Robert Hampson throws us for another loop with new Main album Ablation

Robert Hampson throws us for another loop with new Main album Ablation http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1303/news-13-03-main-robert-hampson.jpg

“Do not create anything. It will be misinterpreted. It will not change, it will follow you the rest of your life” - Bob Dylan

Robert Hampson can sympathize. Despite outgrowing his past, despite outgrowing previous incarnations of his artist self, Hampson seems destined to be forever chained to Loop, the space-rock/shoegaze band he help found over 20 years ago. Although the doors to Loop closed in 91, the 90s proved to be an abundantly fertile period for Hampson under the guise of his next endeavor, Main.

Main’s albums (most notably Motion Pool, and the Firmament series) were the chewing, stretching, and distorting of sound-places not yet imagined. This was a fusion of ambient music that, while harking back to the early sketches of Brian Eno, owed more to the likes of musique concrète and instrumental industrial music (think SPK). In the tradition of Pierre Schaeffer, Pargmegiani, and Ligeti, Hampson (with Scott Dowson) honed in on the inherent force of sound for sound’s sake, crafting a shape of music that perpetually flirted with unshape, always questioning the notions of what could and could not constitute music.

Since Main’s conclusion in 2006, Robert Hampson has continued to pursue his excursions into musical abstraction. After hooking up with electronic music research group GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales), Hampson focused his efforts on acousmatic music, releasing a string of solo works under his own name. Now, after seven years, Hampson has decided to unearth his Main project with the release of a new album, Ablation.

This latest work is noticeably less angular and more entrancing than previous Main outings. Ablation creates an environment that sounds and feels like the exact opposite of civilization; this is the order of known things as heard through the looking glass. With spectral decay, humming drones, and violent physicality (à la Penderecki’s Threnody) Hampson conjures dream-scenes from vapor — cluttered fields lit like eschatological badlands — where shadows and sparks of light meet at obtuse, obscenely pleasurable angles.

“II” is a future-scape spawned from satellite-speak static and the glassy patter of plastic raindrops; listen to the distended claustrophobia of this track below.

Ablation is due out in April on Editions Mego.

Ablation tracklisting:

01. I
02. II
03. III
04. IV

• Robert Hampson: http://www.roberthampson.com
• Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com

Thurston Moore and Loren Connors offer advice to those lost in hedge mazes in the form of a Record Store Day Exclusive on Northern Spy

My house is entirely surrounded by a hedge maze with 10-foot high walls. Usually it’s no problem at all. I mean, I’ve seen The Shining and read that one Harry Potter book; I am totally down with hedge maze strategy; and, as friends and lovers will attest, I love a good brain teaser now and then. Sometimes, though, a guy wants to get up a little later in the morning, he wants to not have to include a “hedge maze buffer” in his travel schedule (what the phrase “hedge maze buffer” lacks in creativity it makes up for in being exactly descriptive). Sometimes a guy wants to not have to constantly be looking over his shoulder wondering if that sound was the huff of a minotaur or just wind in the leaves.

Imagine my glee, then, when lateral problem-solving guitar kings Thurston Moore and Loren Connors announced their thinking-without-a-box solution to my morning complaints in the form of a Record Store Day-exclusive release: The Only Way to Go Is Straight Through. Straight through!!! What will my landlord think when I charge straight through his hedge maze?? I don’t care!! I’m not even sure my landlord exists!!! The collaboration comes in the form of two long-form live performances recorded on separate occasions last year, and it’ll be out on Northern Spy Records. The release date is set for Record Store Day a.k.a. April 20 (“Record Store Day Exclusive,” while also not terribly creative, pretty much sums it up exactly). Record Store Day, in case you were wondering, is kind of like Black Friday for people who like to buy records from people who also live in their neighborhood (and can therefore relate to their hedge maze issues). And it’s usually on a Saturday, I guess. It’s pretty cool if you’re into that sort of thing.

Thurston Moore is also on tour right now with his band Chelsea Light Moving. You can check out those dates below, or just simplify things and catch Thurston today at 4 PM, performing with Sunburned’s John Moloney as Caught On Tape!

The Only Way to Go Is Straight Through tracklisting:

01. Manhattan, NY - The Stone - July 14th, 2012
02. Brooklyn, NY - Public Assembly - October 17th, 2012

Chelsea Light Moving tourdates:

03.15.13 - Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
03.15.13 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
03.19.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex @
03.20.13 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall @
03.22.13 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir @
03.23.13 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s @
03.27.13 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock %
03.29.13 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle %
03.30.13 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick %
03.31.13 - Toronto, Ontario - Lee’s Palace
04.02.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls
04.03.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
04.04.13 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
04.05.13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
04.07.13 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair

@ Grass Widow
% Cave

• Loren Connors: http://www.fvrec.com/lorenconnors
• Thurston Moore: http://www.matadorrecords.com/thurston_moore
• Northern Spy: http://northernspyrecords.com

Demdike Stare’s Miles Whittaker announces solo debut, and probably like 90 other records while he’s at it

Man, I must be one impatient motherfucker. Because when I first read the news (via FACT) that Demdike Stare’s Miles Whittaker was releasing his first “proper solo LP” on Modern Love, my knee-jerk reaction was just kinda… “Shit what took this dude so damn long?” In case you were wondering, my second thought was that I seem to casually swear a lot, even in internal monologues. And my third thought was that I’m one cool son-of-a-bitch.

