Top positive review
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lost jewel in the art/prog/fusion crown
on 8 February 2005
Whilst still with Soft Machine (maybe), Robert Wyatt made the controversial "End of an ear" album "solo".
Subsequently "booted out" of Soft Machine, Wyatt formed Matching Mole, the name being a pun based on the French translation of Soft Machine (machine molle).
Robert Wyatt composed the 1st album and the band members complained about their lack of compositional opportunity. Wyatt conceded, he let his cohorts compose the 2nd album with his compositional input being strictly limited to vocals. This band eventually went on to (basically) become Hatfield & the North.
This was the band's 2nd and (i.m.h.o) most coherent album.
Robert Fripp was (wisely) employed as producer for this release and despite intimidating Phil Miller (the band's guitarist) by his very prescense, did a great job. Fripp defined/refined the band's sound whilst subtly leaving his personal mark.
Helped by Brian Eno's donation of a synth for the session and guest appearance on Gloria Glooom, the album is a triumph of early 70's British art/prog rock and jazz fusion, an essential component of the soft machine canon, this album is "ambient" and "jazz rock" in equal parts!
The opening track "starting in the middle of the day we can drink our politics away" is an inspired and genuine example of "minimalism", after this we get into the heart of the album, a wonderfully british prog/fusion/improv/arty melting pot, the musicians work together beautifully, Fripp's utilisation of dub style effects in the mix perfectly compliments this cerebral yet visceral fayre.
I have to take this opportunity to remind everyone of what a precious attribute Robert Wyatt, as a drummer, is to British music, this album is a great testimony to the man's awesome ability behind the "kit", an oft overlooked facet of this great man's talent/contribution to British music. Wyatt's vocal style also proved to be highly influential and this album provides some of the finest examples of his singing.
If you like fusion/prog/ambient/psychedelic/art/folk/rock/jazz/dub-canterbury! music you could easily end up citing this album as one of your very favourites. Every mood appears to be catered for here, good taste prevails, it's very difficult not to like this album.
Matching Mole are a rare treasure, Robert Wyatt is an even rarer treasure! This band only made 2 studio albums, there are only 5 CDs available to document this band, this music proves that Soft Machine lost out by parting company with Robert Wyatt.