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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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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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SUBARACHNOID SPACE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy SUBARACHNOID SPACE Music


Endless RenovationEndless Renovation
Ryko Distribution 1998
Audio CD$6.75 (used)
Also RisingAlso Rising
Strange Attractors 2003
Audio CD$10.99
$5.43 (used)
Almost InvisibleAlmost Invisible
Release 1997
Audio CD$39.32
$8.66 (used)
Eight BellsEight Bells
Crucial Blast 2009
Audio CD$10.32
$6.72 (used)
These Things Take TimeThese Things Take Time
Release 2000
Audio CD$35.00
$3.98 (used)
Red VeilRed Veil
Strange Attractors 2005
Audio CD$14.07
$5.24 (used)
Delicate MembraneDelicate Membrane
Charnel Music 1996
Audio CD$7.77 (used)
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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
4.00 | 5 ratings
Endless Renovation
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Sleeping Sickness (with Walking Timebombs)
1999
2.29 | 5 ratings
A New and Exact Map
2000
3.92 | 5 ratings
Also Rising
2003
3.93 | 8 ratings
The Red Veil
2005
3.80 | 6 ratings
Eight Bells
2009

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

4.48 | 4 ratings
Almost Invisible
1997
4.84 | 6 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
5.00 | 1 ratings
Crusades
2010

SUBARACHNOID SPACE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A New and Exact Map by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.29 | 5 ratings

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A New and Exact Map
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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
3.80 | 6 ratings

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Eight Bells
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space 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
3.93 | 8 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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 Almost Invisible by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Live, 1997
4.48 | 4 ratings

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Almost Invisible
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is music to blow your mind with! Everyone should own a CD or two by The Subarachnoid Spacemen. Fans of The Ozric Tentacles, Ash Ra Temple, Agitation Free and my fav Amon Düül II will simply love this album. Almost Invisible is my second album that i picked up by these outer wordly musicians and the album still has me out in some far reaching nebula in search of Earth. The Subarachnoid Space blend heavy space keyboard vibes with intoxicating space guitars and wild bass lines over a flood of drums. The end result is a pure cosmological exploration to which there is no finale. Not sure I would play this at your next dinner party but might make a perfect wedding album !!! As Sun Ra once said "Space is the Place". Need sum space...go gettun.

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 These Things Take Time by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Live, 2000
4.84 | 6 ratings

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These Things Take Time
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

5 stars 'These Things Take Time' is a fascinating documentation of the band's live qualities, recorded 1999 in California. A set played without any break, 45 minutes lasting (unfortunately way too short) and divided in seven parts titled with the letters from A to G.

Backed by a compelling bass and drum work (Andey Stephens, Chris Van Huffel) you are invited to a show of the two band guitarists Mason Jones and Melynda Jackson predominantly. An intense hallucinatory space rock trip with continual ups and downs, completely improvised, sentimental as well as noisy with feedback guitars. Additionally you will detect some decent organ and theremin sweets.

This is really worked out with heart and mind. The band starts the set with a cool dreamy groove. The guitars are escalating by and by like starting the engines for a lift off into the sky. It needs some rounds to capture the excellent interaction of Jones and Jackson. After some time being on orbit they are gliding relaxed spacey for a while.

This is always alternating with dangerous parts escalating to heavy guitar walls, sometimes even near to post-rock alike drones. But after escaping from the danger they always manage to get back to this wonderful spacey flow. And the whole band is still able to give more. Jazzy bass lines appear and a drum work which varies more and more until finally the last songs are gliding into a weird krautrocked mood.

Space rock at its best! A stunning performance by SUBARACHNOID SPACE which is highly recommended to fans of this music style who don't fear some crashing droning guitars appearing here and there. This courage will be rewarded.

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 Also Rising by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.92 | 5 ratings

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Also Rising
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Also Rising marks clearly the departure of the band from their improvised psychedelic debuts to a more structured music. With this album, Subarachnoid Space delivers constructed and evoluting songs, rather agressive or calm, but always frigthening. The addition of the air organ contributes to the mysterious atmosphere.

