Hidden Details is a new studio album of Soft Machine, recorded at the late great Jon Hiseman's Temple Studio in Surrey, England, last December 2017, and it will be released in September 2018 on MoonJune Records (North America; on CD and HD Download), on John Etheridge's Dyan Records (UK/Europe on CD, and iTunes), and on Vivid Records (Japan), exactly 50 years since the release of the band's 1968 debut album The Soft Machine. Limited and highly collectible vinyl edition of only 200 coloured vinyl (orange, blue and tour edition orange & blue marbled) will be released on the Dutch label Tonefloat, on September 8, 2018.
“'Hidden Details' is very much the product of an active, contemporary sounding outfit striking out with its own agenda. Though informed by the past, the music here is neither weighed down nor beholden to it. Animated with the same ineffable and inquisitive spirit that has always made this group throughout its fifty years such a compelling experience, it’' good to have a new Soft Machine with us in 2018. The yearning tenderness of 'Heart Off Guard' and the come-down reveries of 'Broken Hill' and 'Drifting White' showcase the more intimate aspects of Soft Machine's personality while in contrast, 'One Glove' gives the more pugilistic side of John Etheridge's playing an outing. The terse angularities of the title track and 'Life on Bridges' highlight a fearless disposition, as does the buzzsaw interplay heard during 'Ground Lift' and 'Flight of the Jett,' both featuring Roy Babbington's decisive interventions. The surging lyricism of 'Fourteen Hour Dream' flirts with an almost popish sensibility, underscoring the sense that this is a quartet that is fundamentally at ease with itself. The return of what some older fans of the band have called 'cosmic tinkles’'– the appearance of layers of cyclical electric piano motifs – is especially welcome. Their brief manifestation on 'The Man Who Waved at Trains' and Third-era, 'Out-Bloody-Rageous,' both stone-cold Mike Ratledge-composed classics, adds an extra spacey dimension to the overall sound. Travis' use of looping technology with his flutes creates its own beguiling world and can be heard to powerful effect on the beautiful and enigmatic 'Breathe,' where his hovering notes are underpinned by Marshall's oblique yet atmospheric percussion.” - Sid Smith
Soft Machine is a legend and an institution of British music, a band who included Robert Wyatt, Daevid Allen, Mike Ratledge, Kevin Ayers, Andy Summers (later of The Police), Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean, Roy Babbington, John Marshall, Karl Jenkins, Allan Holdsworth, John Etheridge, Percy Jones, Rick Sanders, Dave McRae and Jack Bruce among others (Jimi Hendrix briefly jammed with the band in 1968!). Since its creation in 1966, this band pioneered Psychedelic and Progressive Rock, led the 'Canterbury' trend, pioneered jazz-rock, and then guitar-led fusion (launching the guitar god Allan Holdsworth in 1974), influenced generations of musicians. Disbanded in 1978, recreated in few occasions in 1981 and 1984, the band resurfaces in 1999 under the name of Soft Ware. Much was said about this band with a very complex intriguing history of constant personal changes during the 1966-1978 period. The band resurrected in 1999 under the name of Soft Ware, then as Soft Works 2002-2004 and Soft Machine Legacy 2004-2015. In December 2015, it was confirmed that the band had dropped the “Legacy” tag from their name, as the band featured three of the group's 1970s era members – guitarist John Etheridge, drummer John Marshall and bassist Roy Babbington (from the seminal 1976's album Softs), in addition to flute and sax player Theo Travis – returning to the original name from 2015, and performing numerous concerts all around Europe, South America and Japan.
To pre-order Soft Machine's Hidden Details CD and HD 24bit
All CD orders come with HD 24bit downloads.
Pre-ordered CDs will be shipped in the end of August 2018.
Pre-ordered Downloads will be released the first week of September.
Those who purchased either the CD or HD Download, will receive instant download of one tune before the official release date. Downloads of two more tunes will be released on August 4 2018, and the full album download will be released on September 8 2018.
