Porcupine Tree — Voyage 34: The Complete Trip
(Delerium DELEC CD 074, 2000, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01History: In 1992, Porcupine Tree was a little-noticed solo project of Steven Wilson. The first album had made little splash on the progressive psychedelic scene. Wilson decided to bring a little less nostalgic feel to his second album, and Voyage 34 had enough in common with ambient electronic music of the time to catch the attention of his record label. The single thirty-minute piece was divided into two “phases” and released as a single. It did well, and a year later, Delirium released another Voyage 34 single, this one containing remixes by Astralasia (“Phase III”) and Wilson himself (“Phase IV”) aided by Richard Barbieri. Porcupine Tree was no longer unknown. Music: The first two phases bear more resemblance to Pink Floyd than The Orb, being based on a guitar-with-delay part that would be at home in The Wall (Wilson cites Ash Ra Tempel as his main influence, however). A narrative flow is added by spoken bits taken from an LSD propaganda album from the sixties describing “Brian’s 34th trip.” Wilson’s soaring guitar is backed by programmed drums and walls of keyboards, an example of space rock at its finest. The additional phases are quite different, exhibiting only the subtlest of rhythms amid acres of ambience for most of their duration. “Phase III” does work up to a mid-tempo beat after five minutes or so, but “Phase IV” remains pretty free-form throughout. For fans of the Tree, this is a great chance to get a glimpse into the early days, when Wilson was starting to discover what kind of fruit a Porcupine Tree would bear.
Related artist(s): Porcupine Tree
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more