Via Subterranea

by Trance To The Sun

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    The sleeve features artwork by Ingrid Luna Blue, graphic design by Ashkelon Sain, and band photography by Ken Barton. It makes a lovely addition to any collection. (Sticker Included While Supplies Last)

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About "Via Subterranea":
This, the ninth Trance To The Sun studio album, was conceived in 2013. It was recorded mostly in 2014, and mixed 2014-2016. Running time 72:34. IF YOU ARE OWED A COPY AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED ONE, please email the band at and we'll definitely straighten things out.
More Trance To The Sun back catalogue will become available on Bandcamp in the coming months...


Trance to the Sun is a post-punk, gothic trio that uses additional live members when needed. The core members consist of Ashkelon Sain (guitar, bass, keys), Ingrid Luna Blue (vox), and Daniel Henderson (drums). The band formed in 1990 with Sain being founder of the band. Via Subterranea is their eighth album and their first in 15 years. This band is not filled with newcomers to music nor to the genres they deftly meld together. They are veterans and the quality of Via Subterranea demonstrates that fact.
“Max Mystic” starts off Via Subterranea with dreamy vocals and an addictive bass-line that just keeps walking throughout the song. Luna Blue channels a bit of Siouxsie Sioux in her breathy, ethereal vocals. Synths play beautiful, floating drones under the percussion. The guitar work glitters and has this amazing counter melody to the vocals. “Railcar to Tasmania” has an almost laid back groove it, with reverb drenched vocals and acoustic guitar. The drums are intricate and the bass work spot on. There are these moments in the song where it reminds me of Gene Loves Jezebel at the top of their game. Don’t get me wrong. Trance to the Sun has their own sound but there are all these wonderful moments where the right touches just spark references to beloved bands. At about 3:00, there is a bridge that is emotive and a post-punk dream. The bass tones in this particular track are gorgeous.
“Lost Garden Gnome Hotline” has these sparse, almost disconnected drums and moody guitar. The bass plays a short line to keep it all together and in focus while Luna Blue does her vox in spoken word. There is a mystical and poetic nature to the lyrics here, as she breathes them into the speakers.
Under a salt crust they wait for the orchestra but it never comes,
it never begins.
Blank space between leaves
Blank space between…. Friends,
he’s missing again!
Quicksand or gusts of wind?
Crows with armor?
Some strange charmer?
Sixty-eight were glimpsed on a receding barge,
the horizon swallowed them,
their present location a mystery
Coupled with the tones and lines in the music, there is an almost ominous feel to the spoken words. The track builds as synths soar and guitars create slow, creeping walls of fuzz. “Eons and Ions” has spacey synth sounds, and a staccato texture just under the surface of the driving bass and drums. The piano work gives the piece depth and texture while guitars warble and create walls of sound here and there. It’s a wonderfully complex composition.
“Mammoth Capsule” just screams seventies rock piece from the get go. However, it is sprinkled with moody synth and Luna Blue always brings the song back to a post-punk feel. High-hat blazes as Sain shows off his guitar prowess. Wah-wah shimmers through the track along with fuzzed out walls and long, drawn out emotive notes. The song ends with sounds of wind and then fades. “Loch Ness Square” begins with explosive tom-heavy drums a definite prog-rock feel. Something I haven’t mentioned much is the lyrics and their rather poetic quality. They are dark but there is a depth here, evoking a sort of goth and almost Black Sabbath sort of ominous feel. Luna Blue sings,
They saw it pouring through the valleys,
They saw it pouring down the hills,
And they fought it with their torches,
And their tinctures and their wills,
But we had no use for valor,
And we had no need for fear.
We lay all wrapped in our winter coats,
You lips against my hair,
While blood turned the dirt to mud
There is a large, picturesque, almost fantasy image being painted with words. The music, of course, really enhances the lyrics and mirrors the sense of urgency in Luna Blue’s words. Henderson should also be hailed for his intricate percussion work throughout the album. He’s another drummer that not only keeps time but plays his kit like an instrument, giving various touches and feels to enhance the overall composition of the music.
“Aviatrix (The Sudden Birds)” is another song that evokes seventies guitar power bands with a beautifully rendered guitar piece at the beginning. It is coupled with breathy synth drones and expressive percussion and bass. At about 5:08, there is a rather interesting bridge, as the bass, drums, and synths play with the melody in various forms. “Where Smoke Blows Across” is the longest on the album, clocking in at 10:04. It beings with an ominous guitar line and melancholy synths. It is a dreamy, synth-heavy composition with understated percussion and bass that hangs back in the mix. There are even flavors of a middle eastern sort in the guitar work about midway through the track.
“Purple Mushroom House” begins with rain and the sound of birds. Bright piano rings out as if in the distance. Jazz style percussion comes into the mix and then dreamy, floating guitars with droney synths fill the voids. This reminds me of the more ethereal moments in spaced out, drug-fueled seventies compositions. Luna Blue sings,
Postman, please deliver my note
To the purple mushroom house,
You can only find it at night,
By the light of the crescent moon,
You ford the stream,
Walking toad’s backs at night,
With the glint of Aldebaran in your eye.
Luna Blue’s lyrics are always provocative and create a story world with images, characters, and emotive touches. “Sleep Divination” begins with reverbed washed guitar, tinny sounds, synths that make spacey sounds in the deepest crevices of the composition, and expressive high-hat. A wood-block sound enters the mix and gives it texture. The guitars begin to build up layers as a wall of sound slowly grows throughout the piece. This is largely an instrumental song, with Luna Blue only punctuating the soundscape for brief moments with “I know you’ve been asleep for a few millenium” as a repeated line. The track fades as synths play a drone and the album is silenced.
Via Subterranea is a melding of genres with expressive goth, post-punk, darkwave, prog rock, and middle eastern flavors. Channeling the likes of Siouxsie Sioux, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Cure and many other artists and styles, Trance to the Sun creates their own lush and mature sound. The lyrics create word pictures, fantasy lands, and emotive moments that are coupled with with the larger, intricate instrumentation. - Jason Lamoreaux

