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One of those silly Canadians that obsesses over SW's works but never gets to see him live!
Home page: http://seasonsinthesky.bandcamp.com
Posts by StarsDie.com Team
Tim Bowness, in the role of vocalist and lyricist for progressive duo No-Man, has amassed a lengthy body of work exploring a wide range of tonalities and approaches. From dancehall electronic pop to subtle ambient movements, his twist on and contributions to Steven Wilson’s music have always been unique.
In Henry Fool, however, Bowness takes on a whole other role, nurturing along the King Crimson-esque instrumental compositions with guitar instead of his vocal chords. Specifically, I get major vibes recalling some of the ProjeKct records, as their spacey jams and odd rhythms intermingle in similar ways. On their new release Men Singing, tracks like “Everyone in Sweden” alternate between nearly ambient passages of sax soloing by Myke Clifford and funky outbursts highlighting great interplay between bassist Peter Chilvers and drummer Andrew Booker. (more…)
Listeners familiar with Gavin Harrison via Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, and various other acts recognize his style of rhythmic mastery on the drum kit every time. Even here, in his second venture with vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ø5ric — titled, as if in an alternate view of a classic David Bowie number, The Man Who Sold Himself — Harrison’s unique approach to drumming is obvious, and in this context, it leads to equally unique sonic circumstances.
Opening with bizarre blasts of strange time signatures wherein Harrison’s drums are matched with churning basslines in a flurry reminiscent of Meshuggah, “Prize” begins the record dynamically when it soon drops into a quiet section with piano and vocals. We are introduced to Ø5ric in this blissful context, perhaps similar to No-Man from its melancholic nature and Ø5ric’s voice, which seems to combine the aforementioned Bowie with No-Man’s Tim Bowness. The result is an odd-in-an-interesting-way blend of Harrison’s bizarre, angular trickery and Ø5ric’s shimmering vibrato and multi-layered harmonies.
Blackfield has, ostensibly, been about the writing partnership of Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen since the project first came to fruition in 2004. The results of that first collaboration, Blackfield I, established the more straightforward pop aesthetic of the group, and successful singles like “Blackfield” and “Hello” revealed SW’s primary intent with the project was to excise some of his musical ideas considered too poppy or otherwise unfit for use in Porcupine Tree. Three years later, Blackfield II presented another 10 songs following much of the same aesthetic, reinforcing the pair’s aptitude for succinct, catchy rock music. Are these two albums really so similar, however? The aim of this new article series is to examine two albums and see where such comparisons and contrasts exist.
There are very few artists, especially in contemporary music culture, who can survive the buildup and anticipation over an entire decade and release something of great stature and accomplishment. We first heard note of a project between Porcupine Tree frontman and solo artist Steven Wilson and Opeth leader Mikael Åkerfeldt around 2002, when SW had written a song intended for their collaboration as he was working on the monumental PT album In Absentia (which ended up recorded and left off his last solo record, as “Cut Ribbon”). However, it took this long for scheduling to align the two musical masterminds – as Storm Corrosion – to actually make a record… and it’s nothing like anyone would expect.
“Raider II” is hardly the first epic Steven Wilson has written, considering even his early years were so influenced by krautrock and psychedelia that his demo tapes were filled with longform compositions like “The Nostalgia Factory”. Further, some of the most adored Porcupine Tree songs of recent years — “Anesthetize”, “Arriving Somewhere, but Not Here”, “Deadwing”, “Time Flies”, and so on — continue to push song length and epic composition in a truly progressive fashion. Yet “Raider” does have the distinction of being the first epic-length song in SW’s solo catalogue; where “Salvaging” and “No Twilight in the Courts of the Sun” use extended length on his first solo outing, Insurgentes, only penultimate track “Get All You Deserve” actually evolves to an epic climax (and it only runs 6 minutes!). The compositions extended greatly for his second effort, Grace for Drowning, but none come anywhere near the 23 minutes of “Raider”… and none of the others particularly sound that similar to it, either.