Porcupine Tree - Did you discover them because of Surround Sound?

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Were the 5.1 releases from Porcupine Tree the reason you discovered the band?


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mrcond

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Just as I was getting into surround, I read Mike Mettler’s review of Fear of a Blank Planet in Sound+Vision magazine, and was intrigued enough to listen to a sample online, ordered the DVD-A based on that, and have been a fan ever since.
 

paligap

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My brother turned me on to PT by playing In Absentia on his surround system, and I was hooked. He also got me interested in surround music. We had a friend back in the Seventies who had a quad system, so it wasn't a new idea to me. We saw PT a few years later at an outdoor concert that led Steven Wilson to comment on the Texas summer heat. Despite the conditions, it was a great concert.
 

ProgRules

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! also missed this before...

I voted Yes, though likely different than most. I read a review by Mike Mettler (let's have a hand for one of the best MCH-championing journalists!) of Arriving Somewhere and got that as my introduction to PT. So my intro was 5.1, but live video, not an album. Though one of the things I loved best was GH's cymbal song on the bonus disc that was a great surround demo!
 

kcrimson

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I had not seen this thread either. It is interesting to see how others were introduced to the band / Steven Wilson.

My experience with them was in the early 90s when I became frustrated with the more mainstream music that was available at that time and felt that there had to be some good new music out there somewhere. Being a fan of the first wave of progressive bands (King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, etc), I went looking for more music in that vein. Not to sound like those bands, but bands who were trying to do something new and original. I found a web site called "Gibraltar Encyclopedia Of Progressive Rock" and started reading.

One of the bands listed (among the 100s of bands that I had never heard of) was Porcupine Tree, who had just released the second album - Up The Downstair. I found this in a CD store in Mesquite TX on a business trip (almost missing my plane ride home due to the excellent CD selection) and starting listening. Between the spacy songs and the Gilmour-esque guitar, I quickly became a fan.

I was fortunate enough to make a trip back east to Towson University in MD to see Porcupine Tree's second show in the USA. They were touring The Sky Moves Sideways album, which is very Floyd-ish for those who have not heard it. The band was staying in the same hotel that we were, so I met everyone in the band except Steven Wilson, who I guess was hiding in his hotel room. Steven Wilson had hair down to his waist at that time, and he has been cutting it shorter on every tour since. I have followed his musical journey ever since, and certainly the 5.1 material that either he has made or remixed has added greatly to my enjoyment of this great hobby that we all enjoy.
 
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SHB

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I discovered them right when Coma Divine came out. At that time I was listening to Pendragon, Spock’s Beard, IQ and The Flower Kings and I read about them, I believe, in Progression Magazine. Back then I bought a lot of new prog from a very kind man in Riverside CA, named Dave Mulloy.
 

svengaleekie

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No, I was a fan before I had any surround, tbh it was when I was stealing a lot of music using Napster, I downloaded Signify and I loved the music, I later bought Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip and it all progressed from there.
 

Suffolk David

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I first got into Porcupine Tree in the 90s through articles/adverts in the Pink Floyd fanzine ‘Brain Damage’, now an excellent website. Brain Damage was founded by Glenn Povey, who was also involved in Porcupine Tree’s tour management. I still prefer their earlier stuff (Up The Downstair, Sky Moves Sideways, Signify) and can only dream of Steven Wilson remixing them into 5.1, but if I recall correctly he doesn’t have multi tracks. Even using his skills in an upmix would be awesome.
 

Ninecats

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I would say yes, but I discovered them in early 2000 with the Lightbulb Sun release. However, when they started get out the releaes in 5.1 some years later I bought those releases and re-releases, not that I had a surround equipment, I was more a Porcupine Tree collector, but those releases eventually got me on this surround path, and when Steven started making surround releases for other bands that was it, my Oppo DV 980 served me for many years.
 

ar surround

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Not only did I buy PT (Lightbulb Sun) because it was in 5.1, I bought it because I first read about it in this QQ forum. It was my first ever 5.1 from an act that I previously was unaware of.
 

--Moe--

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I'm a 'No' vote.

I first heard of Porcupine Tree via 'Travellers', an online group that focused discussion of the band 'Ambrosia' and their progressive rock content and touring schedule. 'In Absentia' was mentioned often in some threads there.

So I searched out a CD copy of 'In Absentia' at the local library and have been a PT fan since that very 1st listen. I have since purchased much of the PT catalog including all the Surround Sound stuff and I have attended a couple of concerts.
 
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GOS

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I blind purchased the bluray concert In Absentia back when it was released. At that time, had never heard of PT....I remember the firstt time I watched/listened....I simply was blown away. Seriously, first time in YEARS, I heard a new band (new to me) and instantly loved it. I turned right around and ordered a copy for my buddy and told him he was about to be blown away.....

and he was....
 

TVB

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Yes. Now I have all of their albums and have added Steven Wilson albums with them (5.1). I have never had any desire to listen to the stereo tracks
 

privateuniverse

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I am somewhere between a Yes and a No. I had heard of PT. I had also heard some of the DJs at my radio station playing PT music. I thought it sounded kind of cool but I didn't really investigate further. Then in 2009 Steven began doing 5.1 mixes for King Crimson. Soon came mixes for Tull, ELP, Yes, XTC... Like most everyone here I was blown away by his surround mixes. So in 2015 when Hand.Cannot.Erase came out, I decided to take a risk on a blind buy. The 5.1 mix was available as a stand-alone blu-ray so I wouldn't be out too much cash if I didn't like the album. (Note to record companies....if the 5.1 mix had only been available in an expensive box, I never would have taken the plunge and therefore all the money that I have spent on SW/PT since likely never would have happened). Of course, the 5.1 mix of HCE was amazing, but I also really fell in love with the music. This inevitably led to me seeking out all the other SW/PT surround titles. As it turns out, the only PT titles I own are ones that have a surround mix, I still haven't gotten around to checking out the albums that don't. I guess that makes me a "Yes".

:51QQ
 

Mistee

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I almost feel like I've "grown up" with Porcupine Tree. I've been a fan my entire adult life. I became a fan of them in 1995 when a friend gave me a copy of The Sky Moves Sideways, and shortly after they released Signify. I loved those albums right away, and Porcupine Tree quickly became my favorite band. I was 22 year old then.

I've always been interested in hi-fi audio, but stereo only at that time. That changed in around 2000 when I bought my first 5.1 system. That is when I started to explore SACD and DVDA. So... you can imagine how excited I was when it was announced that "In Absentia" was going to be released as a DVDA! That was in 2003 I believe. I was hooked!

Since then, as everyone here knows, nearly all PT albums have been released on DVDA, and SW has become one of the most "in-demand" surround mixers. It seems that just as I was getting interested in surround music, so was SW. The timing was perfect. I love (nearly) everything he does and he is definitely my favorite active musician. His music is brilliant and his 5.1 mixes are incredible. Even is live shows are amongst the best sounding I've seen (and I've seen a lot). He can do it all...

I don't know how he finds the time to do everything he does, but I sincerely hope he can keep it going! Thanks Steven!
This is pretty much how it was for me as well. Almost identical. So 'No' from me. :)
 

Mistee

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Same here, I still haven't really checked out the pre-Stupid Dream material.
I think you'll find, the further you go back, the closer you'll get to where he is right now, style-wise. Hence, most likely why he's even covering some of that old stuff in his current (still going?) Future Bites sessions.
 
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