Porcupine Tree / In Absentia deluxe

3CD+blu-ray deluxe bookset • Bonus content includes additional recordings, demos and 5.1 mix & feature-length documentary

Porcupine Tree / In Absentia 4-disc deluxe

Porcupine Tree‘s 2002 album In Absentia will be reissued as a 3CD+blu-ray deluxe edition in February.

The set features three CDs, with the first offering Steven Wilson’s 2017 remaster of the album, the second containing additional finished studio recordings the band made during the period (such as ‘Collapse Intro’, ‘Drown With Me’, ‘Chloroform’, and ‘Meantime’) and the third comprising over 70 minutes of demos recorded in Wilson’s home studio.

The blu-ray is the fourth and final disc. It features the 2003 5.1 surround sound mix (by Elliot Scheiner) as well as the audio from CD 2 in hi-res. This isn’t a blu-ray audio since it also comes with a brand new, almost two-hour documentary directed by Steven Wilson’s longtime visual collaborator Lasse Hoile, which chronicles the making of the album with interviews and archive footage.

The deluxe set is presented as a 100-page hardcover book which features photography by Lasse Hoile, Carl Glover, Richard Barbieri and John Blackford along with sleeve notes and track-by-track commentary by Stephen Humphries, artwork drafts, and handwritten notes and lyrics.

In Absentia deluxe will be released on 21 February 2020 via Kscope. You can pre-order via the SDE shop using this link, or the button below.


CD 1

1. Blackest Eyes (2017 Remaster) [04:24]
2. Trains (2017 Remaster) [05:55]
3. Lips Of Ashes (2017 Remaster) [04:39]
4. The Sound Of Muzak (2017 Remaster) [04:58]
5. Gravity Eyelids (2017 Remaster) [07:56]
6. Wedding Nails (2017 Remaster) [06:33]
7. Prodigal (2017 Remaster) [05:33]
8. .3 (2017 Remaster) [05:25]
9. The Creator Has A Mastertape (2017 Remaster) [05:14]
10. Heartattack In A Layby (2017 Remaster) [04:15]
11. Strip The Soul (2017 Remaster) [07:20]
12. Collapse The Light Into Earth (2017 Remaster) [05:49]

CD 2

1. Collapse Intro [01:45]
2. Drown With Me [05:21]
3. Orchidia [03:27]
4. Chloroform [07:14]
5. Futile [06:06]
6. Meantime [03:17]
7. Blackest Eyes (radio edit) [03:38]
8. Trains (radio edit) [03:52]
9. Strip The Soul (video edit) [03:35]

CD 3

1. Drown With Me (demo) [05:06]
2. Trains (demo) [06:05]
3. Imogen Slaughter (demo) [02:38]
4. Watching You Sleep (demo) [03:44]
5. The Creator Has A Mastertape (demo) [06:07]
6. Heartattack In A Layby (demo) [05:51]
7. Strip The Soul (demo) [15:19]
8. The Sound Of Muzak (demo) [05:32]
9. Gravity Eyelids (demo) [07:15]
10. Enough (demo) [03:45]
11. Wedding Nails (demo) [06:26]
12. Blackest Eyes (demo) [04:34]


1. The Making Of In Absentia (documentary film) [1.49:45]

In Absentia remastered 96/24 LPCM stereo
In Absentia bonus material 96/42 LPCM stereo

In Absentia 5.1 surround mix 48/24 (with three bonus tracks – see below).

1. Blackest Eyes (5.1 mix) [04:26]
2. Trains (5.1 mix) [05:57]
3. Lips Of Ashes (5.1 mix) [04:40]
4. The Sound Of Muzak (5.1 mix) [04:59]
5. Gravity Eyelids (5.1 mix) [07:56]
6. Wedding Nails (5.1 mix) [06:33]
7. Prodigal (5.1 mix) [05:33]
8. .3 (5.1 mix) [05:26]
9. The Creator Has A Mastertape (5.1 mix) [05:21]
10. Heartattack In A Layby (5.1 mix) [04:15]
11. Strip The Soul (5.1 mix) [07:22]
12. Collapse The Light Into Earth (5.1 mix) [05:52]
13. Drown With Me (5.1 mix) [05:21]*
14. Chloroform (5.1 mix) [07:14]*
15. Futile (5.1 mix) [06:03]*

*Bonus 5.1 mixes

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I received the following email from Burning Shed which , I’m sure , will be of interest to some of you.


Thanks very much for buying this deluxe edition of one of PT’s classic albums from us.

We have been made aware of an unfortunate mistake on the Blu-ray disc. It should have included the audio from CD2 in high resolution (24/96) but those tracks/files are not there.

Obviously we are eager for you to have a complete Blu-Ray disc but this is going to take a few weeks as a new master and manufacturing will take time.

The “good” part is that you don’t have to do anything. We will automatically send a replacement Blu-ray to everyone who has bought this from us.

Kscope are sorry for this mishap but please rest assured it will all be ok – you’re in good hands.

We will email you again when the discs are about to be shipped.

Please note that all replacement discs will be sent by standard mail without tracking. We won’t be sending any discs by courier.

Anyone who bought the deluxe edition from other sellers will need to contact Kscope directly about getting a replacement disc. Watch their social media accounts for more information.

Kind regards




so it’s missing the 3 asterix bonus tracks is all, aye?

13. Drown With Me (5.1 mix) [05:21]*
14. Chloroform (5.1 mix) [07:14]*
15. Futile (5.1 mix) [06:03]*


or is it that the blu ray is missing this whole part?
In Absentia bonus material 96/42 LPCM stereo

Woodsey Niles

What I really want is a comprehensive Porcupine Tree box set on CD. Gathering all of the super deluxe sets at a reasonable price would be great, but in the very least throw in a couple of bonus CDs like the Kate Bush set and I would be very happy.


Did the label look at iPhones and said if they can jack up the price, so can we?


Dear Mr Wilson, i am a big fan, but not an idiot. This price is a shame.

Pietje Puk

You are so right !!!!!

[…] Porcupine Tree / In Absentia (deluxe edition) […]

Mathew Lauren

I agree with many here. This long-awaited, 5.1, SDE RE is overpriced (at this time), though we should expect the price to “settle” a bit — at least decline amongst the major retailers.

“The surround-sound version of the album won the award for best 5.1 mix at the 2004 Surround Sound Music awards in Los Angeles.” (from Wiki).

So, despite wishes (by fans) and comments from Steven Wilson about 5.1 remixing “In Absentia,” the 5.1 portion of this SDE RE includes the original, 2003, Elliot Scheiner 5.1-MIX and (Sony Studios, NYC) 24/48 SURROUND MASTERING by Darcy Proper – now on Blu-ray and “phase-corrected,” only!

What to expect:


(Not bad, save for 2 songs @9 dr).

The ‘03 5.1 DVD-A (PPCM 1.5:1) release was a HIT with multiple REs (as DVD-As & Jpnse DTS Audio DVD-Vs), but “IA” could have used a proper, multi-channel RM and upscale this time ‘round to 24/96 (hirez 5.1), like the 2.0 tracks received in 2017 imho. In fairness, though, the original 2.0 tracks were a “brick-walled” mess of dr 6s & 7s — very DIFFERENT from the ‘03 5.1-mastering by Darcy Proper. So, objectively speaking, while the 2.0 tracks absolutely needed a RM, it could be argued the 5.1 mastering was “good-to-go,” as is.

EVEN so, if SW didn’t want, wasn’t asked or wasn’t “allowed” to 5.1 remix “IA,” (as he stated he had an interest in undertaking, several times over the last 10 years), at this price, a 24/96 mastering (upscale) for the original, Grammy Award-winning ES-5.1 was in order (at the very least) imho — and though I enjoy most of Darcy Proper’s multichannel-mastering work-product, (as per the dr #s) this album (released during the height of the “loudness-wars”) would have benefitted from a slight, RM-tweaking to the 5.1 tracks. Call it a “re-visit,” rather than a (full-on) RM — and at this a$k, I don’t think that’s an unreasonable (fan) expectation.

The original, “In Absentia,” PT 5.1-release retailed for roughly between $15 and $30 (adjusted to $s) depending on which surround release / RE one purchased from which market, between ‘03 and ‘13. The 5.1 mastering (which some find a tad “hot” in places) and “out-of-phase” issue, though, have ALWAYS been a constant (THE SAME), no matter when or where one bought it. So, at least there’s finally a 1:1, “lossless,” “phase-corrected,” 5.1 release of this lauded, PT album featuring an equally lauded, ES 5.1-mix (though STILL @24/48).

Lastly, it took ~17 YEARS and a new label to address the “out-of-phase” surround-sound, channel-issue, alone. That makes this 2020 5.1 RE, the definitive 2003 5.1 presentation of “IA,” and it seems priced with that in mind — but seriously, this is Beatles, SDE-pricing territory!

Regardless of MY ability to pay, I’m kinda disappointed with both the PT and Floyd pricing strategies and product offerings, here. I don’t like when labels hold the featured, studio-album 5.1s hostage within expensive, SDE boxsets. Break ‘em out, let the surround-sound music FLOW, and “HOLD THE MARBLES!”

I will, though (eventually) purchase both the “IA” 5.1 SDE and PF’s “TLY” 5.1 SDE when the price (NEW) drops to “reasonable.”

Hey, did I mention that the latest P-Tree & Floyd REs are WAY overpriced for what we get? :)

Cheers, all!


That price is obscene and i won’t be buying it.


I like this album, and would like a 5.1 mix. I like these sets, I assume this one is the same format as the Mansun and Pineapple thief releases. The price seems to be creeping up for them though, so I’ll have to give them up.

Dan T.

I need to see the waveforms. This and Deadwing had so much clipping in them it was nearly unbearable.

CJ Feeney

Are you referring to the original CD mix/master or the 2017 vinyl mix which is used for this edition. I havent got the original CD, but the 2017 mix sounds great to me.


nice…but SW solo output has been made usually availible in BR, with similar content than the the one here.
I mean his BRs come with stereo, 5.1, instrumental, demos, edits, docu.
Sure, not all oh the CD 2 and CD 3, but some of those tracks

Then, if a standalone BR appears, I’ll get it

and it’s overpriced anyway

Alan Blevin

By the way for overseas customers ordering from a British site such as Burning Shed and hoping to have the VAT removed I have some bad news.K Scope have apparently given retailers 2 prices.One is for British customers who pay VAT and one is for non British customers with VAT excluded.They both come to the same amount!
Someone is putting extra money in their pocket.This “policy” does not apply to other releases.


Wow i can’t believe that price Mr Wilson, i will stick with the original for now !!!

Rik K

I like owning Surround mixes of different types of rock and prog musics. But the world is already so depressing that the last thing I want to buy is dystopian music in a horror sleeve like that. I like music that cheers me, and I wish Steven Wilson would start making some.

Phil Morris

Not all music has to be jaunty, hat-on-the-side-of-the-head fare. Yet it’s great to find someone else clearly a fan of Permanating.

Alan Blevin

Overpriced based on the amount of music content.That book better be good.
Was definitely going to buy this but the price has me reconsidering.


Having already purchased the terrific 2003 Lava/DTS DVD-Audio of this (which also contains the 3 “bonus” tracks in 5.1) as well as videos and other extras, there just isn’t enough that’s new here to justify a purchase. However, for anyone who is a fan and missed that earlier release, this is probably essential.


Though I love the album – I kinda wish SW would “just” do a Porcupine Tree series in the same style as his Yes/King Crimson/XTC work. Just CD/BluRay sets with a “digital” box on it with remasters, remixes, demo’s, instrumentals etc.

Still a must-buy ofcourse.

Mike Croft

Cheapest currently at Burning Shed – £54.99 + £7 P&P


£34.99 would have been a more realistic price for this

Grahame Andrew

I would love this but not at that price. Ridiculous.

Emilio Lafarga Giribets

Is it the same mix as on the DVD-A?

Thomas L.

The mix is the same, but the DVD-Audio had a technical problem on the 5.1 mix: the phase was inverted for the LFE and Center channel. This has been corrected for this reissue.

Steven Roberts

Wow, Mr Wilson sure likes to milk that back catalogue….


@Steven Roberts
Why do you saw SW milks it? What re-release has come out aside from Arriving Somewhere [which added a BR release with better audio]?


@Gisabun There have been reissues of Up the Downstair, Sky Moves Sideways, Signify, Coma Divine, Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun all got deluxe reissues. I’m not complaining in any way – they were all great expansions of the original offering “definitive” versions, but it’s fair to say that Steven likes revisiting the back catalogue.


Plus all these albums have been released on vinyl on every colour of the rainbow alongside the remasters and deluxe editions and now super deluxe… Although super deluxe releases of stupid dream and signify would certainly ignite my imagination


CD 2 is VERY lackuster. Less than 39 min.
There could be easily added the XM songs ‘Blackest Eyes’, ‘Sound of Musak’, ‘Gravity Eyelids’, ‘Wedding Nails’, ‘Heartattack in a Layby’, ‘Strip the Soul’ and from XMII ‘Trains’. That would make a 78 min disc.
With no instrumental mixes (pretty odd decision, considering that Steven has alwas included that on Yes or KC remixes) and no new stereo mixes, the CD 2 much be improved. This set is expensive indeed, and lacks material that should be included.


I hope that this is a first edition of a entire PT discography deluxe reissues.


Oh ya. This will be nice.
My only issue is the price. Seems way over priced compared to other 3CD/BR and 4CD/BR editions out there [think Cream’s Fresh Cream, any of the Marillion deluxe editions, Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland].
Other thing missing is the promo videos.

Tim Darbyshire

Looking forward to this – I do find it odd there’s not a new SW 5.1 mix though (same wording on SW website)

Erick Haight

Played this a ton in ’02, and was able to sell more than a few in my last record store gig. Wish SW would have taken a swing at a new 5.1 mix, but this is still an essential purchase regardless.

Enrico G.

This is a must have, for me.
I love PTs.