MATCHING MOLE — Matching Mole (review)

MATCHING MOLE — Matching Mole album cover Album · 1972 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
snobb
When,after releasing of their "Fourth" album,in 1971 one of Soft Machine's founding member Robert Wyatt left the band (not happy with band's trend to play more plain jazz fusion),first his own project was Matching Mole (even the name “Matching Mole” was derived from the French translation of “Soft Machine ” (machine molle)).

Band's debut is a strange and beautiful music.Being kind of Canterbury supergroup,with organist Dave Sinclair,bassist Bill MacCormick, guitarist Phil Miller and keyboardist Dave McRae on board,on their debut Wyatt-led band returned to music,played by Soft Machine on their first two albums. But it's no way cloning - psychedelic melodic pop rock is presented as only part of the album, another part contains complex improvs based psychedelic jazz fusion (more similar to Soft Machine's Third).

Album opens with quite straight forward psychedelic pop light melancholic ballade "O Caroline" with Daevid Allen's early Gong music influenced dreamy and psyche "Instant Pussy". "Signed Curtain" is third in line melancholic gently song with characteristic Wyatt's vocals (all three first songs sound as early Soft Machine's and Gong's crossover). Nice excursion to late 60-s sounding a bit dated in 1971.

Happily "Part Of The Dance" changes sound and atmosphere radically. Heavier,almost aggressive guitars and keyboards driven complex instrumental composition in best tradition of Soft Machine's Third (but with bigger attention to melody and more relaxed).Rest of the album starting from here contains psychedelic,dark and heavy in moments quite melodic compositions with long improvs.

Wyatt's version of "Soft Machine" is less jazzy, more psychedelic,melodic and - what is really important - very emotional (in contrast with technically perfect but cold,quite formal and even plain musicianship of "Soft Machine" after Wyatt's left the band).

Possibly in whole,this album is a bit bulky and raw in moments, but it demonstrates some greatest artistic moments of Wyatt and is important evidence of Canterbury scene on its best.
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