On August 26th, Studio Barnhus’ Axel Boman (Talaboman) and Belfast electronic galactic funkateer Space Dimension Controller are in Dublin for a 3-hour B2B night at the Pygmalion. So Axel in Stockholm, Jack SDC in Belfast and Niall in Dublin fired up Skype and had a chat about how they know each other, what makes for a good DJ, their favourite local record shops and what local delicacy they’ll be gifting each other on the night.  

Niall:  So, how do you guys know each other?

Axel: We were both alumni from Red Bull Music Academy in 2010. Actually the same year but different terms.

Jack: I met you briefly and we did those gigs in December in Sweden.

Axel: Yeah right. December in Sweden is such a horrible time. If you become friends in December in Sweden that means you are friends for life.

Niall: So what did you first know about each other ?

Jack: I didn’t really know anything about him, just that he was this funny Swedish person.

Axel: The same for me.I kind of knew your name a bit.

Jack: I’d only released The Love Quadrant by that point so I wasn’t well-known by that point.

Niall: Jack I first saw you play in a gig in Belfast where you were wearing a gold chain and using a vocoder at an AU night.

Jack: Yeah that was Lavery’s in May. May 2009. I remember that.

Niall: Was it a particularly memorable gig?

Jack: No, I got my laptop stolen after it. Haha.

Niall: What did you like about Jack’s music Axel?

Axel: I just remember I played out a lot of his stuff when it was new, now also of course. He was such a character. There weren’t a lot of space funk warriors around. He stood out as an electro-funk spaceman. He had a distance to music but also some kind of musical originality that I appreciate still a lot. I don’t think Jack thinks too much about following trends. He also plays what he wants – playing a Eurodisco track, and also super cool Underground Resistance tracks and that kind of musical diversity is always inspiring to me.

Jack: You put that so nicely for fuck sake, now I don’t know what to say.

Axel: Yes, it’s that Swedish suave.

Jack: I’m not very good with words. I played a lot of Studio Barnhus at the start when DJing with Ableton and every time I’ve played with him or near him, the sets have always been really good.

Niall: You’re in Stockholm Axel and Jack, you’re in Belfast so what is it about your cities that made you stay there?

Axel: I think it’s more that Berlin kills creativity. There’s so many examples of people moving to Berlin who stop making music or maybe they lose the drive – I don’t know. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate having a bar or where everybody knows your name and where they can put a beer in front of you without even asking you what you want. Stuff like this makes me feel super safe. I treasure that type of comfort and safety more than anything but when it comes to being able to make music also.

Stockholm is an expensive shithole there’s no reason to stay here. It’s an overpriced shithole. You go to Miami and think ‘this could be the life’ but none of my friends live there.

Niall: But then you probably wouldn’t have the label?

Axel: Of course. Honestly, I’m not so much a place person, I just need to surround myself with people I love. I can get by in Stockholm for sure.

Niall: What about record shops in your city, do you go to them a lot?

Axel: Yes, Recordmania, if you want to buy really expensive but really good disco, soul, reggae jazz records. A lot of cratediggers say it’s one of the best stores around because the selection is crazy. If I want to buy contemporary stuff or going to be Fade or Snickars Records. And then there is a few weird little second hand shops where to go once every third month to check if there was some person selling off their record collection or something. Stockholm is really good for records.

Jack: Yeah there’s a few good ones in Belfast. I don’t really go record shopping but there’s Sick Records which is good for soundtrack stuff  but dance music wise, there isn’t really a proper one here. I do a big haul once or twice a year but I don’t really buy records too often.

Niall: Have you guys played B2b before?

Jack: No, I’ve no idea what this is going to be like. I’ll try not to bring too much floor-clearing shite.

Axel: Don’t be scared man. I can handle it.

Niall: Axel, I saw you a couple of months back at Primavera doing a Talaboman DJ set?

Axel: To be honest, I blacked over that show. There was too many people. It was 15000 people! I was super nervous before it. Oriol [John Talabot] said to me ‘ we didn’t speak one word to each other the whole gig,’ so that was kind of the level of concentration we had.

Niall: So what’s the best piece of DJ advice you’ve ever got?

Axel: It’s all in Fatboy Slim’s 7 Rules of DJing. I urge everybody to watch it. It’s really fun but if you take it more like metaphors than real rules, it’s quite valuable stuff. When he says like you have to wear Hawaii shirts like maybe he’s meaning think about what you wear, I don’t know.

