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main - Ablation
Very welcome return for Robert Hampson with the first Main album in seven years, new on eMego. Hampson founded Main with Scott Dawson upon disbanding Loop in '94, and while their initial releases still bore traces of their space-rock origins, the goal was always total ecstatic abstraction, and by the time of the Hz series, completed in '96, they'd pretty much achieved it. Main's music has been called many things: industrial, noise, isolationist electronica, dub, drone; the truth it, it's all and none of those things, especially now. For Ablation, Hampson - whose long-standing interest in musique concrete and acousmatic sound has seen him work closely with the GRM - has enlisted the help of Stephan Mathieu, who contributes Farfisa VIP 233, Ebowed Phonoharp, radio and treated percussion to an already formidable arsenal of analogue electronics, treated guitar/piano and layered concrete sounds. You get four side-long pieces for your buck, and while there are some similarities to the acousmatic works documented on Hampson's recent solo sides for Mego, this music is fuller, more colourful, more emotive. Ablation will please long-standing fans of Main, but it also succeeds on its own terms as a vivid and inquisitive piece of contemporary electronic music.