Exposé Online banner

Soft Machine — Live at the Baked Potato
(Moonjune MJR102 / Tonefloat TF 195, 2020, CD / 2LP / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-09-17

Live at the Baked Potato Cover art

A lot of credit must go to Steve Feigenbaum of Cuneiform and Leonardo Pavkovic of Moonjune, the former for releasing all kinds of Soft Machine archival and live material in the years after the band called it a day in the early 80s, keeping their legacy on the radar, and the latter for his tireless efforts to put the band back together, which finally happened in 2003 with the Soft Works Abracadabra album, followed up with numerous Soft Machine Legacy releases, and then finally in 2018 the first new Soft Machine studio album since 1981’s Land of Cockayne – the amazing Hidden Details. The album at hand, Live at the Baked Potato, is the live follow-on to the 2018 studio recording, featuring the same lineup on the West Coast leg of their US tour in February 2019. Drummer John Marshall, bassist Roy Babbington, and guitarist John Etheridge were all members of Soft Machine at various points prior to the original band split in 1981 (though not at the same time), the newcomer being Theo Travis on keyboards, saxes, and flute. The fact that none of these four were original members of Soft Machine matters not; the band was always a revolving door of personnel changes, and through the years proved to be more of a concept, with new members chosen carefully to fit the style and pre-existing repertoire, which was most likely the key to their longevity and success. Here, the band plays several of their classic pieces from the pre-1980 period including “The Man Who Waved at Trains,” “Hazard Profile I,” Kings and Queens,” “The Tale of Taliesin,” and “Out-Bloody-Rageous,” a few of which were presented in newer versions on Hidden Details with the remainder of Baked Potato’s dozen tracks culled from the new material on the studio album, composed by Travis and Etheridge, plus Marshall’s high energy drum solo, here titled “Sideburn,” which leads right into “Hazard Profile.” The band smokes effortlessly through all the material, old or new, my only regret after hearing this is that I wasn’t there!


Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Soft Machine, Theo Travis, John Etheridge, John Marshall

More info
http://softmachine-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-the-baked-potato

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Chas Smith - Descent – Like opening a portal into a dreamworld, Chas Smith’s music pulls the listener in immediately. The disc contains two sidelong tracks and a shorter ten minute closer, all explorations in...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues