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Matching Mole (Expanded Edition)
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
When Robert Wyatt was unceremoniously dumped from Soft Machine in 1971 he took much of their humanity and humour with him. Matching Mole was the first project following his departure, although he had already recorded the somewhat wayward `End Of An Ear' towards the end of his time as a Soft. Gathering together a pre-Hatfields Phil Miller (Guitar), Bill MacCormick (Bass) and Dave Sinclair (Organ), they hot footed it to the CBS studios, where under trying circumstances they recorded this flawed masterpiece.

It is somewhat eclectic as an album, beginning with 3 lead vocal orientated pieces, the classic Wyatt break up song `O Caroline', the `mouth as instrument' stylings of `Instant Pussy' and the absurdist `Signed Curtain' during which Wyatt effectively questions the whole idea of bothering to write a song in the first place. Wonderful stuff.

The rest of the album is instrumental, and the band really show what they can do on Phil Miller's `Part Of The Dance'. Wyatt's walloping drums really kicking things along with new found enthusiasm, as Miller's sinewy guitar lines weave in and around. The closing four pieces feature further group improvisation over loose structures, interspersed with studies for Mellotron played by Wyatt ("As my Dad used to tell me, if a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing").

This edition of the album comes as manna from heaven to those who have lived with and loved it over the years, as not only is the sound quality a significant improvement over previous issues, the wealth of bonus material (some 50 pristine minutes of never before heard studio material) is to be treasured. There is a wonderful, exploratory jam on `Part Of The Dance' lasting over 20 minutes, a completely different approach to `Signed Curtain' and an 11 minute exploration of the old Softs song `Memories' rendered Matching Mole style. There's the unreleased and never heard again `Horse', and a further 30 minutes of BBC Session material (although this has been issued before).

Beautifully slipcased and with sleevenotes by the erudite Sid Smith, this is yet another fine example of how reissues should be done. As an album it sounds quite unlike any other, and the humanity shines through. The humour would surface on `Little Red Record: Expanded Edition' the swiftly recorded follow up, also reissued by Esoteric as a companion volume to this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2015
Excellent album, sounds great & the extra tracks are superb. 9/10.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2012
Excellent remastered and expanded edition of Matching Moles first album exhibiting the creative and improvisational skills of what was unfortunatley a very short lived band.Still there is plenty to enjoy,the elegant and melodic "Caroline" , the sublime lyrics to "Signed Curtain".
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2012
Having searched for years for a copy, at last I now own one. All tracks are priceless gems in themselves, but I would happily pay double the price just to hear the wonderful 'Oh! Caroline'. Bob's not got the best of voices, but that just adds to the frail beauty of this tale of a doomed love affair (I know exactly how he felt when recording this). Long may this CD keep going; record companies are missing a trick by not currently listing it.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2012
Tried to get this album way back on cd , but it surfaced recently on iTunes & as I sampled the short snatches of each track I,ve not heard for decades I just tingled up n down the spine like nothing else! From my teens in the 70's , strangely a period that remains clear & sharp in memory as yesterday - Strawbs , Peter Gabriel,s Genisis , Dr feelgood & Public image Ltd ... nights listening to the mighty John Peel on head phones or the "Whistle test" - where a great body of my music collection was heard & remains ...this album hangs in my time-line a gorgeous "singularity" ! "little red record " never drew me as this . Just....love it !
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2015
I am a Robert Wyatt fan. But born of a later generation so have had to explore and discover his work on my own.

If you love Rock Botom and want something similar to enhance your fix this will go some way to meeting this need. It is more Robert Wyatt than Soft Machine and has at times some similiar sensisbilities to his seminal work.
However I would also recommend some of his later albums that take a very different Road.

Enjoy
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2015
Excellent service. Would use again.
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