Soft Releases 2004

Update December 11th 2004

Here's a list of new & coming releases of The Soft Machine, Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean, Robert Wyatt, a.o. Feel free to mail me for additions to this list.

Check out the archives:

****** 2002 Releases ****** ******* 2003 Releases *******

Just released

This list contains albums by Soft Machine members or featuring them, archival Soft Machine releases, and other albums that might interest fans. I'll archive release more than a year old.

  • Kevin Ayers - Didn't Feel Lonely Till I Thought Of you - The Island Records Years (Edsel Records)

    Three full albums on 2 discs (Confessions of Dr. Dream, Sweet Deceiver and June 1, 1974) plus as a bonus: all Island singles (Up Song, After the Show, Thank You Very Much). A nice companion set to the recently re-issued Deram catalogue.

  • Kevin Ayers - Alive in California (Box-o-Plenty)

    Picked up from the WAWS website, a confirmation that a new Ayers live CD will be released this summer.

    Update 08/05: From Box-o-plenty site: "recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco 1998/2000 with full band, plus two songs from a 1993 LA solo gig".
    Update 24/07/2004: Release date set (?) as: Autumn.
    Update 28/08/2004: Release date set for November.
    Update 03/11/2004: Release date set for 16 november 2004; samples available at the Box-o-Plenty website.

  • Björk - Medúlla (One Little Indian)

    I hate Björk. But her new album will contain a guest vocal from Robert Wyatt.

    Update 28/08/2004: Out now. Wyatt sings on two tracks. Whole album is made up of vocals.

  • Brainville - Obscura No. 2 - Live in the UK (Voiceprint)

    A live CD released in a series of obscure Daevid Allen recordings. Brainville is Allen/Hopper/Pyle. Releasedate set at 29/03/2004. Mixed by Hugh Hopper. Tracklisting: Fohat Digs Holes in Space/Who's Afraid?/Flowers Gone/Shadow/Thinkin Thoughts/Hope for Happiness/Bullshit & Be.

    Update 15/02/2004 (thnx to Aymeric Leroy): This was recorded at the Lanterns in Ashburton, UK, June 18th 1998, during Brainville's first tour (Kramer wasn't able to join the other three). The concert was edited by Hugh Hopper.
    Update 08/05/2004: release delayed till mid May.
    Update 19/06/2004: Removed from above list due to continuously delays; currently delayed till 28 June.
    Update 24/07/2004: Amazon.co.uk notified me this CD was dispatched so I assume it's released. Limited to 1000 discs so if you want this one be quick!
    Update 25/07/2004: Just received the CD in the mail and I can honestly say that this release is much better than the official CD release "Children's Crusade".

  • Brotherhood of Breath - Bremen to Bridgwater (Cuneiform)

    Three Brotherhood of Breath recordings from 1971 and 1975 (2x) featuring Elton Dean and Mongezi Feza (and many others). Release date 13 january 2004 . Latest: on order on the Wayside website and apparently a 2CD.

    Update 19/06/2004: This is indeed a 2CD and a good one too. The soundquality is not top notch for all recordings but still better than most A+ bootlegs.

  • Elton Dean - Sea of Infinity (Hux Records)

    A new Elton Dean album on Hux and it's not BBC-related! It contains four tracks, two with the EDQ (Dean, Hewins, Mattos, Bianco), one track by Hewins/Dean and a track by Hewins/Dean joined by poet Sibyl Madrigal. Release date set 26/03/04. Recorded 2002-2003.

  • Cristina Dona - Cristina Dona (Rykodisc)

    International release of this Italian singer with guest Robert Wyatt. Song(s) are the same as on her Italian release (thanks to Svenn for pointing this one out).

