The ’90s Goth explosion brought us many exciting bands, and one of the most original, label-defying groups was Trance to the Sun, the brainchild of guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/producer Ashkelon Sain, who was supported by an ever-mutating roster of musicians (including three different singers: Zoe Alexandra Wakefield, Dawn Wagner and Ingrid Blue). The 13 tracks compiled in this collection transport listeners to a surreal plane, with echo, distortion, and feedback drenched guitars, murky bass lines, trippy synths, and eerie female voices swirling in a Dali-esque sonic soup. Simply imbibe these psychedelic, ambient rock creations, from the hypnotic, guitar-free grooves of “Olive the Slut” to the growling intensity of “Execution of the Stars” to the pastoral beauty of the dreamy instrumental “August Rain V.1”. The vocals shimmer, snarl, and seduce; they’re not always comprehensible, but are always emotionally resonant, sometimes akin to a sinister-sounding Cocteau Twins. For the uninitiated, this collection should whet your appetite to explore a band that has sadly disbanded but remains compelling today.
Producer: Ashkelon Sain. Studio: Lion’s Den (Santa Barbara, Calif.). Mastering: Doug Krebs/Dig Recording (Portland, Ore.).