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THE SOFT MACHINE

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

4.07 | 375 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Soft Machine is the selftitled debut album from one of the two groups that emerged after the demise of The Wilde Flowers.Soft Machine and Caravan, which was the other band to emerge after The Wilde Flowers ceased to exist, were both very influential forces on the Canterbury music scene and they are widely aknowledged as the creators of that particular subgenre to progressive rock. While Caravanīs debut album didnīt impress me much itīs a whole other story with Soft Machine. This is a beautiful album and itīs got all the characteristica of early Canterbury scene. The whimsical singing style and humorous lyrics and the soft jazz/ rock approach to music.

The music on this debut album is very experimental which was a common feature on many recordings from 1968, but I think Soft Machine was a bit different. First of all this is not regular psychadelic music IMO even though itīs pretty strange at times. itīs rather intellectual if you ask me.

Robert Wyattīs drumming needs to be mentioned as it is very adventurous and his vocals are also along with the vocals from Kevin Ayers are defining for the Canterbury Scene. In my review of the debut from Matching Mole I was very critical towards Robert Wyattīs voice but itīs great here. Very fragile but great never the less.

The songs are short witful statements that at times can seem a bit underdeveloped which is a real shame as some of them definitely invites to longer sections. That doesnīt mean that these songs donīt sound great as they are though. If you like Canterbury scene music this one is a must IMO. I wonīt mention any songs in particular as I like them all and I think that all the songs together is what makes this such a great album. There is a sort of concept like cohesiveness to the songs.

The musicianship is outstanding and above all innovative and adventurous. I really enjoy the interplay between the musicians.

The production is charming even though itīs not the best sixties sound quality I have heard. Itīs way better than Caravanīs debut album though.

Soft Machine has taken me by surprise with this album, and I must declare myself a fan from this day forth. At least of this brilliant album. I have been debating myself if this is a masterpiece but I have come to the conclusion that I will rate it 4 stars now and maybe later upgrade it to 5 if my excitement doesnīt stop. This is a highly recommendable album for Canterbury scene fans and for fans of sixties and early seventies prog rock in general too.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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