Those of you out there who miss those thrilling daze of yesteryear when "Fusion" was edgy, exciting & unpredictable? When the prospect of a new Miles, Mahavishnu or Herbie Hancock album filled you with excitement instead of skepticism? Not to mention the selected works of Zappa, the Soft Machine, Embryo, Charlie Mariano.... now you're probably ashamed to say you dig "Fusion" in public, for fear of people thinking you're into that mewling twaddle (or "jazzak," if you prefer) that sounds like 3AM-bad-movie-HBO-music. (Or "Quiet Storm.") To you fusioneers & prog-rock heads, this new album by Hughscore will be a tonic. The band features Hugh Hopper, former bassist for Soft Machine, a band that pushed the envelope (from the so-called "rock" side) a lot more than most of its US counterparts. His bass sound is fuzzed-out, rippling & visceral. The tunes "Robohop" & "Based On" recall the shifting textures of late 60s/early 70s Miles Davis & Tony Williams, but in a far more "compact" and somewhat more conventionally melodic/harmonic package. Also on hand to lend a delicious flavor to savor is the Sheila Jordan-like voice of Elaine di Falco, who not incidentally plays well the richly atmospheric keys. (She shines like Les McCann did on his album Layers on the soothing closer "Tokitae.") Delta Flora features superb hornwork from Dave Carter (trumpet) & Elton Dean (alto sax, also a former member of Soft Machine & a killer bandleader/composer himself - his CD Nunsense [SLAM] with Roswell Rudd is a joy to behold). Just when Hughscore makes you think you're on the way to la-la land, they thrust you into The Twilight Zone.