Perhaps the closest dance music has to a Ziggy Stardust character, Jack Hamill has come to international prominence over the past four years under his intergalactic alter ego, Space Dimension Controller.
Much like Bowie’s promiscuous Martian, the Belfast-hailing producer’s creation is more than just a stage name and more of a fully fleshed persona. With a biography that meticulously maps a distant future in Tolkein-esque detail and the benefit of time travel in the planet liberation game, it comes as little surprise that Hamill’s first proper album is a concept release.
‘Welcome To Mikrosector-50’, named after his character’s “space grid” home, intertwines 13 productions into a narrated tale about his intrepid quest to save humanity. Having already displayed the ability to trade in both Detroit futurism and tronic-funk on left-of-centre labels including Royal Oak, Kinnego and R&S, the Northern Irishman takes this opportunity to blur the lines between his two signature sounds.
The title track and the other rap-led inclusion ‘Mr 8040’s Introduction’ clearly pay homage to the boombox electro of Mantronix, while ‘2357 AD’ and ‘A Lonely Flight To EroDru-10’ sit closer to Lindstrøm’s brand of epic disco. Released as a single in 2009, ‘The Love Quadrant’ is hard not to view as the standout moment, with the equally low-slung ‘Quadraskank Interlude’ combining for 12 minutes of nu-boogie. Whereas 2011’s ‘The Pathway To Tiraquon6’ represented a cinematic score that explored the void of deep techno, this skit-heavy release is a far more jovial offering. The tomfoolery may alienate some listeners, but across all genres of music, few concept albums have been crafted with such a level of infectious invention. Recommended.
File under Galactic funk
Download ‘The Love Quadrant’, ‘2357 AD’, ‘Closing Titles’
Like this? Try Jimmy Edgar ‘Majenta’ (Hotflush)