Hugh Hopper started out on his path through music as a stalwart of the British Canterbury scene, from which came bands including Soft Machine, of which Hopper was a member for five years, Caravan and Hatfield and The North. In a sense he's embodied the music which emerged from that scene, which might be best described as an idiosyncratic take on jazz-rock fusion. Any pigeonholing this might imply does him an injustice however, as it takes no account of his interest in the use of tapes, looping and the mechanical manipulation of sound for musical ends.
As a bass guitarist it could be argued that he has consciously shied away from the ever increasingly virtuosic model in favor of a far more integrated group role that serves greater musical ends.
AAJ's Nic Jones spoke with Hopper about the pros and cons of Soft Machine, and more current projects including Clear Frame, his collective with saxophonist Lol Coxhill, drummer Charles Hayward, percussionist/steel pan player Orphy Robinson and another Soft Machine alumnus, Robert Wyatt, guesting on cornet.
Check out Hugh Hopper: Idiom As A Means To No End at AAJ today!