I.E.M. – Have Come For Your Children

September 2001
Untitled (Complete IEM), June 2010

“I think by the time I’d done I.E.M. I realised there were a whole lot of other people who were doing it a whole lot better, because I didn’t have the time or the inclination to really commit myself fully to it. […] But I suppose I.E.M., because it was all done in the spirit of fun, was never going to be anything particularly substantial to me.” –Steven Wilson

“Yeah, it had some nice moments.”

We have arrived at yet another ending. Apart from a pair of compilations and box sets released in 2005 and 2010, this will be the last original IEM record. As this album and Arcadia Son were recorded at the same time and form a sort of diptych, it’s probably worth comparing the two side-by-side.

Arcadia Son is the more diverse record, building as it does on Escalator to Christmas’ mishmash of krautrock, pure psychedelia, and spoken-word samples. As such, its main strength is its diversity and willingness to careen abruptly from one idea to another and to experiment with all sorts of different genres, sounds, moods, and textures. Have Come For Your Children, meanwhile, sticks mostly to doing one thing. Every piece on this album, with the possible exception of the untitled hammered dulcimer/mellotron choir piece at the end, is much more interested in a very particular gloomy, rhythmic atmosphere and stretching it out and abstracting it as much as possible…to the point where it’s practically of a piece with what Bass Communion is doing. In fact, Have Come For Your Children goes a long way toward explaining why Bass Communion would become Wilson’s primary weird/experimental musical outlet after this. Even though it doesn’t sound like Bass Communion at all, as there’s still percussion and a sense of rhythm, that project still represents a natural and attractive endpoint for the sort of thing IEM is doing on this record.

In that respect, then, Have Come For Your Children is honestly a huge disappointment. The sense of infinite possibility that Arcadia Son represented has been closed off, the opportunities for Wilson to go in new and bizarre directions have not been taken, and instead we get something that sounds more or less like what he’s already been doing. There’s no uniqueness to Have Come For Your Children the way there was with Arcadia Son or An Escalator to Christmas, and as such there’s also no corresponding sense of fun and wonder. This, more than anything else, is a funeral dirge.

Some of this is inherent in endings as a concept. Part of the reason endings are so tough to do in more narrative-based mediums is you are foreclosing on that wealth of possibilities that the story could have gone. It’s why many of the best story endings still have a sense of ambiguity about them. Bands don’t have that luxury, not only because it’s not (necessarily) a narrative-based medium but also because most albums aren’t meant to be The Last Ones. They just record an album, and go on hiatus, and sometimes that hiatus becomes permanent. Oops. To the extent this affects IEM, which has already established itself as a fractal clusterfuck of a project, the obvious way to wrap this thing up would be to disintegrate completely, to be such a jarring, abrasive goulash of styles and genres that it’s practically unlistenable. This didn’t happen.

What we do have is well-made, of course. This was culled from some improvisations that were recorded around the same time as Arcadia Son, the sort of extended jam session that produces things like Moonloop and Metanoia. All pieces are untitled. The first one is thirty-five minutes long, and is measured and tightly structured, almost ritualistic, ebbing and flowing hypnotically like the tides. Untitled 2 continues in a similar vein, providing the raw material for much of the rest of the album, with each successive piece piling on more and more jazz and noise elements until we get Untitled 5, a glorious, cacophonic sensory barrage unlike anything Wilson had ever made up to that point. This is what the whole rest of the album should have sounded like.

For as much as Untitled 5 is the best thing on the album, it also demonstrates the limits of Moonloop-esque improvisations as a source of good Steven Wilson music. Moonloop itself was a masterpiece. Metanoia and Have Come For Your Children feel like retreads. This is troubling, because a return to the Moonloop well suggests that he took IEM as far as he felt it could have gone in the Escalator/Arcadia mode, as if he didn’t have any further interest in exploring the outer reaches of krautrock or harsh noise or proto-vaporwave or whatever other oddball out-of-character idea popped into his head this week.

