A Produce: The Clearing (Trance Port, 1988/reissueed by Independent Project Records, 2023)

April 8, 2023 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

A Produce: The Clearing

Barry Craig called his music trance long before the term had any association with club music. This is an expanded reissue of the first LP he released on his Trance Port label in 1988, a decade before Paul Oakenfold released his best-selling mix CD Tranceport. A lot of A Produce’s music seems to be categorized as tribal ambient or new age, but this earlier release is a bit closer to minimal wave and even post-punk. These are mostly songs rather than extended bliss-outs, with rhythmic and melodic structures, sometimes even vocals. Some of it is more repetitive though, including tracks like “Tunnels”, which is a pretty great haunting movie scene. “Pulse” is a more Meredith Monk-type piece with vocalist and violist Josie Roth speaking in tongues. “October 1st” is a more haunting dark ambient drone, and “Ashes of Love” seems like it’s going to start that way, but then it ends up being a darkwave goth epic. “The Raw Silk, The Uncarved Block” begins as a smooth, clear as a bell piece for wind chimes, then segues into a Neu!-inspired drone-rock track propelled by a drum machine. “The Clearing”, the last track on the original LP, sounds closer to a Dead Can Dance instrumental without the traditional instrumentation. “Raga Riley” is very obviously inspired by minimalism, simply consisting of warm, cosmically minded organ patterns and a simple shaker-produced rhythm. “Erosion” is filled with a gale of noises in the background, starting out with reflective piano melodies over steady rock drums programmed on a drum machine (with plenty of fills), then it gains a more Satriani-esque guitar solo (kinda). “Dorian Imagination” is just guitars and effects, and it starts out with more cross-stitched rhythmic patterns before washing out in a rush later on. The last bonus track, “Industrial Edge”, is a deceptively simple piano and guitar instrumental twisted by some almost gleefully off-the-rails effects.


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