20 February 2013
Space Dimension Controller - Return to Microsector 50 ()
In the past, we've possibly been a little disparaging of Space Dimension Controller, not for the quality of his music, which is an unquestionably excellent fusion of electro-funk, techno, cosmic disco, but for the over-the-top presentation he insists on. The musical Kayfabe that he adheres to draws so heavily from trash-fiction and indulges it without a shred of self-knowing, that it comes across as slightly demented... However, SDC's Mr 8040 character and his rapidly-expanding universe do have their own unique charm, and with the fine line between genius and madness blurring at post-light speeds, Return to Microsector 50 currently orbits the twin moons of "so bad it's good" and "so bad it's horrible". To put it another way, I can't decide if its Batman and Robin or Batman; The Movie.
As well as the fact that the music's bloody brilliant, it's SDC's dedication to and enthusiasm for the gimmick that's slowly turning me into a convert; this teaser EP for debut album Welcome to Microsector-50 features a final track of ambient washes and desolate drones that seems fairly typical of electronic EPs. Its title? Music for Spaceports. It's this hilariously irreverent bastardisation of Eno's terminology for his own ends that just tips the balance and lands Space Dimension Controller firmly in the land of the eccentric genius. As noted, the rest of the EP's pretty damn good too, functioning as both deleted scenes from the full album and the missing links of Space Dimension Controller's musical history - the title track joins the dots between Juan Atkins and the Rotters Golf Club, and Whilst I Was Away brings together aspects of ambient and dub that feel a little disparate in the album's lengthier interludes and had left Quadraskank Interlude feeling out of place. Most importantly though, the EP flat out drips cosmic slop, opening up into a massive George Clinton homage, replete with future-funk riffs, wailing guitar solos and acid-fried fantastical narratives.
For me, the Funkadelic love is the last piece of the puzzle that suddenly makes sense of SDC's overblown narratives and deliberately trashy vocals - it's the cornerstone that contextualises everything else and gives credence to magnificent combination of funk and psychadelica.