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The Soft Machine - The Soft Machine CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.03 | 494 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

the philosopher
4 stars The Soft Machine is one of the most influential proto-prog groups together with The Mothers of Invention, Pink Floyd and Miles Davis. These groups were never called proto-prog because they do also fall into other categories. These groups did belong to the psychedelic rock or avant-jazz movement in the 60's and were a great boost for the progressive scene which was yet to emerge.

This record contains short tracks like the most psychedelic rock bands. The key-bass-drum set-up sounded a lot different then the later Emerson, Lake & Palmer and became known as the Canterbury sound. This may be the first Canterbury record, although The Mothers of Invention did used similar soundscapes. The songs are funny and optimistic like "Everyday I'd like an egg and some tea, but after all I do like to talk about me!". While The Soft Machine sounds not so professional as in their later releases this works out as a benefit in most occasions: it sounds very fresh and enthusiastic.

The record begins with a dual vocal piece with Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers on the vocals. This sounds a bit naieve, but I do really like it; it's so extremely catchy! On the first side there are some great drum sessions. It's some kind of drum solo with lots of psychedelic key tunes and bass riffs. This may be one of the biggest advantages compared with other psychedelic rock bands: the great drumming skills of Robert Wyatt! Also Mike Ratledge on the keys is showing incredible stuff.

I would rather call this record a psychedelic piece then a Canterbury piece, but this already has the Canterbury soundscapes and funny lyrics. This record is a psychedelic masterpiece and hardly advised for psychedelic rock and Canterbury fans. 4+ stars.

the philosopher | 4/5 |


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