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

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iconoclasta - Live in France – Is it amazing that the Mexican band Iconoclasta is still around? Yes, but on the other hand with the passion founder member Riccardo Moreno shows to keep the torch of prog rock in Mexico burning, it's...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues