Tag Archives: Richard Barbieri

Hidden 80′s Gems – Part 3 1983

In 1983, me and my girlfriend walked into my favourite record store, not looking for anything special, just in the mood for looking through the boxes, as we so often did back then. Right there was this strange face in this wonderful painting, looking at something we could not see.

I bought the record without listening first, had to get that album, just because I instantly loved the cover.
Turns out it was Japan – Oil on Canvas – 1983, a live album with a few unreleased tracks, by a new wave band, I had never heard of before. Later I came to love David Sylvian’s solo works, not to mention what Richard Barbieri would do with Porcupine Tree. At this point I was just stunned by having picked up this masterpiece.

Turns out at the point I discovered Japan, they had just split up, the album was mainly live tracks from their last tour, and a few studio tracks recorded by the members separately. They would reunite for the “Rain Tree Crow” one album project (1991) but this was the last Japan album.

Today I know all Japan albums, but this one still is my “Japan” album, seems to me, all the studio albums misses something spiritual, something extra, that I get from Oli on Canvas, a sense that I’m in this Asian temple, and the music is only playing in my mind to get me in the right mood, and I can’t get it out, can concentrate, for my Zen Buddhist meditation session, that I’m having with this beautiful Asian girl, dressed in orange. (wake up, wake up,finish the post !!)

Fripp and Steven Wilson, No-Man : Flowermouth

Friday is Fripp day
What a Fripp
Turn the lights down please, relax, lay back and Fripp !

If you discover No-Man today, it will most likely be because you know about Porcupine Tree, and/or Steven Wilson, and find out that he has got this “side” project going called No-Man. The truth is, it is not a side project, he started Porcupine and No-man, almost simultaneously. Anyway in that case you might not think about checking “Flowermouth” because it from 1994, and it is the 2nd album, who wants to check the 2nd ? But that would be a shame, because it’s a darn good 2nd. Flowermouth draws inspiration from 80’ New Wave and Synthpop, adding art rock elements and ambient textures. With Steven Wilson mixing, as expected, “Flowermouth” is a rich sonic experience.

Flowermouth : Simple (with:Fripp, vocal sample of Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance)

Besides the core duo of Steven Wilson (multiple instruments) and Tim Bowness (vocal) “Flowermouth” was spiced with guest performances from prominent names, Robert Fripp and Mel Collins from “King Crimson”, Richard Barbieri and Steve Jansen from “Japan”, Ian Carr from “Nucleus”, and drummer Chris Maitland.

Flowermouth : Animal Ghost (with Fripp, Mel Collins, Chris Maitland)

Richard Barbieri recorded an fine album “Flame” with No-Man vocalist Tim Bowness, the same year as “flowermouth” was recorded, Richard Barbieri and guest drummer Chris Maitland, joined Wilsons psychedelic solo project Porcupine Tree and together with Colin Edwin (bass) turned it into a very successful Progressive Rock Band.

Flowermouth : Shell Of A Fighter (with Fripp, Richard Barbieri)

In between his work with other projects and his flagship Porcupine Tree, Steven have kept No-Man going and they have released 6 studio albums, latest in 2008. Wilson and Fripp remained friends and Wilson have been working on, reissues of the King Crimson catalog in 5.1 surround sound. Fripp played a guest performance on Porcupine Three’s 2007 EP Nil Recurring, with a guitar solo on the title track.

Porcupine Tree : Nil Recurring