I have bought this Porcupine Tree's CD a little bit late, afraid of finding a CD of musical remainders, just thought to fill one more record. But the truth is that I have found a very compact work, full of quality.
Basically, this record is composed by tracks taken from CD singles of the "Stupid Dream" and "Lightbulb Sun' s" periods, plus two new tracks, and an extended version of the great "Even Less".
Tracks of the singles CD's are obviously known (specially by the fans of the band), and form a very interesting pack, mainly for those who didn't accumulate all the parallel works of the group. Therefore, we can find songs of a very high quality, rejected (I suppose) for the official CD's, simply for no engaging with the current and direct style of those records.
The tracks are: "Cure for Optimism" 6:11, "Ambulance Chasing" 6:32, "Untitled" 8:53, "In Formaldehyde" 5:19, "Disappear" 3:37 and "Oceans Have no Memory" 3:06.
The first three are tracks close to the space rock sound and everywhere floats some improvisation's feeling, with psychedelic effects, very hypnotic, melancholic and with a contained tension, in the same way of how was the Porcupine's sound in the "The Sky Moves Sideways's" period. It means a instrumentation apparently simple but full of shades, that easily puts you inside the magic of the group.
"Buying New Soul" 10:24 is one of the new songs, that opens the record with the essence of that period of the group we were talking about before. It's a quiet but intense track, and has the enigmatic sound that makes of this magnificent song one of the highest moments of the record.
The other new track is "Access Denied" 3:35. It comes from the sessions of "Lightbulb Sun", and is a little bit shocking, but it should thrust very well in that record.
And also we have an excellent version of 13:55 of "Even Less" (the two parts before existing of this track, joined on this CD), that here gets an absolutely new dimension, when in the second part of the song starts a new instrumental section, so intense and amazing that transforms the track in a brilliant example of black musical magic.
The entire CD is very homogenous, and never seems to be a remnant's record. Neither has the incoherence of some "collected songs" records. The great value of this work is the tendency to return a bit to the most enigmatic sound of the group, with more ambient elements, although perfectly mixed with some more rocker tracks of his last period.
A great work of modern psychedelia, in the middle way of the two last stages of the group.
This CD is a limited numbered edition of 20.000 copies, so that makes the record still more indispensable for all those who love that kind of music.