Hammer: The Ransom Note Mix


There must be something in the water up North.

Glasgow continues to punch above its weight in terms of musical output, although in this case it's cheating slightly, Hammer is actually from Belfast. For many years Hammer has been honing his craft behind the DJ booth of a number of clubs around Glasgow, Thunder Disco Club has become an institution of sorts, one of the few parties not to be washed up or swallowed by the city's vast and sprawling nightlife culture. More recently he has found himself working with the likes of Bicep and a string of dates this past summer has seen him take the jump to the next level in regard to reputation. It seemed fitting to invite Hammer to talk a little bit about his musical background, that city up north and what the future holds… Listen to the mix and read the interview below:

Please introduce yourself…Who are you, where are you and what are you?

Rory Hamilton, I’m now living in London. I’ve previously lived in Belfast (18 years), Liverpool (1 year), Vancouver (1/2 year) and Glasgow (10 years). I like to make and play music.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?

Kind of all over the place, which I like. I’m interested in exploring and experimenting as much as possible. Hopefully i’ll never establish a complete ‘sound' and keep a slightly mad consistency to things.

I took this photo of a pattern and messed about with it recently… I think sums things up nicely.

How have both belfast and glasgow affected and informed your musical tastes?

Yes definitely, Belfast got my into pretty hard techno when I was young, provided by Shine. When I moved to Glasgow and got older I listened to more disco, quality house music provided by Sub Club and not to mention Optimo oddities! Their influence is huge worldwide! So living in the same city is. 

How did you first become involved with the bicep lads?

We’ve been best friends since primary school! So probably about 22 years ago at least!

Thunder Disco Club, what was the original concept behind the party and has that changed now?

Thunder Disco started as a residents party with the idea of experimenting with concepts that gave each party it’s own identity, spinning this out through our own brand of ‘disco-xploitation’: as an ode to cult cinema & 80s betamax inspired sleaze. It’s actually our 7th birthday next month, we still love a theme but there is also a big focus on getting acts whom we love, often building concepts around the guest. For example we had a deep space theme for man Power and Francis Inferno Orchestra recently, Sub Club looked immense.

Where was the mix recorded?

In my studio!

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

It builds to quite an intensity towards the end, so maybe have a listen if you’re walking up a mountain or similar. I really enjoyed programming this mix, it turned into more of a builder than I had planned but I’m really happy the vibe. It was quite similar to my warm up set in WHP last year, the room filled up quickly and the energy level were amazing.

What should we be wearing?

Hiking boots and pair of pants. Nothing else.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location, system, format?

I kind of already had that, I got free reign in an closed Sub Club to record a mix recently, on vinyl. I also enjoy recording mixes there live, Sean (the sound guy) does an amazing job, making it a pleasure to mix and focus on selection.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

There’s a lot of favourites in there, but for pure impact id say the Ame remix of Radio Slave – N.I.N.A. It’s not new but I found it recently and it the reaction is wild.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

I got a set of Kam direct drives and a Kam mixer from an advert in The Belfast Telegraph (shite newspaper) when I was about 14! I later bought a 2 channel Numark mixer with inbuilt effects, which made thing a lot of fun, especially when I only had a handful of records to play with. I currently have a set of Technics and a pioneer DJM350.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

I think the first track, purely for selfish reasons, it sets the mood in my head and if it’s the right one, everything after is easy. The last track is easy if your already in the right mood!

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Dirt 🙂 Suppose thats not exactly edible sorry. It wouldn’t kill you though.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A Red Deer.

Upcoming in the world of…

Space facts!

Anything else we need to discuss?

I love you.

Hammer will appear at The Warehouse Project on the 10th of December. Follow him on Facebook HERE.

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