New Dimensions

20 December 2012 | 9:54 am | Cyclone Wehner

“I don’t know or care where I belong. I just like it when I can DJ in a venue and get away with whatever I want to play.”

There's a long tradition of electronic artists obscuring their identities – from The KLF to Drexciya through to Daft Punk and Fake Blood. Gauging by Space Dimension Controller's bio and its science fiction mythos about a techno progenitor from a distant galaxy, this is something Jack Hamill enjoys too. ”I'm not really trying to create any sort of mystique – I just enjoy trying to create a character,” Hamill insists, SDC in fact named after some old Technics gear.

The future houser hails from gritty Belfast, where he was into heavy metal prior to discovering dance through Stuart Price's Les Rythmes Digitales. “Yea, well, I was in a band when I was younger as the lead guitarist,” Hamill admits laconically. “I think that could be one of the sources of my noodly solo ways in the SDC stuff. Electronically, in Belfast, I started off going to hard techno and breakcore sort of nights – pretty much the ideal type of music for repelling women. I sometimes wish I was into shite house around the 2007 period when I was just starting to go out, because I think I'd actually be able to make a tune that makes people dance!” Having moved on to Aphex Twin (and Brian Eno), Hamill began producing ambient music. SDC's sound, introduced via 2009's cult single, The Love Quadrant, on Boxcutter's Kinnego Records, was, by contrast groovier.

Hamill attended the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy in London. “It was great,” he recalls. “I turned twenty when I was there. They threw me a surprise party – it was funny. The thing I took away from it the most was really just networking. I'm not very good at working with other people and that was kind of encouraged in the studios there. I ended up just getting really drunk for the whole time there and finishing anything I'd been making on the last night.”

Hamill has described SDC in an online interview as “a sort of electro, funk, housey techno thing”. How is he developing that? “I don't know – I don't really listen to much music at all. I have to kind of listen to tunes if I'm getting things together for DJing, but I only really do that once every four months or so. Even then, it's me in my DJ mind frame, not [me] actually listening to the tracks musically and taking on an influence for the studio. The music on my iPod literally hasn't changed in about three years. I still have the same ambient playlist that I always listen to and the same albums that I keep going back to.”

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However, he admits to checking out Eno's newest, Lux. Hamill, ironically not into bass music, has even been tagged 'post-dubstep', together with Blawan, Pariah and Untold – techno warriors. He's not fussed. “I don't know or care where I belong. I just like it when I can DJ in a venue and get away with whatever I want to play.”

Hamill, who has his own fledgling label, Basic Rhythm, will present a much-anticipated album (possibly titled Welcome To Mikrosector-50) on R&S in the European spring, following two EPs. The LP has been touted as conceptual, song-oriented and soundtracky. And beyond that? “The SDC saga is going to be a trilogy. Then I'm going to stop existing as SDC. I'd like to get into soundtracks and game music as a long-term thing. Since I was a kid the main thing I wanted to do when I grew up was become a film director. I got into making music because I can do that all by myself – making films is a bit harder. I thought, if I did good enough with the music and got into making soundtracks, I might actually be able to branch off into directing.”

But first Hamill, here earlier in the year, is back for some shows over the New Year period, performing his galactic funk live. “The live show is pretty out-there in terms of dialogue. It's a bit improvised, a bit planned. I don't know – you might like it.”

Space Dimension Controller will be playing the following dates:

Monday 31 December - Origin Festival, Perth WA
Tuesday 1 January - Let Them Eat Cake, Werribee Park, VIC
Saturday 5 January - The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW