Soft Machine Legend Hugh Hopper 10-CD set of unreleased recordings to be released by Gonzo Multimedia

from Gonzo's site:
London, UK - Hugh Hopper and Soft Machine fans worldwide are rejoicing to the news of the pending release of HUGH HOPPER - DEDICATED TO HUGH, a 10-CD Archival Celebration of the music of bass guitarist, composer, Hugh Hopper comprised of previously unreleased Hi-Fidelity recordings. Compiled by Michael King, a Canadian Hugh Hopper Scholar, the CDs will be released individually, beginning with Volume One, entitled 'Memories'.

This ten part series is to compliment a heretofore large body of work (over sixty titles) by presenting previously unreleased concert and studio recordings, with a focus on Hugh’s compositions as performed by groups under his leadership.

All proceeds are to benefit Hugh's Hopper's family.


Hugh Hopper began his musical career in 1963 as bass guitarist in the Daevid Allen Trio alongside drummer Robert Wyatt. In 1964 Hugh founded The Wilde Flowers with his elder brother, Brian Hopper. Passing through their ranks were fellow Canterbury legends Kevin Ayers, Richard Sinclair, Robert Wyatt, and also Pye Hastings & Richard Coughlin who went on to form Caravan. After dissolving the Wilde Flowers Hugh became the roadie for his friends, The Soft Machine, then a Avant-garden pop group and house band of London's UFO Club, alongside The Pink Floyd.

In 1969 Hugh replaced Soft Machine's original bassist Kevin Ayers, who left following two exhaustive American tours. Hugh's trademark bass sound (often delivered through fuzz boxes) and his compositions raised the music of Soft Machine to heights unmatched by their contemporaries. With the addition of saxophonist Elton Dean the 'classic quartet' developed a massively successful following in England and continental Europe, headlining numerous Festival's and producing the timeless and ground-breaking double album Soft Machine 'Third'.

After leaving the Soft Machine in 1973 Hugh worked with many pillars of the jazz-rock fusion scene such as Gary Boyle's Isotope, Alan Bowen's Gilgamesh, Stomu Yamashita's East Wind and Carla Bley's celebrated big band. He also co-founded quartets with fellow Soft Machine member, saxophonist Elton Dean, namely Soft Head & Soft Heap. In the 1980's, 90's and into the 21st century Hugh composed a wealth of extraordinary music for his own groups and participated in countless improvisational settings and guest appearances.

The music Hugh Hopper is a wonder to behold, a player of high distinction with trademark sound by turns gritty and gorgeous. Gonzomultimedia is honored to present this superb series celebrating the musical legacy of Hugh Hopper, for fans, friends and first time discovers.


Michael King writes: “My first encounter with the music of Hugh Colin Hopper backdates to the summer of 1976. While visiting a friend I was intentional played a record titled Volume Two from a British rock group about whom I knew little, The Soft Machine. The experience was staggering and prompted a radical reappraisal for the conventions I had been conditioned to accept as ‘progressive’. Once smitten I undertook to follow and purchase a spate of seriously inventive record albums that Hugh Hopper released and appeared on, namely; Hoppertunity Box, Rogue Element, Soft Heap, Cruel But Fair and Two Rainbows Daily. Throughout these works I found Hugh’s textural bass guitar by turns anchored and animated the music with ample good taste. Here was a rarefied musician who avoided overplaying his instrument in favour of approaches reflecting his personal musical Zen”.

Technically, by processing his bass guitar with fuzz box, flanger, wha-wha, octave pedal effects, his use of tapes loops, and later on computer programming, Hugh constructed multilayer soundscapes with great attention to detail. His creative template embraced aesthetics well beyond the orthodox roles assigned to the bass guitar and its practitioner. As example, Hugh cleverly adapted the time altering effects of the repetitive tapes loops he was creating with two tape recorders in the early sixties - to his bass guitar - by playing such repeating patterns in real time. Furthermore, minimalist mutations and modularity often characterize the rhythmic, harmonic, melodic foundations of Hugh’s musical compositions (many displaying melody lines of uncommon length). These aspects, alongside a brilliant capacity to freely improvise, (dynamically from a whisper to a roar) distinguish Hugh Hopper as a consummate musician of great standing, one who thrived in myriad musical settings”.



Volume 1 - MEMORIES - introduction disc
1. Memories – Hugh Hopper’s Demo with Soft Machine
Recorded August 6th, 1969. Regent Studios, London
Hugh Hopper, bass guitar/acoustic guitar; Mike Ratledge, piano/organ; Robert Wyatt, drums/vocals
2. Was A Friend – Hugh Hopper Franglo Band
Recorded May 29th, 2004. St. Jean-aux-Bois, France
Patrice Meyer, electric guitar; Pierre Olivier-Govin, saxes; Hugh Hopper, bass guitar; Francois Verly, drums
3. Shuffle Demons – North & South
Recorded August 23rd, 1995. Aberdeen, Scotland
Steve Kettley, tenor saxophone; Paul Flush, keyboards; Hugh Hopper, bass guitar; Mike Travis, drums/percussion
4. Playtime – Hugh Hopper Interprets Alan Gowen
Recorded circa 2002. Whitstable, U.K.
Hugh Hopper – computer programming
5. Debonaire – Hugh Hopper Franglo Band
Recorded May 29th, 2004. St. Jean-aux-Boix, France
Patrice Meyer, electric guitar; Pierre Olivier-Govin, saxes; Hugh Hopper, bass guitar; Francois Verly, drums
6. MGH – Hugh Hopper & Nigel Morris
Recorded circa 2002. California and Whitstable, U.K.
Hugh Hopper, fuzz bass; Nigel Morris, drums/percussion
7. Long Piece – Hugh Hopper Computer Collage
Recorded circa 2002. Whitstable, U.K.
Hugh Hopper + Many Friends = Many Surprises

Volume 2 - Frangloband
Live at Triton Club, Paris, March 13, 2003
Patrice Meyer, guitar; Pierre-Olivier Govin, baritone & alto sax; Hugh Hopper, bass guitar; Francois Verly, drums & tablas; Didier Malherbe (7), bamboo flute & soprano sax
1. Facelift
2. Lonely Sky and the Sea
3. Mr. Syms (a John Coltrane composition)
4. Sliding Dogs
5. Shuffle Demons
6. Wanglo Saxon
7. Miniluv

Volume 3 - North & South
co-credited with Scottish drummer Mike Travis
Live at The Lemon Club, Aberdeen, August 24, 1995
Steve Kettley, tenor & soprano sax; Paul Flush, electric keyboards; Hugh Hopper, bass guitar, Mike Travis, drums & percussion
1. Wanglo Saxon
2. Miniluv
3. Shuffle Demons
4. Lullaby Letterbomb
5. Sliding Dogs
6. Frankly Speaking
7. Lux Beta

Volume 4 - Four by Hugh by Four
Live at Het Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 23, 2000
Hugh Hopper, bass guitar; Robert Jarvis, trombone; Frank van der Kooy, tenor sax & bass clarinet; Oscar Schutze, drums
1. Was A Friend
2. Virus Day
3. Wrong Gong
4. Miniluv

Volume 5 - Heart to Heart
Studio duet performance, Amsterdam August 29th, 2007
Hugh Hopper, bass guitar, loops; Phil Miller, guitar
1. Miniluv
2. Sea Saw
3. Calyx
4. Sky Light
5. Shifting Sands

Volume 6 - Special Friends
Rare concert recordings, 1992 through 1995
On tracks 1-5: Didier Malherbe, saxes, flute; Phil Miller, guitar; Hugh Hopper, bass; Pip Pyle, drums
On tracks 6-7: Elton Dean, alto sax; Phil Miller, guitar, Gael Horelou, piano; Hugh Hopper bass; Pip Pyle, drums
1. For Alan (November 26th, 1994, Fool Moon, Brussels)
2. Sliding Dogs (November 26th, 1994, Fool Moon, Brussels)
3. Midnight Judo (November 8th, 1991, A L'Quest de la Grosse, Bresse-sur-Grosne)
4. Miniluv (November 8th, 1991, A L'Quest de la Grosse, Bresse-sur-Grosne)
5. Wanglo Saxon (November 8th, 1991, A L'Quest de la Grosse, Bresse-sur-Grosne)
6. Wanglo Varaiations (July 15th, 1995, A L'Quest de la Grosse, Bresse-sur-Grosne)
7. Improvisation (July 15th, 1995, A L'Quest de la Grosse, Bresse-sur-Grosne)

Volume 7 - Soft Boundaries
Triton, Paris concert recordings with Elton Dean, Sophia Domanich & Simon Goubet 2005
Live at Le Triton, Les Lilas, June 17th, 2004 (track 1-2); June 11th 2005 (track 3-4)
Elton Dean, alto sax, saxello; Sophia Domanich, piano, electric piano; Hugh Hopper, bass; Simon Goubet, drums; Jean-Michel Couchet, alto sax (on 4 only)
1. Slightly all the Time
2. Lonely Sea & the Sky
3. Spanish Knee
4. Slightly all the Time

Volume 8 - Bass On Top
Improvised studio session with pianist Slava Ganelin & drummer Aahron Kaminski, Israel 2004
Rimon School of Music, Ramat Hasharon (Israel), July 20th, 2004
Slava Ganelin, piano; Aharon Kaminski, drums, percussion; Hugh Hopper, bass, vintage Shaftesbury duo-fuzz, samples; Pierre-Olivier Govin, sax; Meidad Zaharia, mellotron, loops, electronics, editing
1. Part One
2. Part Two
3. Part Three
4. Part Four
5. Part Five

Volume 9 - Anatomy of Facelift
Five live performances of Hugh's signature composition, Facelift, as performed by Soft Machine, 1969 through 1971. Booklet includes extracts from Lois Frith's University Thesis: Anatomy of Facelift
Mike Ratledge, organ, piano; Hugh Hopper, bass; Robert Wyatt, drums; Elton Dean, alto sax, saxello (3-6); Lyn Dobson, soprano sax (3-4); Nick Evans, trombone (3); mark Charig, cornet (3)
1. Facelift (Workshop Session, Cremo Italy, March 3rd, 2007)
2. Facelift (Le Bataclan, Paris, June 25th, 1969)
3. Facelift (Festival Amougies Belgium, October 28th, 1969)
4. Facelift (Fairfield Halls, Croydon, January 4th, 1970)
5. Facelift (Havikodden Arts Centre, Oslo, February 28th, 1971)
6. Facelift (Turfschip, Breda, March 21st, 1971)

Volume 10 - Was A Friend
Various rare tracks, including duets with drummers Chris Cutler (Henry Cow) & Seb Rockford and concluding with Hugh final musical performance: Was A Friend, performed by Denis Colin Trio, 2008
Robert Wyatt, vocals, piano (1 & bonus); Chris Cutler, drums, electronics (2); Seb Rochford, drums (3); Jeff Sherman, acoustic & bass guitar (4); Denis Colin, bass clarinet (5); Julien Omé, guitar (5); François Verly, percussion (5)

1. Was a Friend (Bresse-sur-Grosne, November 1983/Kent, April 1995)
2. Full Flight (Nozart Festival, Cologne, March 3rd, 2007)
3. Flight Full (Roundhouse, London, October 27th, 2006)
4. Dim_04 (Washington/Kent, 2007)
5. Was a Friend (Kerava, Finland, June 7th, 2008)
bonus: Round Midnight (Kent, circa 1960)

A place to purchse Hugh Hopper's recordings is here