Steven Wilson Remixes

I am very thankful that we have an artist with such instinctual technological skills who brings us these fantastic high-resolution progressive rock remixes. Steven Wilson embodies the true spirit of progressive rock. His genius is our joy.

When I think about how much trust Yes, Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull place in his innate abilities it makes me proud to own and promote these recordings. As Jon Anderson has sung, “Your temple is the harmony, You feel the sacred ground”  (from To Be Alive.) 

The latest remix is Tales From Topographic Oceans the fifth in a series of expanded Yes (official) classics, released in 3CD/Blu-Ray and 2CD/2DVDA configurations. The album has been remixed in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound from the original multi-track tapes, and approved by Yes.

2 CDs feature the new mix of the original album, an unedited / extended version of Dance of the Dawn (side one), and 5 newly created “single” edits focussing on the song sections of the extended pieces. A third CD available only with the blu-ray edition features a complete alternate version of the album using live tracks and studio run throughs. Of these “High The Memory” (a studio run-through of side 2), and “Ritual” (live in Zurich, April 1974) are previously unreleased.

The Blu-Ray and DVDAs feature the original stereo mix, and the new stereo and 5.1 mixes in high resolution. The blu-ray additionally contains the extended Dance of the Dawn in stereo & 5.1 surround sound, the 5 edits, instrumental mixes, the alternate versions, and other bonus material, all in high resolution.

You can pre-order this item on Headphone Dust here.

Thank you Steven Wilson, you bring such life and resonance to my Progressive Rock music library.

Steven Wilson Remixes Yes in Hi-Res

I awoke this morning from a stimulating dream about Yes and progressive music. It was an unusual dream in that I visualized  listening to a Yes recording with much of the dream focused on a woodcut edition of Roger Dean album art. I think this was all due to looking at Yes hi-res recordings on the Pono Music Store before I went to bed last night 😉

I sat down with my breakfast this morning and searched the Pono Music Store once again. My searches focused on the Yes Relayer recording in 192/24 resolution format. I’m confident the cover art in my dreams was Relayer. I must confess I know very little about that recording nor I have ever listened to it. I toyed with the idea of purchasing and downloading the Pono edition of the recording when I saw a side note inquiring if this recording was the recent Steven Wilson remix. I learned from the Official Yes Website that the Steven Wilson edition contained far more content in the Blu-Ray/CD edition and was 96/24 hi-res.

Steven Wilson has been the point person since 2009 remixing the Four Horsemen of Progressive Rock King Crimson, Jethro Tull, ELP, and Yes. His precision engineering and keen ear has increased the listening experience of many classic recordings.

Steven Wilson’s 2015 focus will be to support his next recording, Hand. Cannot. Erase. which becomes available March 3rd, 2015. I am considering the Blu-Ray Hi-Res release.

Steven Wilson placed reasonably priced tickets on sale for the USA/Canada leg of Tour 2015. I’d love to see him perform. It could be a dream come true 😉

Steven Wilson’s Software Instrument – Ghostwriter

Steven Wilson makes another innovative contribution to digital music production by introducing his own software instrument, Ghostwriter. Co-produced by Steven Wilson and Doug Rogers from the world’s leading software instrument company EastWest. This music software solution is designed for music, film, games, and TV composers. Ghostwriter can be ordered directly from East/West SoundsOnline. It is packaged on a Western Digital USB3 (with USB2 compatibility) hard drive (Available at no extra charge!! ($70 value) until 1/31/14).

According to Steven Wilson:  For the first time ever this makes some of my signature sounds available to other musicians, as well as replications of recognizable classic sounds originally created by other producers and engineers. These sounds can be used as part of the fabric of complex music productions, or as the basis for cinematic soundtrack-based music, providing a ready-made selection of sonic building blocks.

Mainly I’ve tried to create sounds that you won’t find in any other software instrument or sample library, but in addition more straightforward raw drum, bass and guitar sounds are included, which can be manipulated via the powerful Ghostwriter instrument interface (which includes an amp simulator, SSL EQ, 2 compressors, echoplex tape delay, a powerful reverb, filter and envelope stages) to create your own unique sounds.

