In March 2020, Trance Mission releases Le Pendu, their fifth album and first in over two decades. Fresh from a rapturous reception at a packed Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland, this new trio version of the San Francisco Bay Area’s original “4th World” band offers the dynamic confluence of three extraordinary multi-instrumentalists / composers at the top of their game. Trance Mission founders Beth Custer and Stephen Kent have collaborated since first meeting in San Francisco in the early 90’s. Peter Valsamis joined in 1997 to play on their fourth release, a live concert recording.
Le Pendu, sculpted in California over the last several years is an expansive aural journey combining virtuoso acoustic musicianship into a unique and eclectic world of sound. The driving multi-phonic tones of Kent’s didgeridoos together with Valsamis’s brilliant and musically inventive drumming sets the stage for the gorgeous melodies of Custer’s clarinets. Her soulful tunes and funky riffs duet with Kent’s guttural growls and kickass grooves. The layering of ambient percussion, swinging bass lines and spare, vital use of electronic atmospheres underpin the arrangements and keep the band true to their global roots in both ancient and contemporary musical fields. With engineer Valsamis at the controls throughout, Le Pendu proves that this Trance Mission has what it takes to dive in to the current with a fresh and vibrant urban tribal approach that is as vital now as ever!
From the article Out In the Reeds With Beth Custer