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This album of demos made by Soft Machine drummer/singer/composer Robert Wyatt in 1968 can be seen as the Rosetta stone of the legendary British art-rock band's early period. Wyatt recorded these tracks mostly alone during a brief period in 1968, when Soft Machine had disbanded; he intended them for a solo project. The songs blend post-psychedelic rock, jazz, and avant-garde inclinations that would soon set the tone for Soft Machine's next two albums. Wyatt plays nearly everything himself, with the exception of one section of the suite "Moon in June" (featuring his SM bandmates) and "Slow Walkin' Talk" (which includes bass by Wyatt's pal Jimi Hendrix). Everything here would be repurposed eventually; a revamped "Rivmic Melodies" occupied the first half of Soft Machine's 1969 album, Volume Two, while "Moon in June" appeared on Third in 1970. "Chelsa" showed up as "Signed Curtain" on the 1972 debut album by Wyatt's next band, Matching Mole, and "Slow Walkin' Talk" became "Soup Song" on Wyatt's 1975 solo album Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard.

Biography

Born: January 28, 1945 in Bristol, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An enduring figure who came to prominence in the early days of the English art rock scene, Robert Wyatt has produced a significant body of work, both as the original drummer for art rockers Soft Machine and as a radical political singer/songwriter. Born in Bristol, England, Wyatt came to Soft Machine during the exciting, slightly post-psychedelic Canterbury Scene of the mid-'60s that produced bands like Gong and Pink Floyd. Unlike many of the art rock bands that would come later (Jethro Tull, Yes,...
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'68, Robert Wyatt
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