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Main Sequence, progress, and what matters (Season 1, Episode 5)

Revisiting a heady work of sound collage from the mid-aughts.

Revisiting a heady work of sound collage from the mid-aughts.

MacGregor Campbell is a science writer, animator, and former math teacher based in Portland, Oregon. He also released The Ownership Society, a heady, plunderphonics-heavy album, in 2006 under the moniker Main Sequence. Shaun encountered this largely internet-based object as a teenager and had a track-by-track discussion of the LP with MacGregor last fall.

This week, Shaun also re-visits last week’s episode by sharing a listener’s comment and passing along information about one DIY punk’s accessibility work before they briefly talk about plunderphonics and their “discovery” of The Ownership Society (1:15).

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After the break, Shaun talks with MacGregor about calling the project Main Sequence (9:10), the process of finding samples (9:53), and what MacGregor’s been doing since (13:03) before discussing the album’s messages in today’s political context (19:10). From there, the two embark on a track-by-track breakdown of The Ownership Society, touching upon metaphysics, economics, and value(s) along the way. It’s perhaps the Dropouts’ nerdiest episode so far.

Throughout the conversation, Shaun includes exclusive demo tracks from the vault, including “Gramian” (21:02), “Invoice” (38:37), and “Thinking and Doing” (50:42).

To get in touch with MacGregor, you may email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @mainsequence.

The interview audio featured in this episode originally aired on November 10th, 2019 during Shaun’s radio program, Anarchist Brunch, on WSUM 91.7 FM.

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