Showing posts from April, 2021

Soft Hearted Scientists - 2020 - The Continuing Escapades Of The Soft Hearted Scientists

(144:45; Fruits de Mer Records) Back in 2013, Fruits de Mer Records released a double vinyl retrospective of the Welsh bands’ early work, concentrating on the first four albums.   The label convinced them it was a great idea to undertake another, to look at the next four albums, and they should also add a new song at the same time. The result, “Please Read Me” was released as a single in 2019 and is here as an extended version. The album itself contains 4 slabs of vinyl, as while there is a double album of SFS songs taken from ‘Wandermoon’, ‘False Lights’, ‘The Slow Cyclone’ and ‘Golden Omens’, there is another double vinyl set where they gave Marc Swordfish (Astralasia) to do what he wished with their instrumental tracks. The result are four numbers, each spread over a complete side of vinyl, where he has taken music from throughout the career and turned it into something quite different. Released in September 2020, I note it is already sold out at the label, but it may still be p

Soft Works - 2020 - Abracadabra In Osaka

(105:27; Moonjune Records) Back in 1970, Soft Machine released their classic album, ‘Third’. The line-up at the time was Elton Dean, Mike Ratledge, Hugh Hopper and Robert Wyatt, but this would change over the years, even leading to some spin-off groups such as Soft Heap and Soft Head. Fast forward 30 years, and music lover Leonardo Pavkovic took one of the songs from that album as the name for his new label, and soon afterwards was one of the key players in bringing together four musicians to again perform the music of Soft Machine. The result was one album and just 11 dates, of which only a few were recorded. Mark Wingfield has spent many hours attempting to get the already mixed stereo recording from August 11 th 2003 into a fit state for release, and at long last he has achieved this, and Leo has ensured the release has been given all the extravagance it deserves. There is an incredibly comprehensive booklet detailing the history of how this all came together, all held in a digip

The Tangent - 2020 - Auto Reconnaissance

(78:27; Inside Out Music) All you really need to know about this album can be summed up in this quote from Andy Tillision, who said, “Possibly one of a very few albums to be influenced by ELP, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Aphex Twin, National Health, Rose Royce, Squarepusher and Return to Forever that will be released this summer". I must confess I had to google Squarepusher, but while I have plenty of ELP, Steely Dan and National Health in my collection, and I have a nodding acquaintance with Return to Forever, the others have never interested me so I will have to take his word for it. Of what there is no doubt whatsoever is that this is a progressive album in the very truest sense of the word. There are plenty of Canterbury musical references in particular, and tracks such as the epic “Jinxed in Jersey” show here are a band who are consistently refusing to conform to what anyone really think they should be doing, even from those within the prog scene. Andy’s storytelling is