Soft Machine is an English rock and jazz band from Canterbury, formed in mid-1966. The band was named after the novel "The Soft Machine" by William S. Burroughs. Led by Australian artist Daevid Allen, the group was influenced by the emerging Beat Generation and the music philosophies of Sun Ra. They started as a free-jazz outfit called the Daevid Allen Trio before evolving into Soft Machine with members Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, and Kevin Ayers. Their eponymous album released in 1968 is considered a classic of the late 1960s psychedelic era.
The band gained popularity on London's psychedelic scene and performed at various iconic venues such as The Marquee and UFO club. They also took part in notable events like the '14 Hour Technicolor Dream' alongside Pink Floyd and Velvet Underground. Despite several lineup changes over the years, Soft Machine continued to push boundaries with their experimental sound.
Today, Soft Machine remains active with current members John Etheridge on guitar, Theo Travis on saxophone/flute/piano, Fred T. Baker on bass (since 2022), and Asaf Sirkis on drums (since 2023). Their music continues to captivate audiences with its unique blend of rock and jazz influences.