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SUBARACHNOID SPACE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United States


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Subarachnoid Space biography
SUBARACHNOID SPACE is a recent dark psychedelic band from San Francisco formed in 1996 by Mason Jones, changing regularly their line-up. Their music, always instrumental and often improvised, features long slow pieces of strange and obscure soundscapes in the vein of HAWKWIND's Space Ritual, but more down-tempo and evolving, with tortured spacey guitars. Their sound is very obscure and noisy, quite modern and unique, transporting you to lost and unknown galaxies to explore... They opened plenty of american shows for the ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE and other japanese psychedelic bands.

The band is quite prolific and released an album nearly each year, most of them containing long pieces of mindblowing and growing music. Their 1997 LP, Almost Invisible shows the band's maturation, offering cosmic collisions soundscapes and sonic deflagrations, in the spirit of early PINK FLOYD and ASH RA TEMPLE. In the next album, Endless Renovation, the sound is more polished, but also jazzy by moments. In 2002, they released Tigris~Euphrates, a split LP with Bardo Pond. Red Veil, released in 2005, revealed a more heavy and energic side by the band.

An unique experience ! Icy and tormented, rather dark and experimental than light and relaxing, SUBARACHNOID SPACE is highly recommended to frightening, space and psychedelic rock explorers!

NB: In anatomy, the subarachnoid space is the interval in the brain between the arachnoid mater and pia mater.


- Modrigue (Nico) -



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Approved by the Post-Rock & Psychedelic Prog teams



Discography:
Char-Broiled Wonderland, 7-inch single
Delicate Membrane, studio album (1996)
Live at Ptomaine Temple, Gravitar split
Ether Or, studio album (1997)
Almost Invisible, studio album (1997)
Endless Renovation, studio album (1998)
The Sleeping Sickness, studio album (1999)
A New and Exact Map, (2000)
These Things Take Time, live (2000)
Tigris ~ Euphrates, Bardo Pond split (2002)
Also Rising, studio album (2003)
The Red Veil, studio album (2005)

Subarachnoid Space official website

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Almost InvisibleAlmost Invisible
Release 1997
Audio CD$35.00
$4.99 (used)
Eight BellsEight Bells
Crucial Blast 2009
Audio CD$10.62
$4.69 (used)
Endless RenovationEndless Renovation
Release 1998
Audio CD$37.95
$3.47 (used)
These Things Take TimeThese Things Take Time
Release 2000
Audio CD$35.00
$9.63 (used)
Also RisingAlso Rising
Strange Attractors 2003
Audio CD$15.57
$8.48 (used)
Red VeilRed Veil
Strange Attractors 2005
Audio CD$14.48
$3.99 (used)
Delicate MembraneDelicate Membrane
Charnel Music 1996
Audio CD$8.00 (used)
Almost Invisible by Subarachnoid Space (1997-07-22)Almost Invisible by Subarachnoid Space (1997-07-22)
Release
Audio CD$109.09
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SUBARACHNOID SPACE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SUBARACHNOID SPACE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Delicate Membrane
1996
2.13 | 7 ratings
Ether Or
1997
3.93 | 8 ratings
Endless Renovation
1998
3.95 | 3 ratings
The Sleeping Sickness (with Walking Timebombs)
1999
2.16 | 6 ratings
A New and Exact Map
2000
3.92 | 6 ratings
Also Rising
2003
3.92 | 10 ratings
The Red Veil
2005
3.51 | 7 ratings
Eight Bells
2009

SUBARACHNOID SPACE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.47 | 5 ratings
Almost Invisible
1997
4.47 | 7 ratings
These Things Take Time
2000

SUBARACHNOID SPACE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SUBARACHNOID SPACE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SUBARACHNOID SPACE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Char-Broiled Wonderland
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
Play Nice
2002
4.50 | 2 ratings
Crusades
2010

SUBARACHNOID SPACE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 These Things Take Time by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Live, 2000
4.47 | 7 ratings

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These Things Take Time
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album do not take time to appreciate

Live or studio album, this does not really matter for an instrumental improvisational band such as SUBARACHNOID SPACE. Nor do the songs titles either, as their music is more about depicting a particular atmosphere. As you may have guessed, all featured tracks on "These Things Take Time" are improvisations different from those of the studio releases. Recorded live in Silicon Valley on KFJC radio in 1999, the performance is in fact a single continuous 45 minutes piece, cut in seven parts. Each part reflects a particular ambiance.

I don't think describing each "letter" of this record is worth, you just need to know that most things you're looking for in the modern dark psychedelia genre are here: gorgeous throbbing bass lines, distorted spacey guitars, rhythm changes, mystical passages, post-rock incursions and even a few gothic moments. The atmospheres are varied and the quality is rather constant. There are a few lengthy passages in the second half though, which is more ambient.

Anyway, "These Things Take Time" is a very good album from SUBARACHNOID SPACE and a good entry point to discover the band. Recommended to space rock, dark music or even post-rock lovers.

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 Eight Bells by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 7 ratings

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Eight Bells
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Released in 2009, "Eight Bells" was SUBARACHNOID SPACE's last album before they disbanded two years later. The musical style hasn't changed since the last opuses, dark organic psych'n'roll studio improvisations, with some post-rock incursions, and a cleaner sound than usual. Composed of only five tracks for a total duration of 37 minutes, this final effort is one or their shortest, but also a bit unequal.

The heavy sinister "Lilith" is a very good opener with a pachydermic riff and cymbal crashes. It may remind PINK FLOYD's "Interstellar Overdrive", in agony. "Hunter Seeker" is a reference to the automatic murdering device in Frank Herbert's Dune. Longest track of the record and sometimes sounding post-rock, this ambient lethargic piece will make you wander in desolated lands. A bit lengthy and flat, but the finale is quite ferocious.

"Akathesia" can be described as a disturbed psychedelic metal piece. Nice. "Haruspex" is the latin word for "soothsayer". Consisting mainly in a single long guitar scream with Melynda Jackson's cries of despair, it does not feature many variations and therefore is the least interesting passage of the disc. On the contrary, the ender "Bird Signs" is much more rhythmic and structured. An efficient space rock with cool bass lines to enter the interstellar void.

"Eight Bells" has some weaker moments but should nonetheless please most SUBARACHNOID SPACE and obscure psychedelic rock fans. Prepare your ears for a trip into unknown inhospitable territories...

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 A New and Exact Map by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.16 | 6 ratings

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A New and Exact Map
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A strange title for a strange album. "A New and Exact Map" features more synthesizers than SUBARACHNOID SPACE's previous records. The mood is still dark psychedelic rock, but not as oppressive and tortured as usual. The featured instrumental compositions are less improvised, more experimental and stretched. However the exact problem of this disc is its monotony...

"Prism" is a soft dissonant rock piece with a strange sound. An average opener, as it does not seem to go anywhere. Recorded live in Las Vegas, "Drink Me" is rather ambient, nothing really happens. "Indy Maru" displays extended organic synthesizer and organ textures, sometimes reminiscent of PINK FLOYD's "Obscured by Clouds" and"More" soundtracks. This track has good moments but not many variations and is a bit lengthy.

Then comes the intruder, as well as the only good track, of the record: "Fruity Drinks with Little Umbrellas". This surprising composition resemble more OZRIC TENTACLES than SUBARACHNOID SPACE. A cool space dub/rock, more melodic than the other tracks, however a little out of place. Featuring no real changes in 18 minutes, the calm "Melted" concludes the disc in a hazy atmosphere.

"A New and Exact Map" is maybe the most ambient album of SUBARACHNOID SPACE, but certainly one of their rare weak records. Not recommended to discover this talented and trippy band.

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 The Sleeping Sickness (with Walking Timebombs) by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.95 | 3 ratings

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The Sleeping Sickness (with Walking Timebombs)
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nightmarish psychedelia

Although released in 1999, "The Sleeping Sickness" was initially recorded in 1996 with guitarist Scott Ayers from band WALKING TIMEBOMBS. Therefore, the style is very close to SUBARACHNOID SPACE's debut album, "Delicate Membrane": somber psych'n'roll improvisations, however with better sound quality and inspiration. As you may have noticed, the tracks names are just variations of the album title.

After the short ambient "Introduction", the descent into darkness with "The sleeping sickness I". The atmosphere is even more tortuous with the whirlwinds of "The sickness sleeps". The ambient "Sick and sleeping" is like a black hole aspirating the listener. Its intensity increases until becoming chaotic and calm again. "No sleep for the sick" is an efficient heavy aggressive space rock, while the title track displays a deserted land, its big beat rhythm representing the bomber. "The sleeping sickness II" sounds like a monster being tortured. Uneven, but the trippy guitar sonorities sometimes resemble the middle part of PINK FLOYD's "One of These Days". "(Hmmm)" is in fact only 2 minutes long, as the first 20 minutes are empty, which was a common practice in 90's studio releases. Anyway, this short conclusion is rather anecdotal.

As its predecessor, "The Sleeping Sickness" is a long journey into unknown depths, in the search of a cursed creature. Very recommended to dark psychedelic rock fans, but not just before going to sleep...

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 Delicate Membrane by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Delicate Membrane
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars

As SUBARACHNOID SPACE's debut album, the sound of "Delicate Membrane" is rather raw. Entirely instrumental, the music can be described as tormented psychedelia driven by distorted guitars. Although the compositions are improvised, they are quite homogeneous and gives the record a dark atmosphere.

The first tracks, "Karoshi" and "Don't Look in the Trunk" are dissonant and oppressive. They sometimes resemble early dry gothic rock or cold wave, like BAUHAUS. In contrast, "Talking Tina & Her Mechanical Frog" incorporates other instruments. More delicate and mystical, this track has crystalline sonorities. Good, but a bit too long. "Slow Boat To China" is a great haunting track with didgeridoo and atmospheric guitars, displaying a threatening ambiance.

The second half of the record is unfortunately a little less inspired. The incantational "K&V Equals Drool" and "Doomed Megalopolis" are dominated by drums but are a little messy, whereas the slow "Highly Unnatural" is rather chaotic. Then comes the calm and intriguing "Something Wicked" and the ender, the paranoid "Lidocaine". These two last tracks have good moments, but features not many variations and tends to become a bit repetitive.

For a debut release, "Delicate Membrane" shows great promises. Despite some lengthy passages and a crude drum sound, the band inaugurates the rather unexplored domain of modern dark psychedelia. At this period, this particular revisitation of this genre was quite unexpected.

Their rawest studio album, not the one to start with to discover the band, but ideal if you want to explore the tortured depths of your mind...

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 A New and Exact Map by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.16 | 6 ratings

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A New and Exact Map
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars This is the fifth album by this San Francisco improvisational band and has been released by September Gurls in Germany. It is a totally instrumental album, and although it is described as being progressive, experimental and with space rock elements all I can say is that it is bloody weird. It sometimes comes across as a bit like VDGG, but for the most part this is off the wall. It does have two songs hitting about fifteen minutes, but this is one I doubt will be played much by me again (and looking back at this review twelve years later I don't think I have played it even once...)

Originally appeared in Feedback #61, Feb 01

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 Eight Bells by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 7 ratings

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Eight Bells
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars This one is my second meeting with the band. Mason Jones' and Melynda Jackson's long-time collaboration for SUBARACHNOID SPACE ended in 2003. I still count their live album 'These Things Take Time' among the best space rock efforts I am aware of. More of an exceptional one though because this band is basically known for a heavier post rock/post metal orientation based on crushing walls of guitars, sometimes reminding me of Isis for example. Melynda Jackson moved from San Francisco to Portland in 2006 and gathered a new crew which recorded 'Eight Bells' in best tradition. This album doesn't get out of line. Good news for all die-hard fans ... which probably also includes that you can get it on vinyl - hence relatively short as for the approx length by implication.

Soaring guitars all over. That's what I meant when mentioning the term 'tradition'. Lilith starts as an uptempo heavy rocking thing with a hard working rhythm branch. The guitar walls are escalating to high altitudes, not really overbearing though, provided with a special sense of dramaturgy. Hunter Seeker is my favourite for the album's crown because they leave the obvious heavy paths for some time with a long ethereal spacey middle part. The crew offers a wonderful melancholic mood here, impressing! The experimental weird Haruspex probably can be weighted as bombast trance initiated by samples which are recorded at a zoo I assume.

Bird Signs now seems to concentrate all the band's power at the end. As it is with many albums - you have to listen more than once or twice in order to feel the kick. Which means they don't offer plain noise here which was my initial impression ... no, when really getting involved you'll meet a well accentuated heaviness which owns melody, which is rather enjoyable. Subtle elegancy - 'Eight Bells' is a rather ambitious effort. Interesting for fans who are feeling comfortable in the space/post/stoner rock hunting grounds.

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 Ether Or by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.13 | 7 ratings

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Ether Or
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

1 stars I really didn't think i'd be giving out a 1 star rating as I try to be careful and research well before I buy. I had already purchased this cd when I saw UMUR's 1 star review, so I decided to start with SUBARACHNOID SPACE's latest "Red Veil" which I had purchased at the same time. That album is fantastic so I went into this one fairly optimistic thinking maybe UMUR just isn't into this style of Psychedelic music. Well UMUR is right on several fronts. First of all the sound quality is poor, in fact it sounds like it was recorded in a garage. And yes it sounds amateurist as well. I do know this is all improvized which lets face it doesn't always work. In this case none of it works. I don't know if i've ever been so agitated listening to an album before. A combination of the poor sound, noisy jamming and boring repetitive sounds.

The good news is that they have improved since this album in just about every way possible.

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 The Red Veil by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.92 | 10 ratings

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The Red Veil
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "The Red Veil" is SUBARACHNOID SPACE's latest release from 2005. It's heavier and more "Metal" than their previous albums. You could call this Psychedelic Metal I suppose, a style that I love. In the liner notes thet say that this was recorded live and as natural as possible. The cover art looks like something out of a Sci-Fi horror movie. Weird man. The music is incredible though and that's what counts. We have 2 guitarists (one who also does electronics) a drummer and a bass player.

"Honorable Mention" is a song that I just crank up high. Check out the grinding guitars as the drums pound. The metal is flying everywhere on this track. Amazing opener. "Ouroboros" opens with drums and bass as scorching guitar joins in. It's more intense before 2 minutes as the guitar echoes at one point. A powerful soundscape follows then it settles somewhat around 3 1/2 minutes. Great sound here. It's building and the drums let loose 5 1/2 minutes in. "The Red Veil" opens with sounds that slowly rise and fall. It's eerie. I can imagine those black birds on the album cover making these sounds. Drums after 4 minutes and guitars follow about a minute later. It settles around 9 minutes before kicking in heavier than ever a minute later.

"Trainable" is an uptempo onslaught. It does settle some as the guitar rips it up. "P.S.S.A." opens with these lonely sounds crying out. Drums and bass join in. It's almost doom-like here. The guitar starts to scream out. The tempo is picking up 4 1/2 minutes in. A change after 6 minutes to more of a straight up metal song. Incredible ! "Duster" has this haunting intro, drums before a minute. They stop 2 1/2 minutes in and it's still haunting. It turns intense after 3 minutes. Very intense.

I can't give 5 stars but I want to because I enjoy this so much. A great find for me.

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 Ether Or by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.13 | 7 ratings

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Ether Or
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars "Ether Or" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US Psychadelic/Space rock act Subarachnoid Space. The album was released through Unit Circle Rekkids in April 1997. Subarachnoid Space were founded in 1996 and were originally based in San Francisco, California. The debut album "Delicate Membrane" was released in September 1996, which means that there are only 8 months between the debut and "Ether Or".

"Ether Or" features 7 tracks and a total playing time of 54:36 minutes. Three of the tracks on the album exceed the 10 minute mark. All tracks are more or less intrumental psychadelic/Space rock jams. Think Hawkwind (without the sax and the keyboards) when they are most out there and noisy. The instrumentation is very basic with bass, 2 guitars and drums. There´s an almost rehearsal room like quality to the recordings where especially the sound on the drums lead my thoughts in that direction. I also hear a slight post rock vibe on the album. The music on the album are generally not easily accessible featuring lots of dissonance and unstructured playing. To my ears the music is in dire need of memorable hooks or anything catchy that I can hold on to or remember. Much of the time the jamming sounds directionless and quite frankly pointless.

The fact that the rehearsal room sounding production is amaturish, murky and noisy doesn´t exactly help on my impression of the album either. Listeners who adore jams that go on and on without reference points, played by sloppy musicians and packed in a amaturish sound production might enjoy this, but personally I find it a trial to get through and a 1.5 star (25%) rating is warranted.

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Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition.

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