Incensed-wreathed lysergically-altered white noise – Astro Zombie
San Francisco sonic unit SA create spacey / swirling soundscapes which brings to mind the likes of early Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. Between ’96 and ’05, the band recorded more than 9 albums for such labels as Charnel Music, Strange Attractors and Elsie & Jack.
SA was founded in the mid 90s by Mason Jones (who, however, quit the band later), owner of Charnel Music label, who recorded numerous albums under the moniker Trance in the late 80s/early 90s.
Charnel Music also put out the band’s debut album – 1996 “Delicate Membrane”. Reviewer Pierro Scaruffi described “Membrane” as being “fully improvised” and majestic sounding with the album mood ranging from “suspenseful trance to sheer horror.”
The next year saw the release of two SA albums at once – “Ether Or” on Unit Circle Rekkids and “Almost Invisible” on Release Entertainment.In a joint review of both albums, Alternative Press magazine pointed out that “Almost Invisible offers an enthralling collection of instrumentals that seemingly last for days, but never wear out their welcome.”, while “Ether Or is a less focused effort inhabiting a much darker and contemplative vein than Almost Invisible, but still manages to lift you off the ground.”
’98 and ’99 brought “Endless Renovation” and “The Sleeping Sickness” albums, respectively (latter recorded with Walking Timebombs, a project of Scott Ayers (Pain Teens). “Renovation” was described by All Music Guide as the album that “unfolds in waves of gorgeous dissonance”, while “Sickness” was described by them as an “instrumental headspace of latent nightmares that suggest fear, but never erupt into anything overt.”
New millennium saw the release of band’s first live album – 2000 “These Things Take Time”, tour-only “Play Nice” CDr, 2002 “Tigris / Euphrates” LP (the band’s split with Bardo Pond) and two albums on Strange Attractors label – 2003 “Also Rising” and 2005 “The Red Veil”.
“Rising” was described by AMG as “a blend of heavy, long-form psychedelia, space rock, Krautrock, math rock, prog, and a dab of free improvisation”, while “Red Veil” was described by them as “instrumental, metallic neo-psychedelic hard rock of a brittle and grim sort.” “the work of a tight quartet, mastering their thick fuzz and mini-novas of sound with the assurance a weather-beaten captain brings to the steering wheel of his steamboat.”
Members of Subarachnoid Space were also involved in a project called Transitional Phase (which also involved non-Arachnoid Geoff Walker, member of Gravitar). Originally recorded in the late 90s, their self-titled album saw the light only in 2006, when it came out on Last Visible Dog label.
Melynda Jackson (Transitional Phase)
Char-Broiled Wonderland 7″ (Charnel Music, 1995)
Delicate Membrane CD (Charnel Music, 1996)
Almost Invisible CD (Release Entertainment, 1997)
Endless Renovation CD (Release Entertainment, 1998)
The Sleeping Sickness CD (with Walking Timebombs) CD (Elsie & Jack Recordings, 1999)
These Things Take Time CD (Release Entertainment, 2000)
Play Nice CDr (Self-Released, 2002)
Subarachnoid Space / Bardo Pond Split LP (Camera Obscura, 2002)
Also Rising CD (Strange Attractors Audio House, 2003)
The Red Veil CD (Strange Attractors Audio House, 2005)
“L.A. Makes Me Uncomfortable” on Release Your Mind Vol. 2 (Release Entertainment, 1997)
“A Better Feeling” on Mar/ino: The Complication Series (Mar/ino Recordings, 1999)
“Five Of Clubs” on Six Hours One Week (Six Hours One Week Magazine, 1999)
“Tick Tock (Subrakkabattak) (Content Provider Remix)” on We Will Be With You Shortly (Kimosciotic, 2000)
“Speckled Birds” on Zann (Silber, 2000)
“So Near And Yeti So Far” on Fluorescent Tunnelvision (Submergence, 2001)
“Honorable Mention” on The Invisible Pyramid (Last Visible Dog, 2003)
“Trainable” on A Benefit For Our Friends (Aquarius, 2005)
“S.F. Eagle” on Hall Of Mirrors (Emperor Jones, 2005)
“Honorable Mention” on PDX Pop Now! 2008 (PDX Pop Now!, 2008)