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Album Review

For new releases, 2012 proved to be a busy year for Robert Hampson, with Signaux and the simultaneously released Suspended Cadences being his second and third efforts for the Mego label that year alone. Signaux itself is the more immediately energetic of the two, showing that his ear for intersections of sound remains fully intact over two lengthy pieces. "Signaux 1," remixed from a French planetarium installation soundtrack, begins with a high white tone of noise, an ultimate extreme drone in a way, that overlays and ebbs and flows. It's a logical extension of his many potential approaches, a cricket buzz into the infinite as further clicks and demi-glitches begin to emerge, while hints of the obsessive rhythms that have defined much of his career eternally lurk. Blasts of zipping noises flit from side to side in a continuing collage along with whirs and flitters, resolving into hints of radio tuning here and there but only just before continuing on into closure. "Signaux 2" clicks into being with metallic tones while following that expected model — perhaps surprisingly sounding like nothing so much as the start of XTC's "Summer's Cauldron" — as hums bubble up from deep in the mix. Clips and clicks appear again, but almost in a serene pattern, as distant mechanistic tones emerge more and more harshly. There's a calmer settling in, a classic Hampson overlay of elements that promises an easy peace of tone loops and waves even when you can feel it start to collapse around the edges in the end.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Best known as the founding member and guitarist of Loop, Robert Hampson's later body of work moved away from shoegaze and into experimental territories. After Loop's third and final album, they disbanded in 1990 and Hampson briefly filled a vacancy in Godflesh -- touring and contributing to their 1992 album Pure. After a short stint, he grew tired of life on the road and left to form Main with fellow Loop member Scott Dawson. As Main became continually more inherently electronic and acoustic than...
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