Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom 1974 (1998 Edition) + Shleep 1997

Robert Wyatt (born Robert Wyatt-Ellidge, 28 January 1945) is an English retired musician. A founding

member of the influential Canterbury scene bands Soft Machine and Matching Mole, he was initially a kit drummer and singer before becoming paraplegic following an accidental fall from a window in 1973, which led him to abandon band work, explore other instruments, and begin a forty-year solo career.

A key player during the formative years of British jazz fusion, psychedelia and progressive rock,

Wyatt's own work became increasingly interpretative, collaborative and politicised from the mid 1970s onwards. His solo music has covered a particularly individual musical terrain ranging from covers of pop singles to shifting, amorphous song collections drawing on elements of jazz, folk and nursery rhyme. Wyatt retired from his music career in 2014, stating "there is a pride in [stopping], I don’t want [the music] to go off." He is married to English painter and songwriter Alfreda Benge.

In 1966, the Wilde Flowers split into two bands—Caravan and the Soft Machine—and Wyatt, along with Mike Ratledge, was invited to join Soft Machine by Kevin Ayers and Daevid Allen
. A

year later, after becoming increasingly unhappy about his musical ideas being rejected by the others, Wyatt left Soft Machine (basically being pushed out) and, besides participating in the fusion bigband Centipede and drumming at the JazzFest Berlin's New Violin Summit, a live concert with violinists Jean-Luc Ponty, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Michał Urbaniak and Nipso Brantner, guitarist Terje Rypdal, keyboardist Wolfgang Dauner and bassist Neville Whitehead, formed his own band Matching Mole (a pun, "machine molle" being French for 'Soft Machine'), a largely instrumental outfit that recorded two albums.

The injury led Wyatt to abandon the Matching Mole project, and his rock drumming (though he would continue to play drums and percussion in more of a "jazz" fashion, without the use of his feet). He

promptly embarked on a solo career, and with musician friends (including Mike Oldfield, Ivor Cutler and Henry Cow guitarist Fred Frith) released his solo album Rock Bottom on 26 July 1974. The album had been largely composed prior to Wyatt's accident, but during Wyatt's convalescence, he rethought the arrangements to adjust to his new circumstances, and many of the lyrics were completed during this period. The album was met with mostly positive reviews.

ROCK BOTTOM  1974 (1998 Edition Hannibal Records)


Rock Bottom, recorded with a star-studded cast of Canterbury musicians, has been deservedly acclaimed as one of the finest art rock albums.It is also considered an essential record in any

comprehensive collection of psychedelic or progressive rock. Is the second solo album by former Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt. It was released on 26 July 1974 by Virgin Records. The album was produced by Pink Floyd's drummer Nick Mason, and was recorded following a 1973 accident which left Wyatt a paraplegic. He enlisted musicians including Ivor Cutler, Hugh Hopper, Richard Sinclair, Laurie Allan, Mike Oldfield and Fred Frith in the recording.

The record's abstract sketches of pain, loss and suffering are shot through with vivid flashes of love and renewal, inspired as it was by his relationship with Alfreda Benge, whom he married on the day of Rock Bottom's release. Benge provided the artwork for all his album covers and considerable lyrical assistance.

Rock Bottom contains six songs, some of which have more traditional song structures (for instance the opening "Sea Song" or "Alifib"), while others are less defined, more expressionist pieces displaying a jazz influence (as in "Alifie", or the album's centrepiece "Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road"). Side

two starts with a medley of sorts ("Alifib/Alifie"), with Wyatt first singing and then reciting in a disjointed manner lyrics apparently dedicated to Benge, who replies with her own vocal at the end of "Alifie". The LP closer, "Little Red Robin Hood Hit The Road", is divided into two parts; the first is a melodic progressive rock song featuring prominent electric guitars, predominantly multi-tracked by Mike Oldfield, and a chant-like vocal refrain, while the second part—bearing little resemblance to the first—features only a droning harmonium, viola and guest vocalist Ivor Cutler reciting bizarre lyrics in a monotone voice.


01. Sea Song 6:31
Bass – Richard Sinclair
02. A Last Straw  5:46
Bass – Hugh Hopper
Drums – Laurie Allan
03. Little Red Riding Hood Hit The Road   7:40
Bass – Richard Sinclair
Trumpet – Mongezi Feza
Voice – Ivor Cutler
04. Alifib   6:55
Bass – Hugh Hopper
05. Alifie   6:31
Bass – Hugh Hopper
Bass Clarinet – Gary Windo
Voice – Alfreda Benge
06. Little Red Robin Hood Hit The Road  6:08
Bass – Richard Sinclair
Drums – Laurie Allan
Guitar – Mike Oldfield
Viola – Fred Frith
Voice – Ivor Cutler



Robert Wyatt – vocals, keyboards, percussion, slide guitar (2), James' drum (1, 3 and 5), Delfina's wineglass (2), Delfina's tray and a small battery (3)
Mike Oldfield – guitar (6)
Gary Windo – bass clarinet, tenor saxophone (5)
Ivor Cutler – voice (3 and 6), baritone concertina, harmonium (6)
Alfreda Benge – voice (5)
Mongezi Feza – trumpets (3)
Fred Frith – viola (6)
Hugh Hopper – bass guitar (2, 4 and 5)
Richard Sinclair – bass guitar (1, 3 and 6)
Laurie Allan – drums (2 and 6)

Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) – producer

MP3 @ 320 Size: 93 MB
Flac  Size: 210 MB


SHLEEP  1997


Shleep is the seventh album by Canterbury scene and progressive rock veteran and musician Robert Wyatt, released in 1997. The album brought together a diverse range of musicians from a range of genres. After Wyatt's largely one-man recordings of the 1980s, Shleep marked a return to featuring

other artistes as on his 1970s albums. The balance of his discography would follow suit. The Wire named Shleep its record of the year in its annual critics' poll. Robert Wyatt continues to follow his singular musical path with the lovely Shleep, delivering another album of considerable quirky charm and understated beauty; a less melancholy affair than much of his recent work, the record is informed by a hazy, dreamlike quality perfectly in keeping with the elements of subconsciousness implicit in the title.

The album starts off with the two wittiest songs in his repertoire: "Heaps of Sheeps", a collaboration with his old compatriot Brian Eno, and "The Duchess", a mischievous tribute to his wife Alfreda Benge that erases language the way his earlier "Alifib" confounds it. Nearly every song on Shleep shines in

one way or another: It features a couple of his most elegant melodies in "Was a Friend" (co-written by his old Soft Machine bandmate Hugh Hopper) and "Free Will and Testament", as well as an extended paraphrase of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" ("Blues in Bob Minor") and a little instrumental written by Paul Weller. Its centerpiece is a three-song suite whose lyrics (by Benge) are ostensibly about birds and metaphorically about aliens and refugees: their leftist politics were more effective for being integrated into their art rather than plunked onto it, as they'd been in the *Dondestan era.



01. Heaps of Sheeps   4:56
02. The Duchess (Wyatt)    4:18
03. Maryan (Wyatt, Philip Catherine)    6:11
04. Was a Friend (Wyatt, Hugh Hopper)    6:09
05. Free Will and Testament (Wyatt, Mark Kramer)    4:13
06. September the Ninth   6:41
07. Alien   6:47
08. Out of Season   2:32
09. A Sunday in Madrid   4:41
10. Blues in Bob Minor (Wyatt)   5:46
11. The Whole Point of No Return (Paul Weller)    1:25



Gary Azukx - djembe
Alfreda Benge - voice of the apparition, chorus
Philip Catherine - guitar
Brian Eno - synthesiser, synthesiser bass, vocal chorus
Jamie Johnson - guitar, chorus
Phil Manzanera - guitar
Chucho Merchan - bass guitar, double bass, bass drum, percussion
Evan Parker - soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Charles Rees - chorus
Chikako Sato - violin
Paul Weller - guitars, harmony vocals
Annie Whitehead - trombone
Robert Wyatt - voice, keyboards, bass guitar, polish fiddle, trumpet, percussion, chorus

MP3 @ 320 Size: 125 MB
Flac  Size: 320 MB


Soft Machine on Urban Aspirines HERE
Matching Mole On Urban Aspirines HERE
Robert Wyatt on Urban Aspirines HERE