Trances & Drones


Released 2013

Hypnos HYP3364, CD

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This 2013 edition is now basically sold out. However, we have a handful of the edition from Release/Relapse, in 2CD Jewel Case, which we will ship until we are out of stock.

This page is for the 2013 archival edition of Robert Rich's landmark double release from 1983, with threefold Digipack and 8 page booklet.


Listeners present for Robert Rich's earliest music, going back to his time at Stanford, may recall the early 80s cassette releases of Trances and Drones as separate albums. Most of us became familiar with Trances/Drones as a unified ambient masterwork on double CD, first released on the Extreme label in 1994, then reissued by Release/Relapse in 2000.

As an enthusiast of ambient and drone music, before I started Hypnos recordings in 1996, I remember Trances & Drones as one of the most significant influences on my evolving sense of what ambient music could be: psychologically powerful; not just relaxing but transporting; a way of summoning dreamlike or visionary states while awake.

I remember lying in darkness, listening to a rotation of favorite CDs that included Trances/Drones. This recording seemed to convey something sacred or otherworldly, well beyond the detached "spacey" quality to which most such music aspires. This powerful effect derives from Robert's mingling of organic "earthy" sounds, such as flute, guitar and voice, along with spacious drifting textures from electronic sources.

My own philosophies regarding the aesthetics of atmospheric music formed to the backdrop of this soundtrack. Hypnos could not exist without that influence.

- Mike Griffin, May 2013