Friday, 3 June 2011

Random Review #66 Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34

C6S3CD14 So where do I start with Porcupine Tree? I’m guessing that most people reading this might not have heard of Porcupine Tree. Although a fully formed band Porcupine Tree is one of five vehicles for the music of Steven Wilson. I think I mentioned this when I reviewed No-Man in this blog (dated 24th Jan 2011) but for those who are new to the blog here they are;

  • ·         Porcupine Tree – Melodic /Progressive Rock (Wilson writes sings and plays guitar)
  • ·         Blackfield -  Melodic rock duo with Avi Geffen ( huge Israeli pop star)
  • ·         Steven Wilson – Solo releases similar to Porcupine Tree (but full album of remixes was released)
  • ·         No-Man – Ambient music with vocals, Wilson doesn’t sing, and have recorded version of Pink Moon by Nick Drake
  • ·         Bass Communion – Totally ambient sounds no vocals 

As well to this Wilson has recently remixed King Crimsons back catalogue and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine as a guest reviewer.
Most of Wilson’s music can be purchased on heavyweight vinyl and he also manages to release web only singles of cover versions where you don’t know what song he has covered until the single arrives in the post (they can be as diverse as ABBA or the Cure) As you can see Wilson is what you might call a music geek and I’m guessing a bit of a workaholic as I think he has released at least 3 albums in the last 12 months.

So on to the music, I think Voyage 34 is Porcupine Tree’s first album if not the first than one of their early albums. The album is 4 instrumental pieces aptly titles I, II, III and IV. The album lasts around 70 minutes and so you can imagine the tracks are long. The album tracks ‘Ryan’ whilst he takes part on a LSD medical trail and the only words on the album narration of how Ryan is feeling whilst going through the trail.

The music sounds like Pink Floyd playing dance music (I actually think Roger Waters has just done this with The Chemical Brothers) the album starts out as the ‘trip’ starts, fast paced,  the music is guitar driven, with influences from Morocco and the Middle East. The music builds without getting too frenetic and could easily sit on an Ibiza chill out album. The music isn’t indicative of how Porcupine Tree music now although I do have a live CD where they replicate track 1 in its entirety.

I’m a bit of a Steve Wilson fan and when I count up I have 22 albums across the 5 mediums that he delivers music, so I’m very bias when reviewing this but if you want to take a punt on some great musicians playing dance oriented rock then listen to this, however it comes with a warning liking Steven Wilson can serious damage your bank balance!

Mark 8/10

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