Exposé Online banner

Soft Machine — Spaced
(Cuneiform Rune 90, 1969/1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Spaced Cover art

The material on Spaced was originally recorded in 1969 (circa Third) for a special choreographed multi-media one-week event of the same name at the London Roundhouse. Although the music here (seven tracks varying in length from under three to over thirty minutes) bears certain key resemblances to the Soft Machine we all know and love — such as Ratledge's trademark fuzz-organ, and Hopper's fuzz-bass — the material tends to be far more unstructured and improvised, evoking a mysterious dreamlike sensibility, often with dark and doomy underpinnings. Structurally, the music tends to fall into two categories: those pieces built from simple repetitive themes by the basic three-piece, with unusual taped effects overdubbed, and pieces that are purely free-form improvisational and explorative at their core, the latter typically eschewing any traditional rhythmic structures. "Spaced 4" is perhaps the album's best example of this. Needless to say, this is not the typical material one might hear on a Softs album of the same period, although the early minutes of avant-garde meandering on "Facelift" (from Third) could serve as a sneak preview to the type of explorations on Spaced. This is an album that grew quickly on this listener with each successive play, but this may not be for everyone. Recommended highly for the spirited adventurists, and kudos to Cuneiform for releasing it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): Brian Hopper, Hugh Hopper, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Djam Karet - The Heavy Soul Sessions – Over the last four or five years, Djam Karet has gone through some evolutionary changes. Gayle Ellett has switched from guitars to primarily analog keyboards, and a fifth member Mike Murray has been...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues