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The Soft Machine - BBC - Radio 1967 - 1971 CD (album) cover

BBC - RADIO 1967 - 1971

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

3.98 | 32 ratings

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wooty
5 stars As braindamage has interpreted; this is an essential masterpiece of progressive rock. The beginning of this document finds the band coming to grips with their potential, and the session derived from the first two albums are performed with a minimum of elaboration. Without the impetus of Elton Dean and the polish of the recording in several takes, the trio doesn't quite refine the improvisational potential of the first two albums, sticking strictly to the compositional framework. However with the arrival of Dean and Hopper, sparks begin to fly. Without going into a detailed analysis or session by session breakdown, the essence of the bands performance evolves into a fusion powerhouse; revealed by the band left to their own devices, devoid of production values. Robert Wyatt's value as a percussionist of the highest caliber fires the band into escalating momentum, regardless of his dwindling influence on the band. Elton Dean's conception of breaking musical boundaries with his inspired technical angularity and grasp of atonality gives the accentuated and angular compositions of Hugh Hopper spellbinding breadth. Mike Ratledge assumes the central figure in the band, of course, and his mix of fuzz organ and gooving comp give the band it's identity. I would probably pick this as one of the best places to start with this band. It provides the range of the bands growth and serves as an introduction to the leader of the improvisational side of the Canterbury scene.
wooty | 5/5 |

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