Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Well, he came, he emptied his sack and he's gone again. Shh, don't say his name but, if I am not mistaken, perhaps a first for SMM, this is the first time we have got this far with nary a mention of, you know. Is that good, is that bad? I don't know but certainly hope you had a good one, whatever that entailed. Today my aim is simple, a simple sonic blast of palate cleanser, to wash any lingering acid from your over-stimulated digestive tract. With Soft Machine...... Yes that Soft Machine, that impenetrable jazz-noodle-rock on your big brothers record shelf, beloved of mathematicians and men with moustaches. But dispel that bad memory. It is true, from whimsical and exasperating twiddly rock to complex geometric abstracts and jazzy atonals, the Softs are generally remembered in these two ways, yet, after sole original member, Mike Ratledge, left in 1976, they embarked upon a gentler last period. Although he appears on 2 tracks in the album from which this track appears, 'Softs', it is very much now the baby of Karl Jenkins, switching from saxophones to keyboards and writing most of the material. Guitar duties had been passed from Allan Holdsworth (R.I.P.) to John Etheridge, bass and drums accommodated efficiently by Roy Babbington and John Marshall respectively. On reeds, albeit only for a brief 6 month tenureship, was Alan, cousin of Rick, Wakeman.

It is no surprise that Jenkins, on the eventual demise of the band, moved into film and soundtrack work and is now one of UK's premier new classical composers, at least as far as the classical music "charts" would say. You may know him better, as they say on the Simpsons, as the author of this:

Adiemus. And that is Jenkins with the baton and extravagant 'tache.

At the time of writing Etheridge, Babbington and Marshall have revived the Soft Machine name and tour extensively, along with reeds and keys man Theo Travis.

It's boxing day and nothings loading. I'm sure you can source it should you so choose. And anyhow. But do.

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