Exposé Online banner

Trance Mission — Head Light
(City of Tribes COTCD11, 1996, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1997-02-01

Head Light Cover art

Trance Mission is not your standard exotic world beat group. What I mean is that they don't just incorporate a compelling mix of exotic instruments: they exploit them. A short personnel breakdown points to relative clues: Stephen Kent (purported band leader) is an avowed Australian didgeridoo master who uses cello-sintir (filling the role of bass guitar). Using either of these tools, he is firmly centered at the the foundation for the aboriginal, outback rhythms which drive each of the eight pieces. Prime soloist Beth Custer is the melodic counterpoint for most of the tracks. Her clarinet adds a jazz swing era element as well as some whimsy to help lighten up the swirling gloom (e.g. on "In Frog Pajamas"). John Loose yields a handy dexterity to a set of log drums, tabla, and dumbeks. He is position-mixed close to Kent as the other percussive timber that pushes the low end of the tempo. Kenneth Newby is the unique instrumentalist for the group. By playing a combination of eastern wind pipes (P'iri) and 'Digital Atmospheres,' his role is one of textures and backdrop. From these individual components a base rhythmic element becomes obvious as the major impetus of the songs (rather than your traditional melodic center as in most Western music). By simply wading through the band resume, Mr. Joe Average may believe you've listened to outtake from a National Geographic documentary, but the rest of us can gather round the ceremonial campfire and revel in a moody global warming.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Trance Mission, Beth Custer

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

5uu's - Hunger's Teeth – Here's a really unexpected surprise. The 5uu's used to be the epitome of overlyrical RIO mediocrity, a quirky semi-political group influenced by the Henry Cow / Art Bears sphere. While their...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues