Although I must admit that some of the early synthy sounding NO-MAN songs were not my cup of tea, they have my ears with "Heaven Taste". What is funny about this album is that being a collection of B-sides songs, I much prefer them to the A-Sides. For NO-MAN obviously B-Sides represent a playground to experiment and have fun, to try out whims, to work out the ideas forbidden by the commercial and aesthetic demands of a full album. Anyone, like me left wary by the dance-bolstered, poppier/balladry leanings of the early NO-MAN albums will love the art-rock characteristics of this compilation really sounding very much like aspects of PORCUPINE TREE. This album really documents NO-MAN's dreamy, atmospherically lush side delivering an almost avant-garde sound. The album explores the deeper possibilities of Steven Wilson's genius and instrumentation while holing onto Tim Bowness's touch of pop individuality. This album also features the lovely violin work of Ben Coleman, the keyboard work of Richard Barbieri, sax of Mick Karn and the percussion of Steve Jansen. I should also mention this album features a fine version of Nick Drake's "Road". Overall "Heaven Taste" is a visitation to the softer, dreamier, luminescent trance work from NO-MAN's more quietly beautiful territories and ambient shores.
Despite being labeled here as a studio album, this is an EP. It collects various NO-MAN tracks, presenting them in support of the epic 20-minute dance track, 'Heaven Taste'.
This recording is not quite the treat for prog fans it seems on the surface - "ooh look, a 20-minute STEVEN WILSON track!" Nope, this is trance and dance music, albeit more sophisticated than that spooned out on Ibiza.
The supporting tracks are as well-crafted and inward-looking as one would expect. NO-MAN have a unique chemistry, and these tracks express it well. 'Bleed' is the best of them, though it has appeared on CD before this, on 1993's 'Sweetheart Raw' single. This version has an added dance section at the end.
Good as it is, I'm not entirely convinced by the title track. The ten-minute edit on their recent anthology 'All the Blue Changes' captures the spirit of the track, and flows more coherently than does this original version. In my view this track shares something in common with 'The Sky Moves Sideways', though it is on the dance side of the fence. It's not insignificant that this was released in the same year as that PORCUPINE TREE album. 'Heaven Taste' has a true space-rock feel - but then, so does a whole genre of dance music. If you like this, trust me, you have a great deal of music to discover.
Here NO-MAN paint on a wide canvas. It would be the last time they did so until 2003. http://www.progarchives.com
Track Listing: 1. Long Day Fall 2. Babyship Blue 3. Bleed 4. Road 5. Heaven Taste
The Band: - Tim Bowness / vocals, words - Steven Wilson / instruments
WITH: - Richard Barbieri / keyboards & programming (5) - Ben Coleman / acoustic & electric violins (1,2,5) - Steve Jansen / drums & percussion programming (5) - Mick Karn / fretless bass & dida & saxophone (5)