Exposé Online banner

Soft Machine — Live at the Paradiso 1969
(Voiceprint VP139CD, 1969/1995, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1996-03-01

Live at the Paradiso 1969 Cover artOh yeah! More gold mined from the Soft Machine treasure troves! Softs re-releases are innumerable between the UK and USA in the past two years (and will continue to be through 1996), but somehow Voiceprint obtained the go-ahead approval to release this much-booted, nearly legendary live performance from 1969. Featured is the core album Volume Two line-up: Mike Ratledge (keyboards, primarily loud, obnoxious organ), Hugh Hopper (bass, primarily fuzz tone), and not-the-least infamous Robert Wyatt (drums, and off- miked vocal). This group seemed to be a semi-sedate, jazzy polished trio in the studio, but in a live setting they became a frenzied, frantic monster triumvirate which displayed high energy and versatile improvisation. Originally recorded as a potential official live album recording in Amsterdam, Holland (as clarified by Hopper in the new liner notes), the band had problems accepting the performance quality (after the fact) and vetoed release. For shame! However, the live tapes mysteriously 'slipped out' into the desperate hands of those greasy, grimey little bootleggers who scour the face of the earth looking for that ultimate rare live performance of note (such are yours truly, of course). And guess what? They found one that was actually inspirational and sounded fucking great to boot (pardoning the pun of course)! I remember first hearing this on a CD boot from 1988 and being awestruck as to the great band interplay and force these guys put out: like a jazzier ELP (Tarkus period), predating Egg's core sound by one year. This Soft Machine was a group who were loud! evidenced by the set included herein: several small tunes which comprise the bulk of Soft Machine Volume Two, but played at break-neck pace. Wyatt's somewhat disoriented vocal can be heard opening the disk, singing over booming bass and grinding organ. These guys were tearing through their set like a freight train steaming down the track. Included are some great drum solos and trademark key/time changes which show off each player's tremendous individual talent. The thing that absolutely makes it for me is Ratledge's demon-like ragged, thrashy organ sound which really rips through the entire set. One of my choices for top ten re-releases of the 1995.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1995 releases, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): Hugh Hopper, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Debase - Unleashed – Debase is another of Noise Records' recently signed European acts to try their hand at high profile metal. Hailing from the small town of Malmö, Sweden, the quintet does its best to wade through a...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues