Sunday, December 24, 2017

Porcupine Tree - Up The Downstair 1993

UpUp the Downstair is the second studio album by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, first released in May 1993. It was originally intended to be a double album set including the song "Voyage 34", which was instead released as a single in 1992, and other material that ended up on the Staircase Infinities EP (1994).

Melody Maker

They've embarked upon a mission impossible: to create a truly Nineties progressive rock soundscape, utilising modern technology but avoiding prog pomposity. And they've managed it with room to spare. It's a strange and wonderful brew, taking in Orb ambience, FSoL dub, Metallica steel and all points in between.

Ambient space dubs, technological cut-ups and Gregorian chants texture the sound, but the fire at the heart of the noise comes from good old guitar. Be warned, there are solos here, but they're played with a force and a purity that defies indulgence.


"Up The Downstair" is an LP that hides many surprises for the attentive listener. After a few spins you realise that even the sounds mixed into the background and he vocal interventions from old "drug" records all play a part in this warm, soothing lysergic tapestry that contains sparse, but matching lyrics.
When I wrote an article on Porcupine Tree last year (published in Crohinga Well 2) I predicted that this act would become a "third way" in New British Psychedelia (the first and second being the psychedelic rock of Bevis Frond and the spacey festival sounds of Ozric Tentacles, of course). This record only confirms my statement. "Up The Downstair" is a record to get incredibly stoned to (and you will...)!


Steven John Wilson (born 3 November 1967) is an English musician, most closely associated with the progressive rock genre. Currently a solo artist, he became known as the founder, lead guitarist, singer and songwriter of the band Porcupine Tree, as well as being a member of several other bands.

Wilson is a self-taught composer, producer, audio engineer, guitar and keyboard player, and plays other instruments as needed, including bass guitar, autoharp, hammered dulcimer and flute. Despite being mainly associated with prog music, his influences and work have encompassed diverse genres such as psychedelia, pop, extreme metal, electronic and jazz, among others, shifting his musical direction through his albums

His concerts incorporate quadraphonic sound and elaborate visuals. He has also worked with artists such as Opeth, King Crimson, Pendulum, Jethro Tull, XTC, Yes, Marillion, Tears for Fears, Roxy Music and Anathema.


No-Man are an English art Rock duo, formed in 1987 as No Man Is an Island (Except the Isle of Man) by singer Tim Bowness and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson. The band has so far produced six studio albums and a number of singles/outtakes collections (most notably, 2006's career retrospective, All the Blue Changes).

The band was once lauded as "conceivably the most important English group since The Smiths" by Melody Maker music newspaper, and a 2017 article of Drowned in Sound described them as "probably the most underrated band of the last 25 years".

Originally creating a sample-based proto-trip hop/ambient/electropop-styled music, No-Man has pursued a more organic, diverse and band-oriented sound in subsequent years. Drawing from a diverse mix of singer-songwriter, post rock, minimalist, progressive rock, jazz and contemporary ambient sources for inspiration, No-Man's musical style is distinctive yet difficult to categorise.

Porcupine Tree

Steven Wilson - vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drum programming, songwriting

Additional personnel

    Colin Edwin – Bass guitar on "Always Never"
    Richard Barbieri – Electronics on "Up the Downstair"
    Suzanne J. Barbieri – Vocals on "Up the Downstair"
    Alan Duffy - co-songwriting on "Always Never", "Small Fish", "Fadeaway"


Side One
01. What You Are Listening To     0:58
02. Synesthesia     5:11
03. Monuments Burn into Moments     0:20
04. Always Never     6:58
05. Up the Downstair     10:03

Side two
06. Not Beautiful Anymore     3:26
07. Siren     0:52
08. Small Fish    2:43
09. Burning Sky     11:06
10. Fadeaway     6:19

Bonus Tracks


11. Sweetsite Silver Night
12. Jack The Sax


Format : Vinyl LP
Label : Delirium Records
Made in : England
Imported in Greece By : Hitch Hyke Records
Gernre : ROCK
Style : Progressive
Year : 1993
Programmed,Produced and performed by Porcupine Tree at No Man's Land February 1992 to January 1993

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