What makes it even worse is there’s no aspect of IEM that continues after the project’s demise. Most other concluded Steven Wilson projects contain the seeds of the future within them. IEM itself is the product of the experiments Teen Wilson did as Altamont. Karma, easily Wilson’s worst band, recorded really early versions of Small Fish and Nine Cats. Porcupine Tree transitions shockingly well into Wilson’s solo career. When No-Man went on a decade-long hiatus, it found a spiritual successor in Tim Bowness’ solo albums. In addition, when Wilson is working on multiple projects simultaneously, the results tend to bleed into each other. His work producing Opeth informs every Porcupine Tree record from In Absentia onward. Grace for Drowning forms a loose trilogy with Heritage and Storm Corrosion. A good way of figuring out what a new Steven Wilson record will sound like is seeing what albums he’s been remixing lately. Just about everything Wilson records has some sort of connection with something else.

IEM, meanwhile, just stops. There’s no legacy for it to carry on, nothing within it that informed anything Wilson did after this. With this album, everything IEM could have become was reduced to the sort of thing Bass Communion was already doing anyway. All we have after this are a few compilations, and that’s it. Have Come For Your Children doesn’t just feel like a foreclosing of IEM’s possibilities, it feels like a foreclosing of an entire chunk of Steven Wilson’s personality. Whether he realizes it or not, he needs something like IEM to play around with. I miss it tremendously.

  1. Arcadia Son
  2. I.E.M.
  3. Have Come For Your Children

I.E.M. – Arcadia Son

May 2001

“Tell me when, now?”

The end is near. Well, sort of.

“My name is Beth Krasky. I sell magazines, winning at contests, and I play guitar, drums, and keyboard. I mostly like the rock and roll hippie music of the old days. When I…about four years ago I used to have really bright pink and purple neon hair. That was when I was a freak. [laughs] Dude, I got to be up in the front row and I got a pair of Ozzy’s drumsticks. One of…his fuckin’ drummer was sittin’ there throwin’ ‘em out and I got to shake the drummers hand! He gave me two pairs of his drumsticks, I was like ‘Yeah!’ It was awesome!”

This is the point where reality hits and we realize this is a project whose musical evolution might have been artificially foreshortened. I.E.M. was always the red-headed stepchild of Wilson’s non-formative musical projects, and there’s the sense that if he was in a position to give it the same level of attention that he did, say, Bass Communion, it would have been something more than an afterthought.

So what we’re essentially in with I.E.M. is a purge phase, as Wilson gets out everything he can get out before moving on to potentially more fruitful waters. (Recall that as Arcadia Son and …Have Come for Your Children were being pulled together, Blackfield were mapping out their first EP, which would eventually mutate into a full-length album.) In terms of approaching Arcadia Son specifically, we have a record which could not exist without An Escalator to Christmas from two years ago. In a lot of respects, that EP serves as a trial run for this album. The two records have broadly similar components, with broadly experimental music interspersed with lighter spoken-word pieces.

“I am in awe at what we have achieved on this planet. Civilization has spread like a virus. In the blink of an eye, the universe has taken one breath in a billion years. We are not alone.

There are the vestiges of other civilizations underneath your feet. We will walk in their footsteps. They will never leave us. They watch us from the outer reaches of space, light-years away, on another piece of splintered rock. Cast out, I stop.

Our sun will disintegrate in two million years. We have this much time to find another home in the outer reaches of space.

Look into the stars, do you see your new home? Are the lights on? Did you forget to switch off the gas? Are the lights on? We are not alone. We are not alone. We are not alone. We are not alone. We are not alone. We are not alone. We are not alone. We are not alone. We are not alone. We are not alone…”

There are two introductory tracks. The first is Wreck, a minute and a half of heavily abstracted jazz punctuated with guitar squeals that edge perilously close to straight harsh noise. Then we cut to Beth Krasky, which is composed of snippets from an interview with Miss Krasky where she reminisces about wilder times and gushes about getting a pair of Ozzy’s drumsticks. The parallel to B. Cranswick introducing us to alternative poetry in the measured tones of an NPR presenter is irresistible. After this, about forty minutes of weirdness.

There will be no spoken-word samples breaking up the weirdness until the very final track, Goldilocks Age 4, featuring a prim but precocious Babby Steven retelling the story of the three bears at some sort of party in 1972. The recording cuts off right when he hits the reveal that Goldilocks is still sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed.

I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, one of the great things about An Escalator to Christmas was the way things were broken up, how every spoken-word piece in that suite functioned as a breather and a transition from one song to another, like a radio DJ. Here, though, after Beth Krasky we’re plunged into the deep end and expected to keep up as we lurch from trippy psychedelia to flutes over tribalesque drumming to what sounds almost like a remix of Queen Quotes Crowley to frenetic drums and ringing over a mellotron choir, and it can get exhausting. On the other hand, this implies a certain maturation, that on Arcadia Son Wilson trusts that we’re able to follow along on his flights of experimental fancy and he doesn’t need to hold our hands.

As this album and …Have Come for Your Children are the last two records I.E.M. made when it was active, it’s worth speculating where they could have gone from here. Of the two records, this one has the more eclectic and fruitful spread. The obvious potential source of inspiration is Shadow of a Twisted Hand Across My House, which swings from harsh noise at the start to frenetic drum loops and mellotron choirs in the middle to what sounds like literal tubular bells toward the end. It feels like a medley of songs that don’t exist.

There’s also We Are Not Alone, a very psychedelic number that sounds like an Alex Gray illustration, featuring voices, pitched up and down as though they were a diverse cross-section of people, reciting a sort of bizarre poetry stating that we on Earth are being observed, haunted, by the ghosts of past civilizations. The Lance Henson-esque monotone delivery gives their words a particular urgent gravitas, reinforced when it devolves into “we are not alone” repeated ad infinitum like a skipping record, as if whatever magical force that’s allowing the Legion to possess their bodies to communicate this message to us is deteriorating.

Finally, there’s Politician, the only one-minute respite in the middle of the album, which sounds like filtered intermission muzak, over which we have the sounds of a woman masturbating. This is probably the track with the most interesting sense of implication surrounding it, because, in case that description didn’t make it clear, Steven Wilson made a vaporwave song over a decade before vaporwave was even a thing. I.E.M. contains numerous alternate futures within it, but the one unlocked through this song is one of the most intriguing: a world in which Steven Wilson becomes a pioneering vaporwave artist, pushing the genre in new and interesting directions. (And hey, since he’s hinted he’s released stuff with zero publicity under pseudonyms Richard D James-style, there’s a chance it might actually still be true.)

Wilson never really gave this project the same level of attention that he gave his other ones, and that’s honestly a shame because this is probably the most unique project out of everything he’s ever done. Most of the other stuff Wilson’s done has been very deliberate and mannered, but I.E.M. is much more experimental, goofy, and playful, often sounding like he’s messing around with whatever silly idea popped into his head that day and experiencing the joy and thrill of discovery right along with us. This is a part of Wilson we don’t see very often, and as such I always treasure it when he pours his id directly on tape like this.

In other words, Arcadia Son reminds us that Steven Wilson makes music because it’s fun. There’s a particular omnivorous curiosity to I.E.M., a project vibrating with possibility, wanting to go everywhere and do everything all at the same time. Like Babby Wilson’s story at the end of this album, though, the evolution of I.E.M. remains unfinished. That said, there’s still the sense that what we got out of it during its brief life is the purest, most unfiltered expression of Wilson’s musical personality we’ve seen to date.

“—mean time the three bears were coming back. And, and when they came back, they saw that, that, erm, they, they said, in a big voice, the first one said, ‘Who’s been eating my porridge?’ And then the second one, ‘Who’s been eating my porridge?’ And then the little one, he said, in a very light voice, ‘Who’s been eating my porridge, and they’ve eaten it all up!’

Then they went to see the chairs to sit on them, then Father Bear said, ‘Who’s been sitting in my chair?’ Then the medium-sized one said ‘Who’s been sitting in my chair?’ Then the little one said, ‘Who’s been sitting in my chair and broken it all up!’

Then they went up to bed, erm, and then Big Father Bear said, ‘Who’s been lay–lying in my bed?’ Then the second one said, ‘Who’s been lying in my bed?’ Then the little one said, ‘Who’s been lying in—’”

  1. Arcadia Son
  2. I.E.M.

I.E.M. — An Escalator to Christmas

It’s been a while. Steven, New Jersey, New York, Kyoto, and Tokyo were all lovely. More housekeeping notes:

  • This is two days late. Mea culpa. I was, in my defense, traveling. Last Space Era post will be up next weekend, likely on the 30th. After this, a monthlong retrenchment to get ahead of the queue (as I write this I’m at the Bass Communion/Muslimgauze EP and it’s taking forever, as have the past several posts) followed by Stupid Dream.
  • The Auditory Dérive photoblog has wrapped on Tumblr, but will eventually continue elsewhere in the new year, once I figure out where and how. In the meantime, do take a look before the algorithm hoovers it up.

