Hammer – Stripes (Original Mix
Rory Hamilton, the Belfast-hailed producer, has a unique back story most are unaware of. An original founding member of the Feel My Bicep blog, he was a regular studio partner of sessions with the duo that has since become a headlining name in the industry. Making the decision to pursue a career in rugby over music, Hamilton relocated to study in Glasgow. Retaining his touch in production through collaborations with such as ‘Icebowl‘ and ‘Dahlia‘ he witnessed his collaborators Bicep meteor to fame. A likely catalyst that motivated him to pursue his hobby full time, his output increased gradually. Quality over quantity is Hammer’s motto, and it has since rewarded him with gigs in venues such as Panorama Bar, DC10 and Robert Johnson. Released back in 2016 on Glasgow-based Optimo Records, ‘Stripes’ is a certified pleaser for a crowd drenched in sweat.
Focal to the track’s power is the bassline extracted from the pages of a UK Bass textbook. Similarly to Pangaea’s ‘Memories‘ or Scub’s ‘Flesh Is Weak‘, post-dubstep verve finds itself in a new context. The hi hats that add ammunition to the energy spin with the rotation of a released shuriken. The beat-switches are executed with precision. Vocals taken from Felix’s 1984 disco-funk release ‘Tiger Stripes‘ here are incorporated to serve the instrumentation, playing a secondary role. This is a smart move, giving the track an original mix feel. The bass guitar is retained, slotting seamlessly into the framework. Jungle pandemonium bewails in the background, evoking a feel of restless ruckus. The Special Disco version found on the At Once EP, serves its purpose as inducing two-step dancing with its irresistible rhythm, bringing a reduction of reverb on the vocals.
In an interview with Hyponik, Hamilton describes himself as the ”mad experimentalist” in the studio, as opposed to Bicep’s Matt being “the supervisor and Andy is the geeky knob twiddler“. The range found in his releases certainly justify that claim. Whether is 1980s Miami Beach-inspired ‘C-Space‘, 90s Deep House interpretation ‘Canna‘ or straight-jackin’ ‘Love Somebody‘. Though Bicep remain a duo, their support for fellow Belfastian has been generous. A relationship similar to Capadonna’s alliance with the Wu-Tang Clan. Scrolling through Feel My Bicep label’s catalogue you’ll see Hammer’s name feature on a number of occasions. Hamilton has also performed with his former associates in venues such as Village Underground, Oval Space & District 8. ‘Stripes’, is a release likely to be endorsed by enthusiasts of a chunky bass with a vintage sampled vocal on top, such as Mall Grab and Seth Troxler. Proof Hammer deserves a platform of his own.