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

2019-10-06
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

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Make a Rising - Rip through the Hawk Black Night – Make a Rising is an adventurous Philadelphia quintet cut from the mode of modern alternative experimental bands such as Tortoise and Olivia Trevor Control. Blending jazz and alternative rock elements...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues