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Breda Reactor

Breda Reactor

About this release

Breda Reactor finds British jazz-rock outfit Soft Machine in one of its many transitional stages. Between the septet that toured in late '69 and the emergence of the "classic" lineup-keyboardist Mike Ratledge, saxophonist Elton Dean, bassist Hugh Hopper, and drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt-this incarnation was augmented by saxophonist/flautist Lyn Dobson. The quintet may have only lasted three months, but Dobson possessed a strong voice, providing interesting counterpoint to the more free-spirited Dean. Recorded a month after the Croydon show documented on Cuneiform's Noisette, the set list is similar, but the rapid pace at which this group was evolving-seemingly from night to night-makes it an equally worthwhile experience for fans of this period. Unlike Noisette, Breda Reactor is a double-disc release, providing the opportunity to hear two full sets, in original running order. The inclusion of Hopper's classic epic, the nearly 22-minute "Facelift," gives fans the opportunity to hear the piece in the context of the quintet, and the two-minute excerpt from Ratledge's "Out-Bloody-Rageous" provides an insight into a work in progress. The finished piece wouldn't show up in the group's repertoire until a few weeks later, but it's the inclusion of this prototypical version that, perhaps more than anything else, demonstrates how Soft Machine took risks night after night.
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