The Floating World : The "Official" Soft Machine Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Scope J, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Siegmund

    Siegmund Vinyl Sceptic

    Britain, Europe

    When I saw the current Soft Machine in November of last year, John Etheridge mentioned that he'd had tea with Mike Ratledge recently and mentioned that he was very well 'but you'll never see him perform again.'

    As to Land of Cockayne....yes, it's a Jenkins album more than it is a Softs album but I like it. Its reputation it unfortunate - and unfair.
    Daryl M likes this.
  2. Scott Sheagren

    Scott Sheagren I’m a Metal,Rock,Jazz Fusion,Gaga type of guy.

    I bought about 7 of their albums on cd and they sound fantastic.real good band to test what your system is capable of.
  3. RobNeil

    RobNeil Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    I have the first two albums and a Robert Wyatt compilation.
    seed_drill and Scott Sheagren like this.
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    i enjoy bundles with holdsworth ... i haven't heard the other stuff much
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  5. gja586

    gja586 Forum Resident

    Gogledd Cymru
    I enjoy the first three albums - excellent jazzy Canterbury scene prog. :agree:
  6. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    First 3 albums are superb, and the Man In a Deaf Corner collection is also well worth having, including live material and some free jazz experiments dating back to 1963.
    Scott Sheagren likes this.
  7. The Revealer

    The Revealer I Found Out, I've Got Time

    Metro Chicago, IL
    I've only had Three for the longest time. It's an essential part of my collection. Can't say as I've ever been inspired to get to know them better.
    Jazzmonkie and Scott Sheagren like this.
  8. CBS 65780

    CBS 65780 "Could I do one more immediately?"

    Dublin, Ireland
    I only like Soft Machine in very small doses. The first album is fairly palatable and Three. But though I really like a lot of the Canterbury scene acts, I seem to prefer the more whimsical elements that emerged like Caravan. Always found Soft Machine to be a little too full on. But they are an act, like perhaps King Crimson, that you have to tune your ear to a bit, to get. I may yet appreciate them more.
    I do like the first Matching Mole album on CBS quite a lot, as well as Robert Wyatt's Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard and the Nick Mason produced Rock Bottom (and a lot of Wyatt in general).
    But my favourite associated act would be erstwhile bassist / vocalist Kevin Ayers and his Harvest label quartet of Joy Of A Toy, Shooting At The Moon, Whatevershebringswesing and Bananamour.
  9. Rodney Toady

    Rodney Toady Waste of cyberspace

    I've got plenty of love for Soft Machine, from The Soft Machine to Land of Cockayne, and I appreciate their current incarnation Soft Machine Legacy, too.
  10. Baidur

    Baidur Forum Resident

    Only own the CD with volume one and two. Love that one. Tried Third. But that's too much for me. Can't get into that. After that the only Soft Machine related album I know is the very nice Rock Bottom from Wyatt.
    Tyler Chastain likes this.
  11. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    I tend to favor the earlier, more freewheeling period with Robert Wyatt behind the drum kit. There's a sense of anarchic fun to their earlier releases, particularly their second album, which remains my favorite, as well as some of their live releases like the BBC sessions. Later on, they got a little too dry and technical for my tastes, more of a full on jazz-rock unit. I do also enjoy Matching Mole and Wyatt solo.
    Chrome_Head and like this.
  12. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    You make them out to be an obscure kind of act that nobody on a music forum would hear about.
  13. tmwlng

    tmwlng Forum Resident

    Big fan of the early material, not that familiar with the later fusion stuff; but will check it out at some point. Definitely, the first album sees the psychedelic genre morph into progressive rock at some points; where silly and complex meet. Wyatt was an ace; interesting writer, very characteristic vocalist and an incredibly versatile drummer.
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  14. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
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  15. parman

    parman Vintage Rocker

    in the mitten
    5 is my favorite, I'll have some of what they had while recording it :cool:
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  16. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    I gave them a go a few years ago but Wyatts whining voice got on my nerves and the later prog/jazz didn't satisfy me in the way that Return To Forever did (and still does), so I sold my Soft Machine CDs.
    BurtThomasWard likes this.
  17. Scott Sheagren

    Scott Sheagren I’m a Metal,Rock,Jazz Fusion,Gaga type of guy.

    Great album!
  18. normanr

    normanr Well-Known Member

    London, UK
    They're still going, or at least some of them are, and still calling themselves Soft Machine. Saw them at the Borderline in London last year, with John Etheridge (guitar), John Marshall (drums), Roy Babbington (bass) and Theo Travis (sax, flute, keyboards). John Marshall originally joined in 1971 so has been a member, on and off, for over 45 years and the current band's style is defined by his muscular, propulsive drumming. Recommended for fusion/jazz fans, maybe less so for lovers of the Wyatt/Ayers school of whimsical psychedelic pop. Of course you can like both (I do).
  19. Mrtn77

    Mrtn77 Forum Resident

    European Union
    I think it's fair to say Nick Mason's creative input on Rock Bottom was thoroughly insignificant.
    He was nice to put his name behind it but newcomers shouldn't expect some Floydish thing at all.
 likes this.
  20. Siegmund

    Siegmund Vinyl Sceptic

    Britain, Europe
    Love everything I've ever heard by them, including the 'politically incorrect' Land Of Cockayne.
    Rodney Toady, Crimson jon and Glaeken like this.
  21. lennonfan1

    lennonfan1 Forum Resident

    baltimore maryland
    Love Makes Sweet Music
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  22. Scott Sheagren

    Scott Sheagren I’m a Metal,Rock,Jazz Fusion,Gaga type of guy.

    I love 5 and 6
    Grow Fins likes this.
  23. Scott Sheagren

    Scott Sheagren I’m a Metal,Rock,Jazz Fusion,Gaga type of guy.

    Any one like the Bundles album or softs?great Jazz Fusion albums.
  24. irong

    irong Forum Resident

    Quebec, Canada
    I bought the Volume 1 and 2 twofer this week, after reading Wyatt's biography. I love a good chunk of Wyatt solo stuff but I never cared to check Soft Machine, thinking I would not like it much. But volume 1 and 2 are good, they sound like some sort of bridge between british psych-baroque pop and prog. And Wyatt is all over them - I didn't think he was the main vocalist in Soft Machine since he's a drummer. He's the real highlight on those 2 albums. His drumming is stellar, and the bass playing on volume 1 is outstanding as well. A nice discovery.
  25. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    I own all their albums as they went through multiple genre shifts, the most abrupt being from 2-3, but there are more subtle changes from fusion to free jazz, depending on which member held the most influence (ie, Holdsworth, Ratledge or Jenkins)

    I can't say they ever made a bad album. Where you begin, or jump off, depends on your musical tastes. Personally I don't care for the whimsical first two albums. You could check out early Gong or Caravan for that sort of thing done much better.

    There's also the splinter groups and one-offs to consider (Soft Heap, Soft Head, Soft Bounds, Soft Machine Legacy).
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
    Scott Sheagren likes this.

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