Main

Firmament III & IV

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    6
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Continuing the Firmament series where it left off with II, III features the band once again pushing even their own far-reaching extremes; if not as flat-out amazing as the previous entry, III still shows that Main's ability to create unexpected arrangements out of the most unlikely of source materials, and then to create an atmosphere of unrelenting uneasiness verging into unspoken anger, is second to none. Consisting of five tracks, two featuring fellow avant-garde artist Paul Schütze on 'elution samples, ' though nothing is immediately different on said tracks than might otherwise be expected, all vocals and anything resembling an immediate hook is unsurprisingly absent. The first track begins with crackling static, guitar noises bubbling up from under and so forth, but the second number, "XII," has a much more compelling feel to it with a central bell-like rhythm - as always with Main, whether or not it really is a bell can't be determined, but it holds the track while all kinds of low key, barely there sonic activity kicks around deep in the mix, ending on what sounds like a series of subharmonic touches. "XIII" and "XIV," the tracks featuring Schütze, have more sudden cuts between activity and silence, but otherwise develop the general mood of seeming ambiance over busy but buried arrangements. "XV" closes things on a weirdly beautiful note, thanks to a choral effect at points, but with more than enough screeching, muffled rhythms and other elements to remind you that, yep, Main it is, operating on its own rules and eternally proud of that. And who can argue with such great results?

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:29
2
6:21
3
14:06
4
4:33
5
12:38

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:36
2
3:16
3
5:34
4
8:34
5
4:23
6
3:33
7
4:36
8
2:52
9
9:10
10
4:35
11
18:48
blue highlight denotes track pick