SOFT MACHINE: Grides (CD/DVD)
The CD: an unidentified recording of a quartet performance on October 25th, 1970 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Songs played are Facelift, Virtually, Out-Bloody-Rageous, Neo-Caliban Grides, Teeth, Slightly All The Time, Eamonn Andrews, Esther's Nose Job -with a Slightly All The Time/Noisette encore. The performance is workmanlike but, to my ears, doesn't always gel. Some of the tempi, probably demanded in the concert situation, seem a little uncomfortable on record. Most problematic is the too-clean sound and the mechanical mix which rob the music of its force and character. You can hear the playing, but the clinical separation drains it of cohesion and velocity. The DVD: a television recording made in Bremen in 1971, about 20 minutes long and complete with glooping light show (not Boyle's, I think), back projection and TV effects. The sound on the DVD is rather one-dimensional I'm afraid and both drums and bass are hard to hear. Admirably thorough and informative notes by Aymeric Leroy.