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MATCHING MOLE

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Matching Mole biography
Upon leaving SOFT MACHINE in 1971 after their "Fourth" album, Robert Wyatt decided to form a new band which he named MATCHING MOLE (from the French translation of SOFT MACHINE). He recruited Dave Sinclair of CARAVAN to play keybaords along with guitarist Phil Miller (ex-DELIVERY) and QUIET SUN bassist Bill MacCormick. They made two albums both released in 1972, a self-titled and "Little Red Record", the latter featuring Dave MacRae on keys in place of Sinclair. Phil Miller soon left to join HATFIELD AND THE NORTH, and Wyatt was planning on recording a third album in 1973, but due to his unfortunate accident this never came to pass, leaving the band permanently disbanded. The two records, however, are outstanding examples of what was great about much of the Canterbury scene of the time - superb, challenging musicianship coupled with a quirky sense of humor - and in the case of MATCHING MOLE's second record, a bit of political commentary as well.

Highly recommeneded obviously for fans of SOFT MACHINE and Wyatt's solo work, as well as other Canterbury scene artists.

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On the RadioOn the Radio
Import
Hux Records 2007
Audio CD$11.89
$12.21 (used)
Little Red RecordLittle Red Record
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2012
Audio CD$10.68
$10.69 (used)
Matching MoleMatching Mole
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2012
Audio CD$10.67
$10.77 (used)
MarchMarch
Cuneiform 2002
Audio CD$12.44
$9.47 (used)
Smoke SignalsSmoke Signals
Cuneiform 2001
Audio CD$11.79
$5.88 (used)
Matching MoleMatching Mole
Import
Msi 2000
Audio CD$24.95
$19.99 (used)
BBC Radio 1 in ConcertBBC Radio 1 in Concert
BBC Windsong 1994
Audio CD$39.99 (used)
Smoke Signals by Matching Mole (2001-05-21)Smoke Signals by Matching Mole (2001-05-21)
Rer
Audio CD$80.42
Little Red Record by MATCHING MOLE (2012-03-06)Little Red Record by MATCHING MOLE (2012-03-06)
Esoteric
Audio CD$59.96
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MATCHING MOLE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MATCHING MOLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 198 ratings
Matching Mole
1971
3.90 | 151 ratings
Little Red Record
1972

MATCHING MOLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.51 | 17 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert
1995
3.98 | 21 ratings
March
2000
3.13 | 21 ratings
Smoke Signals
2001
3.58 | 14 ratings
On The Radio
2007

MATCHING MOLE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MATCHING MOLE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MATCHING MOLE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
O Caroline
1972

MATCHING MOLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Little Red Record  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.90 | 151 ratings

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Little Red Record
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "We are determined to liberate Taiwan!"

Soon after their eponymous debut, Matching Mole hit the road and toured western Europe, appearing on various TV shows and festivals. It was at that time that David Sinclair left the band to play with Hatfield and the North and later on Caravan's For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night. He was replaced with Dave MacRae, a jazz keyboardist from New Zealand, who was already credited as a guest on Matching Mole's debut album. In July of 1972, about half a year after their first work, the band entered the doors of London's CBS Studios to record Matching Mole's Little Red Record. The release was produced by Robert Fripp of King Crimson. In addition, the band invited Brian Eno, the pioneer synthesist, to guest on their album.

The title of the release is an allusion to Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, known as the Maoist bible of the cultural revolution period. The cover art portrays the band members on what looks like a Chinese communist propaganda poster. The inspiration for the cover painting came from a Chinese postcard with a caption that read "We are determined to liberate Taiwan!" Despite a lot of controversy, the group, in fact, had nothing to do with idea for the album art, as the drawing was designed by CBS' graphic designers. Robert Wyatt even admitted that he did not particularly like the design. Wyatt's lyrics on Little Red Record have also been an object of heated discussion. The artist declares that the fight for the righteous socialist world should also be expressed in music and confesses that his beliefs are closer to the Chinese communist world rather than the degenerated capitalist west.

Musically, Little Red Record is a quintessential Canterbury scene album. Matching Mole's style is notably different from their debut album. The group got rid of the song-oriented ballads almost entirely and introduced an even higher amount of jazz-fueled improvisation to their music. However, showcasing the group's members' musical skill does not seem to be the aim of the numerous improvisational passages that appear so frequently on Little Red Record. The heavy repeating passages, which often do provide a base for instrumental solos, create musical tension, which makes the music on this record incredibly moody and full of distinctive mysticism. The typical tongue-in-cheek, Canterbury-styled arrangements are common. This becomes evident with pre-recorded voices and sounds of various conversations played over the band's music, giving the album an eccentric appearance.

The high amount of jazz influences on Little Red Record compared to Matching Mole might partly be caused by the new keyboard player, Dave MacRae. His extensive use of Fender Rhodes electric piano adds a very fusion-esque element to the band's sound, at times similar to the one of Soft Machine. Similarly to Dave Sinclair, MacRae is extremely proficient in many diverse musical situations ranging from as far as subtle drone touches to accurate rhythm keyboard play to rapid, pronounced solo parts. Robert Wyatt's drumming is very dense. He finds himself comfortable playing heavy, varied rhythms in odd time signatures. His characteristic vocals also appear, but more often in a spoken word scenario. Although it may not seem like it at first, Bill McCormick's basslines play a crucial role in Matching Mole's sound, building a strong musical foundation for other members. David Sinclair's fuzz organ solos are replaced with those on Phil Miller's guitar, which he plays with an astonishingly precise touch. Brian Eno with his VCS3 synthesizer is responsible for ambient, electronic passages, creating striking, mystic soundscapes.

The album opens with "Starting in the Middle of the Day, We Can Drink Our Politics Away", which features a male choir supported by a repeating piano passage. The lush, surrounding organ sound builds up tension, which is discharged with a loud, rapid jazz jam on "Marchides". The next track, "Nah True's Hole" is based around a repeating pattern with a conversation in the background. In fact, the female voice belongs to Julie Christie, a famous English actress, who is credited as Flora Fidgit. The things she says are erotically-charged and work particularly well with the passage in the background. On "Righteous Rhumba", Robert Wyatt's lyrics talk about the utopian socialist vision and his repellence towards the capitalist world. "Brandy as in Benj" is a jazz-based piece, aimed at displaying the instrumental skill of Matching Mole's members. "Gloria Gloom" starts out with Brain Eno's lengthy synthesizer texture and resolves into Robert Wyatt's politically-charged song. Towards the end, Eno's input comes back, closing the song in a dark, agitating manner. "God Song", the only acoustic piece, sounds a bit like song-oriented tracks from Wyatt's solo releases. "Flora Fidgit" is another jazz jam, in ways similar to what Soft Machine were doing at the time. The album is closed with "Smoke Signal". The track features tense ambient soundscapes with Robert Wyatt's drum solo. Towards the end, one is capable of hearing soft melodies, sounding as if trying to break through, which eventually fade way.

Matching Mole's iconic Little Red Record could best be described as an eccentric political jazz statement with great musicianship. The controversy the band caused with its appearance and title may partly be responsible for its success. The concept and performance is very interesting and original. This is a legendary Canterbury scene album and is without a doubt a must-listen! Recommended!

 Matching Mole  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 198 ratings

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Matching Mole
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by ALotOfBottle
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!

 Matching Mole  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 198 ratings

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Matching Mole
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars One of the most representative bands of the Canterbury movement, Matching Mole paraphrases the French translation for Soft Machine (''Machine Molle'') and that's cause the man behind this project was Robert Wyatt, who had left Soft Machine in 1971 and launched his new group in October of the same year along with Quiet Sun's bassist Bill MacCormick.He made a great steal after proposing the keyboard place to Caravan's Dave Sinclair, while the line-up became complete with the addition of Phil Miller on guitar, formerly of Carol Grimes and Delivery.Between December 71' and February 72' they recorded their eponymous debut at CBS Studios in London and the album was released two months later (of course on CBS).

The opening side alone it's simply the absolute example of what Canterbury music was all about and, despite not being absolutely convincing or essential, it delivers a great deal of interesting music.From the smooth opener ''O Caroline'' and its ballad atmlsphere, where the star of Wyatt shines on vocals, drums and Mellotron, and the mellow, romantic followers ''Instant pussy'' and ''Signed curtain'' with the slight jazzy spices and the melancholic British Pop nuance to the abstract sound of ''Part of the dance'', the basic elements of the movement are all taped in here.Actually ''Part of the sound'' is quite long to present the experimentation of the group (and other local bands of the era) with its odd rhythms, jamming solos on organ and piano and powerful psych colors, an all instrumental journey of intense and loose Jazz Rock.The flipside doesn't differ much, except for being instrumental, for example ''Instant kitten'' is yet another solid instrumental proposal of psych-tinged Canterbury Fusion with full-blown electric piano, sparkling guitar work and even some notable, depressing flute strings at the end, one of the best cuts on the album.''Dedicated to Hugh, but you weren't listening'' follows the same vein, a collection of laid-back and fiery Fusion colors, but ''Beer as in braindeer'' is pretty experimental with instrumental weirdness on Avant-Garde-like percussion, organ and guitar distortions.''Immediate curtain'' is a serious closer, a long, orchestral, Mellotron-dominated outro with very discreet guitar experimentation in the background and overall a very cinematic, dark atmosphere.

