Over the course of five U.S. tours, seven albums, and myriad compilation appearances, Trance To The Sun existed as a bright gem in the American Darkwave music scene during the years 1990 - 2001. Trance to the Sun inspired a loyal following and widespread critical acclaim with their unique brand of lushly textured and highly emotive songscapes.
Trance To The Sun was launched unassumingly in 1990 by Ashkelon Sain, with an instrumental cassette-only release entitled "Volcano", followed by a year's worth of small performances in art galleries, small clubs and the like. In 1991, Ashkelon briefly became a member of This Ascension, before joining forces with Mark Linder and Matt Ballesteros to form the new band Blade Fetish.
With Blade Fetish, one remarkable album was followed by a western U.S. tour which proved the band's demise, and A.Sain found himself wanting to pick up where he had left off with Trance to the Sun. He began work on new recordings, and soon enough he enlisted the exquisite vocal talents of Zoe Alexandra Wakefield to round out the sound. Nineteen-ninety-four saw the signing of the band to TESS RECORDS. With the worldwide release of the album Ghost Forest came the recognition of Z.Wakefield as a profoundly inspiring new voice in the emerging American ambient/darkwave music scene. She was hailed even as the "New Queen of the Twilight" by the Italian Music Press.
Then, in 1995, fresh from the recording studio with a wealth of new material, Sain & Wakefield enlisted the bass guitar talents of Israel Medina (Akubi Object) and embarked on a 26 date U.S. tour opening for Projekt recording artists Lyica in support of their second CD entitled Bloom Flowers, Bloom! The ten new album tracks featured there, along with a handful of compilation outtakes that year demonstrated a major leap in the group's ability to chillingly and understatedly convey their haunting aesthetic.
Bloomwas followed quickly by the landmark Venomous Eve album the same year on A.Sain's new homespun label Ambulancia. Venomous featured the contributions of two then-new members, Lucian S. Donato on synthesizers and Anna Schott on violin, and drew critical acclaim across the board for it's "Knight-like stealth and elegance" (Alternative Press). All in all, it was a remarkable output of music and performance for just two short years.
The rapid fire pace began to exact it's toll however, and after a grueling U.S. tour in 1996 as openers for Scotland's legendary punk band Cindytalk, Zoe Wakefield departed suddenly from Trance to the Sun and from music making altogether. Ashkelon carried on in spite of this (perhaps he'd begun to lose it himself) by recording the mini-album "Delirious" which features the frenetic vocals of Dawn Wagner (Scarlet Slipping). With Delirious the music took a sharp left turn, exploring heavier territories and faster paced songs. A short tour and a new live lineup featuring Ashe Ruppe on bass and Mark Blewett on drums showed promise, but just seven months later A.Sain was forced to find yet another new vocalist.
Fortuitously, this time he chose Ingrid Blue.
Ingrid was introduced to a somewhat skeptical fanbase with the stunning compilation CD Azalean Sea which featured five new tracks, and eight other unreleased gems recorded over the previous three years. Azalean Sea was also released on the Ambulancia label, and it was at this point that longtime promoter and band advocate Patrick Ogle (Projekt Records / Thanatos) invited Trance to the Sun to join the roster of his newly founded Precipice Recordings label.
But prior to finishing an album for their new label, the band undertook their most ambitious tour of U.S. to date, covering 28 cities and performing to packed halls with co-headliners Faith & Disease.
Then, in 1999, Precipice released for Trance To The Sun what has been seen by some as being their masterpiece album, Urchin Tear Soda. Sonically and musically, the album reached beyond anything A.Sain had done prior to that point, with immensely sophisticated textures and arrangements laying the foundation for Ingrid's sublime vocals and highly detailed, crystal clear lyrics.
Another short tour of the U.S. followed in the summer of 2000, this time seeing the band headline the Convergence VI festival in Seattle. But the year was spent primarily in the studio with A.Sain and I.Blue writing and recording what was ultimately to become the band's swan song: Atrocious Virgin. The beautifully packaged Virginwas released on Precipice Recordings in 2001. The chilling melodies, exquisite lyrics and tremendous orchestration found therein form an epic conclusion to the archives and annals of this storied American music group.