Former Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper died of leukaemia on 7 June 2009. He was 64 years old. Starting out as Soft Machine’s road manager, he joined the group on bass after Kevin Ayers’s departure in 1969, and recorded with them from Volume Two through to Six. Since the release of his 1973 debut solo album, 1984, an inspired mix of loops and hefty James Brown basslines, he has released more than 30 albums, either under his own name or as part of a range of projects including Hopper Tunity Box, Soft Heap, Soft Machine Legacy, Soft Mountain and Clear Frame. To mark his passing we have reproduced Julian Cowley's Hugh Hopper article from September 2005 (The Wire 259). You can also listen again to these unreleased tracks featuring the musician.