Same shit, different day

“The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does the Westerner. Life is cheap in the Orient.” General William Westmoreland, commander of US military operations during the Vietnam War, speaking in Hearts and Minds (1974).

Yahoo News, Mon Jul 17, 2006, 4:47 PM ET
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – US Ambassador John Bolton said there was no moral equivalence between the civilian casualties from the Israeli raids in Lebanon and those killed in Israel from “malicious terrorist acts”.

Asked to comment on the deaths in an Israeli air strike of eight Canadian citizens in southern Lebanon Sunday, he said: “it is a matter of great concern to us…that these civilian deaths are occurring. It’s a tragedy.”

“I think it would be a mistake to ascribe moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts,” he added, while defending as “self-defense” Israel’s military action, which has had “the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths”.

Main

hz.jpgIt’s the same every year, the weather gets hot (30C today) and out come the Main CDs, although the march of progress has meant importing them into iTunes this time round. For some reason Main’s Hz collection (6 EPs, later a double-disc set) is especially suited to warm temperatures, partly due to remembrance of them being released one a month during the hot summer of 1995.

Main seem somewhat neglected now despite being in the vanguard of a particular brand of ambient abstraction that emerged throughout the 1990s. To redress the balance slightly, here’s a David Toop interview from The Wire conducted just as the Hz project was getting underway.

Main‘s multi-layered, mud-encrusted textures suggest everything from radio interference to insect chatter. The group’s Robert Hampson talks to David Toop about reinventing the guitar and the mystery of electroacoustics.

DRAW A STRAIGHT LINE on sand, water, skin, steam (and follow it). Main is texture: the interiority of the guitar. The electric, effects-augmented guitar is transitional technology, a mid-point between the dextrous physicality of traditional instruments and the imaginative space of the electronic studio. But also a return to the untempered crystal world of harmonic complexity, a reversal of the pure, precise clarity of classical acoustic guitar, back into the droning resonant strings of an Indian tamboura, bottle tops rattling on a Shona thumb piano, or spider’s egg sacs buzzing on gourd resonators lashed under a Central African xylophone.

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