Robert Hampson was the guiding light behind late eighties guitar band Loop, whose dense, locked-groove riffing was often compared to their peers Spacemen 3 or My Bloody Valentine, yet remained healthily aloof and infused with references to Krautrock and the likes of The Stooges / MC5. When Loop split in 1990, Hampson and Scott Dowson regrouped as Main, pushing the use of the guitar to ever greater levels of abstraction and increasingly incorporating the use of musique concrete / electro-acoustic methods.
Gradually, since the departure of Dowson in 1996, the use of the guitar has appeared less frequently, with field recordings becoming increasingly the source of the Main sound. Between ’91 – ’97, Main released 12 singles and 5 albums on the Beggars Banquet label before a long period of relative inactivity. Following a collaborative project with Antenna Farm (‘AF_M’ on Staalplaat) in 2001, Main has recently become far more active. A new LP, ‘Tau’, was released on the K-raa-k label in May 2002, and Hampson is currently finishing an EP for Kid 606’s Tigerbeat6 label.
Hampson has also recorded as Chasm (appearing on an early FatCat split 12” and providing support on Sigur Ros’ 2000 UK tour), continuing his experimentation with concrete techniques, but shaping his material into more beat-based structures. Having been a member of Godflesh, Hampson has also collaborated with Eddie Prevost (AMM), David Toop, Paul Schutze, Bruce Gilbert (Wire) and Jim O’Rourke. He also continues to play alongside turntablist Janek Schaefer under the alias Comae.