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Big Big Train – English Electric (Part Two)

The MusicOf Our Heart blog continues to beat with progressive rock music coursing through its veins 😉 Yesterday I featured Steven Wilson and today I have a new band (to my ears at least) to share with readers.

My friend and Santana brother Uwe Metze has been raving about Big Big Train.  They are an English progressive rock band I had never heard anything about until yesterday. I then saw the full page advertisement on the back cover of PROG Magazine (UK) for their new album that was released that same day in Europe, English Electric (Part Two).

The album is available on iTunes for purchase.

English Electric Part Two album cover

Steven Wilson, Prog Magazine, The Raven That Refused To Sing

The latest issue of PROG Magazine  features a cover story on Steven Wilson that is masterfully annotated with engaging graphic design art. The article is designed to complement the superior packaged deluxe edition of The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories).  A suite of six tales that mingle murder, mortality and mystery with The Dark Side Of The Moon engineer Alan Parsons’s sonic talents. The deluxe 4 disc edition of the album has “a 128 page hardback book containing lyrics and ghost stories, illustrated by Hajo Mueller“.

CD1 – studio album

CD2 – 7 demo tracks (album tracks plus one unused idea, Clock Song)

DVD-V – 96/24 Stereo LPCM of the album, plus 2 x 5.1 mixes of album (DTS 96/24 5.1 surround & Dolby AC3 5.1 surround
Art Gallery (images by Hajo Mueller)
Photo Gallery (photographs by Lasse Hoile)
Studio Documentary (filmed and edited by Lasse Hoile)

Blu-Ray – 96/24 Stereo LPCM of the album, plus 2 x 5.1 mixes of album (96/24 5.1 LPCM & DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
Instrumental versions of the album tracks (96/24 Stereo LPCM),
bonus track (‘Drive Home – lounge version’, also 96/24 Stereo LPCM).
Art Gallery (images by Hajo Mueller)
Photo Gallery (photographs by Lasse Hoile)
Studio Documentary (filmed and edited by Lasse Hoile)

SW-deluxe edition

Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick (40th Anniversary Special Edition)

We recently saw Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull perform Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 at Mohegan Sun. I noticed that Thick As A Brick is being reissued on remastered CD and vinyl as a 40th anniversary edition.

I am interested in owning, listening to and reading about Thick As A Brick after experiencing the recording performed live in its entirety in concert. What motivates me even more is that Steven Wilson has engineered the remix with Ian Anderson’s help and direction. Steven Wilson is playing a pivotal role in the renaissance of progressive rock from both a historical as well as a participant level basis.

The 40th Anniversary Edition features a new 5.1 stereo mix, mixed by Steven Wilson, plus a DVD containing DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix, high quality stereos 96/24 (new mix and 1972 flat transfer), the original newspaper over 40 pages, an article by Classic Rock s Dom Lawson, rare photos from photographers Didi Zill and Robert Ellis, recording and touring mementos and much more, all contained in 104 page 7 ½ x 5 ½ hardback book.

Steven Wilson Launches New Web Site, Wraps Up Next Solo Album

Progressive rock has a major catalyst in Steven Wilson. He launched a new Web site yesterday with a new design and a company store.

Steven Wilson

The new Web site has lots of content, pictures, and video about his next solo album which is due to be released in February 2013. It was produced by Alan Parsons.

 

Opeth – Prog Rock

My first intention when I started this prog rock series was to stay the prescribed course by writing about progressive rock “sentimental favorites” such as Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Yes, Asia, Emerson, Lake and Palmer etc. I soon surmised there are lots of articles already written about these bands. My prog rock goal shifted to music journalist(educator) to learn and share more about what has transpired in prog rock circles.

