|The group new release, "Steam", combines collective freely improvised jams with new writing from Hopper, Etheridge and Travis. Gone are the keyboards that so defined 1970s Soft Machine. In their place are modernistic sampling/looping and sonic processing, creating expansive soundscapes not possible during Soft Machine heyday. Between Etheridge broad sonics,
Hopper's legendary bass loops and "fuzztonics" and Travis system of ambitronics - allowing him to sample his saxophones and flutes in real time and naturally layer unpredictable harmonies - Soft Machine (Legacy) often sounds larger than a quartet.
Powerful rock rhythms, funky jazz-rock grooves and abstract interaction are interspersed with muscular soloing and dense textures. A modern look at Chloe & The Pirates from 1973 "Six" is brought into the 21st Century, anchored by Etheridge loops and the light but insistent groove of Hopper and Marshall. The group is driven by a tradition of experimentation and
unfettered improvisational abandon that remains purposeful, hard-edged and exciting.
The limitless possibilities of the band forward-reaching innovations will not only appeal to fans of 1970s Soft Machine, but to anyone who likes their fusion wide open, their jams loose and totally spontaneous, and their jazz combined with potent grooves and fiery energy.