Release by Cuneiform Records (Rune 375) on 8 Oct 2013.
This is the complete set of Robert Wyatt's solo recordings made in the US in late 1968 This release is fully authorized by Wyatt, featuring an in-depth interview with him (by music historian Aymeric Leroy) about his recollections of this period, with insights into his songwriting process, recording procedures and previously untold anecdotes of his American sojourn. Cuneiform is releasing Robert Wyatt’s ’68 as both a CD and a limited edition lp. The CD is accompanied by a 16 pp booklet featuring the interview and archival photos; for the LP.
"In September, 1968, the Soft Machine had just finished their second, exhaustive tour of the USA supporting the Jimi Hendrix Experience. At the conclusion of the tour, vocalist/drummer/multi-instrumentalist Robert stayed, working on recordings in Hollywood and New York City. Upon Robert's return to England to re-start the Soft Machine in December, 1968, these documents lay forgotten. Two of them were eventually found and issued, but half of these recordings were unreleased and thought lost forever...
Now, for the first time, all four of the recordings Robert made in '68 are collected together and released, all carefully worked on and presented in the best possible sound quality – and the recorded sound here is surprisingly excellent overall!
This release is fully authorized by Robert and the liners include an in-depth interview with Robert about his recollections of this period, with insights into his songwriting process, recording procedures and previously untold anecdotes of this period of his work and life.
There are four tracks. Two of the demos are shorter songs. Of these, one of them was a track Robert used to play with the Wilde Flowers, Brian Hopper's Slow Walkin' Talk, while the other features music that would later be re-worked by Robert and appear on the 1st album by Matching Mole!
The bulk of the material - the two long suites - were later re-recorded by the Soft Machine; Rivmic Melodies later became the basis of side one on Volume II (1969) and Moon In June showed up as Robert's showcase on Third (1970). The two side-long epics are particularly worth noting how they present, even in this very early stage of his career, Wyatt's seamless integration of song fragments and instrumental passages within a unified whole, his stream-of-consciousness, often self-referential lyrics interspersed with witty asides (soon to become a defining characteristic of the 'Canterbury scene'), matched by Wyatt's equally idiosyncratic singing.
These tracks serve as a template for the post-psychedelic Soft Machine's career as founders of European jazz/rock and the entire release is a precursor to Robert's post-band, solo career.
You can hear a long excerpt from the 18' Rivmic Melodies' here."