TRANCE TO THE SUN: Via Subterranea — dreampop with an emphasis on the “pop”; first track “Max Mystic” makes its case immediately without undue faff. (And that’s even with it being, at 4:51, the shortest track on the album.) Real muscle and not just atmospherics (though you can still tell they were a Projekt band with a not-so-secret goth past). Find of the day. - David Gerard  //

OPUS.FM wrote:
On Via Subterranea, their first full-length since 2001’s Atrocious Virgin, Portland’s Trance to the Sun conjures up a heady blend of goth, shoegaze, and psychedelia that brings to mind even such a landmark album as The Cure’s Disintegration.
Like Robert Smith’s magnum opus, there’s a commitment on the part of Trance to the Sun to go big or go home. Ingrid Luna Blue’s voice is coy, ethereal, and sultry, delivering abstract lyrics like “I could disrupt the orbit of your distant molten eye” and even garden gnome-inspired streams-of-consciousness. Meanwhile, Ashkelon Sain’s guitar evokes middle-eastern textures, tears through soaring solos, and delivers haunting ambience — sometimes all in the same song. (To continue with the Disintegration comparison, think “Prayers for Rain” or “Homesick” rather than, say, “Lovesong.”)
“Aviatrix (The Sudden Birds)” is a personal favorite. Sain’s guitar is at its trippiest even as the rhythms (anchored by Daniel Henderson’s drumming) evoke classic Cure-ish gloom. At nine minutes, it’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’ve been looking for the kind of ostentatious (I mean that in a good way) dark rock epic that goths don’t seem to make any more, then you’re in for a treat. - Jason Morehead  //


released December 30, 2016

Ingrid Luna Blue: Voice
Daniel Henderson: Drums
Ashkelon Sain: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards

Drums and guitars recorded by Ian Watts at The Magic Closet, Portland, Oregon; Voice, bass and keyboards recorded at the Sunflower Garden, Portland, Oregon; Additional recording by Adi Tejada at Space Dog, Santa Barbara, California.
Album mixed and produced by Ashkelon Sain with the help and advice of Daniel Henderson, Doug Krebs & Dorian Campbell.
Guest ambient atmospherics on track 10 provided by Ashe Ruppe.

Mastered by DougKrebsMastering, Fort Collins, Colorado.
Kenneth Barton, Clovis IV, Terry Luna & Lucretia*Renee Rathmann helped immensely with photography and other aspects of the project.
Executive Producer: Christopher Erisson.

This album was crowd funded by fans worldwide. Gigantic thank yous to everyone who came out in favor of the project! An extra special thank you goes out to the massively enthusiastic: Christopher Erisson, Marco Silva, Siobhan O'Neill, Tim Peberdy, Keith Lambell, Genie Higbee, Foster Glorch, Natalie Nunley & Andreas Ravenwell.



