After showing much promise in the past 3 EP releases, here is the promising MAINE with his debut LP release entitled ‘IV’.
MAINE has been beavering away, in his studio, with nothing but analog stuff and has delivered a piece of synth-sereneness. With the use of church organs, string sections, pianos, vocals, and a variety of old instruments, you can really feel the layers to ‘IV’. You almost feel part of the fabric, as you get woven into this almost space-faring 14 track odyssey.
You’ll quickly be drawn in by the dreamy sounds of ‘Sauvette’ and ‘The Landscape Has Changed’, after a solid opening in the form of ‘Never Speak, Never Touch’. The later being a track to keep your eye on, with its epic-sounding qualities. From the off, you can hear inspiration in many guises: Vangelis, Ludlum, Tangerine Dream; amongst others.
Most of all, you cannot help thinking that this isn’t just a musical journey into the unknown, but a soundtrack that is leaving its calling card for some gritty future science fiction film.
Who knows. Bladerunner 2 is being penned and I wouldn’t bet against artists like MAINE being overlooked (to score).
Back to the here-and-now, if we must. “The Place No One Knew” helps the LP float further into a neon abyss, with a baseline which is unrelenting and pleasurable (with the correct speakers) and “Journal D’un Siecle” brings an edge that teases you: it wants to break out and tear you apart, with an electro-assault, but instead is intent on sitting and purring in the background.. knowing it could pounce at a moments notice.
Imagine a Lamborghini crawling through a city. It has the potential to take the top of every sky-scraper in sight, but is content in you just admiring it for what it is and what it can do.
We continue with “L’Illusioniste”. It evokes the feeling you get when the sun brakes through after the rain. Water being rushed from the tarmac as wisps into the blue, warm, sky. You may want to have your wayfarers to hand, as your eyes will tingle with the radiance that is this pleasurable record.
Then, theres “Doon”. You could be forgiven for thinking Gary Newman has been featured on this record, with some Tubeway Army-esq organs that have been fed solely on liquid electricity: not possible? Listen and then judge, thats all I recommend.
“Les Amants De PontNeuf/Field Song” is a real slow burner which justifies the 11:07 track length. it is also a great blend of two tracks. Create and ingenious. Flitting between both and pairing them like sea and sand.
Now, you must be careful when approaching “Sociere Deesse Du Boulevard De Magenta”. Its as thought the track is growling, with an inner pain that melancholy has poured deep into its subconscious. A lovely nostalgic feel to this one.
We now enter the business end of the LP with “On Le Pleure Mort”. Again, more influence. Not just from the “Tron Legacy” soundtrack, but from the beats: almost mid-‘90s hip-hop at times. Fusion seams to come easy to MAINE.
“Uncommon Places” is what this artist explores, by the sounds of things, and “Calcite” is the sting in the tail for those who thought this LP was going to drift off into the ambient void.
To bring an uncertainty to proceedings is “La Riviera Rouge”. You feel as though you are being swept away to a place that only the fool-hardy and desperate venture. A dark place read about in a Lovecraft tale. What lurks is unknown to man, and that thing is after blood. Your blood.
And to finish is the diverse “For Eugene”. Diverse as it features an accordion, that does not feel out of place. Does the accordion represent someone who was or is close to the artist? Only he will know. What we do know is that this is a fitting end to this well thought out and constructed album.
So, when thinking about supporting this artist and bagging yourself a copy of this LP, all I’s day to you is: What are you waiting IV?