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The Soft Machine - Bundles CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.07 | 334 ratings

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5 stars Memories! Early 1975, I attended a Soft Machine concert in Montreal with Maneige opening. I was very busy salivating over my first true girlfriend attributes (a buxom blond from France) but eventually my lust-drenched attention veered to Roy Babbington's superfuzzed bass and by the time Holdsworth kicked in on his rather messy Gibson SG, she was visibly pouting at my sudden lack of affectionate desire. To her immense credit, she started groovin' to the weird music being played (I guess live shows by Genesis, Ekseption and Gentle Giant helped alter her tastes). They played this amazing album just as it is laid out on record, opening with the "Hazard Profile" suite, blasting through the title track and finishing with "Floating World". (Check out the YouTube video snippets from that tour!). Even though the keyboard duo of Ratledge (what an odd sound from his organ, obviously his machine ain't soft!) and Jenkins paved a rich ivory tapestry to play on, with Babbington and Marshall putting down some fierce jazz-rock rhythms (the word "progressive" did not yet exist , in those days), truth must be said that former Tempest guitarist Allen Holdsworth's virtuosity really stole the show, thus launching a burgeoning career, first with JL Ponty, Gong , Bill Bruford and Tony Williams' Lifetime. By the time he joined super group UK (saw that concert too, in 1978), his fame was set in stone. So what's the big deal, you dare ask? Well, firstly, he was trained as a jazz purist and yet made his bed in the somewhat decadent world of rock and secondly, he had the audacity to incorporate yet unheard combinations of tone and sequence, sneeringly dissonant chord work and some of the strangest melodic solos ever put to disc. In one word: Original! This is why this recording really smokes and is rightly considered to be a revered icon, remembering that Soft Machine had not used a guitarist since the very early pre-album years (future Daevid "Going Going Gong" Allen and Andy "The Cop" Summers ). Seek out this seminal offering and check out what all the fuss was/is about, perhaps then your prog machine will harden! Finally, I get to agree with Hughes, our senior prog pundit , after so many attempts, time for a Duvel! A ta Sante! 5 holds worth of stars
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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