Transmission IV review by Porcupine Tree

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  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (6 votes)
Porcupine Tree: Transmission IV

Sound — 10
Transmission IV immerses the listener into a vast astral dome of layered soundscapes and cosmic textures. The album consists of a single track titled "Moonloop (Unedited Improvisation)" - an auditory voyage that clocks in at 40:07. The instrumentalists gel together and each of which perform a spectacular job of contributing to the aura of the track. Steven Wilson does the guitar-work, keyboards, and sound samples providing long solos on the guitar that echo throughout the entire piece. The bass guitar, played by Colin Edwin drives a strong groove which keeps the song steady from start to finish, and Chris Maitland's drumming is completely fluid and spacey. There are two guest musicians who are also featured in this recording: Markus Butler who wails away with the harmonica during a segment of the trip, and Rick Edwards who provides extra percussion into the mix. For an improvised composition, this recording is top-notch and sure to relax the listener into a deep trance.

Lyrics — 8
The only lyrics found in this piece are the ones from sound clips Steven Wilson plays. At approximately 14:38, sound clips of conversations from the Apollo 11 mission can be heard. At 17:58, a sample of the presidential telephone call from US President Richard Nixon to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during their mission is played: "Hello, Neil and Buzz. I'm talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House, and this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made from the White House. I just can't tell you how proud we all are of what you have done. For every American, this has to be the proudest day of our lives. And for people all over the world, I am sure they, too, join with Americans in recognizing what an immense feat this is. Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man's world. And as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth. For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one; one in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth." The clips fit the song entirely and add a touch of history to the spacey texture of the recording.

Overall Impression — 9
Transmission IV is definitely not a record to look for if the listener is interested in catchy riffs or melodies. Long drawn-out patterns and soloing dominate this recording, and would be an ideal record to relax with. A must have for every space-rock collection.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's been out for a while on vinyl but they all got snapped up. I'd check ebay if you want one though, last time I looked there was quite a few on there. It is worth it though, and much better than the coda on Stars Die.
    Aweosme! I love this stuff. I'll have to get a copy of this!
    Wowww. By the time Steven Wilson is too scenile to continue writing music (which he probably will continue to do anyway) he will have released and produced enough albums to make Rick Rubin and Metallica both give up and become elementary school janitors. =D