SOFT MACHINE — Virtually

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SOFT MACHINE - Virtually cover
3.54 | 6 ratings | 1 review
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Live album · 1998

Filed under Fusion
By SOFT MACHINE

Tracklist

1. Facelift (10:05)
2. Virtually (8:17)
3. Slightly All the Time (8:12)
4. Fletcher's Blemish (5:53)
5. Neo-Caliban Grides (9:26)
6. Out-Bloody-Rageous (10:00)
7. Eamonn Andrews (4:29)
8. All White (3:16)
9. Kings and Queens (3:37)
10. Teeth (9:20)
11. Pigling Bland (4:55)

Total Time: 77:34

Line-up/Musicians

Alto Saxophone, Saxello, Electric Piano – Elton Dean
Bass – Hugh Hopper
Drums, Vocals – Robert Wyatt
Organ, Electric Piano – Mike Ratledge

About this release

Cuneiform Records – Rune 100 (US)

Recorded 23rd March 1971 at the Gondel Filmkunsttheater, Bremen, Germany, for Radio Bremen

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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snobb
Between bunch of Soft Machine's archival live releases "Virtually" has its own place. It was recorded in German radio during band's European tour 1971 - last concerts with Robert Wyatt. Differently from their same time recordings band plays as quartet here - with Ratledge,Hopper and Elton Dean on board besides of Wyatt.This classic line-up sounds quite unusual here though - no reeds arrangements, a very few Wyatt singing (more - scats)and extremely high energy!

I can hardly remember any other so energetic Softs' concert recording! But what is even more interesting - they don't move towards rock, but more towards angry free-jazz! Only few psychedelic moments could be found here, but Wyatt's drumming and Dean's freer soloing both steal the show!Band in all still doesn't sound as Peter Brotzman Octet, but some pieces could inspire any Vandermark or Gustafsson fan. Dean's sax sounds very sharp and placed in front of the sound mix, in moments it just cutting your ears! Whole sound quality is better than average (a bit flat but very clear sound).

In all, I believe almost everyone will agree that band "classic" psychedelic sound with lot of reeds, not so fast, sharp and angry is more attractive. Played compositions comes from Third-Fourth albums, so it's easy to compare. But it's really interesting to hear such unusually sounding "classic quartet" - Wyatt will leave band very soon, Dean - soon after. It's pity we will never know was this concert the search on new direction or just last convulsion before split.

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