This one contains the free spirit of Canterbury music in full display.The mood for experimental compositions, the loose jazzy techniques and the leftovers of British Psychedelic Pop.Not absolutely rewarding, but definitely a great document of the early-70's days in Kent.Warmly recommended.

 Matching Mole  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 198 ratings

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Matching Mole
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by BORA

5 stars Short of repeating what's already been said, I consider this album as a benchmark in Canterbury - and perhaps the best by "Matching Mole". One could see it as a continuation of early "Soft Machine", or rather what they would have been under Wyatt.

Indeed, it's probably my fave amongst all of Wyatt's works and somewhat reminiscent of "Moon In June" from Soft Machine - Third. The other musicians are leading Canterbury artists with impeccable credentials and the end result is a masterpiece.

Wyatt's gentle singing soon gives way to a somewhat dark, largely improvised group effort with unmistakable jazzy elements. Beautiful layers of soundscapes created with due complexity - akin to fine, well-matured wine.

A fine blend of Psychedelic and Jazz creates an atmosphere that's bordering on tripping without using any substance. Best enjoyed after dark with the lights off. Indeed, the experience could be likened to journey after which with head still spinning one slowly returns to the mundane realities. Excellent work - and probably one of a kind achievement by all involved. A true gem!

 Matching Mole  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 198 ratings

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Matching Mole
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

3 stars Robert Wyatt and company's first effort with Robert playing a part in over half of the compositions. The music is often complex and avant/experimental (the last three songs, "Dedicated to Hugh, But You Weren't Listening," "Beer as in Braindeer" and "Immediate Curtain") but then it can also be very simple and melodic (the first half of the album, "O Caroline," "Instant Pussy," "Signed Curtain"). The middle two songs are so obviously David Sinclair's, they sound like they could be off of a CARAVAN album. I like the album well enough but find myself rarely drawn back to it. A 3.5 star album I'll rate down for odd inconsistency (in quality of both composition and production).
 Matching Mole  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 198 ratings

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Matching Mole
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars The "Machine Molle" debut is quite a strange album. It starts with a song like "O Caroline" that seems taken from a Caravan album, not only because the keyboardist is Dave Sinclair. It's melodic, radio-friendly and very distant from SOFT MACHINE's usual output and even from "The End Of An Ear" that was the first solo album released by Robert Wyatt.

Well, even a musical researcher Robert Wyatt can fall in love and write a sweet song (sweet, not cheesy) for his girlfriend, specially if it's a so good song. It's similar to CARAVAN, not to brit-glam-pop.

This song fades into "Instant Pussy"....what a title! Three minutes of soft drums, hypnotic bass and high pitched vocal expertiments reminding of GONG even if Wyatt has never played with the radio gnomes apart of Daevid Allen. The poppy mood of the first track is already gone.

No track separation. "Signed Curtain" is again very melodic, like a reprise of the first track, but Wyatt sings more in line with Instant Pussy. It's the kind of singing that will later permeate a masterpiece album like Rock Bottom.

Let's do something really Canterbury now. The about ten minutes of "Part Of The Dance" are one of the topic moments of the album and a track that could be used to define the Canterbury subgenre. In particular I like the bass line and how it interacts with the drums. Keys and guitar enhance the jazzy mood while bass and drums drive the track. In some moment, with a bit of attention we can hear the influence of Syd Barrett on Wyatt's music. I think mainly the guitar parts at around minute 5 which sound sometimes like Interstellar Overdrire, of course with more jazz than psychedelia. However, even with its complexity this track is still more approachable than most of the Soft Machine's output.

After the Instant Pussy, maybe to say that there are no sexual meanings, there's another "experimental" track entitled "Instant Kitten". Tape played reversed, maybe from Instant Pussy, I haven't tried to reverse it back, with Wyatt's vocals for a minute before the other instruments join to create a rocking act with hints of Caravan's style (or even Wilde Flowers').