The opener The Harsh Facts of Life is a perfect example of the group's slight change of direction. Powerful and tortured, the introduction make me think a little of some passages from Radiohead's OK Computer. The second part of the song is more chaotic and mystical, yet organised and terrifying. A great moment ! Deep End opens more slowly to grow in intensity and finally explode, to go on with he the "untitled" song, a pretty good down- tempo spacey tune taking place in the no man's land. The next track, Angel Food is very light and relaxing, constrasting with the band's debut raw songs. A little jazz feel arrive with Burn Shot and Tucson, both groovy and icy. The floating guitar is very inspired and will project you to another spaces. The Radiohead and Post-Rock influences come back again with the ambient and dissonant Dateland. Landscapes of desolation are put in music with the pounding Down Nod Out, while destruction is featured by the powerful Tigris and its elongated guitar playing and vaporous atmosphere.

With this record, Subarachnoid Space rediscover 70s' psychedelia by showing more modern influences such as Godspeed You Black Emperor!, but always with their own touch. As one of their more varied release, Also Rising is cold, floating, terrifying, jazzy, calm and tortured, but always deep and growing. Very recommended to Psychedelic and Post-Rock fans !

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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 Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The second album from Subarachnoid is definitely ambient, mysterious and experimental. Ether Or features mostly long improvised pieces of growing, deep and dark psychedelic music. Often dissonant and tortured, but always inspired.

The record opens with the terrifying introduction of Circular Motion. Textures of sounds make you travel into a lost far away black hole. Then drums and reverb guitars appears, adding a little indian touch to the song. Whipsers of Momentum is the most spacey moment of the disc, with its mystical riff and its elongated guitar improvisations, sometimes reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Careful with That Axe, Eugene. The next track, Flicker, is the oddest here and has a pleasant early gothic feel. Darkness and mystery come back with Shady Character, the most agressive and iciest tune of the album. In opposite, Repetitive Smile is rather calm and very relaxing. The listener is in the sky while listening. After arrives the longest track here, A Collection of Smoke. The first part makes me think of Dead can Dance's early acts and is one of the best passages of the record with its energic drumming and yelling guitars, as if a giant beast was trying to escape from its cage. The second part is much more calm, preparing to sonic explosions and collisons in the final part. Mindblowing ! The disc concludes with Don't Look in the Mirror, an average short experimental ambient track.

Ether Or alternates long evoluting pieces and shorter tunes, tortured passages, energic playing and calmer moments. A good release from Subarachnoid Space. If you are into pyschelidelia or dark music, this disc is for you !

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 Endless Renovation by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Endless Renovation
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Subarachnoid Space's most "different" album, as it features lots of guest musicians and additionnal instruments such as cello, hammer dulcimer and violins. Endless Renovation is definitely an ambient and spacey release, all pieces of music consisting mostly of live improvisations recorded in studio. The songs here are very slow, rather elongated, calm, sometimes dissonant but always trippy, alternating relaxing and angrier moments.

It opens with Will You Make My House a Carnival ?, an organ dominated tune evolving with apparition of guitar and synthetizer textures. The track has some echoes from medieval and oriental music. Back to freak-out stoner rock with Square Wheels, a true descent into madness with its crazy guitar and drum playing. The shortest song of the album, Good Grief ?, is also one of the spaciest with its mysterious and vaporous atmosphere. Stereo Saturation is both ambient and rocky, as if you were travelling into space while observing star collisions. The album concludes with its two longest improvisation, Safety in Numbers and Twilight Sleep, featuring top-notch slow, dark and growing psychedelia, evolving slightly with changing sounds. The cello contributes well to an atmosphere of an "unknown" world.

Endless Renovation is one of the most interesting and adventurous albums from the band, revealing sometimes unexpected jazzy feels. Furthermore, extra instruments manage to bring something new to the music. The tunes are sometimes too elongated and too ambient, but always very inspired ! Subarachnoid Space re-invent psychedelic rock !

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Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition.

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