Posted on: September 25, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Soft Machine Legacy – The Paris Concert / 2006 MVD / /

There are so many acts on this world that I’ve never even heard of, and yet they have provided a font of inspiration for hundreds of acts. Soft Machine Legacy is one of those acts, and it will undoubtedly be a happy day when each Soft Machine Legacy fan hears that there is this new DVD out capturing one of the last shows this lineup of the act. Elton Dean passed away shortly after this set was recorded, so this DVD already has some special significance to all of the fans of the band.

Coming from more of a rock background, I always am amazed that the filming crew is so able to capture the act in their own element. The concert video seems geared for the rock, metal, and punk bands much more than an act like Soft Machine Legacy due to the fact that more sedate and intricate music doesn’t need pyrotechnics or light shows. However, the crew that worked this show is amazing. There are four cameras, and the variety of shots that this crew grabs more than highlights the instrument that is most important in the track, it feels as if it lifts that instrument up and highlights it for that period, even more than the arrangements in the song would normally allow for. The extra features on this DVD are few; the only thing individuals can find on “The Paris Concert” is an interview done with the act. Again, considering this is one of the last time that the band was in this configuration. MVD is not giving up on Soft Machine Legacy in the least; aside from this DVD, there will be another piece released – this time, a CD – to sate the listeners and fans of the act.

This is an act that I wish I knew more about. Fans of Soft Machine Legacy will understand that this is a descendent of the original Soft Machine; I wish I had footage from the original just to compare the output of the two and see which one eventually wins out. Still, removing all contextual clues and notes to previous acts, Soft Machine Legacy comes up with a concert that will interest even those that are not fans of the genre in the least. Even with all of these factors, with my unfamiliarity with the band, these seasoned veterans were able to string together a number of tracks that brought me into their fanbase. I have a feeling that the solid production, filming, and sound on this DVD will make fans out of anyone else who gets a chance to see the disc. This is where I believe MVD should go. There should be a collection of acts that are influential but are off the radar – like Soft Machine Legacy – and this collection should each have DVDs and CDs cut for them. This expansion is what is needed to keep the memory of some of these acts fresh in the collective brain of society, and I cannot think of a better band to work with than Soft Machine Legacy.

Rating: 6.5/10

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