Soft Heap — A Veritable Centaur
(Impetus Records IMP CD 18219, 1988/1995, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 1996-03-01Another Canterbury related release makes its way to the surface. This disc is mostly a posthumous release from a live set in 1982 when guitarist Mark Hewins replaced the then recently deceased Alan Gowen. Hewins recalls: "He was booked to play at Cardiff but died suddenly so I stepped directly into his very large shoes. My first gig was with Soft Heap." Additional personnel includes original members, Elton Dean, saxes (Soft Machine), and Pip Pyle (Hatfield, National Health, Gong etc.). By the time of this live performance, John Greaves (Henry Cow, National Health etc.) had replaced Hugh Hopper on bass. This is an album of live blowing music, pretty free stuff which is pretty difficult for your average jazz/fusion buff. At times, the tone of the disc shifts from dronish guitar chords ("Tunnel Vision") to choppy bass driving and drums thundering ( "Thaid Up"). The energy level is very high throughout the live performances. Last track was recorded in 1988, but I'm not certain if this indicates the group is still alive or not. If Soft Machine Third is your type of album, then you'll direct connect into the extension this album provides.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more