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Posted: Feb 15 2009, 09:44 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 27-October 05
SOFT MACHINE - Drop
Now here's something that'll come as a surprise to most Soft Machine fans. A live album recorded during theur German tour in Autumn 1971. Yes, that's right. 1971. It's the lineup that featured Mike Ratledge, Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper and Phil Howard.
Which makes it a snapshot of a tumultuous period in Soft Machines history. They'd finally left behind any notion of being a rock band, having moved firmly into the world of improvisational jazz fusion. Drummer Phil Howard was only around for five months, appearing on half the "Fifth" album, but that in no way prepared me for the amazing and furious percussion work on display here.
Take a listen to the opening 'Neo Caliban Grides' and prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor.Now any fule kno that Messrs Ratledge, Dean and Hopper were amazing musicians, but hearing them backed by Howard takes things to a level I was unprepared for. It's an utter travesty that he vanished so completely after his overly brief tenure with the Softs.
It's a historical curio, so be prepared for a sometimes uneven listening experience. However, the music makes it all worthwhile and I know I'll be enslaved to 'Out-Bloody-Rageous' for a long while yet.
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:twisted :twisted :twisted 1/2 / 3.5 out of 5