KATEY TRNKA of VORTEX wrote a nice little piece to accompany the premiere, you can read it all HERE:
Ford’s talent for hand animation is evident in the video for “Night Thief,” a cut off Dakota Slim’s July release, Cactus Crown. The meticulous nature of hand-drawn animation is amplified here by how well the visuals line up with the music. As a saxophone wells up, flashes of otherworldly light dot a mountainous landscape; one of these flashes eventually takes a lasting form to destroy the forest in the foreground. Against soft, spooky vocals, orbs descend to the earth and take the forms of predator and prey. Staticky percussion punctuates changes in color and form, and just as a canine creature is about to overtake a rabbitlike animal, their forms are all but obliterated as the lyrics come to a close.
Gabriel Hart, writer and frontman of the notorious Jail Weddings, shared some amazing prose on the latest DAKOTA SLIM album, “CACTUS CROWN.” The full review follows:
DAKOTA SLIM “CACTUS CROWN”
Imagine you’re in a record store. They’re hip enough to have an exotica section. “I like exotica,” you think to yourself… until you remember that every time you bring home one of those cool looking Arthur Lyman or Martin Denny records with the volcanoes and stormy skies and naked chicks and tiki-masked headhunters, it sounds more like something you’d hear waiting in line at Disneyland than anything remotely bona-fide savage, right?
Crickets? Give me a fucking break.
Now, imagine you bring home one of those records and it sounds exactly like the evocative cover suggests, only it also takes you deeper inland, away from the shores, where the true shadows are cast, where nothing gets in the way of the moon and silence of boot-quaking anticipation is the most notorious indigenous battle-cry until you hear the sound of…
CACTUS CROWN. An authentic American-Spaghetti Western Occult album many before Dakota Slim have tried to make yet failed because they chose the paint-by-numbers, spell-it-out-for-idiots approach instead of seeping themselves in the true subconscious that is churned and plumed from such a lust for archaic divinities. See, when you choose the former route, your destiny is a sad conduit for shoulder-shrugging idiocy rather than the reaping rewards of pure abandon, where Dakota Slim’s sense of adventure doesn’t forget to forge into his inner frontiers to whisper softly as a stalker to his prey what he has found, so long as we refrain from screaming.
Conceived during the eclipse of August 2017, Travis Keats Ross (AKA Dakota Slim), Cactus Crown began as a mere documentation of rituals he was performing around the veiling of our moon, which resulted in psychic Cupid-arrows simultaneously piercing two hearts, one of course belonging to Mr. Ross. The term “future-primitive” might apply to this unique album, as DS has managed to deploy electronics to antiquity BUT ONLY to capture an array of organic field recordings so he can play them all together like a tactile instrument. He masterfully alternates Devil-notes with more melodic cascades on his Flamenco guitar, drunkenly leading the way by candlelight, but it’s a flame that will have to be re-lit constantly through this chilling, windswept walkabout.
Euphorically disorienting pans of no-wave saxophone and mimicking organ make the path that much harder to pin on the album’s initiation “Night Thief.” The languid gallop of “Wasted Bones” slow pans across a desolate landscape, whilewrithing with nervous, toe-tapping anticipation. “The Tether” encapsulates the axis of the album’s lover ritual theme, while “Disolva y Coagula” finally brings Keats’ fairer half to the surface, a twisting, turning, oozing duet with Mary Antoinette McKeever(Moon Division), possibly the most primal offering to this altar. And for all the dark, shape-shifting features on the record, it also brings good news: Nowhere on this album will you hear any default overdriven guitar twang to get the point across, thank God!
Even beyond Keats Ross being a well-researched authority on the occult, what makes this project the product of truly hidden wisdom is the fact that this is his TENTH record, which he scoffs at any industry-pressure trappings. “It’s a culmination and complete obliteration of all the albums I’ve done,” he says, confirming this journey is just the beginning…
Small samples of “Yégènèt Muziqa” by Getatchew Mekurya appear on Track 1 and Track 7.
Sample of Alan Moore on Magick at the end of Track 5
Sample of William S. Burroughs on writing and author Henry Miller at the end of Track 6
Special Thanks to Mary, Santa Muerte, Barry Wood, Logan Ford & Rachel Sides, Bran Hernandez, Chris Shumaker, Noah Pfarr, Joel Hatmaker, SPARE SPELLS, Jimbo Kennedy, Iohannes Pontes & Simon Sotelo, Anthony Alvarado, The Ross’, The Keats’, The Weinsteins, The Smith’s and all who stood by, supported and shared love and materials through these turbulent eclipses. You are adored.