Tag Archives: Main

MAIN – Hz , a beautiful noise

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WE’VE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH MANY ‘DIFFICULT’ LISTENS OVER THE YEARS, ONE OF WHICH IS THE COLLECTION Hz FROM MAIN.  COMPRISED OF SIX EP’S RELEASED IN 1995, THIS THREE-LP COMPILATION (ALSO ON TWO CD’S) MIGHT BE ONE OF THE STRANGER RECORDS TO BE UNLEASHED UPON THE MID-NINTIES LISTENER BY A MAJOR RECORD LABEL.

Hz IS A GRAND WORK OF SOUND MANIPULATION.  WHEREAS SOME MORE CONSERVATIVE LISTENERS MIGHT NOT CALL IT “MUSIC” AT ALL, IT IS IN NO WAY “NOISE” MUSIC EITHER….. LARGELY BASED ON THE IDEAS OF SOUND-DE/RECONSTRUCTION, MAIN HERE PRESENTS MANY MUSICAL ELEMENTS EASILY RECOGNIZABLE TO THE LISTENER ( DRONES, RHYTHMS, PATTERNS, WORDS ) BUT IN A WAY THAT RESEMBLES NO RECOGNIZABLE GENRE OF POPULAR MUSIC.

 PERHAPS HERE WE SHOULD MOMENTARILY PAUSE AND FILL IN THE BACK STORY,  WHICH MIGHT PUT THIS ALBUM INTO A DIFFERENT CONTEXT.  MAIN WAS COMPRISED OF MEMBERS ROBERT HAMPSON & SCOTT DOWSON,  BOTH MEMBERS OF  THE SEMINAL LATE-80’S PSYCHROCK BAND LOOP.  UPON DISBANDING IN 1991, LOOP BROKE OFF INTO TWO NEW BANDS; HAMPSON & DOWSON (GUITARS) FORMED MAIN WHILE JOHN WILLS (DRUMS) & NEIL MACKAY (BASS) FORMED THE HAIR AND SKIN TRADING CO. 

THE MUSICAL DIRECTION, OR APPROACH, OF THE NEWLY FORMED MAIN COULDN’T HAVE BEEN MORE DIFFERENT THAN THAT OF LOOP AND IS CLOSER IN THEORY (THOUGH QUITE DIFFERENT IN EXECUTION) TO THEIR CONTEMPORARIES SEEFEEL.  TO QUOTE OUR FRIENDS AT DISCOGS “The initial imperative was to deconstruct the “iconic” form of guitars and place them in a different context and change their language. Surrounded by other sounds from field and close / contact mic recordings of found objects, these were then manipulated until the identifiable became unidentifiable.”  

THE INITIAL AND RECOGNIZABLE MUSICAL ELEMENTS CARRIED OVER FROM LOOP THAT CAN BE HEARD IN MAIN’S FIRST TWO EP’S HYDRA (1991) AND CALM (1992) GRADUALLY DIMINISHED OVER SUCCESSIVE RELEASES UNTIL THERE IS NO RECOGNIZABLE TRACE BY THE TIME THE HERTZ SERIES IS RELEASED IN 1995.

CALMING IN MOMENTS, DISTURBING IN OTHERS, Hz IS A GEM OF AMBIENT MUSIC AND FAIRLY SINGULAR IN SOUND AND APPROACH BOTH FOR ITS’ DAY AND NOW.  IN 1995 WHILE MOST OF THE ELECTRONIC WORLD WAS DISTRACTED BY HOUSE, GLITCH, DRUM & BASS OR TRIPHOP, BRITPOP WAS RULING THE UK MUSIC PRESS AND POSTROCK WAS BEING QUIETLY EXECUTED IN VARIOUS DARK CORNERS AND BEDROOMS, MAIN WAS LEADING AN UNHERALDED MARCH INTO A NEW SONIC TERRITORY.  IT IS A TERRITORY THAT, 18 YEARS LATER, SOUNDS AS INNOVATIVE AND INTERESTING AS IT WAS AT THE TIME. 

NOTE: DUE TO THE TIMBRE AND FREQUENCY RANGE OF THESE SOUNDS, TO GET THE MOST OF THIS MUSIC WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND APPROACHING THIS WORK WITH A GOOD SET OF SPEAKERS OR HEADPHONES!  YOUR EARBUDS OR LAPTOP SPEAKERS PROBABLY AREN’T GOING TO CUT IT HERE.

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