Musical roots: the Soft Machine

My musical taste is rather wide, but some musicians and groups made a very strong impression on me and determined what music moves me. I will introduce some of those bands here.

Soft Machine vol 1The first one to give honor is the Soft Machine. It is the first group way out of the mainstream of my youth (Beatles, Kinks), and opened a a much wider look at music.
I heard their first album late, Volume 1, at night at a dutch radioprogram (thanks Ad Visser!), at age 16 and was sold. The first line up, Mike Ratledge, Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt, perfomed a strange mix of jazz and pop.
Kevin Ayers left, Hugh Hoper joined on bass and Volume 2 was the best album they ever made as a group. Full of quick changes, unexpected loops, unheard.
Soft Machine 2
With the third album horn blowers joined the band and besides the vocal Robert Wyatt Moon in June it became a jazz band with minimalistic influences. That was the moment also I saw the group playing live in Amsterdam. The sound of the organ played by Mike Ratledge, its amazing! Again it was very influencual for my musical development.
The name of the group is also special. According to Mike Ratledge: “The name came second hand through a book by William Burroughs called ‘The Soft Machine’ and he in turn had taken it from a lecture by a physiologist in America…
Soft machine was a generic term for the whole of humanity, and we were all soft machines… I guess Soft Machine 3 our basic assumption was that what we liked, everybody else was going to like as well, that we all had things in common,
and therefore we all are soft machines, and we were all going to like Soft Machine music. It might have been a false assumption but I hope it’s true”.

Soft Machine third inside cover

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