But enough about ME for a few sentences, let’s get back to Whittaker. Of course, the reason I was faintly shocked to realize that the dude hasn’t released a literal, honest-to-goodness, under-his-own-name solo-record yet is because of the sheer tonnage of shit that he has released for Modern Love to date, including his epic techno work with Gary Howell in Pendle Coven and the pair’s jungle jams as HATE, his batshit breakbeat adventures with Andy Stott as Millie and Andrea, his Suum Cuique noise project, and his perpetually badass Demdike Stare project (with Sean Canty), whose dark, dubby records we’re perpetually falling all over ourselves about.

But yo, forget about all those records. They’re CRAP. Because he’s dropping Faint Hearted next month under his own name (Miles), and it promises to be bigger, better, louder, quieter, harder, softer, cooler, hotter, phatter, leaner, hungier, and hornier than all of those other records put together! Seriously! That’s from the press release! Okay, no its not; but he does claim that it reflects the full range of his musical interests, from “robust and stripped Techno to washed-out Jungle and Ambient mutations” (Modern Love drops Mika Vainio, Plastikman, and Move D as points of reference). So yeah, April 8, man. Throw out all your other Modern Love records and buy this one. You bastard!

Faint Hearted tracklisting:

01. Lebensform
02. Irreligious
03. Status Narcissism
04. Sense Data
05. Rejoice
06. Archaic Thought Pattern 1
07. Queuing
08. Loran Dreams

• Miles Whittaker: https://soundcloud.com/miles-whittaker
• Modern Love: http://www.modern-love.co.uk

One of John Coltrane’s saxophones is up for auction; eventual owner needs to look into viability of cloning from saliva

The Wire reports that one of John Coltrane’s saxophones is being sold on eBay — add to your cart today for only $115,000!

This got me thinking; what’s the point of owning memorabilia? Sure, it’s cool to have an art book signed by Trent Reznor, or one of Steven Tyler’s scarves, or a pair of Genesis P-Orridge’s rubber underwear (I’m sure somebody would love those), but they only have as much value as an individual puts on them. Coltrane’s saxophone is valuable to the whole world, and here’s why: cloning. I am perfectly willing to admit my own ignorance in this realm but in my mind’s eye (through the lens of a Sci-Fi-addled brain) I see someone taking a sample of the hardened saliva residue no doubt located inside this saxophone, filling in the holes with the DNA of Bruno Mars (or a frog, whatever), and creating an army of Johns Coltrane that could conquer the world with Jazz.

Now, it’s possible this DNA is no longer viable; the saxophone was primarily used when Coltrane toured Japan in 1966. You can even hear it on some of the live recordings from that period. Whatever the case, the eventual owner of this massively important cultural artifact should get in touch; I may not have the resources (or knowhow) to clone a human, but with our combined intellects, I’m sure we could puzzle it out. Also, being able to touch a saxophone owned by Coltrane would be rad.

• John Coltrane: http://www.johncoltrane.com

Brokeback go on tour, easily escape the grasp of Tortoise

Though perhaps not by design, Chicago post-rock fixtures Tortoise have become the most appropriately named group in music. They put out records roughly twice a decade, they don’t tour a ton, they basically take things very slowly these days. As such, this leaves the members of Tortoise the freedom to pursue other ventures. Here is one of those such ventures: Brokeback, the instrumental group led by Tortoise bassist/guitarist Douglas McCombs. That very venture is going on tour later this month for a handful of dates through the Midwest and the East Coast. Not too may dates, because, hey, once a Tortoise member, always a Tortoise member. Furthermore, McCombs is still a member of Tortoise, so still a Tortoise member!

Earlier this year, Brokeback put out a new record, Brokeback and the Black Rock (see a video from that at the Chocolate Grinder). To continue with the inter-band relations, the record was produced by Tortoise member John McEntire. One would suppose that, between takes, the two sat sipping delicious gin and tonics and talking about days gone by. There’s always time to reminisce.

Brokeback dates:

03.23.13 - Hamtrammck, MI - New Dodge Lounge
03.24.13 - Toronto, ON - The Drake
03.25.13 - Boston, MA - TT the Bear’s #
03.26.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool #
03.27.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie #
03.28.13 - Baltimore, MD - Current Gallery %
03.29.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Smiling Moose
03.30.13 - Cincinnati, OH - Motr Pub @

# Thalia Zedek
% Peals, Nest, Bamboo, Napalm Def
@ Jim Greer

• Brokeback: http://www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Brokeback
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

Svarte Greiner is putting out a new album on Miasmah, attempting to give you frostbite in spring

Maybe it’s cliché, but I always think of Erik K. Skodvin’s Svarte Greiner output as “winter music” or “night music.” What other way is there to describe the black drones and flitting peripheral shapes that branch through so much of it? The stark cold at the heart of his work is what made me raise an eyebrow when Miasmah announced they’re releasing a new Svarte Greiner album in April. It’s like by blessing me with some unholy, starlight ambience they are trying to curse my spring with a late frost. I guess I’ll just have to bundle up; I have Viking heritage so I can handle some lowered temperatures.

And Black Tie promises just that; moaning, chill winds whipping around the listener’s ears for two sides of extended synth drone. The twin pieces, entitled “Black Tie” and “White Noise” respectively, both originated as musical accompaniment to an installation by Norwegian artist Marit Følstad. Scoop up the album on April 26 to see if the pieces stand up without the accompanying art or instead just bring about fimbulvinter. Either would be acceptable but both would be ideal.

Black Tie tracklisting:

01. Black Tie
02. White Noise

• Svarte Greiner: http://www.deafcenter.net/sg
• Miasmah: http://www.miasmah.com