"Dedicated To Hugh, But You Weren't Listening" is, I suppose, dedicated to Hugh Hopper. This is probably where Ron Geesin has got the idea for his "To Roger Waters, Wherever You Are". The start is electronic and dissonant, then the dissonances are mitigated by the clear bass line and the drumming that's on this track more rock than jazz. Track by track the album keeps the distance from the lovely and melodic "O Caroline". Guitar and bass play the most important roles on this.

"Beer As In Braindeer" proceeds from where the previous track ends. Initially it looks like a rocking coda, but quite soon it turns into a pot of apparently disconnected sounds, loosing every possible contact point with the previous one. It proceeds chaotically and the only thing that makes you realize that it's not just noisy improvisation is counting the beats as the drums even improvising act as a metronome.

Another joke with the worlds gives the title to the closing track: "Immediate Curtain", that's a mixture of the two "instant" things and the signed "Curtain". This is the most experimental track of the album, totally antipodal to the starter. The strings make it sound like contemporary classic but also on this track I can hear echoes of Interstellar Overdrive. On this track Sinclair plays very similar to Rick Wright even if his touch is more classical oriented respect to the Arabic scales that Wright was used to put in. The only defect of this track is the length. I would have liked a longer version respect to the 5 minutes and half that it occupies on the album. A spacey end to a journey which starts very Earthly.

Excellent, in one word.

.

 Matching Mole  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 198 ratings

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Matching Mole
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by beebfader

4 stars ESOTERIC 2012 EXPANDED EDITION

When Robert Wyatt was unceremoniously dumped from Soft Machine in 1971 he took much of their humanity and humour with him. Matching Mole was the first project following his departure, although he had already recorded the somewhat wayward `End Of An Ear' towards the end of his time as a Soft. Gathering together a pre-Hatfields Phil Miller (Guitar), Bill MacCormick (Bass) and Dave Sinclair (Organ), they hot footed it to the CBS studios, where under trying circumstances they recorded this flawed masterpiece.

It is somewhat eclectic as an album, beginning with 3 lead vocal orientated pieces, the classic Wyatt break up song `O Caroline', the `mouth as instrument' stylings of `Instant Pussy' and the absurdist `Signed Curtain' during which Wyatt effectively questions the whole idea of bothering to write a song in the first place. Wonderful stuff.

The rest of the album is instrumental, and the band really show what they can do on Phil Miller's `Part Of The Dance'. Wyatt's walloping drums really kicking things along with new found enthusiasm, as Miller's sinewy guitar lines weave in and around. The closing four pieces feature further group improvisation over loose structures, interspersed with studies for Mellotron played by Wyatt ("As my Dad used to tell me, if a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing").

This edition of the album comes as manna from heaven to those who have lived with and loved it over the years, as not only is the sound quality a significant improvement over previous issues, the wealth of bonus material (some 50 pristine minutes of never before heard studio material) is to be treasured. There is a wonderful, exploratory jam on `Part Of The Dance' lasting over 20 minutes, a completely different approach to `Signed Curtain' and an 11 minute exploration of the old Softs song `Memories' rendered Matching Mole style. There's the unreleased and never heard again `Horse', and a further 30 minutes of BBC Session material (although this has been issued before).

Beautifully slipcased and with sleevenotes by the erudite Sid Smith, this is yet another fine example of how reissues should be done. As an album it sounds quite unlike any other, and the humanity shines through. The humour would surface on `Little Red Record: Expanded Edition' the swiftly recorded follow up, also reissued by Esoteric as a companion volume to this.

 Little Red Record  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.90 | 151 ratings

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Little Red Record
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by beebfader

4 stars ESOTERIC 2012 Expanded Edition

Matching Mole lasted barely a year as a group before Robert Wyatt decided he'd had enough of band leadership, but during this time, they managed to make two albums of which this is the second. While the first was very much Wyatt's own baby, this was more of a democratic affair, and it has to be said it sounds a lot more relaxed and at times humourous.

"Like so many of you, I've got my doubts about how much to contribute to the already rich" sings Wyatt over guest star Eno's synth tones on `Gloria Gloom'. The more things change the more they stay the same. The album despite its title is not a series of politically motivated songs, but with the exception of the wonderful `God Song' ("Next time you send your boy down here, give him a wife and a sexy daughter") is a largely instrumental excursion.

With Dave McCrae's Fender Rhodes more to the fore, the sound is a somewhat denser one than the first album, and in various places there is some experimentation with voices and humour (Monty Python was all the rage), but nothing which detracts from the seriousness of the matter at hand, some fine ensemble playing.

