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Soft Machine - Breda Reactor (CD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 21st March 2005

Label: Floating World
Catalogue Number: VP345CD
Price: £9.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

Soft Machine - Breda Reactor

Soft Machine grew out of a meeting between two former members of the legendary Canterbury band The Wilde Flowers (Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers) An Australian beatnik (Daevid Allen) and an Oxford University student (Mike Ratledge) in 1966. Once the band had got together courtesy of a financial benefactor who agreed to finance the band they contacted William Burroughs to ask his permission to use the name The Soft Machine. Burroughs agreed and the band was in business. Along with other bands including Pink Floyd Soft Machine were at the vanguard of the new London Underground music scene and regularly played gigs at celebrated clubs like UFO and more famously at the launch of the International Times magazine at the Roundhouse. The band were signed to Polydor records and recorded a single which featured a track called Feelin'Reelin' Squeelin' which featured the talents of Jimi Hendrix who was a Soft Machine fan. The single however was unrepresentative of the bands sound, which leaned heavily on free form improvisation. Following a gig in St. Tropez the band returned to England however Daevid Allen was refused entry to the country due to visa problems and the band were forced to carry on as a trio. Allen stayed in France and went on to form Gong while the remaining members of Soft Machine went on to tour America supporting Jimi Hendrix where during a short break in the tour the band recorded their debut album which was released by Probe records in America. Following the tour Kevin Ayers left the band and took up residence in Ibiza.

The band recruited Hugh Hopper as their new bassist and made another album entitled Soft Machine 2. By the time of the bands third and fourth albums (Soft Machine Third and Soft Machine Fourth) the band had moved into a jazz-fusion direction.

The recording captured on this album comes from a very important and yet brief time in the history of the band. The recording features the short-lived quintet line up of Soft Machine, which consisted of Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean and Lyn Dobson. The concert took place at the 'Het Turfschip venue in the town of Breda in the Netherlands.

The concert as well as being an interesting one with regards the line up. Is also interesting for the arrangements of some of the key Soft Machine pieces that are different due to the interaction between the five individuals.

Although only a brief interlude in the life of this very innovative band, we are fortunate to have a good example of what in retrospect was a transitory phase, but nevertheless an important part of Soft Machine’s evolution.

As with other recent Soft Machine live recordings for Voiceprint this album has been re mastered for release by Brian Hopper who himself was briefly a member of Soft Machine and along with brother Hugh Hopper was a founder of the legendary Canterbury band the Wilde Flowers from which Soft Machine originally sprang.

This double album also contains extensive sleeve notes written by Brian on the recording of this live album from one of the Canterbury Scene's major artists.

Eamonn Andrews
Mousetrap (reprise)
Hibou Anemone & Bear
Moon In June
12/8 Theme
Drum Link
Esther's Nose Job
Pigling Bland
Out-Bloody-Rageous (excerpt)
Esther's Nose Job (reprise)
We Did It Again


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