LONDON -- Kevin Ayers, an influential singer-songwriter who co-founded the band Soft Machine, has died in France, his record label said Thursday. He was 68.Mr. Ayers was an important figure in the British psychedelic movement spearheaded by the Beatles in the late 1960s.Jack McLean, assistant to the managing director of Lo-Max Records in London, said Thursday that Mr. Ayers' body had been discovered in his bed at his home in the medieval village Montolieu in the south of France.Mr. Ayers, who was raised partly in Malaysia, moved to Canterbury on his return to England and formed Soft Machine in 1966 with drummer and singer Robert Wyatt. They took the name from a novel by beat generation author William Burroughs.The band was part of the "Canterbury scene," a group of bands known for a pastoral approach to music that combined elements of jazz, folk and rock music.