  • Egg - Egg (Eclectic Discs)
  • Egg - The Polite Force (Eclectic Discs)
  • Khan - Space Shanty (Eclectic Discs)

    I can't think of a direct link between Egg and The Soft Machine, except they have a similar sound. Anyway, these albums are being re-issued on CD after being unavailable for a mighty long time. First Egg CD will include the "missing" movement no. 3 and their first and only single; Polite Force has never been released on CD except in Japan; Khan will include two bonustracks. All CDs remastered etc. Release date 06/09/2004.

    Update 28/08/2003: : Khan bonustracks revealed: Break the Chains – Previously unreleased and Mixed Up Man of the Mountains (First version) – Previously unreleased.

  • Gong - Angel's Egg & You (EMI)

    Rumour goes that Mark Powell - who brought us the excellent Caravan re-issues last year - is preparing above releases.

    Update 15/02/2003: Gong re-issues including bonustracks expected May 2003.
    Update 05/05/2003: Releases are delayed because of contractual issues regarding Flying Teapot. Bonustracks that you can expect: on "Flying Teapot" there will be an alternate take of the title track: on "Angels Egg", a demo version of "Eat That Phonebook"; on "You", more tracks from the Roanne concert, some of which had been used on "Live Etc.". Speaking of "Live Etc.", this will be reissued later this year as a boxed set which will include the entirety of the London/Marquee concert from September 1975 (thanks to Aymeric Leroy for this information).
    Update 31/07/2003: Delayed till end of the year;
    Update 19/12/2003: Angel's Egg, You and Live Etc. will definately see the light of day in the spring of 2004. All will be remastered with bonustracks. Live Etc. will also contain the 1974 Bremen radio broadcast that is famous among Gong tapetraders. Latest news is that Flying Teapot is out of the re-issue loop, damn.
    Update 19/06/2004: Releases set for September to co-incide with the Gong tour in Europe.
    Update 25/07/2004: Release date set to 06/09/2004.
    Update 28/08/2004: Bonustracks revealed: on Angel's Egg 4 tracks added: Other Side of the Sky (Single version), Scooby-Scooby Doomsday or The D-Day DJ’s Got the DDT Blues, Love is How Y Make It (1973 vocal mix) and That That Phone Book Coda – Early version...... on You you'll find 1 track: A PH.P.’s Advice – Alternate vocal version..... on Live Etc. no details known yet.

  • John Greaves/Elise Caron - Chansons... (Harmonia Mundi)

    New John Greaves CD with Wyatt guesting on percussion and vocals. Release date September 2004 (Thanks to Michel and Jan for pointing this one out).

  • Brian Hopper - If Ever I Am (Voiceprint)

    From the Voiceprint website: "Brian's latest album If Ever I Am originally grew out of Brian’s idea to involve the various members of legendary Canterbury Scene band The Wilde Flowers in the re recording of some of the Wilde Flowers material using modern recording techniques and instrumentation. Unfortunately as attractive as the idea looked and may have sounded it was a project that was to prove ultimately un workable. If Ever I am however is a fine album that has its roots in the revered Canterbury scene and its sights on perhaps wider pastures. The album is an eclectic mix of jazz and progressive rock and features performances from at least two other members of the Wilde Flowers in Brian's brother Hugh Hopper and also Robert Wyatt. Brian's other musical partner Robert Fenner is also featured throughout on guitar." Releasedate 06/09/2004.

  • Matt Howarth/Hugh Hopper - The Stolen Hour (Burning Shed)

    A CD of progressive jazz that is the soundtrack for a 23-page mainstream strip by Matt that will be contained in the CD booklet. Release schedule is uncertain, as a label is being sought for this project. (from Matt Howarth's website).

    Update 17/04/2004: Will be released early summer on Burning Shed.
    Update 24/07/2004: CD is out on Burning Shed with the artwork by Matt Howarth added as a PDF on the CD. Guests a.o. Wyatt on cornet and voice.

