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Porcupine Tree

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Porcupine Tree Transmission IV album cover
4.00 | 125 ratings | 12 reviews | 47% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Moonloop - Unedited improvisation (40:07)

Total Time 40:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Wilson / guitar, keyboards, samples
- Colin Edwin / bass
- Chris Maitland / drums

- Markus Butler / harmonica
- Rick Edwards / percussion

Releases information

Promo-CD Delerium Records (2001)
Limited edition of 500 copies in a transparent blue plastic cardsleeve.
This fourth and final Transmission PT information service release (only available to subscribers) contains a complete improvisation from 1994

LP Delerium Records DELEC LP 999 (2006)
Limited edition of 1,000 copies on white vinyl.

CD Delerium Records DELEC CD 999 (2006)
Limited edition of 1,000 copies. It contains one 40:07 minute track, the remastered version of the original release.

Digital album - 2020 Remaster - all 40 minutes of the unedited "Moonloop", taken from recently released "Delerium Years" Boxset. Remastered by Steven Wilson.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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PORCUPINE TREE Transmission IV ratings distribution

(125 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PORCUPINE TREE Transmission IV reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by evenless
5 stars Only 500 copies of the MOONLOOP TRANSMISSION IV were printed and mailed out to PT Newsletter subscribers. Excellent unedited improvisation by Colin Edwin, Chris Maitland, Steven Wilson and guest artists Markus Butler on harmonica and Rick Edwards playing the percussions. If you already liked "Moonloop" on "The Sky Moves Sidesways" you will totally LOVE this unedited track of 40m07s long! Some true musicianship comes to light while the quintet is jamming along in the Doghouse in Henley on the 28th of June, 1994.

For fans who would like to have this item: it was recently re-released by Freak Emporium (former Delerium Records) on white and black vinyl. You can order it for a reasonable price on their website. If you still want 1 of the 500 copies in CD format I wish you good luck bidding on eBay!

P.S. There has been a re-release of an extra 1000 copies by former delerium records, presently known as freakemporium. Be quick and serve to to get your original copy!

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars As their "Voyage 34, The Complet Trip", this release reminds me "Tangerine Dream" a lot. Of course, you'll need to be in the improvisation style to appreciate this. Because otherwise, you will easily lose your temper after a while and stop listening to this.

So, if "TD" is a band you like and if the early live "Floyd" is also one of your good companion, there are good chances that you will be able to digest this work.

So did I. Especially in the second part which is richer in sounds and during which we'll even get some frenetic guitar for a while (starting around minutes thirty-three).

do not expect too much though. It's like if you would be listening to thirty minutes of the middle part of "Echoes", which might sound a bit longish, right ?

This is of course not a masterpiece, but a pleasant moment of trippy music which I appreciate most while getting to sleep.

Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This is an unedited 40 minute improv recorded June 28th 1994. We even get a couple of guests adding harmonica and percussion.There is a shorter version of this song on the "Sky Moves Sideways" double disc I own. In fact if your as big a fan as I am of that album you'll love this EP. This has that same spacey style that just takes me away.

"Moonloop" is very spacey to start and we get some birds chirping 1 1/2 minutes in. Percussion and guitar join in. The guitar is becoming more prominant around 7 minutes and it continues to get louder. Nice. Spoken word samples around 15 minutes as the spacey atmosphere continues. Drums and bass come more to the fore 21 minutes in then the harmonica follows. Organ after 25 minutes. Back to the percussion and birds before 30 minutes. It's building at 32 minutes until it's rocking out pretty good after 33 minutes. It settles after 35 minutes and drifts along until it's over.

It's very tempting to give this 5 stars it's so good.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm up at the strangest hours these days, and it looks like that will allow me to post the first review of 2011, a fine occasion to draw some attention to this rare but extraordinary Porcupine Tree release.

The 40 minute Moonloop version on this album differs quite a lot from the better known 20 minute edit available on the Sky Moves Sideways. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find the similarities. The version here represents a relaxed improvisational side of PT that the band has not shown since 1997 and that is only evident here, on Metanoia and to a lesser extent on Voyage 34. The recording dates from June 1994, a bit before the similar Metanoia sessions, and though if I'm quite the fan of that album, I'd rate this Moonloop even higher. Strangely enough the album does not contain the powerful closing section "Coda" which would have made this a 5-star release for me. But really, that's the only negative thing I can think off with regards to this superb release.

