Oh my goodness, I am so woefully behind here with UTR. I have well over 20 entries I need to get in here - that is to say, albums I want to talk about and get some exposure. Dave first got in touch with me in 2013, I responded about a year later, and only now getting to these notes. I'm not good at this....
Trance Lucid - Palace of Ether. 2013 private
Dave Halverson - Apothecary Charms. 2008 private
There are at least 5 Trance Lucid and 4 solo albums from Halverson, which are detailed on his website.
"Palace of Ether" is a very unique instrumental work that sounds like a jazzy neo-psych cocktail album. This isn't challenging fusion with complicated meters or an album filled with fiery buzz-saw psychedelic solos. The music creates a calm mood to soothe the soul, thus befitting the name of Trance Lucid. I haven't really heard anything quite like it, but it fits comfortably within a handful of genres I do listen to often*. Definitely a cool niche Dave Halverson and band have going here.
*I've read reviews that inevitably compare it to post rock, and that's probably fair, but to me Trance Lucid points to an earlier era. "Palace of Ether" comes off as authentic late 60s cool jazz, played with rock instruments, rather than a 2000 facsimile of it. I'll let the genre warriors fight over that, but wanted to express my own feelings about it.
"Apothecary Charms" demonstrates, to me at least, that Halverson goes far beyond the usual one man projects we see today. This is a very talented individual who not only knows how to play a multitude of instruments, but also understands the need for actual songwriting. The album has plenty of atmosphere and variety. At times, I was reminded of the French solo pioneers of the late 70s (Richard Pinhas, Herve Picard (Ose), Claude Perraudin, and Michel Moulinie) where a sense of cosmic exploration, underscored by a psychedelic undertone and a jazzy disposition, made for a very good album.
Halverson himself describes the album as: "Apothecary Charms contains a number of guitar-based electronic rock songs, and also some songs that are not that, including a jazzy electric piano excursion, an improvised solo guitar piece, etc. My favorite recordings to listen to are often ones that have a lot of range and still make sense stylistically as a whole. I like to create recordings in a similar fashion. One of my goals on this project was to have a somewhat tighter sonic focus than on previous recordings. But, as always, I also wanted to explore new sounds and instrumentation, and move in new directions."