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Joshua Robert Hampson (born 10 June 1965 in Bromley, Kent) is an English musician and composer, known primarily as a guitarist in the band Loop, which he co-founded in London in 1985 with his then-girlfriend Becky "Bex" Stewart. Loop recorded three albums, the last of which, A Gilded Eternity (1990), made the UK album charts. Following the band's breakup, Hampson formed the experimental project Main with Scott Dawson.
After Loop disbanded, Hampson formed the more experimental Main with fellow Loop member Scott Dowson, releasing several albums and EPs on Beggars Banquet Records. Although a strong signature in the early material of Main, the guitar was slowly eroded from the stable sounds Hampson and Dowson produced, together with field recordings and other electro-acoustic sounds. When Dowson left the line-up in 1996, Main became a solo project for Hampson, who then abandoned the guitar altogether, feeling he had taken the instrument to such extremes that there was no longer any scope to create with it.
He deactivated Main as a project in 2006 in an attempt to free himself of the restraints of critical and fan-based reviews that still mentioned the guitar as the focal point of the material, even though he had not used it in many years. He was quoted in interviews as saying the guitar was a chain around his neck and he was unhappy to be so strongly associated with it still.
Preferring to now explore other avenues of sound and its diffusion, especially multichannel systems for live performances, Hampson was invited by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris to compose and perform on many occasions. He has also been associated with like-minded organisations and institutes around the world, exploring intricacies in sound composition.
In 2010, Hampson announced that he would be reactivating Main, which along with his solo acousmatic work, he will start performing and recording as a more collaborative process with fellow sound artists. A planned Loop reunion (of the Gilded Eternity line-up) later followed, in a statement by Hampson in April 2013.
on Editions Mego
- Five Mountains of Fire / Antarctica Ends Here - Cindytalk / Robert Hampson 10-inch vinyl only, limited to 500 copies.
- Répercussions (eMEGO 132) CD + 5.1 DVD
- Signaux (eMEGO 148.1)
- Suspended Cadences (eMEGO 148.2)
- Ablation (as Main with Stephan Mathieu) (eMEGO 160)
- Vectors - Robert Hampson CD
on Reactor (Loop re-issues)
- Heaven's End Fade Out: A Gilded Eternity – studio albums, remastered two-disc sets with extra material and Peel Sessions
- The World in Your Eyes – three-disc set, compilation of singles, EPs and rarities
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