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Maschine on the health battles that delayed their second album

Brighton’s Maschine are back with an album loosely inspired by natural events. The new-look band tell us about the inspiration of avalanches, tsunamis, and dramatic events closer to home.

Splat! Prog thought we knew what to expect from Brighton. Arcades and elegant regency architecture. Hipsters, baristas, DJs and graphic designers. But to our deep regret, as we arrive at the Palace Pier to meet Brit proggers Maschine, we forget to look out for one group of local inhabitants. Within around 10 seconds, one of the region’s infamous cat-sized killer seagulls greets us by depositing a fleck of its bowel contents across our right spectacle lens and down the side of our nose.

Given our coastal location, we should have expected to encounter such creatures. But if you were in search of the lesser-spotted Homo Progrockus, you’d probably look elsewhere for their natural habitat. Leafier pockets of the Home Counties perhaps. Possibly the West Country. Oxford? Cambridge? Is the Canterbury scene still a thing?

No, the musical associations Brighton conjures up tend to relate to the mod revivalism of Quadrophenia or the big beats of Fatboy Slim and his deck-fondling friends. So what drew teenage Cheshire proghead Luke Machin and metal-loving Croydon kid Elliott Fuller to lug their guitar cases all the way down to this neck of the woods?

The answer was the Brighton Institute Of Modern Music, a college for budding rock and pop performers that has spent the last decade and a half nurturing young talent. It’s where Machin and Fuller formed the first incarnation of Maschine seven years ago, around the same time the likes of Tom Odell and James Bay were learning their trade at the same establishment.

Now renamed the British & Irish Modern Music Institute, with sister branches in Bristol, London, Dublin, Manchester and even Berlin, BIMM throws together talent from varying musical and cultural backgrounds and strongly encourages them to jam together. So while Machin and Fuller benefited from the progressively minded tutelage of erstwhile Steven Wilson guitarist Guthrie Govan, among others, they gained just as much from the company of musicians cut from different cultural cloths.

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