- Space Dimension Controller could have easily released his second album this year. You'd be forgiven for not picking up on the first. Unidentified Flying Oscillator was released early last year on the little-known Irish net-label, Acroplane, some time before we all swooned amorously into the Love Quadrant. Bristly, unrefined and seemingly beholden to an over-listening of Drexciya records, it was a largely unremarkable affair, albeit one that showed potential. If it seemed like the work of an enthusiastic teenager still learning his trade, it's because it was. Only a year, ten tracks and two EPs later, the recently-turned twenty-year-old, Jack Hamill, has become something of a timeless commodity. There's nothing faddy about him; you can get close with the doctrinal genres but you won't hit the mark; and the music insists on repeated listening months after release—a rarity, basically.
With its common anthological sound, concept-suggestive track titles, ups, downs, thrillz and spills, Temporary Thrillz is, in effect, a mini-album. (In a pre-CD era we could even drop the "mini.") There's a full range of tempo and mood: from the blue-streak opening of "Mercurial Attraction" via the pensive pit-stop of "2EZ" and warp factor of the titular track, the predominant four-four is hardly allowed to sound repetitive over the course of thirty-five minutes. Shifting structures within the individual tracks also help. But really it's the analogue dimension he controls that's so absorbing.
There is no final word to the plug-in vs. hardware debate, but this record is as strong a case as you'll hear for the latter. It wouldn't have been the same in ones and zeros. Listen to the chords at the beginning of "Simmering Emotion," for instance: they sound like they're saying something, like they're breathing. Then go to the noodling melody of "Kaleidoscopic Ecstasy" and you hear electric birdsong. The word "organic" is bandied about often in reviews to describe electronic music that simply sounds acoustic. Here it can be used in its literal sense thanks to Hamill's lifeblood playing. With its reputation for seminality, R&S seems a fitting home for the Northern Irishman. His task now will be to ensure the space-funk continuum keeps expanding.
A1 Mercurial Attraction
A2 Kaleidoscope Ecstasy
A3 2EZ (Autopilot's Lament)
B1 Transatlantic Landing Bay
B2 Temporary Thrillz
B3 Simmering Emotion (Stay With Me)