MoonJune Records: www.moonjune.com
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Current Soft Machine's BandCamp:
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Soft Ware (1999–2002) and Soft Works (2002–2004)
The first such conception in September 1999 was Soft Ware which featured Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, John Marshall and long-time friend Keith Tippett. This line-up would only remain together briefly. In 2002, Leonardo Pavkovic of MoonJune Music, an old friend of Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper, put together another former Soft Machine member, Allan Holdsworth, who joined the three members of Soft Ware, who would rename themselves Soft Works in June 2002. They had changed their name to avoid confusion with Peter Mergener's band Software. As Soft Works, they made their world live debut on 17 August 2002 at the Progman Cometh Festival (at the Moore Theater in Seattle, Washington), released in 2003 their only (studio) album, Abracadabra, consisting of all new material recorded at the Eastcote Studios in London on 5–7 June 2002, and toured Japan in August 2003, Italy in January–February 2004 and Mexico in March 2004.
Soft Machine Legacy (2004–2015)
In October 2004, upon the persistence of Leonardo Pavkovic of MoonJune Music, a new variant of Soft Works, with John Etheridge permanently replacing Holdsworth, took the name of Soft Machine Legacy and performed their first two gigs (two Festival shows on 9 October in Turkey & 15 October in Czech Republic), Liam Genockey temporarily replacing John Marshall who had ligament problems (the first Soft Machine Legacy line-up being consequently: Elton Dean, John Etheridge, Hugh Hopper and Liam Genockey). Later on, Soft Machine Legacy released three albums: Live in Zaandam (2005), the studio album Soft Machine Legacy (2006) recorded in September 2005 and featuring fresh material and the double CD and DVD Live at the New Morning (2006). After Elton Dean died in February 2006, the band continued with British saxophonist and flautist Theo Travis, formerly of Gong and The Tangent (temporarily replaced by saxophonist Paul Dunmall at the jazz festival in Udine in the Spring of 2006). In December 2006, the new Legacy line-up recorded the album Steam in Jon Hiseman's studio, in Surrey, UK. Steam was eventually released by Moonjune Records in August 2007, before a European tour in autumn. In 2008, Hopper was sidelined by leukemia and the band continued live performances with Fred Baker. Following Hopper's death in 2009, the band announced that they would continue with Babbington once again stepping into the role formerly held by Hopper. On 4 October 2010, Soft Machine Legacy released their fifth album, a 58-minute new live album entitled Live Adventures recorded live on 22 October 2009 in Austria and Germany during a European tour. On 18 March 2013, the Legacy band released a new studio album, titled Burden of Proof, recorded in Italy in the late Summer of 2012 in a small village of San Sebastiano da Pó, in North-Western Italy. In an early 2013 interview, Travis stated that, "legally we could actually be called Soft Machine but for various reasons it was decided to be one step removed." In May 2014, veteran sax player Art Themen subbed for Theo Travis at the short Brazilian tour. In February 2014, Soft Machine Legacy performed at the Cruise To The Edge, in the Caribbean. In March 2015, Gary Husband stepped in for drummer John Stanley Marshall performing with the Legacy for a short tour of Japan, along with guest artist and long-time friend Keith Tippett.
A return to the name "Soft Machine" (2015–present)
In September and October 2015, it was announced that the band Soft Machine Legacy (John Etheridge, John Marshall, Roy Babbington and Theo Travis) would be performing under the name Soft Machine. In December 2015, it was confirmed that the band had dropped the "Legacy" tag from their name, as the band featured three of the group's 1970s era members – John Etheridge, John Marshall and Roy Babbington (from the seminal 1976's album "Softs").
R.I.P. ELTON DEAN (28 October 1945 – 8 February 2006)
R.I.P. HUGH HOPPER (29 April 1945 – 7 June 2009)
R.I.P. ALLAN HOLDSWORTH (6 August 1946 – 15 April 2017)