This new edition from Esoteric once again includes some very worthwhile bonus material, as well as a previously issued BBC concert (in best ever quality it has to be said) there are some fascinating out-takes including a wonderful `straight' vocal performance of the album's opener `Starting In The Middle Of The Day...' and some extended takes of `Smoke Signal' and `Flora Fidget', and for those already very familiar with the album, the moment "it's the Mole!" came into being ! Marvellous stuff.

Anything by this sadly short lived band is to be treasured and this wonderful reissue only adds to that legacy.

 March by MATCHING MOLE album cover Live, 2000
3.98 | 21 ratings

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March
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This was recorded during MATCHING MOLE's tour of Europe in March of 1972. It's the same lineup as that from the second album "Little Red Record" with Dave MacRae on keys instead of Dave Sinclair from the debut and the electric piano is all over this. As many know Robert Wyatt formed this band in 1971 after leaving SOFT MACHINE and i've never really felt that MATCHING MOLE's two studio albums bore any resemblance to SOFT MACHINE, but I can sure feel that SOFT MACHINE vibe on this live album. First of all every track blends into the next just the way SOFT MACHINE used to do it live, where they'd put their heads down sort of speak and play non-stop from one track to the next.The other thing that reminds me of Wyatt's former band is how experimental this sounds.This isn't that melodic and we get plenty of fuzz too. So yes this is an interesting album to own, one that reveals another side of this band that I hadn't heard before.

"March" opens with Wyatt on drums before the wicked fuzz comes in before a minute. Nasty ! Bass and keys too in this laid back and atmospheric number. Phil Miller offers up some cool guitar expressions. Such a cool track.

"Instant Pussy" is again laid back but check out Wyatt's vocal melodies and expressions. Some really out there stuff here (haha). As I mentioned earlier each track blends into the next and on "Smoke Signals" the guitar comes to the fore before 2 minutes.

"Part Of The Dance" is where the tempo picks up before a minute but it does shift often on this one. Lots of fuzz too. Angular guitar after 2 1/2 minutes and it goes on and on. Nice. Vocal expressions 6 1/2 minutes to 9 minutes then back to that earlier theme. Fantastic song !

"No "alf" Measures" has this beat with electric piano and more.Vocal expressions join in. An outburst before 5 minutes. I like the rhythm section on "Lything And Gracing" with the guitar. It settles before 1 1/2 minutes.The guitar is raw as it leads for a while. Fuzz 4 minutes in.

"Waterloo Lily" is of course a cover of that CARAVAN track. Raw guitar leads and I like the bass and drum work here too.The guitar rips it up late with dissonant keys. Big applause when it ends.

This may not appeal to fans of melodic music, but the adventeous will be turned on. I'm surprised at how much this sounds like a Jazz / Fusion record, much more than a Canterbury album to my ears. Regardless this is absolutely incredible !

 Little Red Record  by MATCHING MOLE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.90 | 151 ratings

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Little Red Record
Matching Mole Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Matching Mole's first album was Robert Wyatt's chance to finally get on record musical concepts developed during his tenure in Soft Machine which, for whatever reason, had been vetoed by the rest of that band. For the second album, the group took a more democratic approach to songwriting, resulting in a more diverse album that isn't quite so dominated by Wyatt's songs - Wyatt perhaps wanting to avoid repeating in his new band the same mistakes that drove him out of his old band.

As a consequence, the album is a bit of a patchy affair, with the band as a whole casting about and trying to decide what sort of music it wants to perform. Opening track Gloria Gloom (on the CD version - Wyatt decided for CD releases to swap around side A and side B from the vinyl since he thought that yielded a better running order) begins with ambient noises - perhaps courtesy of guest synth wizard Brian Eno - that sound like a decades-displaced-in-time Aphex Twin before launching into avant-Canterbury strangeness, whilst other tracks start pointing the way to Phil Miller's later work in Hatfield and the North. (An instrumental version of Nan True's Hole, for example, would be performed live at Hatfield concerts under the anagrammatic title of Oh! Len's Nature.)

Still, as a whole the album lacks focus, and sounds more like experiments towards a band identity rather than the group manifesto the album title suggests. Perhaps a third Matching Mole album would have been more cohesive; unfortunately, that was not to be. Wyatt, worse for wear at a party, would take a startling fall from a balcony a short time after this album was released, paralysing him for life - and whilst Wyatt did thankfully escape an untimely death, the change in his circumstances meant that Matching Mole was not so lucky. Fans of Wyatt's Rock Bottom album or Miller's work with the Hatfields will be interested in the context this album provides for those works, but otherwise this is not an especially essential Canterbury release, and certainly not as gripping as Matching Mole's debut.

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