A vivid, distorted piece of retro-futurist electronics...
'Orange Melamine'

Not a reboot, prequel or album that explains what’s already happened, Space Dimension Controller’s Jack Hamill subconsciously puts the lead act of ‘Welcome to Mikrosector-50’ in the position of learning some life lessons in super lo-definition.

With Hamill’s pleasingly unashamed, planetary electro-funk left docked, electronic pleasures, marked by lilting, soft focus chords standing tall amidst sometimes impenetrably muddy drums, are peeled from vaporised, wavy, warped VHS and cassette tapes in sore need of tracking and a Dolby option. ‘Orange Melamine’ automatically sets a post-apocalyptic scene of uneasy easy listening for when the bubble has burst; or, as it happens with ‘Melting Velcro Shoes’, chronicling the shoots of recovery. Found amongst the depths of the MW dial and the dustiest arcade corner, at times it’s an oddly seedy chase of an ‘80s dream, though there’s probably only one track explicitly sculpting evil out of dry ice: the burnt chromes of ‘Adventures in Slime and Space’, going in for the kill.

‘Gullfire’ is the clearest indication of SDC’s future/past career dealing in close encounters - it’s still a way off from his ‘Mikrosector’ lustre, though there are fragments that aren’t light years away from his other lengthy R&S bow, ‘The Pathway to Tiraquon6’. The gratuitously messy parts of ‘Leader-1’ are far away the most rebellious acts of the then Belfast youth: without patronising Hamill, his means of painstakingly analogue, high-speed-dub-and-back-again production as a wise head on young shoulders, can only be applauded.

Obviously a producer not short on confidence to be releasing such a bedroom project, though Ninja Tune bringing it on board is less surprising, in the end it becomes a classic rose-from-concrete equation, emotion finding you when you’re not looking for it. If you’re feeling woozy and want your headphones turning inside out, sweet ‘Melamine’ is/was the future.

7/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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