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The Soft Machine - Drop CD (album) cover

DROP

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

3.06 | 24 ratings

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toroddfuglesteg
3 stars Soft Machine goes jazz......... all out, no compromise.

The various setups of Soft Machine always dictates the music on their 20+ live albums. That's why these 20+ live albums is so fascinating. Soft Machine = many different bands. None of them are any bad whatsoever, even though some of these live albums have very rotten sounds. Thankfully, Drop has a very good sound although Elton Dean is too much in the background and Mike Ratledge is too much in the foreground in the mix. In particular during Elton Dean's solos. That is my only gripe with the sound here.

Back to the various Soft Machine setups though.......... When you get one of the very few Dean/ Howard setups, if not the only one with those two, you get a jazz album. Both of them was Nucleus members until they joined Soft Machine. Phil Howard lasted five months in Soft Machine before he was out. Elton Dean soon joined him through Soft Machines much used exit door.

The music on this album is very intense and improvised jazz versions of tracks from the Fifth and Fourth. Any traces of rock or even fusion music has been omitted from these songs. That makes the music on this live album difficult to access. It is Soft Machine looking inwards; not outwards to their audience and the listeners. This live album is as impenetrable as Soft Machine gets and is therefore not recommended for beginners and those just curious at this band. A band with many sounds and many different expressions.

Quality wise, I find this album fascinating and highly enjoyable. Then again, I am a Soft Machine fan. Hopper/Ratledge/Dean/Howard proves that they are a very tight unit and excellent musicians. There is nothing wrong with the music, although it is not great. This is another good live album from Soft Machine, released decades after it's recording. But there is many better Soft Machines live albums out there. Drop is a level below those again and hence; three stars.

3 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 3/5 |

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