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Trance To The Sun Portland, Oregon

Purveyors of extraordinary Psychedelic Shoegaze Post-Punk Dreampop since 1990.

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Track Name: Max Mystic
Sunset Flash; Mystic Max
Gypsy third eye surf punk in a Cadillac
Sliding back; Max Mystic
Drinking your champagne on a pile of bricks
Slow down; Mystic Max
Golden hipbone leather on the railroad tracks
Wood and thyme; Max Mystic
Absinthe fairy got you with her bag of tricks
Quick reflex; Mystic Max
Helicopter pilot while you're playing jacks
Serpent locks ; Max Mystic
Solar luminator with your latest mix
I could disrupt the orbit of your distant molten eye
Collide the sea; Quaking like a blue moon again
Incandence; Mystic Max
Refracting your apartment with a fire crack
Pipeline curls; Max Mystic
Orca fin in tandem on your left break trick
Bring the rain; Mystic Max
Dancing in a phone booth while they paint it black
The street submits; Max Mystic
Catapulting pulses bridging every clique
I could disrupt the orbit of your distant molten eye
Collide the sea; Quaking like a blue moon again
Track Name: Railcar To Tasmania
On a railcar to Tasmania
Don't get trapped on that track don't get trapped in line
Just to find what lies behind
The sloshy boots and postcards
It's all a mystery
Oh, you look at me like a satisfied crocodile
You smile as if to say
I just ate your sister
On a high that races the heart
Defying the laws of nature and gravity
Not satisfied 'til the speedometer reaches
The red line of ecstasy
In a hurry to meet with destiny
Oh, you look at me like a satisfied crocodile
You smile as if to say
I just ate your sister
The train approaches
The western station
These winds unending
Are all that's certain
Track Name: Lost Garden Gnome Hotline
One was seen in a Calcutta market
Prayer beads and plastic bags full of hair
Luxurious offerings of passion and piety
Someone had painted it gold
Two were reportedly abandoned
At the end of the comeliest cul-de-sac
Past the doorway you last checked for her
Outside the light ring
Where they all stood waiting
For bad news to come up the driveway
Three were seen skating the dead streets
of Providence
After all bedtime songs had been sung
Four ended up in Death Valley
Where the woman with the sad make up
Laces up her dress again
Under a salt crust they wait
For the orchestra but it never comes
It never begins
Blank space between the leaves
Blank space between
Friends, he's missing again
Quicksand or gusts of wind
Crows with armor
Some strange charmer
Sixty eight were glimpsed
On a receding barge
The horizon swallowed them
Their present location remains a mystery
Two hundred and ten have replaced
The skulls in a Parisian catacomb
Near the sight of an infamous cave-in
Everyone agreed they were garish but
I confronted one myself
Backstage of an abandoned theater
Hoisted in the air by the paint frame rigging
I turned to get my net, but it was gone
Four thousand were discovered in Antarctica
Near the base of Vinson Massif
Knocking their heads on the ice
Reports are flooding in
Something just below the surface
Threatening to rise
Like a steam vent on a snow capped volcano
And freeze there
Blank space between the leaves
Blank space between
Friends, he's missing again
Quicksand or gusts of wind
Crows with armor
Some strange charmer
Blank space between the leaves
Blank space between
Friends, he's missing again
Sinkhole or abduction
Crows with armor
Some strange charmer here
Track Name: Eons & Ions
Lend me your space suit, my sister
This cathedral's air remains so heavy
It gathers superstitions
It heralds premonitions
The three of us were asked here
We don't know what we're calling
The earth is brewing a force
A megalith rising through the mirrored water
No one's spoken its name in what seems like
Eons and ions, eons and ions
Scientists and doctors watch
Watch with fascination
We called in their language
In the muted tones of winter
'Til the last tremendous body
Each impossibly larger
Eons and ions in the making
It could not breech the gilded railing
Its one wild eye searched the crowd for meaning
And finding none returned to history
Eons and ions, eons and ions, eons and ions.
Track Name: Mammoth Capsule
Picture of a stack of wrecked cars
with green light shining
Picture of a clock tower cracked
under a flickering spotlight
Picture of an idle flying saucer in a synthetic haze
Picture of a mammoth capsule
in the center of the dancehall
Crushed windows scatter green light
Twisted metal clings like lovers
Hours missing
Hands unwinding
Skewed like vectors
Angles creaking
Edgeless light speed curves shine
Mastodon squeezed inside
Oh this auto smashed up fenders
Auto smashed up mirrors
Auto smashed up headlight
Oh this timepiece trembling hands
The timepiece stripped down gears
This timepiece frozen in time
Oh this saucer
Oh this capsule chilling it down
This ice age holding it out
This mammoth bottled inside
Some things escape the frame
Infect your mind with seductive improbability
Seen in half light through your spy glass
They're not as heavy as they appear
They're just as heavy as light
Track Name: Loch Ness Square
They saw it pouring through the valleys
They saw it pouring down the hills
And they fought it with their torches
And their tinctures and their wills
But we had no use for valor
And we had no need for fear
We lay all wrapped in our winter coats
Your lips against my hair
While blood turned the dirt to mud
While years turned the stone to sand
While storms turned the sky to red
While heat turned the sea to land
And on the ridge one hundred broken windmills
Bloomed with fire and were gone
Like knots unravelling while we sleep

