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Soft Machine

H​ø​vikodden 1971 (4LP)

Label: Cuneiform

Format: 4LP

Genre: Psych

Preorder: Shipping end of May 2024

€140.00
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Tip! This well recorded and carefully mastered set captures the most famous version of the band (the ‘classic quartet') on their final European tour on two consecutive nights on February 27 and 28, 1971. While the two sets from the second night (February 28, 1971) have been released before, this is the first time that the entire two-night stand has been released. So half of this is previously completely unreleased.

This is a excellent, stereo recording of the band performing in a relatively small hall; the volume balance between the instruments is not perfect, but there is no other recording by Soft Machine that I know of that sounds as much like the band are performing right in front of you! Additionally, we were able to improve in a modest way the not-perfect balance between the instruments on this edition. The result is, in the words of the late Michael King, who released the Sunday concert on his Reel Recordings label in 2009, 'demonstrably the finest recording of the classic Soft Machine quartet ever committed to tape.'

Soft Machine's two concerts at the Henie-Onstad Art Center near Oslo, Norway, in late February 1971 were special in several respects. The circumstances, of course, were unusual...in a museum space, as part of an art exhibition by the Boyle Family, and Mark Boyle's films were projected during the performances. But more significantly, both shows were recorded, and superbly at that, providing a rare glimpse into how, at this stage in the band's existence, the music could change significantly from one night to the next, even when the setting didn't.

Details
Cat. number: n/a
Year: 2024
Notes:

Elton Dean: alto sax, saxello, Hohner pianet | Hugh Hopper: bass |Mike Ratledge: Hohner pianet, Lowrey Holiday Deluxe organ, Fender Rhodes | Robert Wyatt: drums, vocals