Welcome To Mikrosector-50
Streaking through the ether at twice the speed of sound, Mr 8040 is on a date with destiny. He’s heading for Mikrosector-50, his home planet, but things are not going as smoothly as planned. En route he finds himself in sticky situations, cosmic encounters that trigger flashbacks to a different time and place. Will he ever make it home? And who – or what – is he running from?
This, more or less, is the narrative thrust of Jack Hamill’s debut album as Space Dimension Controller. Welcome to Mickrosektor-50 is a swashbuckling sci-fi odyssey that unfolds like some long-lost Star Wars episode scripted by Philip K Dick and scored by Tangerine Dream. The record is fantasy in its purest form: a futuristic Boy’s Own adventure concocted in a Belfast bedroom, it’s the sum of Jack’s musical influences distilled into 68 minutes of unalloyed electronic pleasure.
Like Funkadelic or Boards of Canada, Jack has created his own personal world of sound which he colours in vivid, often eccentric detail. He’s not the first person to take inspiration from Chicago house, 80s funk, sensual electronica and cybernetic disco, but the way he weaves the elements together suggests not so much a keen student as a romantic visionary. Breathtaking in scope and thrillingly executed, Welcome to Mickrosektor-50 is one of those remarkable albums you hear and then wonder why no one else has done anything quite like it before.
After a quiet 2012 spent mostly in his studio, this debut album fully realises the Space Dimension Controller cinematic experience of galactic funk. He likes to record and make all the effects using analogue gear, which is why, he says, he takes ages to make tunes and explains the gap between releases. The first thing you notice is the emphasis on vocals and funk tracks compared to the earlier releases. It also sees Jack flexing his guitar and bass chops – he played all the instruments and provided the vocals. Before he committed to electronic music, Jack played lead guitar in a local metal band and he’s not afraid to let rip in places on Mikrosector-50. Towards the end of B-boy electro number “Mr 8040’s Introduction”, shades of a Van Halen power ballad soundtrack a Blade Runner-esque advert for “Mikrosector-50, mankind’s new home”, while he gently riffs over the pastel shimmer of “2357 AD”.
The force has always been strong with this one, and his astonishing, soulful voyage continues with Welcome to Mikrosector-50. Enjoy the trip – and it is a trip – because we have no idea when Mr 8040 is coming back.