Review: Aside from hosting a pretty spectacular line-up each and every June in the Amsterdam area, Dekmantel also know how to lay down some hard dance tunes and, since their inception, they have been a pillar to the modern house and techno spectrum. This series of releases marks ten years of activity from the Dutch crew, and they certainly know how to celebrate in style - Bufiman's opening "Hymn To The Moonface" is a stunning slice of progressive sci-fi rolling, Betonkust and Palbomen II's number is sleek and tech-minded, while Scotland's Space Dimension Controller rolls through with some spectacularly cinematic electro-tech, and Lena Willikens' appearance is marked by raucous bass tones and sharp-edged beats. BIG.
Review: Last year's first Correlation EP was something of a return to form for Space Dimension Controller. While his debut album Return To Mikrosektor-50 was arguably a little too eccentric, Correlation #1 saw Jack Hamill return to what he does best: namely making inspired, spaced-out house and techno tracks blessed with those trademark, ambient-inspired synth melodies. Happily, there's more of the same here. There's an attractiveness to the alien bleeps and delay-laden groove underpinning the brilliant "Angel Groove", while "Monodynamic" is gloriously wide-eyed - all surging melodies, cosmic effects and unfussy analogue grooves. Closer "Down in Sector H" is good, too, in that oh-so-blissful way that marks out Hamill's best productions.
Review: If young Belfast producer Space Dimension Controller aka Jack Hamill is yet to wander across your musical radar it's likely you will be paying attention after listening to Journey To The Core Of The Unknown Sphere. Vintage Warp sounds collide harmoniously with g-funk vibes and early 90s Detroit melodies on music Hamill refers to as "Galactic Funk". The many elements of opening track "Journey" are so bewitching it requires several repeat listens to fully appreciate the richness. "Cosmo30 Travel Duration" combines gargling elastic bass with soft Detroit kicks which are slowly digested by Hamill's increasingly wigged out synth melodies. SDC is currently working on tracks with Kyle Hall, and ahead of that the Detroit wunderkind remixes "Journey" into a fuzzy discotheque groover which sounds nothing like any of his other remixes. The slo mo future boogie of "BD Alignment" and journey into ethereal chord expression on "Fluorescent Trails" make this an astounding EP.
Review: If Ninja Tune's recent signing Glenn Astro & Max Graef are the biggest success stories of the deep house sound of late, there's no doubt that Irishman Space Dimension Controller partially laid down the groundwork, helping to popularise the deep house sound as far back as six years ago with his lo-tech soul experiments. This is Jack Hamill's second album since 2013's Welcome to Mikrosektor-50 on R&S and it's really impressive. Check the first single from the album "Gullfire" and it's a great introduction: broken and funky Jupiter jazz via electro that's rich in emotion. The man from Mikrosektor-50 has landed once again!
Review: Fresh from the release of his low-key, self-released "Redemption of the Cryonauts" album, Jack Hamill once again dons the Space Dimension Controller alias for a first outing on R&S Records in nigh on two years. The headline attraction is undoubtedly opener "Beyond Pulso-IV", a suitably epic, stargazing affair that sees the Northern Irish producer layer his trademark colourful synthesizer lines and deep space electronics over a classy mid-tempo groove that sits somewhere between spacey deep house and '80s electrofunk. He ups the tempo to 128 BPM on the Motor City inspired futurist warmth of "First Contact With System Lobitso", before wrapping luxurious ambient electronics and lilting lead lines around a soft-touch drum machine groove on the deliciously loved-up "Valuts of Arcadia".
Review: Following on from last year's Cryonauts album, Jack Hamill aka Space Dimension Controller returns to Dekmantel to deliver his second EP for the Dutch collective. The title track revolves around a low-slung electronic disco groove underpinned by spaced out melodies and cosmic sounds, subtle but still delightfully trippy. On "2 Synths & An 808", Hamill chooses a different route though the outer reaches of electronic music. Inspired by Detroit electro and its 80s, funk-based precursor, he fuses tight drums with a fuzzy, sleazy bass to deliver a slinky but impactful workout that's appeal to Cameo and Aux 88 fans alike.
Review: Some six years ago we met Mr. 8040. It was 2357 A.D. and our hero was in the throes of hazardous journey back to his home planet. This premise was set up with Welcome To Mikrosector-50 LP in 2013, a debut Space Dimension Controller album for R&S. Love Beyond The Intersect, it is told, sees Mr 8040 again exploring "the unknown world in the hope of finding help." With Space Dimension Controller at the controls, this return represents a deeper touch to the story, with Moodymann levels of deep house depth reached in "Alone In An Unknown Sector" alongside the equally ambient and evoking sounds of "Sundown On Memory Point". A new level of maturity and minimalism shines through on the album with the power of subtleness is on display here. Cue ambient swells of cosmic atmospheres dusted up by the soft pitter-patter of luscious drums and sweet shining synths. Godspeed Mr. 8040!
Review: Global Underground's Nubreed series has a huge amount of kudos, having brought respected DJs like Lee Burridge, Steve Lawler and Danny Howells to attention during the early 00s with a series of iconic mixes. Although it was on hold for much of the second decade of this millennium, it has been successfully resurrected and now gives the same platform to Theo Kottis. In keeping with its usual format, this instalment sees the Beautiful Strangers boss explore a range of styles and sound across two mixes. Accordingly, his selection ranges from Gigi Masin's melodic piano composition, "Maja", to the Mountain People's sensuous deep house "La Onda", taking in some underground classics like DJ Assassin's garage/house hybrid "Face in the Crowd" as well as left of centre oddities like The Horn's "Villager". It's a fitting testament to the Nubreed aesthetic.
Review: Dekmantel rounds off a hugely successful year with a compilation that reflects the organisation's multi-faceted approach. At one end of the spectrum there's the dubbed out groove and spacey vocals of Peaking Light's "Blind Corner" and tropical act Bruxas' left of centre beats, while at the other end Robert Hood delivers the blistering techno of "Red Machine". In between these extremes, there are Dekmantel-supported artists such as Betonkust & Palmbomen II - impressing here with the Legowelt-esque "Renaat Egypte" - and zeitgeist-defining names like Lena Willikens and Matrixxman. Add in some Dutch scene veterans such as Tom Trago, on fine form with the epic but understated "Working Machines", and it's not hard to see why 2018 was a great year for the Dutch collective.
Review: A true staple of the Amsterdam scene, the Rush Hour affiliated Yuri Boselie aka Cinnaman takes up the reins for local institution Dekmantel's extended tenth birthday celebrations with this mastermix. It takes in the entirety of the 10 volume edition - what an effort. What may seem as an outrageous challenge - what with the compilation's genre diversity and wide rage of tempos - it's a success, for they've certainly found the right candidate. Cinnaman plays a wide range of styles anyway, and is never afraid to mix the known with the unknown - he has a reputation for his remarkable combinations and transitions. From moments of sublime ambience (Italian ambient legend Gigi Masin with the utterly evocative "Maja") to bass heavy electro bounce (courtesy of Egyptian Lover or Syracuse & Epsilove), right through to techno bangers of the cerebral variety (by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen or local hero Talismann) and stuff by Bufiman or Tony Allen - it's a solid effort here by one of Holland's finest selectors.
Review: Has it been thirty years already? This celebratory R&S Records compilation doesn't just bring with it the nostalgic charm of tracks by names we shouldn't forget (Capricorn, Jam & Spoon, Second Phase and Mundo Muzique) and tracks we couldn't forget (Outlander's "Vamp" and Joey Beltram's "Energy Flash"), it also brings with it contemporary R&S classics like Tessela's "Nancy's Pantry", "Airglow Fires" by Lone, Vondelpark's indie-laced "California Analogue Dream" and Blawan's "Shader". 30 Years Of R&S Records takes the listener down memory lane, while lighting a path for what will hopefully be another 30 years.