StarsDie.com Review – Colin Edwin ‘PVZ’
The Colin Edwin many fans know is he who has so expertly curved his way around the bass guitar on every Porcupine Tree record since about 1993 (and a few other SW-related projects over the years). His smooth, jazzy, groovy playing doesn’t ever quite stay exactly in the expected niche the bass player is ‘supposed’ to fit, especially on the more metal PT ventures, instead weaving a sort of non-linear, beyond-the-box internal tapestry that at once holds the chord changes and adds to them, such that its removal from PT would be detrimental to the overall texture of the music. In some aspects, he has become an integral part of the PT we know as much as SW still is (a comment that further applies to the other members of the band).
The Colin Edwin one hears on his new solo effort, PVZ, is a whole other experience entirely. His bass playing, of course, is recognizable, but altered as appropriate for each track – which is to say that every track is so far outside the known PT landscape that he may not sound quite so familiar on first listen. These tracks approach, primarily, electronic and world music from a very distinct perspective, the gorgeous, SW-informed-but-not-relied-upon melodies bouncing and echoing around in lovely chambers of deep, emotional, groovy pieces. Where vocals are featured, as on the excellent opening pair of “Opium” and “Filled With Colour,” they are a sort of textural backdrop, spoken word adaptations of texts by Ton Suwaphanit and Géza Csáth that meld with the straightforward drum rhythms and washing, lovely guitars. At times, it channels Signify-era PT jams, but never at the risk of losing Edwin’s distinctive musicality and direction with the non-bass instrumentation.
My favourite piece on the record, only slightly forward of the opening one-two punch, is coincidentally the other that employs some words: “The Surgeon” has the beautiful A-B section setup that works essentially as a verse and chorus, the A section driven by a wonderfully percussive, simple, delayed melody above Edwin’s melodious bass playing and drum programming. It pairs off against a wonderfully uplifting B section driven by an ascending melody on electric piano (or perhaps guitar) backed by tremolo guitars atop the simplistic rhythm section, and these two parts bounce back and forth several times before slipping into the similarly uplifting, ascending bridge. The track simultaneously channels the textures of early Orbital and PT’s Staircase Infinities but never relies on them, Edwin’s melodic sculpting and interest in structure refining all of his influences into a solid, well written track on a wonderfully diverse album.
In addition to FLAC and MP3 downloads, PVZ is uniquely released on a limited edition USB key quickly running out, all at Burning Shed. Highly recommended for anyone interested in Edwin’s playing with PT or Ex-Wise Heads, or unique, well-layered and composed electronic trips.
- StarsDie.com Review – Burnt Belief
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- Colin Edwin and Jon Durant to release ‘Burnt Belief’ on 21st December
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- Porcupine Tree ‘Octane Twisted’ 2CD/DVD to be released November 5th