bear the new heart he acheived, and also the first to introduce autobiographical sentiments rather than those of fiction or inspired by philosophically fictional musings. Finally, KEATS ROSS and DAKOTA SLIM are one in the same, a concession ROSS made to SLIM that finally will birth a child of balanced history and allegory.
On the horizon, as the record has taken priority, are his intentions to construct a doctrine of personal (and hopefully universal) truths meant to take the power away from organized spiritual institutions and adhere to allegorical prose proclaiming that all must first blame themselves, by the empowerment responsibility can only provide. The literature is being constructed in a navigational blog format. He is calling it “WE, THE HALLOWED”. Simply meaning we all have the capacity to become saintly no matter our transgressions, within the confines of modern society’s impact on our personal lives. The site will umbrella every artistic aspect of ROSS’, now tenured, career, exemplifying the message as heathen gospel to those unwilling to question.
ROSS’ now infamous stint as an infamous yet temporary drug addict and overdressed desert ghost in Phoenix, AZ not only capped off his need for self-harm and made him understand the exponential beauty of willpower, he did garnish one great thing while exorcising demons in the desert, a project still planned as a collaboration with then witness to his madness, NATALIE SCOTT. That project was dubbed YOUNG HAUNTS and produced one song from AUDIO CONFUSION STUDIOS. A song that was a bit too early to foreshadow the planned completion of the duo’s WE, THE HALLOWED flagship band. That completion can be executed anywhere, although, SCOTT must, however, travel to PORTLAND, OR to bear witness the new formed ROSS she helped mold through his darkest times. Besides, she has to come to him due to his self (and possibly legal) exile from the state of ARIZONA.
So keep your eyes peeled and your hearts crossed for updates here and challenge DAKOTA SLIM’s survival in this ironic jungle of newfound honesty, and watch as another 10 years gets him closer to being better late than never. He was, in fact, almost absent for good too many darn times to not holler at the moon, now.