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The Soft Machine - Volume Two CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.06 | 437 ratings

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4 stars The second album from The Soft Machine just called Volume Two continues the intellectual psychadelic late sixties prog rock style from their debut. Kevin Ayers has left the band to be replaced by former roadie for the band Hugh Hopper. The change is instantly heard as the distorted bass from Hugh Hopper is heard for the first time. It must have been quite a revolution to hear a bass so heavily distorted as this one in 1969. Hugh Hopperīs dominant distorted bass is one of the great things about this album.

Overall the style of the music is pretty much a continuation of the style Soft Machine introduced on the debut. Witful lyrics and pretty short psychadelic rock songs with exciting twists. There are lots of small interludes between the longer tracks which works as bridges between those songs. It means that Volume two sometimes has a kind of concept feeling to it.

The instrumentation is keyboards, bass, drums and vocals and some sax from Hughīs brother Brian Hopper. Since Daevid Allen ( Gong) wasnīt admitted entrance into Britain after a vacation, and had to leave the band because of that, there hadnīt been a guitarist in the band. There are sporadic guitar playing, but no one is credited for playing the guitar. You donīt miss the guitar though as Mike Ratledge is very good at filling out any empty space with his keyboards and both the bass and the drums are very dominant too. The vocals from Robert Wyatt are very good on this album. Really enjoyable.

The production is pretty similar to the one on the debut album which means a good sixties sound quality.

Volume Two is an excellent canterbury scene album that deserves 4 stars. Even though there are similarities between volume one and two I still think Volume two is a bit better than the debut. This is highly recommendable music.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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