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The Soft Machine - Virtually CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.69 | 38 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. This was recorded live in Germany March 23,1971 by Radio Bremem with the classic SOFT MACHINE lineup. Hopper, Ratledge, Wyatt and Dean. Of course the sound quality is excellent since it was a Radio Bremen recording. Most of the tracks blend into one another.This is just a pleasure to listen to as all four guys seem to be at their best, plus we get some of SOFT MACHINE's legendary songs.

Things get started with "Facelift" which starts slowly with fuzz and some sparse sounds that come and go. It starts to come to life more after 2 minutes.This is so good. "Virtually" opens with drums, sax and fuzz then the tempo picks up before a minute with drums, bass and sax out front. Piano joins in too.They just jam here, seemingly with their heads down. A calm before 5 minutes and check out Hopper ! "Slightly All The Time" settles in before a minute with piano, sax, bass and drums.The sax stops briefly around 4 minutes. The fuzz comes to the fore 5 1/2 minutes in. Great sound. "Fletcher's Blemish" settles in with vocal expressions from Wyatt along with other sounds.This is experimental sounding. "Neo-Caliban Grides" features more insanity with the sax leading early. Drums and fuzz to the fore then the sax returns. Check out Hopper again.

"Out-Bloody-Rageous" opens with bass and piano as sax joins in with drums. Some vocal sounds after 9 minutes echo. Very cool. "Eamonn Andrews" continues with the vocal expressions.Very psychedelic. The tempo picks up after 3 minutes and the vocals continue to echo until after 4 minutes whe the drums and fuzz kick in. Sax too. "All White" is a great sounding tune where they jam with some ferver. "Kings And Queens" settles with sax leading. Drums are more prominant before 3 minutes. "Teeth" kicks in with power but the tempo will shift often here. A very interesting song. Check out the organ and sax together before 3 1/2 minutes. "Pigling Bland" features keyboards, bass and drums as sax plays over top. The tempo picks up around 3 minutes. Ratledge's turn to let it rip then Hopper digs deep to end it.

I highly recommend this life release from one of the greatest live bands ever. The sound quality lives up to the performance as well.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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