While some fans were quick to shout “Judas” at Soft Machine’s seventh studio album for fully embracing jazz fusion, the band’s more ardent disciples took it in evolutionary stride. Hugh Hopper had left the band and was replaced by jazz bassist Roy Babbington, who brought proto-fusion touches from his prior band Delivery. With Karl Jenkins spearheading much of Soft Machine’s sound and compositions here, his fascination with Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew is evident from the algorithmic arrangements that lead off the opening track “Nettle Bed,” while “Carol Ann” downshifts to emit minimal synth tones reminiscent of Brian Eno’s early analog ambient recordings. Mike Ratledge’s “Day’s Eye” works for both background music and more involved listening as the instrumental melodies are dotted with wonderful time contrasts and textures that collide with one another. But Eastern influences also abound on “Tarabos” as Jenkins’ recorder lets loose on some high modal notes that rub against the slick, cold surfaces of Mike Ratledge’s low, rumbling AKS synthesizer.