Canterbury Scene

Henry Cow – Unrest

On their second LP, Henry Cow weaves together elements of eerie chamber music, free improvisation, and deconstructed prog to create something that seems like the missing link between the Canterbury jazz-rock of Soft Machine and Gong and the dissonant avant-rock of This Heat.

Gilli Smyth – Mother

Style: Cosmic Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Jazz Poetry

Moods: Cosmic, Feminist, Conscious, Poetic, Eccentric, Witchy, Flowing, Eclectic, Mystical, Psychedelic, Storytelling, Messy

Musical Qualities: Spoken Word, Collage, Improvisation

The Soft Machine

Style: Canterbury Scene, Psych Pop, Progressive Pop, Jazz-Influenced

Moods: Surreal, Whimsical, Dadaist, Playful, Joyful, Uplifting

Musical Qualities: Suite, Catchy, Complex, Uncommon Time Signatures, Loose

Kevin Ayers – Whatevershesbringswesing

Style: Canterbury Scene, Progressive Pop, Art Rock, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Playful, Uplifting, Eclectic, Joyful, Eccentric, Stoned, Warm, Eccentric, Romantic

Musical Qualities: Catchy, Lush, Melodic, Lyrical, Orchestral

Daevid Allen – Banana Moon

Style: Canterbury Scene, Progressive Pop, Art Rock, Soul-Influenced

Moods: Playful, Eclectic, Eccentric, Whimsical, Mystical, Surreal, Cosmic, Theatric, Psychedelic, Energetic, Joyful, Hippie

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Catchy, Background Singers, Riffs

Kevin Ayers – Bananamour

Vibe: Uplifting, Spring, Whimsical, Groovy, Peaceful, Spacey, Sunny, Joyful

Musical Qualities: Lush, Catchy, Polished, Background Singers, Lyrical

Style: Psychedelic Soul, Canterbury Scene, Prog-Pop

Daevid Allen – Now is the Happiest Time of Your Life

Style: Cosmic Folk, Psych Rock, Space Ambient

Vibe: Cosmic, Whimsical, Surreal, Bright, Sunny, Mystical, Mythic, Poetic, Uplifting

Qualities: Atmospheric, Conceptual, Eclectic

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizers, Spoken Word, Tabla, Flute, Violin, Harp, Drums, Slide Guitar

COS – Cosmix

Style: Prog, Jazz Rock, Canterbury Scene, Cosmic Disco

Vibe: Triumphant, Complex, Anthemic, Groovy, Spacey, Exploratory, Energetic, Warm, Eccentric, Surreal, Playful, Adventure, Epic

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Thematic, Lush, Group Vocals, Technical, Rhythmic, Odd Time Signatures, Improvisation, Polyphonic

Instrumentation: Flute, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Horns, Synthesizer

Steve Hillage – Aura

Style: Progressive Pop, Space Rock, Synth-Funk, Canterbury Scene

Vibe: Playful, Spacey, Colorful, Anthemic, Groovy

Musical Qualities: Catchy, Progressive, Polished, Riffs, Rhythmic, Technical, Shred

Gong – Camembert Electrique

Style: Space Rock, Canterbury Scene, Prog, Jazz-Rock

Vibes: Eccentric, Surreal, Playful, Epic, Psychedelic, Theatric, Energetic, Spiritual, Conceptual, Energetic

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Complex, Driving, Technical

Steve Hillage – Fish Rising

Style: Prog-Pop, Canterbury Scene, Space Rock, Jazz-Rock

Vibe: Playful, Aquatic, Mystical, Adventure, Spacey, Hypnotic, Sunny, Energetic, Triumphant, Colorful, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Groovy, Technical, Polyphonic, Suite, Melodic, Riffs, Atmospheric, Jams

Robert Wyatt – Shleep

Style: Surreal Pop, Imaginative Singer/Songwriter, Prog-Pop, Canterbury Scene

Vibe: Dreamy, Ethereal, Airy, Floating, Surreal, Eclectic, Introspective, Complex, Mellow, Imaginative, Atmospheric

Musical Attributes: Progressive, Melodic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Active listening, Jazz-Influenced

Robert Wyatt – Old Rottenhat

Style: Experimental Singer-Songwriter, Art Pop, Canterbury Scene, Jazz-Rock

Vibe: Political (Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Imperialist), Satirical, Conscious, Melancholy, Hypnotic

Musical Attributes/Instrumentation: Sparse, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Layered Vocals, Digital Keyboards, Drum Machines, Percussion, Synthesizers, Piano

Hatfield and the North – Hatfield and the North

Released in 1973 on Virgin Records Format: LP Style: Canterbury Scene, Jazz-Rock, Prog Vibe: Playful, Complex, Eccentric, Uplifting Musical Attribues: Odd Time Signatures, Technical, Suite, Melodic, Progressive

Soft Machine – Live at Henie Onstad Art Center 1971

Style: Canterbury Scene, Jazz-Rock, Progressive Rock

Vibe: Exploratory, Complex, Mysterious, Epic

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Instrumental, Thematic, Suite, Progressive, Technical, Live, Odd Time Signatures

Gong – Angel’s Egg (Radio Gnome Invisible Part 2)

The second Radio Gnome transmission finds Zero the Hero astral projecting to PlanetGong where he meets with Selene the Moon Goddess and the Octave Doctors to learn the infinite powers of their lovewisdom vibrations. This psychedelic journey brings together fantastical imagery of pothead pixies and flying teapots (and a dose of hippy hedonism) with heady spiritual concepts delivered in a quite fun and silly way, but even before digging into the concept I was immediately grabbed by their unique style spacey jazz-rock with its propulsive bass lines, immersive synthesizer atmospheres and serpentine soprano sax soloing.

Gong – Magick Brother

Style: Canterbury Scene, Psych Rock

Vibe: Psychedelic, Whimsical, Joyful, Eccentric, Spacey, Playful

Musical Attributes: Raw, Progressive, lo-fi

The Soft Machine – The Soft Machine [2nd Press]

Style: Canterbury Scene, Psych Pop, Progressive Pop, Jazz-Influenced

Moods: Surreal, Whimsical, Dadaist, Playful, Joyful, Uplifting

Musical Qualities: Suite, Catchy, Complex, Uncommon Time Signatures, Loose

Gong – You

Released in 1974 on Virgin Records Format: LP

Soft Machine – Third

Pulling away from the jazzy psych-pop of their first two albums, Soft Machine gears towards sprawling sidelong compositions of spacey prog infused with thematic jazz fusion improvisations, compositional edits, and heavy doses of experimental post-production (Click for Full Review)

Soft Machine – Volume Two

Soft Machine’s second album is an eclectic suite packed full of whimsical psychedelia, Dadaist detours, complex prog structures and jazz-inspired musicianship.