Trance Port Tapes
Trance Port Tapes was run by Barry Craig ( aka A Produce) who started the tape label in 1983. In 1988 he produced A vinyl LP and soon thereafter a number of CDs. He championed the most underground and experimental acts from the LA ( and beyond ) area. His own music was a rich and deep drone form. You will find a link to his album “A Smooth Surface” below.
Barry died in 2011
Many thanks to John Trubee for lending me the tapes and writing the comments below. Special thanks to Barry’s widow, Jane Frizell-Craig for permission to use his music for this tribute article.
Listen to A Smooth Surface by A Produce
CD by A Produce ( Barry Craig) called “A Smooth Surface”. Originally released on tape in 1994 , re-issued in 2004 on CD with 3 extra tracks.
“Live At The Trance Port” featured Randall Kennedy,Fat & Fucked Up, Stillife, and Debt Of Nature, released in 1984.
A collection with many of the Trance Port artists including A Produce, Stillife, Pierre Lambow, Fat & Fucked Up, brent Wilcox, John Trubee and more.
A spoken arts release by Randall Kennedy on Trance Port from 1983.This was from a sheet tucked inside the tape cover.
“LA Mantra 2” , a two tape set of underground artists from the LA area released on Trance Port in 1984
Liner note description of the band, If-Then-Else, a song they recorded in 1981 and appears on “LA Mantra”.
Fat & Fucked Up were a band from LA ( some originally from SF) and were part of the Trance Port stable.
Chas Smith was ( and is) an instrument builder and pedal steel guitar player who creates amazing experimental and drone sounds. His track was from 1982 on “LA Mantra”.
by John Trubee
I met Barry Craig AKA A Produce in the early 80’s in Los Angeles. Originally from Rockport, Illinois, Barry worked some low-level job at ABC TV in Los Angles in the 1970’s and also wrote for Billboard magazine. He eventually found a somewhat lucrative insurance job in the San Fernando Valley which provided him the financial resources to fund his cassette (and eventually CD) label TRANCEPORT.
Through various cassette compilation albums Barry’s tape label documented an ephemeral underground industrial/noise/trance/ space music scene in LA in the 1980’s. He also played guitar in obscure LA band AFTERIMAGE until they disbanded.
His later releases on the label featured his own trance music works—absolutely gorgeous music!
When I lost my job at a hardware store in 1991 and sent resumes to everyone I knew in LA seeking another job, Barry was one of two people who actually responded to me. We became best of friends, and up until he died in 2011,aside from my mother, Barry was the only one who regularly called me on the phone for long, entertaining conversations. Now both he and my Mom are gone. My telephone is eerily quiet.
Barry was a hypersensitive artist type with a deep appreciation for the beauty of desert spaces and a deeply cynical attitude toward the world of business and in the normal workaday world of day jobs, which he loathed. When he endured a particularly upsetting split with an old girlfriend, all his hair fell out, including his eyebrows, and never grew back for the remainder of his life.
Half a year before he died Barry recorded me reading a collection of my antipoetry to be made into a spoken work album. He planned to add ambient digital synthesizer textures and percussion tracks behind the words to imbue them with a lilting, hipster feel. Alas, he died before he finished work on the album. All that remains is a 22-minute session of me reading my words on a mono microphone in his bedroom in Eagle Rock while he ran the recording equipment from his studio across the hallway.
Barry passed away suddenly in September, 2011 after a brief bout with pancreatitis.
Please give Barry’s music a listen. He never got all the credit he deserved!
—-John Trubee July 3rd, 2013 Medford, Oregon
Listen to Live At The Trance Port at these two blogs:
No Longer Forgotten
Another Trance Port discography
Comments about “LA Mantra” on the blog, Crud Crud
“LA Mantra 2” at Continuo’s blog
Artist and friend Robert Rich remembers Barry Craig
News of the passing of Barry Craig and reactions here
Discography of A Produce here
A still image tribute to A produce featuring M. Griffin on youtube
You can also find a few other A Produce videos on You Tube as well.