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Customer Review

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential re-issue of Robert Wyatt classic, 3 Mar 2012
This review is from: Matching Mole (Expanded Edition) (Audio CD)
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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Apr 2012 12:35:14 BDT
Really helpful review, I'll certainly be getting it now, thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2012 12:45:22 BDT
S. Dinsdale says:
Glad to be of service to afellow Mole-ite ;-)
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