I’m not saying that that’s super important but it’s just you have to know your records, love your records. I think there’s a lot of DJs to keep their their sets fresh and just download loads of new tracks. I have a hard time imagining that they listen to the whole track every time they buy something.

But for me, it helped me a lot. That’s why I still buy so much vinyl even though I play it digitally. I rip all the vinyl I have which forces me to listen to every track from the beginning to the end and get to know it. Most of the time, you just get to know your track, but sometimes it turns out a track is super boring and it never ends. Maybe a track you listened through quickly in the shop, but it doesn’t really work for you. It’s good to really know your music.

Niall: What is your favourite track or release of the moment?

Axel: I really love what Superpitcher is doing – releasing a series of records, once a month called The Golden Rave Days. There are seven so far – one for each month of 2017. That series of records are amazing.  

Jack: This guy on Ghostly International called CFCF who released an ambient album recently.I quite like that. It’s kind of like Tangerine Dream.

Axel: I think a lot of times it’s the kind of Studio Barnhus-related material that I’m really excited about. Because you’re so engaged in it – in terms of artwork and how we are releasing it. We’re doing a record with two Finnish heroes of mine Jimi Tenor and Freestyle Man. I’m so excited about this release and I’m probably going to play it on the 26th of August. 

Niall: So if you were bringing some cuisine or drink from Belfast and Stockholm for each other on August 26th, what would you bring for each other?

Axel: I would bring some Swedish Akvavit to drink.It’s a cumin-tasting spirit that works very good with pickled herring. 

Jack: I’d bring a bottle of Buckfast.

Axel: That’s the perfect start to any night.

Posted on July 28th, 2017

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Jack Hamill aka Space Dimension Controller has a new EP out on R&S Records in March.

Judging from ‘Exostack’, it’s a return to the galactic electronic funk of 2013’s Welcome to Mikro-sektor-50.

It’s from a 4-track release that will feature remixes from Kornél Kovács and Minimal Ciolence. It’s the first release from Hamill on R&S since that album.

Last year, the Space Dimension Controller album Orange Malamine was more on an ambient tip:

Buy it.

Posted on February 21st, 2017

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Belfast’s Ava Festival is an electronic city festival happening on Saturday June 4th in T13 Belfast, Titanic Quarter on Saturday June 4th.

Last year’s event had the Boiler Room down on the docks, where this happened and this year it returns along with:

  • RØDHÅD
  • Bicep Live (UK Debut)
  • Mano Le Tough
  • Gerd Janson
  • Optimo
  • Phil Kieran
  • Sunil Sharpe
  • Psycatron
  • Brame & Hamo
  • T-Bone B2B Jmx
  • Terriers Live
  • & more.

There’s a free conference that day and the music starts at 3pm. if you want to win a pair of tickets worth £30 each. Enter via Gleam below:

Two tickets to AVA

Posted on February 26th, 2016

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After last week’s Body & Soul, Other Voices and Comedy additions, Red Bull Music Academy have now added more names to the sold out Electric Picnic.

The artists are:

Friday: Daire Carolan, Paul Woolford, Space Dimension Controller

Saturday: Wino Boyz (Morgan Buckley and Boya), Lerosa, Todd Terry,

Sunday: New Jackson, Krystal Klear, Tr One, Lunar Disko and The Gentleman’s Academy hosting the Red Bull Disco Brunch.

https://soundcloud.com/paulwoolford/chemical-brothers-x-special-request-go-sr-warehouse-mix-virgin

https://soundcloud.com/firstsecond-dublin/fsl-x-ausgng-mix-by-dc

Posted on August 5th, 2015

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The inaugural Ava Festival (Audio Visual Arts) in Belfast was already looking like a fine gathering of electronic music on Saturday May 30th with Bicep, Ejeca, Optimo, Phil Kieran, Space Dimension Controller and more lined up.

Today, they’ve just added Boiler Room for their first Irish filming/showcase, at the outdoor stage at t13 with Bicep, Space Dimension Controller, John Daly (live), Timmy Stewart and Schmutz.

Tickets are available from www.avafestival.com/tickets.

Posted on March 24th, 2015

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Podcast artwork by 400 Facts. Podcast artwork by 400 Facts.

Just in time for Summah, it’s the latest podcast featuring a solo run from me (Aoife is a bizzy lady at the moment). 14 songs taken from recent and greatest releases this year and beyond.

