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Matching Mole - Matching Mole CD (album) cover


Matching Mole


Canterbury Scene

3.65 | 280 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
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.


octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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