24 January 1999
I.E.M. 1996-1999, October 2005

“A, B, C, D, E, F, G…H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P…Q–”

And now for something completely different.

“…yes, indeed it would, for me to in fact introduce myself. I am Mister B. Cranswick, of the legendary alternative poetry band Boris the Cow. And, er, this cassette is in fact being compiled today, this afternoon, in aid of a certain S. Wilson, who apparently appreciates this particular art medium. Without much further ado, some poetry.”

An Escalator to Christmas is a very odd record. It seems somehow fitting that the next thing Wilson would follow up Metanoia and its subtly freakish closing track with this, a sixteen-minute affair that is completely, unashamedly off in every conceivable way.

For starters, consider how it’s split up into two sides. Side A features the ten-minute Escalator to Christmas mini-suite, and Side B features Headphone Dust in its original habitat.

Side A is less something that flows from beginning to end and more like a strange collage of samples and fragments. Everything’s cut up and jagged and oddly panned, to the point where sometimes it feels like we’re listening not to the original record but instead of somebody’s condensed YouTube Poop remix. The only thing on this suite that feels like a full song is Sign Language, three minutes of what I can only describe as some damn fine krautrock.

But here’s what’s brilliant in all this. Because of all the abrupt changes in mood and tone, from switching from songs and interludes to spoken word samples and studio chatter, Wilson managed to squeeze an entire album experience into the space of ten minutes. There’s even a point where two back-to-back spoken word samples—one from what feels like an old 60s/70s children’s cartoon, another from studio chatter at an orchestra—essentially functions as a halfway mark, the point at which you’re implored to turn the cassette over…even though the whole thing is all on one side.

And that’s the value in something like Escalator to Christmas. It’s a weird little piece of Wilson ephemera, true, and something that he would rarely build upon in the years since, but it does represent an expansion of his capabilities. This is not something we really figured Steven Wilson could do, till now.

“Say, you remember last week when I promised to tell you today how to become a space cadet and get your official class ring and your shoulder patch? Well, we’re not quite ready. I thought we would be, but we’re not. The things we’re getting together for you are really going to be somethin’. So watch for it next week, okay? Okay!”

[Please Turn Me Over]

“Here we go. Just, just…[unintelligible]. Just any note you want, not a harmonic, actual starting…”

—may objectively be the best song on the record, but the most interesting song is Extract From “4 Ways,” which is some discordant jangling guitar followed by a single rubber duck squeak. It’s three seconds long, and as such is probably the shortest song in Wilson’s discography and one of the shortest songs ever recorded. I’m left wondering what 4 Ways itself sounded like.

There’s also the matter of what the quack segues immediately into: B.C. I’m not entirely sure who’s speaking here. I very strongly suspect it’s Wilson himself, with his voice slightly distorted, because Wilson and “Cranswick” share delivery and speech patterns…but at the same time, so do a lot of people. The first time I listened to this, for instance, Cranswick sounded like he shared the speaking style of Eruditorum-adjacent writer/podcaster James Murphy, which isn’t indicative of much beyond the way universes collide. The only reason I suspect it might not be Steven is he once hinted that other people have played on IEM records, and said outright that a full band was there for Arcadia Son and …Have Come For Your Children, which were recorded not long after the release of this EP.
The true identity of the speaker aside, B.C. is also, I think, indicative of the humor this EP displays, a sort of paradoxically disciplined goofiness harkening back to the days of the fake band. It’s something I wish Wilson busted out more often, especially in the aughts and tens, but given how perilously close the proceedings here edge toward “novelty,” there’s probably a reason he doesn’t.

However, the spoken word bits do serve a purpose beyond yuks; they do an excellent job linking together the songs and fragments-of-songs on this suite. B.C.’s role in all this is obvious: we’re being introduced to poetry in the form of Sign Language. Space Cadet and Any Note You Want work as a pair, with a stopping-and-starting duality to them that today comes off like a creative way to segue into a midroll on a mid-2010s internet video review. But the most interesting interlude isn’t actually found on the EP itself, but on the bonus material of the 1996-1999 compilation. I speak, of course, of Interview. It’s a very short one, but its brilliance can be found in—

“Let’s look at the mind for a moment, just as its physical values as a physical organ.”

An earlier draft of this essay had yet another mention of Headphone Dust in the first section and how unlucky it is. The song featured on the CD edition of I.E.M.’s self-titled album, but I didn’t talk about it too much because it wasn’t on the original release and it didn’t fit into the cliff-notes history of krautrock that made up the bulk of that post. Here’s where it originally appeared, and it once again got shafted, in favor of the much more interesting title suite. Nevertheless, this is a song Wilson’s liked enough that he went and named his online store after it, so let’s take a quick peek at it here.

It’s about six minutes of parched acoustickey goodness, pretty much. The shimmering guitars in the background makes me think of something recorded on the front porch of a desert shack, similar to his cover of The Cross. There’s a real Godspeed-esque sense of beauty among the ruins here. And for that reason its success has been quiet and low-key, the sort of thing that suffers when contrasted with louder, flashier, or more experimental work like the Escalator to Christmas suite or Deafman. This should have been a single. That way, the suite can take up Side A and B and be the album-in-a-bottle is so very badly wants to be, and this song can stand on its own the way it was meant to.

“Er, well, I feel the recording quality has a lot to answer for, and I hated the producer at the time…”

In 2005, IEM released the 1996-1999 compilation, featuring both the self-titled album and this EP, and throwing in some bonus material in the form of Interview and the extended mix of this EP’s almost-title track. What was originally a three-and-a-half minute splash of psychedelia has now ballooned into this thirteen-minute monstrosity. The original abruptly cuts off just as it was really starting to gather steam, but here our consciousness has once again been expanded.

At around the four-and-a-half minute mark, the percussion slowly fades out in such a way that it becomes less psychedelic and a bit more industrial, like the song is being performed in a factory after-hours. At five and a half minutes, a flute comes in, playing something low and mournful, serving both as a warning and a celebration of the song’s general aesthetic. And then at nine minutes, the flute is abstracted, and other sounds start swarming and pulsing around, a wham threatening to rumble in in the background, and a single low synth harmonic that at times sounds almost like a Gregorian choir. As we continue toward the song’s ending, and superficialities are further stripped away, the choir reveals itself as such and starts singing slowly and reverentially, implying that we’ve arrived here, far away from the suite’s gentle, buttoned-up lunacy, at the song’s throbbing heart. And fade out.

In a lot of respects, the extended version feels like something esoteric, even occult. It’s almost as if Wilson made a value judgment here. Those with weak or closed minds get the three-minute EP version, because that’s all they can handle. Those who’ve been already initiated get the compilation version, because the compilation version is an experience, a journey deep into a song’s guts, something that might drive lesser people insane.

This does not necessarily constitute a magical ritual in the same sense that his major releases from Signify to Stupid Dream are a magical ritual. But it is at the very least an illustration of one; a demonstration of how a quiet frog-in-boiling-water sensory overload can alter one’s state of consciousness. The effects here are temporary, as the objective of An Escalator to Xmas is only to demonstrate itself. But they still happened, and as such serve as a reminder of the inherent power of music.

Stupid Dream is two months away. Welcome once again to the cult of the Tree.

“–R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.”

I.E.M. – I.E.M.

1996

“Jetzt schalten wir ja das Radio an / Aus dem Lautsprecher klingt es dann…” —Kraftwerk, Autobahn

The Incredible Expanding Mindfuck has a backstory that is not a backstory, and a backstory that is also not a backstory. The first non-backstory comes from how the name of the project comes from another fake band, this one Malcolm Stocks’, complete with its own fake history that was just as deliriously loony as Porcupine Tree’s. I personally am bummed that this fake history—and really, the fake history of both bands—has since been partially lost, because then I could have spliced it in and wrapped it around the post as it currently exists, so that the two halves would mirror and comment on each other.

The other one, well, let us imagine the universe as a hyperboloid, with the various disparate strands of history coalescing to and exploding outward from one inflection point, endings and beginnings knotting together into a single moment dense with an infinite weight. This particular inflection point varies depending on what slice of history you’re looking at. It might be a self-evidently momentous occasion, like when Alan Moore completed the collected edition of Watchmen. Or, it might be in and of itself something modest and innocuous, its real implications not fully revealing themselves until later, like the Sex Pistols’ show at the Manchester Free Trade Hall.

