Album: Soft Machine, The Soft Machine and Volume Two (Polydor)
Friday 14 August 2009
Despite a reputation second only to Pink Floyd, Soft Machine struggled to make much of an impression outside of a small cognoscenti, until they became a full-blown jazz-rock combo in the 1970s.
This was due partly to their preference for continental locales over Blighty, which meant they were rarely seen north of Watford; and partly to their American record label, which meant that these seminal early albums were available only as expensive imports. Released on CD for the first time, they have more than just novelty period appeal, incorporating some of the more unusual musical strategies of even that "anything goes" era. On the first album, Robert Wyatt's unashamedly English vocals and jazz-influenced drumming, Kevin Ayers' unorthodox bass style and Mike Ratledge's angry-wasp organ lines combined like a more refined, less brazen version of what The Nice were attempting, including forays into minimalist repetition and odd time-signatures (while still remaining clearly pop), while the addition of sax (and pataphysics) on Volume Two nudged their tight-riffing sound closer to Zappa's Mothers, prefiguring the abandonment of any pop pretensions on subsequent releases. To these ears, they never sounded better.
Download this: Why Are We Sleeping?, Love Makes Sweet Music, Hibou, Anemone & Bear, Dada Was Here
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile