Maschine are a progressive band without boundaries. The UK-based group seamlessly fuses their rock roots with modern and innovative textures shaping their sound into its own unique statement, reflecting the unflinching vision of composer, lead guitarist and vocalist, Luke Machin.
Ever since Machin formed the band at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music in 2008, Maschine have been carving themselves a niche, characterised by fearless originality culminating in their debut album ‘Rubidium’, released in 2013.
Machin explains the musical ideas and the band’s direction with the new album, Naturalis. “Ever since our debut album was released, I’ve been working on these songs. And that’s exactly what they are—songs. There are very few bands right now that manage to create something entirely new, balancing innovation with relatability, all whilst delivering a piece of music that can be appreciated as a whole. It’s that combination that I find fascinating and key to a strong band who can thrive amidst the vicissitudes of contemporary music . Many bands lose track of the song as a whole and get engrossed in technical ability and riffs. For me at least I have learned my craft—I am a song-writer at heart. The guitar is merely the interface between my ideas and the music software I store it all on.”
Collaborating with Machin in bringing these ideas to fruition is a cast of highly accomplished musicians. Daniel Mashal, on bass, brings unmistakable flavours of funk and soul, all of which adds tight low-end groove. Drummer James Stewart is a technical powerhouse who brings innovative and nuanced rhythms to drive the Maschine sound. Elliott Fuller brings a trademark incendiary energy to power the guitar lines. Finally Marie-Eve de Gaultier delivers an array of textures from her warm toned voice to delicate flute and keyboards to complete the comprehensive Maschine sound.
The new album ‘Naturalis’ takes a look into the world of natural events from both the perspective of mankind and of nature. Musically, the album takes the listener through a host of dynamics, from hard-hitting riffs to delicate melodic passages. Every other song recounts a story from a person’s point of view and their encounter with nature and all its force. The concept drops humans in at the deep end to face the wrath of what this planet can conjure.
The opening track ‘Resistance’ is based on the endless altercation between Earth and Man. The first of the two epics on the album punches in with a majestic introduction that reveals the entire audio spectrum. The track then dives into a series of moods including a nod to the true progressive sound of the 70’s ending with the heaviest, most gargantuan riff of the Maschine catalogue so far. The conversation that happens throughout the song is mankind trying to figure out the answers to the deep questions in life whilst constantly battling the elements of nature.
‘Night and day’ sees elements of progressive rock and electro-soundscapes seamlessly melded to create an authentic and original piece. Boasting a modern production with fresh sounds, the song narrates a WWII story of Robert Henry Cain at the battle of Arnhem. Cain’s fight and passion after losing close friends awakened a natural instinct to defend and fight on into the night.
Make Believe is a cynical look at the government’s control over natural resources so as to keep their businesses in profit by sucking the Earth dry and not caring about the effect it has elsewhere. A powerful and cohesive piece of music, it connects the listener to the subject matter elegantly delivered by the rich and soulful voice of de Gaultier.
An upbeat melodically driven song that hints at elements of pop, indie, grunge and modern funk/R n’ B, Hidden In Plain Sight narrates the story of the many soldiers who fought in WWI across the treacherous Dolomite mountains who had to content, not only with the opposition, but also with the numerous avalanches that wiped out thousands.
A New Reality is about seeking out the light at the end of the tunnel. It optimistically envisions a future in which mankind has acquired the knowledge through experiences on Earth to find ways to coexist with alternative and renewable energy. The main body of the song comprises flowing vocal harmonies accompanied by warm crunching guitars that reinforce the song’s melodic bedrock.
Finally the last epic, Megacyma floors the listener with a solid wall of sound before breaking out into the surging chorus. The song twists and turns through a strong sequence of riffs and instrumental passages to close out the album with a bang. Megacyma recounts the story of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami from the perspective of one man’s savage journey, as he is caught right in the centre of it all.