The obvious references for comparison are Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream. Not that there are any sequenced synth patterns here, but Barbieri gets a lot more space to shine then on other PT albums. With a wide array of organs, synths and sound effects he creates lush and layered spacious sounds. Chris Maitland proves why he was the perfect drummer for this incarnation of PT, his unique style gives this piece the spontaneously flowing and swinging groove it needs. Wilson is in higher atmospheres and never has played with more psych sensitivity then here.

Conclusion, this is not for PT newbies or for people that only appreciate their post-97 or later material, they might find this a complete musical non-event. But if you can do without flashing Prog action this is one worth hunting down. Recommended to fans of early Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Ozric Tentacles, GYBE, IEM and other mesmerizing spacious music.

Review by Rivertree
4 stars I know this one from their legendary Coma Divine gig in Rome 1997. My favourite sample regarding the performance, very emotional and comprising a fantastic guitar solo by Steven Wilson. So sooner or later it was about time to come closer. This complete original studio jam has much qualities indeed. Let me point out some significant details concerning the line-up first: the whole keyboard/synth input is provided by Wilson - no, Richard Barbieri is not aboard here. Consequently this implies that some overdubs were obligatory.

The cool percussion adds are presented by a guest musician, Rick Edwards. Chis Maitland concentrates himself on his drum kit exclusively. Well, if you reserve 40 minutes for one improv recording, then you have all the time to let it flow. Ambient and spacey moments are in the majority ... they are building the frame so to say. The kick-off evolves like they were preparing their instruments for a soundcheck. Wilson's pleading guitar comes in, Colin Edwin and Rick Edward intimate some groovy approach and finally they switch into the memorable Moonloop flow step by step.

The bass is the driving force in between where the others often seem to hold back, nice and gripping interaction really. When Markus Butler comes in with his harmonica they groooooove the studio. A fall back into a spacey flow follows repeatedly though, Wilson shines with samples and excellent organ/synth contributions. Coming towards the end the band changes into an uptempo mood and finally really rocks for some furious moments. 'Transmission IV' is a substantial snapshot from Porcupine Tree's spacey era - recommended!

Review by admireArt
3 stars A day in the life of Porcupine Tree!

Transmission IV (Moonloop), a forty minute long unedited improvisation, is at its best "inspired", although at close distance, a swirling tribute, here and there and everywhere to Mr. Pink's "trade-mark" guitar atmospherics. Why Steven Wilson intended to do so? I guess with such a vast discography, it could have been let pass by.

Maybe I did not check out and David Gilmour was an unexpected guest! (I am joking, but I did actually, check out!)

Anyway! The best parts of the improvisation, is when PT sounds like PT, and not PF, which ironically are, the more "electronic ambiental" parts or the "funkier" ones. Maybe as a "live" experience, it could have been haunting, but as such, it is good but not essential. (Unless you collect all of PT's records, which I don't).)

***3 PA stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This recording was originally a limited release sent out to PT newsletter subscribers. Since then, it has been released on other recordings like "The Sky Moves Sideways" album, but in edited versions. This was the only way to get the unedited, 40 minute improvised track, which is a spacey and psychedelic musical voyage that really works well as trippy music or background music. Since 2001, it has been reissued a few times, because PT fans demand to have access to everything they record.

The band line up had not been completely established yet and SW plays most of the instruments on this recording. By this time, however, Colin Edwin had joined him on bass and would become a long-time member of the band. Chris Maitland, the early drummer for the band was also providing most of the percussion. Another guest percussionist for the recording is Rick Edwards and the harmonica is provided by another guest Markus Butler.

This album is not going to be appealing to everyone because it is 40 minutes of mostly floating music without anything like a melody. It is actually completely instrumental, except for some field recordings that begin around 15 minutes in. It is broken up into sections which can go on for many minutes before changing. Each section develops until it reaches it's desired sound and groove and continues on with improvised keys and guitar and sometimes with other instruments. The first section gets it's groove, then with a bass and drum foundation, SW improvises atmospheric sounds on the guitar with embellishments from the keyboards. This lasts for 15 minutes, and is quite repetitive if you only pay attention to the foundation of the improvisation. At this point, things get somewhat ambient as the main sounds are conversations from what sounds like a lunar landing while the instruments provide background. This continues for a while, then the music builds another foundation over which more improvisation develops. This time, there is a nice harmonica joining the music provided by Markus Butler. That will continue until 25 minutes in and then things start to get a bit more pensive as a spacey organ takes over the spotlight and bongos are added into the percussion. All the while, the spotlight instruments don't really stand out as solo instruments as much as they are simply a layer to the entire production. Around 29 minutes, the rhythm breaks down as things get psychedelic with birds chirping and other effects and some floating synths.