  • Isotope and Gary Boyle - Live at the BBC (Hux Records)

    Release date 23 February 2004. Unfortunately not any sessions with Hugh Hopper. He was either not yet in or already out of the band. Still worth mentioning because I feel like it. Tracklisting (from Hux website): 1. Upward Curve 2. Do The Business 3. Retracing My Steps 4. Honky Donkey (ISOTOPE Radio 1 'In Concert' 12.10.73) 5. Bite On This 6. Upward Curve (ISOTOPE Old Grey Whistle Test 26.3.74) 7. The Dancer 8. Cowshed Shuffle 9. Almond Burfi (GARY BOYLE Peel Session 22.8.77).

  • Phil Manzanera - 6PM (Expression Records)

    New Manzanera studio album to be released in July 2004 with guest appearance by Robert Wyatt on four tracks playing drums, trumpet and vocals.

  • Nucleus - Alleycat/Direct Hits (BGO)

    Alleycat will finally be released on 10/05/2004 and coupled with the Vertigo Records' Nucleus Greatest Hits from the seventies, released when they left Vertigo.

  • Organon - Klusterbuckstuckle (SLAM)

    New SLAM release featuring Elton Dean, released sometime in 2004. Let me quote the SLAM website: "ORGANON, being Elton Dean saxes, Jim Dvorak trumpet, Tim Crowther guitar/guitar synth, John Edwards double bass and Jim Lebaigue drums. A set of 4 creative improvisations by a new quintet of true masters of the art. Recorded in London, September 2002".

  • Anthony Phillips & Harry Williamson - Battle of the Birds (Voiceprint)

    Hugh guests on this album which was recorded sometime early 80s. Release date 27/10/2003 but added to 2004 page because I found out just now :-)

  • Psychic Warrior - Psychic Warrior (Hux Records)

    This is a brand new recording from the formidable free jazz quartet of Alex Maguire, Elton Dean, Fred Baker & Liam Genockey. Released 27/09/2004.

  • Pip Pyle's Bash - Belle Illusion (Cuneiform)

    Worth mentioning this updated "Equip' Out" because the band has a strong Soft Machine connection: Pip Pyle played with Dean and Hopper in In Cahoots, Equip' Out, etc; Fred Baker plays bass in In Cahoots with Dean; Patrice Meyer played guitar in the Hopper Band (still does actually) and Alex Maguire played intensively with Elton Dean in diverse EDQ's. Release date somewhere in May if I remember correctly.

    Update 06/02/2004: release date confirmed for May 2004.
    Update 15/02/2004 (thnx to Aymeric Leroy): The album's contents are mostly drawn from the band's performance at the Tritonales festival in Les Lilas, near Paris, June 4th 2003, with a couple of additional tracks recorded at the Progman Cometh (Bash's first-ever performance) in August 2002.
    Update 19/06/2004: Elton Dean guests on two tracks.

  • Pip Pyle's Equip' Out - Instants (Hux Records)

    Concert in Montreuil (near Paris) from 1995. Release date set 15/11/2004. A short-lived lineup of Pip Pyle (drums), Elton Dean (sax), Paul Rogers (bass) and Patrice Meyer (guitar).

  • Jeff Sherman - Home (Relentless Pursuit)

    I'd never heard of Jeff Sherman but he made an album with Hugh Hopper. I don't have a clue when it was released, most likely in 2003.

    Update 15/02/2004 (thanks to Aymeric Leroy): Jeff is the bass player and occasional keyboard player of the band Glass (whose drummer Jerry Cook, who also appears on the album, organised the Progman Cometh festival in Seattle in 2002 & 2003). Hugh appears on two tracks, "The Apes And The Auroras" (which he co-wrote with Jeff) and "Rainy Day", contributing fuzz bass, double-speed bass and loops, which were recorded at Hugh's home.

  • Soft Machine - Six & Seven (Edsel Records)

    Release date 05/2004. 2CD reissue of both Six and Seven. Sound quality of Seven (and Six) is apparently better than on the old CBS/Columbia CD. Haven't heard it yet (thanks to Fred Fierst for the information).

  • Soft Machine - Somewhere in Soho (Voiceprint)

    Release date 29/03/2004. 2CD set with recordings from the Soft Machine live April 1970 at Ronnie Scott's. Tracklist: Disc 1: 1. Slightly All The Time 2. Out-Bloody-Rageous 3. Eamonn Andrews 4. Mousetrap 5. Noisette 6. Backwards 7. Mousetrap (reprise) 8. Hibou Anemone & Bear Disc 2: 1. Facelift 2. Moon In June 3. Esther's Nose Job 4. Pigling Bland 5. Cymbalism 6. Esther's Nose Job (reprise). I sincerely hope this will sound better then the last VP releases. Update 08/05: releasedate delayed to mid May.

    Update 13/05/2004: Out now.
    Update 19/06/2004: This is actually a must-buy and an excellent set from the classic quartet. Unfortunately it has the Voiceprint Soft Machine trademark, i.e. bootleg sound quality, but as soon as you get used to the hiss it sounds great.

  • Soft Machine - Live in Paris 1972 (Cuneiform)

    The famous One Way 2CD set (entitled Live in France) will be re-released by Cuneiform, most likely with better artwork, liner notes and improved soundquality (?). Release date may 2004 .

    Update 15/02/2004: Recording has been remastered by Mike King.

  • Soft Machine - Third (Columbia JP)
  • Soft Machine - Fourth (Columbia JP)
  • Soft Machine - Fifth (Columbia JP)
  • Soft Machine - Six (Columbia JP)
  • Soft Machine - Seven (Columbia JP)
  • Matching Mole - Matching Mole(Columbia JP)
  • Matching Mole - Little Red Record (Columbia JP)
  • Robert Wyatt - The End of An Ear (Columbia JP)

    I'm not a big fan of Japanese re-issues - they're expensive and contain unreadable linernotes - but Fred Fierst pointed me to this bunch that is being planned to be released in October 2004, all re-mastered and in miniature albumsleeves. This *could* mean that finally a re-mastered Third will become available! Fingers crossed.

    Update 03/11/2004: Third is reportedly sounding "different" from the old release. It has been remastered with DSD (Direct Stream Digital) but it has also been reported that the mastertapes from Third have been considered lost and the sound will never get much better than it is.

    Update 11/12/2004: Another update: all re-issues sound excellent and better than the 24-bits released earlier international. The one exception is Third which still sounds better than ever, but not as good as the rest (thanks to Fred for the information).

  • University of Errors - Jet Propelled Photograph (Cuneiform)

    Daevid Allen and the University of Errors is re-recording the famous 1967 demo-sessions of the Soft Machine. A strange idea indeed, but it might work.

    Update 06/02/2004: release date confirmed for May 2004. Tracks include (besides the JPP tracks): Love Makes Sweet Music, Feelin' Reelin' Squeelin', Hope for Hapiness and Soon Soon Soon.

  • Gary Windo - Anglo American (Cuneiform)

    More rarities, including mucho early work with Robert Wyatt (WMWM - Windo, Matthewson, Wyatt, MacRae) and more.

    Update 06/02/2004: Release date confirmed for May 2004.
    Update 19/06/2004: Contains Standfast from the Symbiosis BBC session that was released previously on Flotsam Jetsam; Two tracks from WMWM that are previously unreleased (all three tracks feature Wyatt), and one track from the Steam Radio Tapes sessions with Hopper on bass.

  • Robert Wyatt - His Greatest Misses (Virgin Jp?)

    What appears to be another compilation of Wyatt tracks will be released in Japan on 29/09/2004. Or could it be a CD of rarities? Time will tell (thanks to fastone_pg for the info).

    Update 05/08/2004: This has been confirmed to be a "Best Of" CD. Tracklisting is the same as the "Strange Days" compilation from last year with two extra tracks from Cuckooland.