Belgian composer Frank Van Bogaert’s new album is a collaboration with Norwegian guitar player Erik Wøllo. It’s also Frank’s first conceptalbum. All tracks together tell the story of a failing Air production machine, the Air Machine. This concept has also been impressively interpreted by graphic designer Michal Karcz. His coverdesign reminds us of the works of Pablo Magne or Hipgnosis. The album has 10 tracks in which Frank and Erik, besides the typical electronic elements, also use a lot elements and influences out of Progressive Rock.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Soft Machine featuring the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD format (compatible with standard CD players) and 2012 24-bit remastering. The cardboard sleeve faithfully replicates the UK LP. Includes a booklet written in English. Part of a three-album Soft Machine Blu-spec CD cardboard sleeve reissue series featuring albums "Bundles," "Softs," and "Alive And Well Recorded In Paris." At this point in the band's history, Soft Machine might be considered an example of Theseus' paradox, akin to the original axe that George Washington used to cut down the cherry tree – original except that the head had been replaced three times and the handle twice. On Softs, Mike Ratledge, the only remaining original bandmember present on Bundles, the group's preceding Harvest LP, was relegated to guest status, contributing synthesizer to only two tracks, "Song of Aeolus" and "Ban-Ban Caliban."
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Soft Machine featuring the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD format (compatible with standard CD players) and 2012 24-bit remastering. The cardboard sleeve faithfully replicates the UK LP. Includes a booklet written in English and an inner bag. Part of a three-album Soft Machine Blu-spec CD cardboard sleeve reissue series featuring albums "Bundles," "Softs," and "Alive And Well Recorded In Paris." In the extensive discography of Soft Machine, albums from the band's mid- to late-'70s jazz-rock fusion period are generally afforded the least respect. Fans all have their favorite LPs representing a particular "classic" lineup – as well as opinions about other albums signifying that Soft Machine's best days were behind them. Some feel it was all over when Robert Wyatt left after Fourth (or stopped singing after Third), and it's probably even possible to find somebody somewhere who lost interest when Hugh Hopper replaced Kevin Ayers after Volume One.
Album release from The Soft Machine featuring footage of the band's concert in Paris in 1977. Originally released in 1978. Features cardboard sleeve and remastering. Includes a Japanese obi and a description. On the band's first live album, 1978's Alive & Well: Recorded in Paris, Soft Machine's personnel changes continue, with Steve Cooke replacing Roy Babbington on bass, and violinist Ric Saunders joining since the 1976 studio album Softs, as guitarist John Etheridge, keyboardist Karl Jenkins, and drummer John Marshall remain in place. (Since this is the group's first album not to feature any participation from an original member of Soft Machine, a name change might have been ethically, if not commercially, advisable.) Like Softs, Alive & Well is largely a vehicle for the compositions of Jenkins, who wrote nine of 11 tracks.
Working-class British hard rock group Stray put out ten records in the 1970s. Their clever progressive blues-rock epics went largely ignored due to the burgeoning London punk scene – though they count the Damned's Captain Sensible and XTC bassist Colin Moulding as fans. Transatlantic's exhaustive Time Machine: Anthology 1970-1977 chronicles the group's rise from obscurity to cultdom through a well-paced 35-song retrospective that features extensive liner notes and thoughtful musings from bandmembers and fans alike, giving new insight into one of rock & roll's most resilient underdogs. The group disbanded in the '80s, leaving behind a body of work that negates its lack of chart success. In 1997, frontman Del Bromham put together a revised version of the group that continues to tour, impressing a new generation with its trademark hard-working bar band aesthetic.