Soft Machine: Live at the Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 (LP)

Soft Machine: Live at the Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 (LP)

That’s funny, I don’t remember ever being in Oslo. Oh, hang on, yes I do… you’re right, that was a good gig!” Robert Wyatt

 

I don’t remember that at all, but I’m very happy to know it’s a clean recording” Michael Ratledge

That was one of the best gigs we ever played” Hugh Hopper

Limited edition vinyl release of the legendary recordings done at Henie Onstad Art Centre, Oslo, Norway in 1971. Artwork by Kim Hiorthøy. Soft Machine performing two sets of continuous compositions, improvisations and dynamisms captured in glorious Hi-Fidelity Stereophonic sound

 

Michael Ratledge; Organ, Electric Piano

Elton Dean; Alto Sax, Saxello, Electric Piano 

Hugh Hopper; Bass Guitar, Duo-Fuzz

Robert Wyatt; Drums, Cow Bell, Voice

That the recordings made of Britain’s Soft Machine remain as rewarding and inspirational today as the moment of their making, qualifies the groups international stature as the most expressively intelligent of rock music’s progressive epoch. Born of the Beat Generation & Beat music, sacrificed on the clichéd tracks of jazz-fusion, the music in between by the classic quartet of keyboardist Mike Ratledge, saxophonist Elton Dean (1945-2005), bass guitarist Hugh Hopper (1945-2009) and drummer Robert Wyatt is mercurial genius manifest. Still and all, a creative apex where the music attained a ‘whole greater than its sum parts’, occurred on the evening of February 28th, 1971 at the Henie Onstad Art Centre in Oslo, Norway. Here, the group was afforded a rare crucible for their collective creativity by virtue of an intimate concert space, accurate amplification, and an appreciative audience. Also in Henie Onstad for his own Art Exhibition was Soft Machine’s friend Mark Boyle (1926-2005), who projected his sensory films during this concert. Thankfully, the performance was professionally recorded using classical ambient technique, and safely archived until the Henie Onstad Art Centre, and the musicians, granted Smalltown Supersound the honor and responsibility to present this magnificent recording for vinyl release. The results sound for itself as demonstrably the finest stereo recording of Soft Machine ever captured on tape. Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 is not simply another fascinating addition to a series of archival Soft Machine releases; it stands as nothing less than a gift for all.