Opeth 2011

Today’s blog post is about a band from Sweden named Opeth and the prog rock  or heavy metal (depending upon your frame of reference) sub-genre known as progressive metal. Progressive metal is defined as a blend of heavy, guitar-oriented metal music enriched with compositional innovation and complex arrangements, usually expressed through diverse instrumentation and often (but not always) with odd-time signatures. Common, but not essential to define the movement, are the frequent use of keyboards, high-pitched vocals, concept lyrical themes and tracks of longer duration. Similar to progressive rock, progressive metal draws influences from other genres, such as jazz/fusion, ethnic, classical and symphonic music. Progressive rock pioneers such as King Crimson, Deep Purple and Rush  are acclaimed as progenitors of progressive metal.  (My thanks to the Prog Archives Website Progessive Metal Team)

HERITAGE - 2011

Staying linear with King Crimson, Steven Wilson and Opeth the intersection continues with Opeth’s 10th studio recording, Heritage which was mixed by Steven Wilson(who has played on as well as produced various Opeth recordings). I heard Heritage for the first time this morning . I was literally swept away by its warm tonality and lush heavy rock interludes.

A further point of intersection is initiated when Mikael Åkerfeldt collaborated with Steven Wilson to create Storm CorrosionStorm Corrosion’s sound can best be described as ambient, epic, enchanting, and orchestral.[1]

Storm Corrosion Gatefold Vinyl Sleeve

It was just announced that Opeth have been nominated in various categories at the inaugural Progressive Music Awards 2012 brought you by Prog Magazine.

Opeth nominated at inaugural Progressive Music Awards

Opeth are nominated in the following categories open to public voting.

Live Event Category: Opeth at Brixton Academy 2011 CLICK HERE TO VOTE
Album of the Year Category: Opeth – Heritage CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Mikael Åkerfeldt has also been nominated in the Guiding Light category which will chosen by a carefully selected council.

Steven Wilson – Prog Rock

I thought it proper to continue the prog rock series with Steven Wilson. The intersection with yesterday’s King Crimson blog post underlies Steven Wilson’s passion for the technological expanse of their music. He has done a superlative job remixing their catalog. Steven Wilson acknowledges that listening to Robert Fripps’s approach and the notes that he chooses has shaped his style of guitar playing.

I plucked this quote from Steven Wilson’s biography on Spotify.

Thanks to a prolific work ethic, self-taught producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson has gradually become one of the U.K.’s most critically acclaimed artists.

imgI decided to stop off at Barnes & Noble to see if I could find a music magazine to fortify my research for this week’s prog rock series. I was searching for Prog Rock Magazine but little did I realize hiding with the jazz magazines would be a copy of Guitar Player Magazine‘s August 2012 issue. I smiled reassuringly to see Steven Wilson with his Gold Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 on the cover. The cover quote solidified my convictions, “Steven Wilson, Reimagining Progessive Rock”.

My inherent sixth sense of music had led me to find a validated discovery. Steven Wilson has forged a major link  in the chain between the 70’s electric fusion of Miles Davis and King Crimson’s Robert Fripp. This linkage is forged by the the fact that Steven Wilson chose King Crimson’s Lizard as the first remixing effort. Steven Wilson states that he realized how integral jazz was to Lizard and King Crimson. Lizard was made with musicians from the British jazz scene in a very analogous fashion to Miles Davis process with Bitches Brew.

I have listened throughout the day to Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson’s solo efforts. I didn’t intend to over look his other work with No-Man, I.E.M., Bass Communion or Blackfield. It was a capacity issue for me to try to assimilate all of his group projects in a day 😉

I found the Porcupine Tree recordings mesmerizing, equally wildly chilling as they were rich in innovative tonalities.

I became further intrigued by Steven Wilson’s Insurgentes, part documentary/part surreal road movie.

Steven Wilson said this about his second solo album, Grace for Drowning:

‘Insurgentes’ was an important step for me into something new. This record takes that as a starting point, but it’s more experimental and more eclectic. For me the golden period for music was the late sixties and early seventies, when the album became the primary means of artistic expression, when musicians liberated themselves from the 3 minute pop song format, and started to draw on jazz and classical music especially, combining it with the spirit of psychedelia to create “journeys in sound” I guess you could call them. So without being retro, my album is a kind of homage to that spirit. There’s everything from [Ennio] Morricone-esque film themes to choral music to piano ballads to a 23 minute progressive jazz –inspired piece. I’ve actually used a few jazz musicians this time, which is something I picked up from my work remixing the King Crimson records”[8]


Get All You Deserve, is a new high-definition audio-visual set from Steven Wilson. Directed by long-time visual collaborator Lasse Hoile, Get All You Deserve was filmed in Mexico City during the recent Grace For Drowning Tour. The set captures the spectacular live experience that Wilson and Hoile created for the tour on Blu-ray, DVD and 2CD.

The progressive rock chain link will continue tomorrow when I write about the prog rock sub-genre progressive metal and the collaboration between Porcupine Tree‘s Steven Wilson and Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt on Storm Corrosion It has been described as being “the last part in the odd trilogy of records completed by (Opeth’s) Heritage and Steven Wilson’s brand new solo album Grace for Drowning.[21][22]

King Crimson – Prog Rock

The focus of the Music of Our Heart blog shifts with electronic music to the genre of progressive rock (Prog Rock).

Prog Rock week commences with a look at the foundation group, King Crimson.They have been active in three different incarnations, 1969-1974, 1981-1984, and 1994-2009. Each nucleus had Robert Fripp as a core member. Robert Fripp along with Steven Wilson(Porcupine Tree) are primarily responsible for the remix of the 40th anniversary archive series.

Discipline Global Mobile (DGM, or Discipline GM) is an independent record label that was founded in 1992 by Robert Fripp. The business model for DGM precludes King Crimson product from being available on iTunes, Spotify or anywhere else digitally.

DGM aims “to be a model of ethical business in an industry founded on exploitation, oiled by deceit, riven with theft and fueled by greed,” according to Fripp.[1] Its policy is that its artists retain all copyrights; consequently, even DGM’s “knotwork” corporate logo is owned by its designer.[2] DGM’s aims were called “exemplary”, and DGM was credited with having expanded “the possibilities of experimental music” and having improved the environment for King Crimson.[3]

In The Court of the Crimson King stands out as the masterpiece in the collection.
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King - 40th Anniversary Series (CD/DVD-A)

When “In The Wake of Poseidon” was first issued in 1970, Melody Maker ran the unforgettable headline: “If Wagner were alive he’d work with King Crimson”.  For an album that shouldn’t have been recorded by a band that didn’t exist, “In The Wake of Poseidon” continues to intrigue and delight King Crimson fans 40 years after its initial release.

King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon - 40th Anniversary Series (CD/DVD-A)

Lizard, is even by today’s standards, a remarkable and extraordinary album. King Crimson’s third studio album still has the capacity to polarise opinion amongst enthusiasts, and even those who helped make the record in September and October 1970.

Islands, the only studio album from the second performing lineup of King Crimson.  This release fully vindicates the claim that this lineup – short lived though it may have been – had as much to offer musically as any of the more well-known King Crimson incarnations.

King Crimson - Islands - 40th Anniversary Series (CD/DVD-A)

Starless In Bible Black has often been overlooked. Yet even a cursory listen reveals this to be a powerful record, brimming with confidence borne out of the band’s increasing mastery of the concert platform.

King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black - 40th Anniversary Series(CD/DVD-A)

Released in 1974 after King Crimson had “ceased to exist”, Red remains a remarkably powerful document of a group quitting at the top of its game.

Released in 1981, Discipline was a startling reinvention with a new line-up performing radically different material that managed to delight fans, confound critics & pick up a substantial new audience along the way.

30 years on, Discipline remains one of the key albums of the early 1980s and one of the most popular and influential in King Crimson’s catalogue.

King Crimson - Discipline - 40th Anniversary Series (CD/DVD-A)

The descriptions of the CDs in the series is courtesy of King Crimson and Robert Fripp.   (© 2009-2012 Robert Fripp)

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