Steven Wilson has made a return journey to the trippy Voyage 34 as part of his The Future Bites Sessions. The solo track was originally released under the banner of Porcupine Tree in 1992 and, at the time, was one of the longest singles ever released at 30 minutes. Wilson’s updated version is a fraction the size at just under six minutes.
The original version of the song was intended to be released as part of Porcupine Tree’s Up the Downstair album but was instead issued as a standalone record. The concept explores one man’s LSD trip via spoken word and includes a voice sample from Dead Can Dance’s As The Bell Rings The Maypole Spins.
Soon after the single was released, Wilson expanded his solo project to a full band. He recalls: “I was very resistant to it becoming a band. After the success of the first few records, [then record label] Delerium said, ‘You need to play live!’ I said, ‘I don’t want to. I hate playing live!’ – and I did. I’d done it with No-Man and hated it. But one day they came back and said, ‘Mark Radcliffe at Radio 1 wants you to do a live session…’ and at that point I couldn’t say no any more.”
Almost a decade after its original release, Wilson released four different versions of Voyage 34 on the 2000 compilation Voyage 34: The Complete Trip. The mini-album is also part of 2020’s Porcupine Tree box set, The Delirium Years.
Steven Wilson’s new solo album The Future Bites is out on January 29, 2021. Check out his previously unreleased reworking of Voyage 34 below.