Sunday, February 8, 2009

CD of the Day - "Soft Machine: Drop"

CD of the Day
Soft Machine: "Drop" (MoonJune) 1971/2009

Scheduled for official release in the USA tomorrow, February 9, 2008
Recorded live during the German tour in the Fall of 1971, remastered by Mike King in October 2008
CD release coordination by Leonardo Pavkovic for MoonJune Records

Dedicated to the memory of Elton Dean (1946-2006), this CD documents an often overlooked phase in the long and complex history of Soft Machine - Australian drummer Phil Howard's five-month interim behind the drum stool between Robert Wyatt's departure and his eventual long-term replacement John Marshall.
It did last long enough to record half of the studio album "Fifth" (1972) and a couple of BBC radio sessions, but until now no official document of that line-up in its preferred environment - the stage. Howard was brought into Soft Machine by saxophonist Elton Dean, both being members of Elton's side project Just Us, and under their combined influence the band became freer and wilder than ever before (or after) in its existence, pushing longtime leaders Mike Ratledge and Hugh Hopper into unchartered areas of electric madness. Before long they'd decided this wasn't the way to go, but meanwhile the line-up had antagonised audiences throughout extensive tours of the UK and Europe.
This CD was recorded during the German leg of the tour and, as veteran music journalist Steve Lake notes in his detailed liner notes, is a revelation - a glimpse of a highly exciting alternative route Soft Machine decided not to explore further.

Mike Ratledge Lowrey organ, Fender Rhodes electric piano
Elton Dean saxello, alto sax, Fender Rhodes electric piano
Hugh Hopper bass guitar
Phil Howard drums

Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 10 composed by Mike Ratledge; track 1 composed by Elton Dean; track 5 composed by Hugh Hopper; track 8 by Phil Howard and track 9 by Ratledge/Dean/Hopper/Howard.
Special thanks to Steve Lake, Mike King, Aymeric Leroy, Hugh Hopper, Steve Feigenbaum, Marino Dean and John Etheridge for their great contribution to make this release possible.

Click here to see boklet featuring Steve Lake's liner notes "Howard's Dark Swing".
To order a copy, please visit

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