The earliest musical entity begun by Mason was called Trance. Starting in 1987, recordings under the name Trance were released on a number of small-edition cassettes, followed by CDs and singles. As a live venture, Trance included other participants over the years, including Elden M. (Allegory Chapel Ltd.), Annabel Lee (Amber Asylum), Sam Lohmann (36, Nimrod), and others. Live collaborations under the guise of Trance included shows with Jim O'Rourke, Joe Papa (Controlled Bleeding), Evolution Control Committee, and many more.

The name of Trance was retired after the word become inextricably intertwined with bad electronic music.

Some material is being reissued digitally on Mason's Bandcamp Site, including very early live recordings.

Releases:

Compiled (Monochrome Vision, 2008)

A collection of tracks from compilation appearances over the years, this CD (limited to 500 copies) pulled in many rare tracks which were unavailable for a very long time. It includes the very first Trance compilation appearance, with an emphasis on the soundtrack-style and tribal-style works.

 
Augury (Charnel Music, 1995)

The last Trance album, this collects a few compilation pieces with some new works, concentrating on soundtrack-style instrumental songs. The mysterious last piece, the 15-minute "Segau Tago: Vizgano," was an imaginary world-music track recorded by Warren Defever of His Name is Alive at his house in Livonia. It featured both Warren and Geoff Walker (Gravitar) on various weird instruments as well.

 
Contents Under Pressure (Flying Esophagus, 1994)

After playing several years of shows, this live CD was collected. It includes a 1993 guitar duo with Jim O'Rourke, a guitar/voice duo with Joe Papa (Controlled Bleeding), a noise duo with Emil Beaulieu, a guitar/trombone duo with Mark Gunderson of the Evolution Control Committee, several tracks with the Turbo Messiah guys, and a number of pieces with long-time collaborator Elden M. of Allegory Chapel Ltd.

 
Audiography (Staalplaat, 1993)

This was a heavily cinematic release, with nearly every piece being a soundtrack to a vision. Short texts accompanied each song. These were all recorded on a Tascam Porta-2 cassette 4-track recorder. The beautiful cover photo was by Monte Cazazza and Michelle Handelman, and an interior illustration was by Stephen Holman (thank you!).

 
Notre-Dame de L'oubli (Fourth Dimension Records, England, 1993)

The three tracks on this 7" single spanned three separate areas. The title track was solo guitar atmospherics recorded direct to DAT. The second piece, "Spirit Monologue," blended vocals, drum, whistle, and recorded recorded live through a series of delays. The flip side was one long piece, "Xenophobia," recorded in Osaka, Japan during the Torture Chorus tour in 1992.

 
Guitar Noise EP (Charnel Music, 1993)

This 7" single held one solo guitar improv noise piece backed with a live recording from the Heinz Club in Oakland, the latter with Allegory Chapel Ltd's Elden M. on sampled vocals.

 
Automatism (Charnel Music, 1991)

The first CD release by Trance after numerous cassettes, this album combined a number of aspects, being recorded at somewhat of a crossroads. There are noisy guitar experiments as well as tribal percussion, live show excerpts, and the beginnings of the cinematic semi-symphonic works which would dominate the later albums.

 
Cassette releases:
A large number of Trance cassettes were released between 1988 and 1993:

Audio Image Assault, G.R.O.S.S., Japan, 1993. A collaborative noise release with Pittsburgh's Macronympha, who sent tracks to Trance, who then added more and mixed the results.

Emergence of Buried Truths, Obuh Records, Poland, 1993. This tape included the more orchestral tracks from the Mesmerism cassette and the Automatism CD.

Unyielding Firmament, Sounds for Consciousness Rape, France, 1993. This was a split with D.S. Hastings on the other side of the tape. The Trance side is two tracks of intense electronic noise.

Mesmerism, Charnel Music, 1990. Mostly keyboard-dominated songs; the beginnings of the cinematic works.

Purity, Charnel Music, 1990. Harsh noise recorded on a Sequential Circuits 6-Track synthesizer.

The Beaten Track, Charnel Music, 1989. The first release to include a lot of sampled works.

Abyss, Charnel Music, 1989. Industrial noise rock with some free-improv work. Rough, experimental rock music.

Fatal Blow, Charnel Music, 1988. The first tape, somewhere between Swans and Big Black with industrial rock leanings.

 
Compilation Appearances:
"Manifest Destiny" Elegy, Cassette, 1996, EE Tapes
"Aurora Borealis (Light)" Endless 1, CD, 1995, Manifold
"Oh See Can You Say" 1-800-America, Cassette, 1994, RRRecords
"Summons" Arrhythmia II, CD, 1994, Charnel Music
"Vicious Circle" USENET Mind/Body, CD, 1994, Atomic Novelties
"Seismic Disturbance" Noise War, Cassette, 1994, Mother Savage NPC
"Rain in Hind" Of Sound Mind, Cassette, 1993, Godsend Productions
"The Other Side of Silence" Of Sound Mind, Cassette, 1993, Godsend Productions
"Ennui" Must Be Musique 2, CD, 1993, Dark Vinyl
"All Thy Bones with Beauty Clad" Dust Claims Dust, Cassette, 1992, Hyde Recordings
"Monk on Fire" Drudge 2, Cassette, 1992, Drudge Magazine
"Reversal of Fortune" Drudge 2, Cassette, 1992, Drudge Magazine
"All the Myriad Ways" Dry Lungs 5, CD, 1992, Subterranean Records
"Evidence of Danger" Must Be Musique, CD, 1992, Dark Vinyl
"Siege" Must Be Musique, CD, 1992, Dark Vinyl
"A Celebrated Occasion" Wakened By Silence, Cassette, 1991, Charnel Music
"Yearning Like a God in Pain" 4x4, CD, 1991, Ladd-Frith
"Delerium" Altered States of Consciousness, CD, 1991, U.P.D. Organization
"Under Construction" Auricular Cassette 3, Cassette, 1991, Auricular Records
"Film at Eleven" Arrhythmia, CD, 1990, Charnel Music
"Without Provocation" Complication Compilation, Cassette, 1990, Suitcase Recordings