Slightly All the Time

in dsound •  last month  (edited)

Soft Machine: Elton Dean (alto sax), Jimmy Hastings (flute, bass clarinet), Nick Evans (trombone), Mike Ratledge (piano, Lowrey organ, Hohner Pianet), Hugh Hopper (electric bass) and Robert Wyatt (drums). From the album Third (1970).

Soft Machine was an English rock and jazz group from Canterbury that chose to adopt for its name the title of the novel The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs, one of the most important components of the Beat Generation. The Beat Generation was made up of a group of American writers in the 1950s who rejected established social values and promoted the use of drugs, sexual freedom and the study of Eastern philosophy, influencing the later hippie movement. Soft Machine was one of the pioneering British psychedelic groups, decisive in the origin of progressive rock and jazz-rock, and one of the most influential in the underground scene.

William S. Burroughs

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Also it was one of the most prominent bands of the Canterbury Sound, a subgenre of progressive rock to which Caravan, Gong, National Health and others also belonged. Despite everything, they were never commercially successful, although that’s not really what they wanted. Their music demonstrates exceptional mastery with complex and surprising compositions full of tempo and tonality changes. In 1962, artists and Rober Wyatt’s schoolmates began to meet at his home until 1964, when the folk-rock group Wild Flowers was born and several of its players were later spread between Caravan and Soft Machine.

Robert Wyatt

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Soft Machine was founded in 1966 by guitarist Daevid Allen, keyboardist Mike Ratledge, singer and bassist Kevin Ayers, and singer and drummer Robert Wyatt. At first they entered the underground scene playing in London nightclubs, such as The Speak, the UFO club and Middle Earth, and in 1967 they released on the Polydor label their first single with “Love Makes Sweet Music” and “Feelin’ Reelin’ Squeelin”. They also recorded seven psychedelic rock demo songs with producer Giorgio Gomelsky, but didn’t appear until 1972 on the compilation album Soft Machine was founded in 1966 by guitarist Daevid Allen, keyboardist Mike Ratledge, singer and bassist Kevin Ayers, and singer and drummer Robert Wyatt. At first they entered the underground scene playing in London nightclubs, such as The Speak, the UFO club and Middle Earth, and in 1967 they released on the Polydor label their first single with “Love Makes Sweet Music” and “Feelin’ Reelin’ Squeelin”. They also recorded seven psychedelic rock demo songs with producer Giorgio Gomelsky, but didn’t appear until 1972 on the compilation album Faces And Places Vol. 7.

Polydor Records logo

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© Columbia Records

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