Tracklist

Posted on June 16th, 2013

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cd cover web1

Let’s talk about concept albums for a minute. Taking an overarching concept or theme more suited to a cinematic medium and applying it to an audio experience is one thing, but to do it so, a) it doesn’t come across as a pompous pretentious mess; b) endures on repeat listens without getting tiresome; and c) adds to the actual music, is a difficult thing.

When it works, it helps an album’s legendary status and feeds the mythology, see Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon or Sgt. Pepper. Or on more recent examples, Daft Punk’s Discovery, Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots or the loose thematics of El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure, it adds a unifying thread to a record that lifts them up beyond a collection of songs to an album. When it doesn’t work? You get an entire ’70s prog album about King Arthur.

While Belfast producer Jack Hamill’s debut full-length LP, Welcome to Mikrosektor-50 echoes Discovery in its retro sci-fi glow and concept, musically the Space Dimension Controller album explores the exotic world of ’80s sci-fi techno/funk rather than kitsch sounds. Welcome to Mikrosektor-50 is on the surface, in thrall to the sounds of the ’80s rap breakbeat explored by Afrika Bambaataa and Egyptian Lover.

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Posted on March 27th, 2013

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Space-Dimension-Controller-e1358959947573

If ‘You Can’t Have My Love’ wasn’t ridiculous enough in its ’80s electro funk ways, the title track from Space Dimension Controller’s new album is really going to teach you all about intergalactic funk.

‘Welcome to Mikrosector-50’ takes its cue from ‘Planet Rock’ era, electro-funk with Hamill channelling the vocals of the era in a lovingly tongue-in-cheek way. From its sci-fi intro to its slow building chopper synth to the subtle treated guitar in the background to its drum machine beats, everything about this track says ’80s nostalgic fun. Can’t wait to hear the album.

Welcome to Mikrosektor-50 is out on R&S Records on March 4th. Pre-order.

Posted on February 19th, 2013

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sdc

Check out this ridiculous ’80s electro jam from Belfast’s Jack Hamill aka Space Dimension Controller from his forthcoming Welcome to Mikrosektor-50 album on R&S Records in early March. The first time I saw SDC was years ago in Belfast and he was pulling this type of suave vocodered vocals (aka Mr. 8040) and rocking a gold chain. The difference now is, the song is totally killer too. Incroyable.

Posted on January 28th, 2013

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The best of new album streams this week in A-Z form.

A Classic Education – Call It Blazing
Atlas Sound – Parallax
Beach Boys – Smile
Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble – Mr. Machine
Buraka Som Sistema – Komba
Cass McCombs – Humor Risk
David Lynch, – Crazy Clown Time
Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
Goodtime – The Colours Of Darkness
Joker – The Vision
King Midas Sound – Without You remix album
Laura Veirs – Tumble Bell
Little Xs For Eyes – S.A.D.
Kuedo [Jamie Vex’d] – Severant
M.E.D. – Classic
Nobody Beats The Drum – Currents

Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica by Mexican Summer

Phantogram – Nightlife
Space Dimension Controller – The Pathway to Tiraquon 6
Spectrals – Bad Penny
Summer Camp – Welcome to Condale
Tom Waits – Bad As Me
Wild Flag – Wild Flag
Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation

Posted on November 1st, 2011

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heliopause

Heliopause

All this week, there will be guest posts from various people involved in different strands of Irish music – record shop owners, writers, bloggers, promoters, radio presenters, bands and more, telling us what Irish bands or artists they are really into right now.

Chris Jones is editor of AU Magazine in Belfast and also runs his own blog. You can find him on Twitter.

“So I’ve been asked to list the five Irish acts I’m most excited about. Being a reader of this fine blog, I’m going to stick my neck out and assume that you don’t need me to tell you about And So I Watch You From Afar, Two Door Cinema Club, BATS, Boxcutter or Adebisi Shank. Here, then, are a few box-fresh acts that deserve your love:”

1. Space Dimension Controller

Jack Hamill is from Belfast, he’s only just turned 20 and he’s quite possibly a genius. He started at 16, channelling ambient and IDM under the name of RL/VL, but he’s since absorbed a world of early electro, funk, dub, disco and house and he has the potential to go stratospheric. Boxcutter, Martyn, 2562 and Detroit prodigy Kyle Hall are fans, and a series of high-profile releases and remixes are in the works. Say no more.

The Love Quadrant – Space Dimension Controller (KGO002) –
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Posted on April 20th, 2010

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