It’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.