The first major release from Space Dimension Controller (Jack Hamill) under Ninja Tune comes in the form of an 8 year old bedroom recording. SDC has released a few LPs and EPs through R&S and Clone Royal Oak but 2016 sees Ninja Tune releasing archive recordings of his first ever produced album (recorded when he was just 18) ‘Orange Melamine‘. Crunchy tattered sounds and enjoyably odd, this album is also steeped in audio and visual references from 80’s and 90’s sci-fi films and animations; from The Guyver, Short Circuit, The Gobots, and Ghostbusters through to The Fifth Element, Escape from New York and Power Rangers.
Space Dimension Controller – Orange Melamine
With tunes that are washed in reverb and draped in hiss, the album draws influence from the old VHS tapes handed down to Space Dimension Controller from his older brother and cousins, as well as artists like Boards of Canada, Brian Eno and William Basinski. So retro in sound you can almost hear the tape, in which it was recorded on, warbling and degrading before your very ears.
“A lot of the drum sounds were created from scratch in some granular programs and putting them onto the tapes really changed the sound of them. Every track in each track was recorded separately onto one of these tapes at double speed and 200% pitch then the tape was recorded back into the DAW at half speed. Looking back at it now, I can’t believe how patient I was when making this album, it really took a long time.”
The use of these tapes creates a rough prettiness and incessant buzz beneath the stuttering beats and glitch-heavy techno effects. On tracks like ‘The Bad People’ Hamill, like the best producers of his ilk, has made something just short of pop music without compromising the album’s essential strange qualities.
The Bad People
Sent back through time with a mission of groove to show all of Planet Earth how to move.
This album couldn’t sound more retro if it tried…On Orange Melamine Hamill skilfully displays his early ability to make electronic tracks there are intricate and futuristic but also imbued with personality. Original without being difficult, enjoyable while being distinctive.
Ninja Tune has come good yet again, I look forward to SDCs next release!