We discuss the optical properties of one-dimensional complex dielectric systems, in particular the time-resolved transmission through thick porous silicon quasiperiodic multi-layers. Both in numerical calculations and experiments we find dramatic distortion effects, i.e. pulse stretching and coherent beatings, when band-edge states are resonantly excited. Numerical simulations and experiments are in good agreement. We argue that porous silicon can be used conveniently for the fabrication of one-dimensional complex photonic structures.