Exposé Online banner

Soft Machine — Virtually
(Cuneiform Rune 100, 1971/1998, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1998-07-01

Virtually Cover art

The classic four-piece lineup that recorded Third and 4 is captured here live in concert from March 1971 in Bremen, Germany, only weeks before drummer / vocalist Robert Wyatt would call it a day with the band, citing the band’s increased jazz orientation as the reason. Two lengthy sets are included here, totaling almost 80 minutes, where one track segues seamlessly into the next, material taken from albums Third ("Facelift," "Slightly All the Time," "Out-Bloody-Rageous"), 4 ("Virtually," "Fletcher’s Blemish," "Teeth," "Kings and Queens") and the as-yet-unreleased 5 ("Pigling Bland," "All White"), plus a couple unreleased numbers ("Eamonn Andrews," "Neo-Caliban Grides" — both of which appear on the Peel Sessions set in slightly different form). This set showcases the band at their experimental and improvisational peak, and includes some outstanding and absolutely wild sax-honkin’ from reed-man Elton Dean and Mike Ratledge’s unique ‘screaming’ Lowery organ, supported by Wyatt’s busy drumming and the mind-blowing fuzz-bass of Mr. Hopper. Wyatt’s spacy vocal segue between “Out-Bloody-Rageous” and “Eamonn Andrews” underlines the psychedelic side of this edition of the band. Everything here is tight and precise, definitely an ‘on’ night for the band. Virtually is a must-have for longtime fans, and a great place to start for the newcomer too.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 15, 1998 releases, 1971 recordings

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

More info
http://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/virtually

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Supay - Confusion – Peru's Supay (named after evil spirits of Quecha-speaking natives) is almost two bands rolled into one. On one side is a rock quartet built around the guitar playing of Luis Proaño, along with...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues