Tuesday, May 11, 2010

News: Mike Oldfield's Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn to be rereleased in June

Hey look everybody! A Mike Oldfield release that doesn't have the word Tubular on it!

As most of us (pretentiously self described Prog-Heads, word) already know, Mike Oldfield's discography does in fact contain a much wider scope of musical creativity than the all too well known and the all too painfully bled-to-death Tubular Bells. In fact, I'm sure many of us would say that Tubular is hardly the man's best work. Some crazy folk (myself included) would probably state that 1990's Amarok should be considered his best work. Others, possibly more level-headed persons, would place the Oldfield crown on his 1975 opus Ommadawn. Regardless, it's a convoluted discography that stretches down many roads, although most roads lead back to Tubular Bells at some point.

Well, fans of Mike's Tubular follow-up Hergest Ridge and the aforementioned Ommadawn are in for a treat this June. Following up on the splashy deluxe release of Tubular Bells from a year ago, Mike is going to give the same treatment to these lesser known gems of instrumental creativity. He has created brand spanking new stereo and 5.1 mixes of these classics. The original mixes will also be included in the fancy package.

Hergest Ridge is getting extra-special treatment for this release. In addition to the new mixes, Mike has decided to include the long-lost original vinyl mix for the very first time on CD. If you didn't know, Mike remixed the album not long after its original release, removing many layers of instrumentation, such as some snazzy trumpet parts. Oldfield fanatics have had to cling onto their original vinyl versions if they liked those trumpet parts (like I said, they're pretty snazzy). In addition to all the various mixes, Mike has also elected to change the cover art for Hergest Ridge. He never really liked the old one, apparently. If you think it looks familiar then perhaps you spend too much time looking at Great Britain from above through the lens of Google Maps. Basically, that's what he used to create the new cover.

These deluxe editions will come out in just over a month's time. There are all sorts of variations coming into play here, and you can see them all on Universal's Mike Oldfield site.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Steven Wilson talks about his new solo album

Obvious statement: Steven Wilson is prolific. This is pretty clear.

I know the posts have slowed down again. This happens. You know. Stuff. (Is there a more compelling excuse than "stuff"? I think not.) Etc... I can't make any promises exactly when I'll go back to writing long album reviews again, but I'd like to at some point. For now, I'll keep sharing links I find with you.

Porcupine Tree was in Toronto saturday night. It was an excellent show, as expected. Before the show he sat down with the folks at bravewords.com for a pretty revealing interview. The bulk of what I found so interesting was that he began to divulge some details as to the contents of his next solo album.

As you probably know, Mr. Wilson has been quite busy over the last year or so working on the new King Crimson remixes. Spending all that time going through miles and miles of legendary recording sessions has clearly rubbed off on him. Apparently he intends on going "old-school". His next album is shaping up to be a vintage Progressive Rock album. Lots of mellotron, bassoons, flutes and saxes. Even a twenty minute epic! Click below to read the interview yourself. (Be warned of the giant Iron Maiden ad near the top of the page. It's appropriately gruesome.)

Bravewords.com > News > PORPCUPINE TREE's Steven Wilson - "We Keep Fighting To Try To Infiltrate The Mainstream Any Way We Can":
"And so I’m making this new solo record, and I’ve done a couple of sessions now. I’ve just got into a studio with a great band and just cut back tracks. And it’s kind of old school. There’s loads of mellotron on it, it’s got more of a jazz... it’s very progressive, I think it’s only going to be, possibly, I’m thinking of keeping it to the length of a 42 minute album, classic ‘70s; there’s a 21 minute track on it, very progressive, and a lot of fun.”"