Steven Wilson

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Over the past ten days I have dropped a daily entry of an image, with a comment into the music feed. This is the eleventh in the series of ten (doffing cap to Spike Milligan) that provides some context – and links back – to those entries. Suffice to say – I class Steven Wilson as one of the most prolific musicians and sound engineers that we have ever seen. It isn’t just the quantity – surely bands like The Dead and Phish can beat him on that count … but more the quantity with the both quality and variety of what he produces.

It was late 2002 when a good friend put me onto a new album that had just been released – he’s one of those guys that when he says listen to this … you listen. The Album was In Abstentia that came from a band that I had never heard of …. Porcupine Tree. The band’s creative force was a guy called Steven Wilson. Turned out that this was Porcupine Tree’s seventh album (depending on how you count them – and how you think of the Tree) …. but that was a lot of music to have passed me by – particularly since I loved it. Needless to say – I went into the back catalogue and discovered two albums that I liked even more … Signify and Lightbulb Sun. File under Progressive Rock / Psychedelic Rock / Alt Rock / Post-Progressive / Metal

But there was more, before – and during ‘The Porcupine Tree Years’ – Wilson had another band No-Man with Tim Bowness. To be clear, I am not a massive fan of No-Man … just amazed that in parallel with launching a solo project (Porcupine Tree – because that is how he started), he had the time and desire to create a second totally different sound, band and direction. File under Ambient / Art Rock / Dream Pop

But there’s even more, two years after I was introduced to In Abstentia – out comes Wilson with another project …. Blackfield – this was (is?) a collaboration with Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen … 5 albums to date – love everyone one of them. File under Art Rock / Power Pop / Alt Rock

It took until 2012 for another collaboration to be formalized. For many years Wilson and Mikael Åkerfeldt – who is essentially Opeth’s Wilson – had been friends, worked together and appeared on each others albums. 2012 saw the release of their first – and to date only – formal collaboration – Storm Corrosion. File under Metal / Progressive Rock

I doubt we will get a second – but you never know – because Wilson just keeps going …

Consider IEM – another of his projects in the late 90s – this time with … well himself … file these albums under Krautrock / Pysychedelic

Or Bass Communion -file under Ambient / Drone / Electronic

To my mind, it is his solo career that has really opened him out. He released his 5th, 6th or 7th (again – it is is how you count) solo album last year – and is now on tour with it. But his full creative genius absolutely shines with the one ‘before’ that … Hand.Cannot.Erase. – that wasn’t just an album, it was a book, an experience a tangible engagement was created to engage the listener.

My music collection tells me that I have over 50 of his recordings across all of these projects – and that doesn’t include the 5.1 surround sound mixes he has been doing since 2009 for classic Progressive bands including Yes, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Caravan, ELP, Marillion, Rush, Roxy Music, … oh and Hawkwind, XTC, Gentle Giant, and Tears For Fears. (BTW – he hasn’t won yet – but has been nominated 4 times for Best Surround Sound Album in the Grammies)

All in all – safe to say – when it comes to music – there isn’t much he doesn’t do

Note : the classification / genres that I have used above come from Wikipedia with odd personal extensions

Finally, Wilson is on record (if you will pardon the pun) that as a kid he listened a lot to Dark Side Of The Moon – because of his dad and Donna Summer – because of his mum … certainly explains a lot of the crossover you see in his music … but it doesn’t explain this … which has nothig to do with him – but somehow seems related!



This is a little bit of an experiment by the chaps. Let's see how it goes. The post originally appeared at John.Philpin.com and through the magic of the interwebs it appears here. Enjoy.
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