Ours has two poles that occurred at roughly the same time. The first is the initial Big Bang, the Internationale Essener Songtage, held in West Germany in September 1968 amid the ruins of a stillborn revolution. Here was the wider world’s first experience with a particular combination of psychedelic rock, art rock, electronic music, and jazz, with a distinct minimalistic sensibility and rhythm, that would become known as krautrock. The second was the formation of our new world’s elementary particles at the Zodiak Free Arts Lab, a West Berlin live music venue and krautrock incubator that boomed in and out of existence for a few precious months in late 1968 and early 1969. The most immediate ripples of these two events were the formation and solidification of two bands: Kraftwerk in Düsseldorf, not far from where the IEST was held, and Tangerine Dream in West Berlin, the closest thing Zodiak had to a house band. Tangerine Dream’s most direct impact on our particular tale would come through the release of Zeit in 1972, an unsettling ambient record Wilson often cites as a favorite, but through the 70s and 80s would go on to influence the development of his musical personality in less immediate ways as well.

Kraftwerk, meanwhile, have a more tangential role here. They first formed in 1969 as Organisation and released one album under that name, a quietly experimental affair called Tone Float. Between their formation and the mid-70s the band would experience numerous lineup changes as their sound shifted from the krautrock indicative of the scene they sprung from to the electronic music they would pioneer. One gentleman who would drift in and out during this time was Klaus Dinger, who’s responsible for the percussion on some of their first album. Dinger would leave Kraftwerk in 1971, a year after he joined, allegedly because of personality differences with Florian Schneider (I would be remiss here if I didn’t mention that in the future Dinger would look vaguely like Alan Moore and Schneider would look vaguely like Grant Morrison, mostly in the follicular department, but that’s a footnote), and would take guitarist Michael Rother with him.

These two would form Neu!, a seminal krautrock band who have probably the most direct role in spawning the I.E.M. Their primary innovation was solidifying the motorik, a steady, repetitive beat pattern which, as the name implies, mimics the experience of driving down a highway. It is—and there’s a reason you’ve heard this before—the skeleton that propels the song forward and provides a framework for guitar and synth improvisations.

I.E.M. has four tracks (five, if you’re listening to the 1998 CD version), two of which owe a direct influence to Neu! and the motorik: Deafman and The Gospel According to the I.E.M. They’re both fantastic. Driving music par excellence. It wouldn’t be unreasonable, upon giving the former a listen, to think hang on a minute, Steven’s gone and made his own Hallogallo…and then later that year he one-upped himself on Signify and actually did. That leaves The Last Will and Testament of Emma Peel, Fie Kesh, and Headphone Dust. That last one is a simple acoustic number and is unremarkable for our purposes. Emma Peel, meanwhile, is a decidedly ambient joint in the vein of Tangerine Dream. Thus, the second half of our inflection point.

Now here’s where things get interesting. Some of Tangerine Dream’s work in the mid-70s and 80s would go on to influence the development of trance music (which, as a subgenre of electronic music, also owes a lot to Kraftwerk for being able to exist at all), and thus a substantial chunk of what Porcupine Tree would release in Voyage 34, Up the Downstair, and The Sky Moves Sideways. And, as it happens, Fie Kesh sounds very much like an expansion of some ideas explored in the Moonloop improvisation. This, then, makes I.E.M. the album (and thus the project) sound like a missive from a path not taken, where instead of moving in a more accessible, alternative-influenced direction they remained as experimental as ever, a peek into a world where the Space Era never quite ended, albeit at the expense of Porcupine Tree dissolving about ten years earlier.

But the point is this: everything Porcupine Tree has made in some form up to this point owes at least a little to what those German guys were doing back in the 70s, and the self-titled I.E.M. album is not just some damn good krautrock but a distillation of those influences. Strip Porcupine Tree’s music down to its skeleton and you’d have something like what we’re listening to here. And the influence continues beyond 1996. Even as we move into the Alternative and Metal Eras, notice what characterizes Porcupine Tree’s more overtly progressive elements: an emphasis on motion, rhythm, and repetition over technical wizardry. (And, of course, Wilson’s ephemera is often released on Tonefloat Records.) If we’re talking about placing Porcupine Tree in a musical tradition originating in the late 60s and emphasizing experimentation and boundary-pushing, then what we have here, ultimately, is not a prog band for the 90s. No, Porcupine Tree is actually a krautrock band for the 90s.

  1. I.E.M.