Trance Mission CD Trance Mission plays original music that rages, bristles and glides through a new world of aboriginal drones, polyrhythmic percussion, chanting vocals, processed sample textures, and the looping acrobatics of clarinets, animal horns and Balinese flutes. _________________________________________________________________
"Trance Mission joins the ranks of Jon Hassell, Steve Roach, and Robert Rich in exploring a primal, techno-tribal music. Stephen Kent's didgeridoo is a signature sound of the San Francisco group, but it's only part of a hallucinatory swirl of ancestral grooves mixed in modern atmospheres. Kenneth Newby's Asian wind instruments, John Loose's multilingual percussion, and the spinning improvisations of clarinets Beth Custer converge in incantatory soundscapes, with a lyricism that's uncommon for the genre." - Billboard November 19, 1994
TRANCE MISSION - Meanwhile
Clublife 19 November 1994 Meanwhile CD
From the opening litany of poet Robert Anthony's grocery list of psychedelic substances on "Go Play Outside", the listener is aware that Trance Mission has landed on strange, new and exotic ground. Their latest CD Meanwhile, on SF's own City of Tribes, finds them inhabiting a world that combines the best aspects of their first release (stellar musicianship) with a healthy does of electronics, overdubs and samples.
"Go Play Outside" is a seductive call to romp in the Dopamine soaked recesses of the psyche. In some ways, it's the keynote piece of the disc. As Trance Mission have managed to combine, with considerable expertise, live playing with samples and sequences: i.e. Ethno-Techno with heart, soul, and brains to boot. Kenneth Newby, fresh off his stunning debut, Ecology of Souls (Fathom Records) provides the atmospheric sequences that shift the dreamtime onto the dance floor. It also showcases the considerable vocal talents of Eda Maxym as she coos like a psychedelic siren tempting the listener to go further outside. Beth Custer picks up the trumpet for a little Don Cherry-like flavor, while Stephen Kent's didgeridoo playing has a hunger in it and one gets the sense that it won't be satisfied until some vision is consumed. Add on top of that John Loose's blazing percussion and the title track alone has literally made this CD worth the price of purchase.
But the sheer pleasure of experiencing Meanwhile doesn't end with the first cut. The seduction and promise it offers is fulfilled consistently throughout. There's not one piece that's not worth repeated listening. "Every Stone's Dream" once again features the poetry of Robert Anthony whose prose sounds like a cross between Lewis Carroll and Terrence McKenna, and whose voice sounds like Burl Ives on mushrooms. "Chasing the Moon Rabbit," which has become a crowd favorite during live performances, translates extremely well on the disc, managing to deliver in full its dervish call to dance. "Zozobra," a heady melange of multi-cultural instrumentation that has become Trance Mission's trademark, is held afloat by the science of subtle sonic manipulation. Producer Simon Tassano, a former member of Lights in a Fat City, has twisted all the right knobs on Meanwhile, managing to combine a deep, rich, resonant sound with space, atmosphere and texture.
This should be Trance Mission's coming out year, with highly successful solo CD's in the fold by Kent and Newby, and Custer's cross pollinations with Will Bernard, augmenting and empowering the group's identity from within. But Meanwhile carries enough clout on its own to break the band (and deservedly so) to a much larger audience and convert the uninitiated to their ever expanding trance mission. Dr. Dharma, Clublife, 19 November 1994
ETHNIC AMBIENT TECHNO TRIBAL POST INDUSTRIAL TRANCE MUSIC
Clarinets/Vocals/Toys Member of CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA. Has toured internationally solo and with ensembles.
Didgeridoos/Animal Horns/Sticks/Vocals Formerly with LIGHTS IN A FAT CITY. Lived and toured extensively in Europe, East Africa and Australia.
Tablas/Dumbek/Kit/Samples Formerly with BLUE RUBIES. Tours internationally with NY's ENSEMBLE FOR EARLY MUSIC.
Khaen/Suling/Ghatam/Samples/Vocals Formerly with LIGHTS IN A FAT CITY. Lived and studied in Bali and Java.
Hails from England, Canada, New Hampshire, and New York by way of Uganda, Java, the Australian Outback and Carnegie Hall.
Cover: Headlands by Philip George Design by Georgia Rucker Photograph by Egon
Liner notes from Trance Mission's Meanwhile:
1. Go Play Outside! + Robert Anthony - spoken word + Eda Maxym - voice + Beth Custer - alto clarinet, trumpet + Stephen Kent: - didgeridoo, asheko, shaker, cowbell, cello + John Loose - dumbek, kit, samples, shaker + Kenneth Newby - atmospherics, programming 2. Bindi + Beth Custer - alto clarinet, voice + Stephen Kent: - didgeridoo, shaker + John Loose - kalimba, kit, frame drums + Kenneth Newby - suling bali, clay pot, voice 3. Chasing the Moon Rabbit + Beth Custer - bass clarinet, click sticks + Stephen Kent: - didgeridoo, asheko, chinese cymbals, shakers + John Loose - kanjira, bass drum, ceng-ceng + Kenneth Newby - frame drums, chinese cymbals 4. Every Stone's Dreams + Robert Anthony - spoken word + Eda Maxym - voice + Beth Custer - Bb and bass clarinets + Stephen Kent: - didgeridoo, asheko, cowbell + John Loose - kalimba, shaker, kit + Kenneth Newby - clay pot, atmospherics, khaen 5. Zozobra + Peter Whitehead - homemade two-stringed rebab + Beth Custer - Bb and bass clarinets, samples + Stephen Kent: - didgeridoo, shaker + John Loose - tabla, pandiero + Kenneth Newby - suling bali, p'iri 6. Sunrise + Eda Maxym - voice + Beth Custer - bass clarinet + Stephen Kent: - tuba, didgeridoo + John Loose - riqq, kit, samples + Kenneth Newby - suling tembang, samples 7. No They There + Beth Custer - trumpet, whispers, voice + Stephen Kent: - didgeridoos + John Loose - bodhran, kit + Kenneth Newby - suling jawa, samples, programming 8. Surrender + Beth Custer - samples, voice + Stephen Kent: - didgus maximus + John Loose - dumbek + Kenneth Newby - suling bali
Produced and engineered by Simon Tassano at Mobius Music, San Francisco. Assisted by Christian Jones. Sunrise recorded by Christian Jones. Mixed by Simon Tassana at Different Fur Recording, San Francisco. Assisted by Nancy Scharlean. Mastered by Bob Ohllson.
The Didgeridoo is played with respect for the Australian Aborigines, in solidarity with all first nation peoples and our common relationship with the Earth.
Special thanks to Simon Tassano, Oliver DiCicco, Pamela McCleave, Misha Saez, Patti Clemens, Vince Thomas, Lorraine Thompson, Claire Curtin, Gregory Kuhn, Alex Stahl, Remo, Bob Lansdon (1952-1994)