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Breda Reactor CD


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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Jan 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Evangaline
  • ASIN: B0006ZINRG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,617 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Eamonn Andrews
2. Mousetrap
3. Noisette
4. Backwards
5. Mousetrap
6. Hibou Anemone And Bear
Disc: 2
1. Facelift
2. Moon In June
3. 12/8 Theme
4. Drum Link
5. Esther's Nose Job
6. Pigling Bland
7. Cymbalism
8. Out Bloody Rageous
9. Esther's Nose Job
10. We Did It Again

Product Description

Breda Reactor finds British jazz-rock outfit Soft Machine in one of its many transitional stages. Between the septet that toured in late '69 and the emergence of the "classic" lineup-keyboardist Mike Ratledge, saxophonist Elton Dean, bassist Hugh Hopper, and drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt-this incarnation was augmented by saxophonist/flautist Lyn Dobson. The quintet may have only lasted three months, but Dobson possessed a strong voice, providing interesting counterpoint to the more free-spirited Dean. Recorded a month after the Croydon show documented on Cuneiform's Noisette, the set list is similar, but the rapid pace at which this group was evolving-seemingly from night to night-makes it an equally worthwhile experience for fans of this period. Unlike Noisette, Breda Reactor is a double-disc release, providing the opportunity to hear two full sets, in original running order. The inclusion of Hopper's classic epic, the nearly 22-minute "Facelift," gives fans the opportunity to hear the piece in the context of the quintet, and the two-minute excerpt from Ratledge's "Out-Bloody-Rageous" provides an insight into a work in progress. The finished piece wouldn't show up in the group's repertoire until a few weeks later, but it's the inclusion of this prototypical version that, perhaps more than anything else, demonstrates how Soft Machine took risks night after night.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 2005
Format: Audio CD
Breda Reactor finds British jazz-rock outfit Soft Machine in one of its many transitional stages. Between the septet that toured in late '69 and the emergence of the "classic" lineup-keyboardist Mike Ratledge, saxophonist Elton Dean, bassist Hugh Hopper, and drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt-this incarnation was augmented by saxophonist/flautist Lyn Dobson. The quintet may have only lasted three months, but Dobson possessed a strong voice, providing interesting counterpoint to the more free-spirited Dean.
Recorded a month after the Croydon show documented on Cuneiform's Noisette, the set list is similar, but the rapid pace at which this group was evolving-seemingly from night to night-makes it an equally worthwhile experience for fans of this period. Unlike Noisette, Breda Reactor is a double-disc release, providing the opportunity to hear two full sets, in original running order. The inclusion of Hopper's classic epic, the nearly 22-minute "Facelift," gives fans the opportunity to hear the piece in the context of the quintet, and the two-minute excerpt from Ratledge's "Out-Bloody-Rageous" provides an insight into a work in progress. The finished piece wouldn't show up in the group's repertoire until a few weeks later, but it's the inclusion of this prototypical version that, perhaps more than anything else, demonstrates how Soft Machine took risks night after night.
While the recording quality of Breda Reactor isn't as good as the sound on Noisette, it's considerably better than other Voiceprint titles like Facelift, which, while an outstanding performance, was so poorly recorded as to be of interest mainly to the Soft Machine completist. While Dean and Dobson are often overwhelmed by the sheer power of the core trio during ensemble passages, their solos are clearly defined.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard House on 20 Feb 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you've ever liked the Softs, this is a "must have" for your collection - Ratledge is quite incomparable. Oh how I wish McLaughlin had hired him for the first Mahavishnu Orchestra (or rather, that we could have split him in two, because of course we wouldn't want him to have left the Softs).
Richard House, Winchester
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
bad recording quality 26 July 2005
By A. Rodkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Not sure if this disk delivers anything such albums as noisette or backwards don't from the standpoint of music, but the recording quality is pretty bad by my standards.

I read that the voiceprint soft machine recordings are pretty crabby, so I always steered clear from them. However, I also read somewhere that this one is better than most, so I decided to give it a chance.

I couldn't really sit thru the whole thing...and just to let the reader understand where I am coming from - I do have realistic expectations from never before released live archives from 30-something years ago. For example "live in paris" , while mono and not top notch quality, is quite enjoyable in my opinion.

Had I known what I was getting, I would never have paid $23 for this CD. Noisette is much better and it is cheaper as well. To say even more, for some reason voiceprint cd's tend to generally be more expensive than those from cuneiform. I wonder why.

That said, I certainly recommend this disk to those who are desperate to hear a different variation of noisette.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
sounds very good to my ears... 17 Oct 2005
By Arturs Kalnins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This must have been an amazing concert, and the sound is really very good for what I believe was an amateur recording. You may not want this if you are an audiophile and insist on studio sound quality, but for anyone else it should prove very enjoyable.

Highly recommended to all SM fans, not merely completists!
Don't be misled... - this is an outstanding live Softs concert 25 July 2014
By Richard House - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Your post: Jul 25, 2014 6:10:20 AM PDT
Richard House says:
I'm a big Softs fan, starting from Softs 3, which was my first experience of the band as a spotty youth in the early '70s. Ratledge's playing has always captivated me, and at this gig he was just incendiary - probably the most passionate, inventive and spiritual organ/keyboard work I've ever heard. It's worth buying for the genius and virtuosity of Mike Ratledge alone; but the rest of this excellent-value 2 CD set is also excellent - possibly the band at its all-time peak. When music has the rare combination of qualities I just mentioned, the sound quality just doesn't matter - well not for me anyway; the matchless quality and emotional intensity come across loud and clear. Very highly recommended - and by no means merely for completists.
Richard House
Stroud, UK
5 Man Band 22 Jun 2012
By Gaberman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This, like Noisette, is a rare recording of the brief lived quintet version of this incredible band. It is a great performance and to my well trained ears is adequately recorded. No, it's not a perfect recording but it sure isn't some bootleg of a dude hiding a tape recorder in his jacket in the balcony. All of the instruments are present and can be heard clearly with the drums being a bit distant in comparison to the others. It sounds like a soundboard recording and it's a great gig. If you're looking to venture into some Soft Machine live shows get Backwards and Noisette first, they are all time classics. And then, I'd actually reccommend getting this release before Virtually and maybe even Middle Earth Masters. If you love Soft Machine from this era then don't think twice this an essential slice of SM history circa 1970! Pretty timeless!
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