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Porcupine Tree - Porcupine Tree Sampler 2008 - Transmission 8.1 CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.00 | 1 ratings

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3 stars This is the second Porcupine Tree Sampler (this one dated 2008), and like the previous one released in 2005, this one contains tracks collected from various solo projects and non-PT projects that the members of the band were involved in during the time. Also, just like the previous sampler, the music does not resemble that of PT very much, and it was released to give some exposure to the other projects that Richard Barbieri, Steven Wilson, Gavin Harrison and Colin Edwin were involved with.

The sampler starts off with Richard Barbieri with a track called 'Hypnotek' from his solo album 'Stranger Inside'. This is a nice electronic based track with processed piano, a driving beat and a mysterious feel. What sounds like some heavy guitar effects come in later and some added intensity keeps the track dynamic. Throw in some indiscernible vocal loops and you've got an interesting track. 'Red Square' follows this from his solo album 'Things Buried'. This one has Tangerine Dream style synths with some cool bass effects. Some lovely piano is added in later.

Colin Edwin is represented by three tracks by his project called 'Ex-wise Heads'. The first track is 'Harmonic Chain' from the album 'Holding Up the Sky'. Percussion and a funky bass provide the back drop to this interesting track that features nice effects along with a flute. 'Another Spark' is a track from the album 'Liquid Assets'. This one has some jazz leanings with light percussion. It is driven more by the bass at first, but a sax has the main spotlight on this one. Later, a tricky flute solo takes over. Next is 'Exit Strategy' which has a more tribal, or world, flavor to it, driven by percussion and bass.

Gavin Harrison is the next featured musician. 'Sailing' is a tricky progressive jazz tune with some lounge-y vocals that I don't care for. 'Sometime' follows this with a similar sounding track. These tracks do little to show Harrison's talent as they are not very interesting.

Steven Wilson is highlighted with the next 3 tracks. The first is from his project with Tim Bowness called 'No-man'. The track is the lovely 'Truenorth' sung with Bowness' airy vocals that comes from the excellent album 'Schoolyard Ghosts'. It is an edited version of the track, the original was over 12 minutes. This is a beautiful, lush track. Next is 'Get All You Deserve' from Steven Wilson's solo album 'Insurgentes'. It features Wilson's vulnerable vocals against a minimalist piano. This later intensifies when heavy guitar arpeggios are introduced. At four minutes, drums come crashing in as tension builds through the track until it becomes quite noisy at the end. The last track is from SW's solo experimental and electronic project 'Bass Communion'. The track is called 'Glacial 1602' from the album 'Molotov and Haze'. The track is edited from 13:10 to 9:03 with some of the most prolonged ambience cut out. Even so, the music is minimal, yet beautiful. Effects seems to be processed guitar and probably synths.

Just like the previous sampler, this is a good way to try out the other projects that the musicians from PT were involved in to see if you would want to explore them more. The tracks are all great this time, except for Harrison's which is kind of surprising. However, as can be expected from samplers, the music is varied and works better when presented on a full album. At any rate, you can still get a good idea from these tracks as to what to expect. These samplers were my gateway into the further exploits of both Wilson and Barbieri as I love most of their projects, especially 'No-man' and 'Bass Communion'.

TCat | 3/5 |


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