MAINE’s ‘IV’ Gets Gorgeous Vinyl Reissue With Midnight Mannequin Records

My first experience with MAINE, the all-analog electronic music project of France’s Michel Dupay, was with 2017s V. There was something haunting, enchanting, and all-encompassing about the songs on that record. Dupay records with all analog synths, real drums, and real strings and without the use of MIDI, so the songs sound and feel organic in a way that other modern electronic music doesn’t possess. It’s the ultimate coming together of man, machine, and the circuital magic that can be created between the two.

I was blown away by the Gothic feel and emotional heft that record carried in it, so of course I had to dig into his entire discography. IV feels like the first chapter, while V continued the tale in both continuity and sonic DNA. IV is a richly-layered soundscape of melancholy melodies, seductive rhythms, and a cinematic feel that touches on everything from Euro synth pop to the sweeping and lush romanticism of Serge Gainsbourg

Dupay wants to move you with his music. He wants to take you from the daily grind of life and put you on cobblestone streets, vast green pastures, and star-riddled night skies and allow you to just breathe. He creates worlds where the listener can escape; a kind of Gothic romanticism emanates from songs like “Sauvette”, “The Place No One Knew”, and the foreboding and shadowy “Les amants de pont neuf/Field Song”, building slowly over 11 minutes with its John Carpenter-esque touches. IV is epic in scope and never relents in its epic beauty and seductive charms.

Michel Dupay works in similar sonic and emotive realms as artists like Pye Corner Audio, Pentagram Home Video, and even Ulrich Schnauss. Artists that use synthesizers and circuit-run machines as mood builders. MAINE creates portals for the mind to go into. Sonic realms that are haunted, but by ghosts of our own making. Listen to “On le pleure mort” or album closer “For Eugene” and not feel something long buried not rise from deep down inside. I don’t think it’s possible.

IV was released originally in 2016 via Spun Out Of Control as a cassette and digital release. We now have the great Midnight Mannequin Records giving IV a proper vinyl reissue. Released in two versions: Grave of Gold Edition. Pressed on 2xLP gold nugget double vinyl with metallic effect, housed in a gatefold jacket. Inspired by the album’s cover and Dalida’s Tomb in Montmartre Cemetery. Includes custom screen printed black slipcase with metallic gold ink. Also includes OBI strip and liner notes inside the gatefold. Limited edition and exclusive to Bandcamp. And also, Witch Goddess Edition. Pressed on 2xLP transparent Coke bottle green double vinyl, housed in a gatefold jacket. Inspired by the track “Socière Dèesse du Boulevard de Magenta.” Also includes OBI strip and liner notes inside the gatefold. Limited edition.

Besides the amazing different variants and screenprinted slipcase by Broken Press Design, liner notes were written by Aaron Vehling of Vehlinggo fame. A man who knows a thing or two about electronic and synth music, Aaron has given us a beautifully written piece to accompany MAINE’s sonic vision.

Michel Dupay is an important and singular voice in electronic music. With MAINE he’s built us a portal to the past, while striving to reinvent it at the same time. IV was a monumental step in that direction, and an album that should be celebrated.

Album synopsis: Performed and produced entirely without the use of MIDI and other modern production techniques, MAINE’s IV is a fiercely analogue affair, a throwback to the electronic pioneers of the past. Real synthesizers, real drums, real strings – each instrument played live. Each layer of sound deconstructed and carefully rebuilt to create new sounds, giving way to a wholly unique sonic signature that permeates each track and is undeniably MAINE.  Never have 14 individual compositions been more made for each other. With IV, Dupay has crafted a deeply connected and emotive experience full of melancholy and tension; it’s heavy, gothic, and dark, but on occasion manages to let a bit of light seep in, providing the listener with a brief (and much needed) emotional reprieve.  It’s this juxtaposition that makes the album so engaging and such a rewarding listen. Prepare yourself – you are going to get lost in this album, and when you finally find your way out, you won’t be the same. This is an effort that demands all of your attention. Best enjoyed from the comfort of your very own sensory deprivation tank. But if you’re having trouble locating it at the moment, a darkened room and a weighted blanket will likely do just fine.

Presale for MAINE’s IV starts at 10am CST on Friday, March 3rd at Midnight Mannequin’s Bandcamp page. Don’t wait on this one. It will go quick.

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