Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Phish The Siket Disc album cover
2.83 | 21 ratings | 3 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Write a review

Buy PHISH Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. My Left Toe (4:47)
2. The Name Is Stick (3:59)
3. What's The Use? (11:19)
4. Fish Bass (1:11)
5. Quadrophonic Toppling (1:58)
6. The Happy Whip And The Dung Song (5:29)
7. Insects (3:11)
8. Title Track (1:00)
9. Albert (2:18)

Total time 35:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Trey Anastasio / guitar, vocals
- Page McConnell / keyboards, vocals
- Mike Gordon / bass, vocals
- Jonathan Fishman / drums, vocals

Releases information

Select excerpts from the long-form improvisation recording sessions during March - October, 1997 for its album 'The Story of the Ghost' and named for engineer and mixer John Siket.

Artwork: Brett Hughes with Sofi Dillof (photo)

CD Phish Archives ‎- PD1002 (1999, US) Available only by mail-order
CD Elektra ‎- 62598-2 (2000, US)

LP Jemp Records ‎- 1086 (2015, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy PHISH The Siket Disc Music

PHISH The Siket Disc ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

PHISH The Siket Disc reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The one thing that the band Phish has become famous for is their ability to improvise and create jams in concert that can go on for several minutes. However, in the studio, they have been typically more structured, mostly taking songs that have been developed while on tour, and turning them into something that will translate well in studio. The band has seen much success using this formula, but most of the Phish heads out there find that they don't get that "high" satisfaction on their recordings as they do in their live show experiences. It's because of their ability to play live in this free-form improvisational fashion that they have been compared most closely to "The Grateful Dead". No one can really deny the fact that they are some of the best improvisers out there.

Phish released an excellent smorgasbord of songs in their 7th studio album which boasts a large variety of tasty tracks. This time was when the band was at their creative best. During the recording sessions for that album, the band recorded a lot of improvised material that didn't get put on the album. But there was a lot of material that was quite good that just couldn't get locked into the Phish vaults to probably never be heard of again. So, the band released bits and pieces of these sessions and made them available for download in July of 1999, and then released them commercially on Elektra Records in November of 2000. This strange collection ended up becoming an album unlike any of their studio albums and became known as "The Siket Disc", named after John Siket, the engineer who helped to clean up the sound to make it all into some level of cohesiveness.

The main problem here, that doesn't translate well into a studio album, is that when in concert, the band can use their familiar songs to formulate a framework to build an improvisation off of. In this case, these are all new improvisations, and, unless you are a firmly dedicated Phish head who has attended many a concert, this music probably won't sink into your soul quite as easily. Around the time of the release of this album, Phish had announced that they were going on an indefinite hiatus, and so the studio was willing to keep the Phish phans occupied by releasing whatever they could.

The improvisations ended up generating 9 tracks that could be put together into this album, but only ended up giving the listener 35 minutes of music. The music is a bit spacey, ambient and unstructured, most of the tracks only lasting under 5 minutes. "Me Left Toe", the opening track, will give you an idea of what to expect. It is a meandering song based off of a simple foundation, with wandering guitar and piano chords and notes and some wordless vocalizations. There is a bit of a build up here as it continues, but not much else, and it sounds almost psychedelic and post-rock-ish. "The Name is Slick" however, has a solider foundation in the funky exchange between Anastasio's guitar and Gordon's bass. As usual, McConnell and Fishman receptively bring in their keys and drums to match the subtle sound that still manages to find a groove which gives it some life.

The longest track is the 3rd on the track list, the 11+ minute "What's the Use?" It comes soaring in on the airplane-like drone, bringing in a slow, bluesy style, and we get to hear some really great atmospheric tortured guitar which is wonderfully enhanced and played upon by the keyboards. A sinister bass pulls the entire thing along as the drums do a slow beat, and this becomes quite an excellent jam, mixed with squealing and echoing psychedelia and experimentation. As it continues, Anastasio manages to manipulate the sound to become almost jazz-like melody while retaining the slow, hard blues beat. After 8 minutes, though, it sort of peters out, and is left to some softly wandering guitar and keyboard atmospherics while the beat taps slowly on.

There are then two short jam snippets that follow; "Fish Bass" which is mostly instrument generated noise, and "Quadrophonic Toppling" which has Gordon repeating the name of the track over and over as bass guitar and tapping percussion meander along with some light guitar notes and sustained, almost undiscernable keys. The next track "The Happy Whip and Dung Song" manages to make it over 5 minutes. It's a dark and heavy track with a moderate beat. There is quite a bit of grumpy sounding guitar that acts like it might have a statement, but a motif mostly just repeats while interesting layers of heavy sound continue. A bit of brightness comes out in the synthesizer, but it never really catches a hold, and the track just goes on sounding like it is going to form into something interesting, but never does. It's a jam that accomplishes nothing.

Three rather short tracks follow; "Insects" is a bunch of looped warbling and clackety clack percussion that drones on for 3 minutes; "Title Track" that bleeps along while manipulated voices say "The Siket Disc", and other interesting sounds; and "Albert" which is just some meandering guitar and bass.

Being a Phish fan, even I can't really get into this album, and I don't play it that often. There might have been some ideas here that could have developed into something, but that is all this becomes is a collection of ideas that don't amount to anything. Only two tracks are worth much, and that is "The Name is Slick" and the first 8 minutes of "What's the Use?". The rest is not even jamming as much as it is goofing around and never reaching any point. Surely there is much better unreleased improvisational Phish material than this. There really wasn't much of a point to it. It all ends up being something that only the completionists or most die-hard Phish fans should have. Don't let this be your introduction to Phish, because there is much better stuff out there.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The Siket Disc is the one and only instrumental album recorded by the American band Phish. It was released via mail order to Phish fans in 1999, but didn't hit stores until 2000. It is a very quaint little collection of rather obscure music recorded during Phish's Story of the Ghost sessions in ... (read more)

Report this review (#1557839) | Posted by aglasshouse | Sunday, May 1, 2016 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Siket Disc is an interesting little piece in the Phish catalog. It is not an album, per say. It is a group of studio jams recorded during 1998' Story of the Ghost session. They exhibit the glossy and yet sublimely organic sounds heard on that recording, but contain no vocals and in fact no ac ... (read more)

Report this review (#45632) | Posted by | Monday, September 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of PHISH "The Siket Disc"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.