The last 10 minutes is the best part of the album. It takes a bit longer to build from the bit of ambience that takes over here, but soon drums and bass start establishing a pattern. Now you will start to hear SW fade in a more riveting and intense guitar as keys push him forward. This is where things get exciting as you feel it build a very heavy and fast beat and SW starts to play a blistering solo. The heaviness continues until 35 minutes, when everything drops out except for atmospheric keys and guitar that plays a floating and minimal psychedelia until the end at 40 minutes.

At first listen, this might be too unstructured for most listeners, but the more you listen, the more you start to pick up and realize that this can be divided up into sections of continual music. As a psychedelic, Space Rock style recording, it is an excellent album and is one that you can easily get lost in. But as far as being melodic, it is not at all, at least in any kind of song structure, as it is mostly improvised. I have to be in the right mood to listen to it, but as far as background music, it never fails to satisfy. As far as comparison to the other epic early psychedelic PT works, I prefer "The Sky Move Sideways" more than this one or "Voyage 34", but this one is still quite good as far as trippy psychedelic music goes. It will probably appeal more to Space Rock lovers and PT fans more than anyone else.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The improvised space rock piece Moonloop is a tentpole of Porcupine Tree's The Sky Moves Sideways, but whilst that album has come out in varying configurations over the years, both the original 1CD and later 2CD releases of it only include a fraction of the full 40 minute workout.

Transmission IV presents the full, unedited improvisation. Originally a fan club release, it trickled out in a few more limited editions over the years. Now, benefitting from the remastering job Steven Wilson did for the Delirium Years boxed set, it is now available in that box - or, for those for whom that's a bit too rich a prospect, as a downloadable release.

The Sky Moves Sideways marked the point when Porcupine Tree coalesced from being a Steven Wilson personal project into being a true band prospect, and the Moonloop improvisation finds Wilson and the band's newly-minted rhythm section of Colid Edwin and Chris Maitland working on feeling out their chemistry and really gelling as a group. No doubt a necessary exercise at this stage of the band's evolution, it's also a great little listen, exploring Floydian space territory using more modern equipment.

As with the Voyage 34 EP, this is very much an ambient space rock voyage, so don't expect tight songwriting or compositional structures. (In fact, expect less: this is, after all, an improv.) But if you want to hear the band putting themselves through their paces, it's pretty solid, and if you are very keen on the Sky Moves Sideways sound then it's a no- brainer.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Porcupine Tree's Planet Caravan: 8.5/10 PORCUPINE TREE's metal phase shadows its earlier psychedelic phase, which, in my opinion, was much more accomplished (albeit heavily influenced by PINK FLOYD, or so they claim). Said epoch's magnum opus was THE SKY MOVE SIDEWAYS, which presented many so ... (read more)

Report this review (#1778976) | Posted by Luqueasaur | Sunday, September 3, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I am a happy owner of this rare release (which was a bi**h, because I live in Colombia), and have to say that, although it is masterful, it does need extensive "digestion" before falling into such category. The first time I listened to (at least) the first five minutes of this, I went "Did my d ... (read more)

Report this review (#273226) | Posted by Juan.Pablo.Gonzalez | Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm very very happy to own this very rare (and meanwhile also very expensive) Promo-CD (Thanks @ ebay). It's a pity that most people never have a chance to listen this item. 40 minutes perfect sound, 40 minutes perfect chill-out, 40 minutes deepest relaxing, 40 minutes PURE CULT !!! - a must h ... (read more)

Report this review (#46728) | Posted by Grendelbox | Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you like TSKMS, you'll love this. 40 minutes of music taking you to other places, obviously some were in outer space, like the moon, and forgetting about everything around you. A perfect album to creat a nice atmosphere for relaxing or chilling. If that's what you're looking for in music, t ... (read more)

Report this review (#9660) | Posted by | Friday, February 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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