So the general consensus is: post-Wyatt Soft Machine records are prog/fusion noodlefests...So why is that a problem? If yr like me, that fucking rules. By the time "Bundles" was recorded, the only original member was Mike Ratledge, with guitarist Allan Holdsworth joining; bringing his considerable technical prowess without falling into cliche' soulless fret-workouts... Side A opens with the Holdsworth composition Hazard Profile in 5 parts. A blistering onslaught once the needle is dropped, the band's statement of intent is clear: we now have an electric guitarist. Parts 2 and 3 mellow things out with Ratledge's piano in the foreground reminding us all who daddy is. The Hazard Profile ends as it began, in a fiery maelstrom of beautiful jazz rock with jaw dropping synth leads by Mr.Ratledge. Side A concludes on a whisper with Holdsworth's ditty "Gone Sailing." Highlights on the B side include the title track featuring more stratospheric soloing by Holdsworth and the band displaying immaculate ensemble playing through several shorter pieces that flow in and out of each other culminating in the gorgeous atmospheric bliss of "Floating World."
Soft Machine "Bundles" (1975,Harvest Records)