About Mainframe

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The band Mainframe, hailing from Hertfordshire in the South East United Kingdom were one of the great unsung bands of the early to mid 1980s. They made a number of appearances on television at the time, most often demonstrating the DS:3 digital sampler that a couple of friends of theirs had devised, built and sold commercially (which the band made extensive use of), and were eventually signed to Polydor in 1985, with the realease of the track "5 Minutes". Their earlier work, notably the album "Tenants of The Lattice-Work" and a few 7" single releases showed a band capable not only of catchy melodies but also, as was most strongly demonstrated on "Tenants of The Lattice-Work", a level of musical inspiration that met with few equals during a time of popular music whose terrain was dominated, sadly often, by synth-pop mediocrity. "Tenants.." was a musical work harkening back to a previous decade when albums were composed as one cohesive whole with a depth of thought and degree of inspiration that gave rise, in some cases, to a higher plateau of musical achievement.

For those interested in genuinely inspired intelligent melodic synth pop from the early 80s, downloading the mp3s of this album from the mp3s page is highly recommended.

Although their earlier works never received the success they deserved, a critic at the time, reviewing one of their concerts for a national music magazine, gave high praise indeed, stating that if they didn't become extremely successful in the very near future it wouldn't be because they weren't good enough - if anything, because they were too good. This wasn't a throwaway comment. Remember that at the time the music industry was dominated, perhaps more so than today, by the belief that cheaply-produced superficially catchy pop music was where the money should go - musical marketing with a fast turnover whose products could be thrown away a week after being bought by the early-teen demographic (the most lucrative market, their marketing-analysts had informed them).

Nevertheless, good music did still make it to the marketplace, as it does in each generation. Early Depeche Mode, Orchestral Manoeuvers in The Dark, "Telekon" by Gary Numan, and, even completely against the grain of where the money was perceived to be, the sensitive, thoughtful works of Suzanne Vega.

But these are examples of emergent artists who met with, in some cases, great success. This was sadly not the case with Mainframe, whose musical achievements, while in the most important respect, that of basic talent for composition, eclipsed many other artists of the day, sadly did not encompass the singular area they deserved: wider recognition from the record-buying public.

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