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Trance Mission - Trance Mission [City of Tribes 1993] PDF Print E-mail

I first met composer/clarinetist Beth Custer at the first LIAFC appearance in San Francisco, at a party for the magazine, Mondo 2000. Later, as my stay in the Bay Area became a residence here, we began jamming together and soon invited multi ethnic drummer John Loose to come into the mix. I remember meeting John by chance on Valencia St in the dark one evening and popping the question. Sure, he said.

We developed a set of improv-based music playing mainly in cafes around the SF Mission district, especially Radio Valencia, which was becoming one of the bohemian hubs of the SF music scene at the time. My ally in the latter day Lights in a Fat City, Kenneth Newby, from Vancouver was also spending time in SF and he was an obvious choice to round the fledgling group into a quartet.

In early spring 1992 we hooked up with D’Cuckoo renegade Patti Clemens who, with engineer Alex Stahl in attendance, funded a demo tape of this new group, which we recorded in the house of Glen Siegel, an affable connection in Sonoma County, an hour or so north of SF, and named Trance Mission, because of the musical direction and the fact that we were centered around the SF Mission area – I remember coming up with the name with Beth as we stopped to inflate our bicycle tires at a Mission service station opposite an auto body shop. Puns abound. Later, again with Patti Clemens, City of Tribes, the record company which was to release most of my recorded work over the 1990’s came into being and Trance Mission went into the studio – Mobius Music in SF – to make the music permanent.

This recording was produced by Alex Stahl and Oliver di Cicco, but was performed almost entirely live, with virtually no overdubs – a pattern that was to change for the next 2 TM CD’s. It was very much the product of our live improvised performances and we made it in a week. Track 3, “Tunnels” remains one of the all time classic TM tracks to this day – seeded by John Loose on the Kalimba. The only guest musicians on this first Trance Mission CD were guitarist Will Bernard [Tunnels] and vocalist Eda Maxym [The Red Man – named for an SF Mission street personality who dressed in a navy blue uniform and painted himself red all over], who much later became a fully fledged member of TM for a while…….

Head Light
Trance Mission
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Head Light
Snakes & Ladders
Australian Beebop Ragas
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Australian Beebop Ragas
Halcyon Days
Roach, Kent & Newby
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Stephen Kent - Halcyon Days
Memory Ground
Lights In A Fat City 
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Stephen Kent - Memory Ground
Oil & Water
Stephen Kent
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Stephen Kent - Oil & Water
Gathered on
the Edge

Beasts of Paradise
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Stephen Kent - Gathered on the Edge
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Contemporary didjeridu musician Stephen Kent ©2010 Stephen Kent. Photos by Mitch Tobias. Design by Pranamedia.