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Matching Mole - Matching Mole CD (album) cover


Matching Mole


Canterbury Scene

3.65 | 279 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Robert Wyatt, the Canterbury mastermind was done with Soft Machine. The band's radical turn towards jazz proved to be a bit too much for Wyatt with his more psychedelic or progressive-oriented sensibilities. Dave Sinclair, a keyboard virtuoso, formerly of Caravan also happened to have just parted ways with his group. Joined by a few other musicians, namely Phil Miller, Bill McCormick and Dave McRae, they teamed up to create Matching Mole. The name "Matching Mole" comes from French "machine molle", which means Soft Machine.

Matching Mole's debut is a quintessential Canterbury scene album. All the ingredients are there. In comparison to Soft Machine's works of the period, this is a lot more musically organised. It also does not rely as much on improvisational factor. However, that does not mean the sacrifice of jazz qualities. A wide variety Robert Wyatt's fixtures is detectable as well. Dave Sinclair brings a bit of Caravan's sound himself. In addition to Sinclair's smooth organ textures and Dave McRae's electric piano parts, Wyatt introduces a Mellotron, which I consider to be perfectly utilized. It proves to be irreplaceable on experimental symphonic passages such as on the closing track - "Immediate Curtain". The instrument supplies Matching Mole with a very distinct, unique majestic sound, which fits perfectly in their style.

The material is made up of light melodic pieces and ballads supported by a piano (often played by Robert Wyatt himself), which resolve into sophisticated jazz rock jams, frequently in sophisticated time signatures and one full-on avant-garde tune ("Immediate Curtain"). Occasionally, the tracks are linked, the first three for example, with every one having a slightly different mood and feel.

Overall, I believe this to be a prominent Canterbury scene album, a significant, one-of-a-kind work. It shows a transitional period of the subgenre - nearly free from psychedelic noodlings, but far from full-on jazz fusion that it would become later on in the decade. Very highly recommended. 4.5 stars!

ALotOfBottle | 4/5 |


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