She heard them running through the valleys
She heard them dying in the fields
And she cracked the earth above her
And her face it was revealed
But you and I were not among
The fleeing and the dead
You turned to me eternally
And in a halting voice you said,
Sink like stone to Loch Ness Square
Like knots unravelling while we sleep
Track Name: Aviatrix (The Sudden Birds)
Every morning
Every rising
Owls and sparrows
Claws and wingspan
Stolen textbook
Folded etching
Fourths in pocket
Shake the feathers from her eyes
In the line work
Place where denizens
Dwell in numbers
Travel airways
Any door will lead to the outside
She dreamt of a house on a cloud
With a room with a view
And a door to the sky
The sudden birds
To be one of them
Every morning
Every rising
Wind in water
Hammered silver
Final migration
Flocks and murders
Psychic compass
Sews her velvet edges for the gift
Strokes her quills
Boards the current
Angles envisioned for the lift
For the Wright equation
Any door will lead to the outside
She dreamt of a house on a cloud
With a room with a view
And a door to the sky
The sudden birds
An endless view with a lake below
And skeletal trees on a cliff edge
To be one of them
Track Name: Where Smoke Blows Across
From off in the distance
White dust shrouds the hoofbeats
With knives in her waistcoat
She punctures the landscape
Her horse is a strange thing
Discovered at low tide
Salt water receding
This must explain their thirst
A trembling vista
The skating stones all slide
By some bizarre physics
They keep pace with her stride
Awake the knife thrower
She sleeps under velvet
You won't feel her sharp edge
'Til it's halfway through you
The air smells like sulphur
When her pale eyes open
And brighten the landscape where smoke blows across
He rides a horse across the desert
She knows what he carries
A spellbound scroll
Secrets stolen from Bazantium
Could turn person to a demon
She's got to have it!
The rider glides between two cataracts
He knows what he has but not what it does
Danger at the red rocks
Nowhere to run
She's got to have it!
With the flash of the blade
She slices the reigns
She steals the spellbound scroll
He fires three shots in the direction she ran
The scroll lofts on the breeze
The whispering wind of change
Reads out the words in a long forgotten tongue
Be careful what you wish for
This town's been a strange place
Salt water receding where smoke blows across
Behind every window
She sleeps under velvet where smoke blows across
The dust collects corners
All courtyards are empty where smoke blows across
Track Name: Purple Mushroom House
Postman, please deliver my note
To the purple mushroom house
You can only find it at night
By the light of the crescent moon
You ford the stream
Walking toad's backs at night
With the glint of Aldebaran in your eye
Past the field
Where nothing grows
Up a stream so cold
Pocket silver fish to feed the skinny cat
One eye leading backwards
Two eyes leading backwards
Three eyes leading
To a monolith devoured by time
Offers stones to hungry vines
Please shake into my envelope
What remains of October's leaves
The only time the stamp will stick
Is the cruelest month
frost cracks the flower
December's frozen wind
Beckons illumined beast
On a lonely path
Seeds floating from giant dandelions
Ride one up, up around this cloud
And drop into a moonlit labyrinth
Three corners forward and two corners back
Find the gate in the weeping ferns
Kiss the statue of gasping lovers
Stop below the arch
Counting raindrops twenty three
Lick the drops from the spider's webs
'Til you taste the extra hidden key
When you reach the front
Of the purple mushroom house
Fall asleep on the doorstep and dream of
Caeleno and lightening bolts
When you awake to dragonflies and spiders
Don't be alarmed
My note will be removed from your vest
When those leaves have all blown away
Track Name: Sleep Divination
I know; you've been asleep for a few millennium...