Sunday 9 October 2011

Episode 12

Listen Here

1. New York Gong — "Preface" (from About Time, 1979)

2. Sebastian Berweck — "Terry Riley: Keyboard Study No. 1 (1964)" [excerpt] (from American Trance Music, 2002)

3. Soft Machine — "Out-Bloody-Rageous" (from Live at the Proms, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, London, 1970-08-13)

4. Robert Wyatt — "At Last I Am Free" (from Nothing Can Stop Us, 1982)

5. Soft Machine — "Feelin' Reelin' Squealin'" (B-side of first single, "Love Makes Sweet Music", 1967)

6. Daevid Allen — "Stoned Innocent Frankenstein" (from Banana Moon, 1971)

7. Planet Gong — "Stoned Innocent Frankenstein" (from Floating Anarchy Live 1977, 1978)

8. New York Gong — "Black September" (from About Time, 1979)

9. Hatfield and the North (feat. Robert Wyatt) — "God Song" → "Fol De Rol" → "For Robert" → "A-Mewsing"(live on French TV programme Rockenstock, 1973-01-02)

10. Caravan — "As I Feel I Die" (from Songs for Oblivion Fishermen, recorded at BBC 1970-08-19, released 1998)

11. Caravan — "L'Auberge Du Sanglier/A Hunting We Shall Go/Pengola!/Backwards/A Hunting We Shall Go (reprise)" (live at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, 1974-09-01)

12. Mr. Head (Soft Machine) — "Another Lover Has Gone" (rough demo tape, presumably recorded Sturry, Kent, July 1966)

13. Soft Machine — "Soft Space" (12" single, 1978)

14. Steve Hillage — "American funk apartheid" interview clip (from inteview with Captain SIB, 2010-09-09) → "Motivation" (from Motivation Radio, 1977)

15. Soft Machine — "37-1/2" (from Six, 1973)

16. Steve Hillage — 2009 BBC interview clip → "1988 Aktivator" (live at University of Kent sports hall, Canterbury, 1979-02-28)

17. The Damned — "I Just Can't Be Happy Today" [excerpt] (live on BBC TV's The Old Grey Whistle Test, 1979)

18. Supersister — "11/8" → "Dreaming Weelwhile" (from Present From Nancy, 1970)

19. Kevin Ayers — "Animals" (Spanish single release, 1980)

20. Gong — "Flying Teapot" jam (live in France, 1972)

21. New York Gong — "Materialism" (from About Time, 1979)

21. Zoo For You — "Cyriac Skinner" (demo, 2010)

22. Delta Sleep — "Dustbusters" (feat. Alan Watts) (live in their back garden, Canterbury, 2011-08-11)

23. Matching Mole — "Smoke Signals" (from Matching Mole's Little Red Record, 1972)

24. Egg — "They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano" (from Egg, 1970)

25. Hugh Hopper — "Minipax I" (from 1984, 1973)

26. The Pop Group — "Thief of Fire" (from Y, 1979)

27. Henry Cow — "Slice" (from Western Culture, 1978)

28. Henry Cow — "Slice" (from Western Culture, 1978)

29. Slapp Happy — "Haiku" [excerpt] → haiku competition results

30. Material — "Memories" (from One Down, 1982)

31. The Wilde Flowers — "Memories" (demo recorded spring 1966, Broadstairs, Kent)

32. Robert Wyatt — "punk" interview clip (from WTLV Dondestan documentary) → "The Whole Point Of No Return" (from Shleep, 1997)

33. National Health — "Walking The Dog" (from Missing Pieces, 1994, recorded live 1979-11-30)

[voiceover ambience: Gong — "A Sprinkling of Clouds" (from You, 1974)]

Errata/clarifications: I forgot to mention the problems Soft Machine had with Ratledge's organ at the beginning of the Proms set (hence the shaky start) [Correction! Erkki in Estonia has informed me that the technical problems were in fact with Hugh Hopper's fuzz pedal — so perhaps the shaky start was just nerves?]. I also forgot to mention that I played that Egg track. Pye Hasting's sister Jane was married to John Aspinall, if you're interested to find out more...

[Hugh Hopper:] "'Memories' was about the second song I ever wrote, around the end of 1964. Until then, Robert Wyatt, my brother Brian and I had been trying to be avant garde free-jazzers. We hated the Beatles and all that, but then suddenly realised what was good about it. I found I could fairly easily write songs and started churning them out. 'Memories' has been covered by several people — Damon and Naomi, Rainbirds, Robert Wyatt... The first time I heard the version with Whitney singing was down the phone from New York — the A&R person from Elektra played it to me and asked me what I thought, and who I thought the tenor sax player was. I said 'Dunno — Gary Windo?'. 'Archie Shepp' was his reply and in fact that knocked me out more than anything — Shepp had been one of our great free-jazz heroes! Whitney Houston was as yet unknown. (In fact, Laswell tried to get Fontella Bass for the vocal for this version for his Material project — someone suggested Cissie Houston's daughter could sing a bit!) If only she'd recorded it a couple of years later, I would now be a much richer person! My favourite version is the 1969 demo that appears on the Wilde Flowers CD, with Mike Ratledge on piano, Robert singing and me on bass and twelve-string."

[The full Hopper interview with Steve Aitch is here.]

"Hugh became interested in tape loops ten years before this album was created while living with Daevid Allen and Gilli Smythe in Paris." Daevid had already been exposed to the work of Terry Riley and was producing sound-pieces made up of repeated tape loops". Hugh was just 18 at this time and living outside of England for the first time. Hugh goes on to say: "For the next year or so i carried on assembling my own loop-pieces. Back in Canterbury Pye Hastings lent me his Ferrograph for a while. I tinkered also with eight-millimeter movies,filming Mike Ratledge and my brother Brian being poetic or Robert Wyatt playing trumpet while looning around in a field of yellow flowers. Occasionally when our parents were away on holiday we had Cultural Evenings — tape and movies together!" That's just priceless!"

[From, original source unknown.]

[Captain Sensible:] "My favourite album though was Soft Machine III — amazing, uplifting stuff. Nobody has ever done as good an album as that. I remember me and some mates went to see Soft Machine at the Greyhound in Croydon. We were totally besotted with Mike Ratledge's image, so we all arrived in these long black wigs with the fringe at the front and those small round Mike Ratledge shades and false black moustaches. Not the type of thing to do at a Softs concert when you consider how serious and studious their audiences traditionally were. After the gig, the four of us were sitting in our Morris Traveller outside waiting for Ratledge to appear. When he drove off we followed him, and at every traffic light he stopped at we'd pull up alongside. So he'd look over to our car to see four Mike Ratledge's staring back at him... by about the 6th traffic light his nerve failed him and in a total panic he slammed his foot down and raced away with us in hot pursuit, determined to follow him home. Except that a Morris Traveller is only capable of luke-warm pursuit at the best of times, so he soon lost us."

[full piece here]


Blogger Edmund said...

I've got a comment about the Softs Proms "Out Bloody Rageous": apparently the technical problems have less to do with Mike's organ than with Hugh's malfunctioning fuzz pedal. I think it's Graham Bennett's "Out Bloody Rageous" that mentions this. Similar clicky feedback noises can be heard on "Soft Machine and Heavy Friends" session from 1971.

11 October 2011 at 11:40  

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