Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Canterbury Scene

And now for something completely different. This mix is a collection of instrumental tunes from the progressive rock sub-genre known as The Canterbury Scene.

According to Wikipedia:  

The Canterbury scene (or Canterbury sound) was a musical scene centered around the city of Canterbury, Kent, England during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Associated with progressive rock, the term describes a loosely-defined, improvisational style that blended elements of jazz, rock, and psychedelia. The Canterbury scene is largely defined by a set of musicians and bands with intertwined members. "The real essence of 'Canterbury Sound' is the tension between complicated harmonies, extended improvisations, and the sincere desire to write catchy pop songs."  "In the very best Canterbury music...the musically silly and the musically serious are juxtaposed in an amusing and endearing way."

The bands most often associated with this sound are Soft Machine, Caravan, Gong, Hatfield & the North, Egg, & National Health. And some of the artists include Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Hillage, Phil Miller, Hugh Hopper, Richard Sinclair, Fred Frith and Dave Stewart.

I am not a fan of Canterbury tunes that have vocals, which eliminates a lot of stuff by Caravan and some Soft Machine. So that's why this mix sticks with instrumental tracks. Listening to this set it's easy to hear the similarities between the bands.

I discovered the Canterbury Scene when I was in college, listening to Bill Bruford(drummer for Yes & King Crimson) solo material. His keyboardist was Dave Stewart who played with Egg, Hatfield & The North, and National Health. I loved Bruford's solo stuff, especially "One of a Kind" so that lead me to listen to anything that Stewart was involved in. This mix opens and closes with two tracks featuring Dave Stewart and two of my favorites in the genre.

I hope you enjoy this little diversion from the usual ambient mixes. It sure was fun digging up all these 1970s classics.


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    National Health - The Bryden 2-Step(For Amphibians)Part 1 (Of Queues And Cures 1978)
  • 08:15    Matching Mole - Smoke Signal (Little Red Record 1972)
  • 11:30    Cos - Nog Verder (Viva Boma 1976)
  • 13:40    Supersister - Dreaming Wheelwhile (Present From Nancy 1970)
  • 15:55    Gong - The Isle of Everywhere (you 1974)
  • 23:39    Soft Machine - Song Of Aeolus (Softs 1976)
  • 27:33    Quiet Sun - r.f.d. (Mainstream 1975)
  • 30:37    Gong - Three Blind Mice (Expresso II 1978)
  • 35:23    Egg - Part 2 (The Polite Force 1971)
  • 40:00    Henry Cow - Solemn Music (Unrest 1974)
  • 41:02    Quiet Sun - Trot (Mainstream 1975)
  • 44:29    Caravan - Waffle(Chance of a Lifetime) (For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night 1973)
  • 47:58    Gilgamesh - We Are All / Someone Else's Food / Jamo And Other Boating Disasters - From The Holiday Of The Same Name (Gilgamesh 1975)
  • 55:39    Steve Hillage - Meditation Of The Snake (Fish Rising 1975)
  • 58:32    Bruford - The Sahara Of Snow Parts 1 & 2 (One Of A Kind 1979)
  • 66:03    end

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