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Porcupine Tree - Signify CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.85 | 1364 ratings

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Chris M
5 stars I'm having the most perfect hallucination!

This is classed as the fourth studio album by Porcupine Tree and was first released in September 1996. It is the first album that is recorded completly by the whole band rather than a solo project from Steven Wilson with help from other musicians along the way and a number of the songs (albeit in demo form) were debuted on The Sky Moves Sideways tour before being recorded.

Here i am reviewing the Expanded 2CD Edition released in July 2004:

Disc 1 - Signify (1996)

1) Bornlivedie - This is an ambient intro track written by Steven Wilson and Richard Barbieri that sets the album of nicely with excellent use of sampling that will be present throughout the album. Steven Wilson plays the Banshee Guitar, Sampler & Tapes. Richard Barbieri plays Texture, System 700 Electronics & Tapes and Terumi does the voices.

2) Signify - This is the title track written by Steven Wilson which is an instrumental which also makes a reprisal play but slightly different version later in the expanded version due to the second CD being Insignificance. Steven Wilson is on Guitar & Mellotron. Richard Barbieri is on Synthesisers. Colin Edwin is on Bass and Chris Maitland on drums.

3) The Sleep Of No Dreaming - This is the first track with lyrics and is written by Wilson. I can certainly relate to the title as i am always out for the count with not even an incline of a memory of dreaming. Steven Wilson is on Vocals, Organ, Mellotron & Guitars. Richard Barbieri is on Synthesisers again. Colin Edwin is on Electric Bass & Double Bass and Chris Maitland on Drums.

4) Pagan - This track i like to class as a interlude piece however it is a short ambient track that is written by Steven Wilson who is on Samples, Richard Barbieri on Synthesisers and Chris Maitland on Drums.

5) Waiting Phase One - This is the second track with lyrics and was written by Wilson. It is one of my favourite tracks that you can chill to and has Wilson on Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitars and Keyboards. Barbieri is on Synthesisers, Edwin on Bass and Chris Maitland on Drums and Vocal Harmonies.

6) Waiting Phase Two - This is the second part of the track as the title suggests but this half is an instrumental written by Wilson who plays Electric & Acoustic Guitars in this. Barbieri is on Synthesisers and Hammond Organ. Edwin is on Bass and Maitland is on Drums.

7) Sever - This is a track with unusual lyrics written by Wilson and as a track on its own i don't find it that appealing to me but as i listen to albums mostly it just tends to blend into the album. Wilson is on Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards and Tapes. Barbieri is on Synthesisers and Edwin on Bass. Maitland is on Drums and Vocal Harmonies.

8) Idiot Prayer - Is a very psychedelic track with excellent use of sampling and is one of my favourites as i can always space out this track. It was written by Wilson and Edwin and the sample in its full quote can be heard on the song Trippin' by SRM which is an ambient track. Wilson is on Sampler, Tapes, Guitar, Organ and Drum Programming. Barbieri is on Synthesisers and Sequencers. Edwin is on Bass and Maitland is on Drum Loop.

9) Every Home Is Wired - This track was written by Wilson. This track took time for it to grow on me as with some of the other tracks like Sever. This track has also been covered by Polish electronic group Cabaret and included in their single Electric Chair Song. Wilson is on Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards and Tapes. Barbieri is on Prophet V/System 700 Electronics. Edwin is on Electric Bass & Double Bass and Maitland on Drums.

10) Intermediate Jesus - Again this track has use of sampled quotes and was written by the whole band. Wilson plays Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Piano, Tapes, Chimes and Musical Boxes. Barbieri is on synthesisers, Edwin on Bass and Maitland on Drums.

11) Light Mass Prayers - This track is a ambient/soundscape track written by Maitland and has Maitland on Voices, Keyboards and Cymbal with Wilson on Sampler.

12) Dark Matter - This track is the last on the original album and is an excellent instrumental track written by Wilson and is also the longest track on the album running at 8:52. It has been played live throughout the Fear Of A Blank Planet tour and again this was a track that took me a while to acknowledge because everytime i listened to the album the tracks seemed to dissolve into each other, this is easily a track that i can listen to on its own.

Disc 2 - Insignificance (Demos 1995-96)

Insignificance is a selection of Steven Wilson's demos that includes several tracks that were not recorded for the final Signify album, as well as formative versions of some that were. This is also a revided and remastered edition of the Insignificance album made available only to subscribers of the PT information service Transmission in 1997.

13) Wake As Gun 1 - This track is the first part of a song that did not feature at all on the Signify album and is quite a somber song.

14) Hallogallo - This track was a cover of a track from the band Neu! to show the Krautrock side of Steven Wilson which blends straight into the next track.

15) Signify - This track is a slightly different version to the one on the original album as it is a work in progress mix.

16) Waiting - This again is a work in progress version that would eventually be longer and split into two parts on the original album.

17) Smiling Not Smiling - This track is completly new and does not feature on the original album however it does remind me of the sound that Porcupine Tree would use on the album Lightbulb Sun.

18) Wake As Gun 2 - Now we are back to the somber second half of the beginning track that eventually forms a mis-mash of instruments like a rough jam.

19) Neural Rust - This track i really like with its heavy drum beat and bass with synthesisers flowing behind and then adding the rhythm guitar before exploding with the lead guitar. Reminds me of Gong on occassions and the title is brilliant for which i always use when i have a headache :)

20) Dark Origins - This track is a work in progress and working title of the song Dark Matter on teh original album.

21) Sever Tomorrow - This track was a working title of the song Sever that would appear on the original album.

22) Nine Cats (Acoustic Version) - This track original was on the album The Nostalgia Factory in the early cassette era when Porcupine Tree was only a solo fake band by Steven Wilson however as the title says this is an acoustic version of that song which i feel is a great ending to this expanded album.

Overall this album took me awhile to grasp but everytime i listened to it i began to pick parts up that didnt register with me first of all and steadily this album became one of my favourites that i constantly come back to listen to. For me this album represents a significant change in the evolution of the band and you can now see how gifted and multi- instrumentaly talented this band is.

Chris M | 5/5 |


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