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Get to know Hammer, the Bicep collaborator sounding out his own space

The Belfast-born artist crafts dreamy, timeless house

  • Charlie Case
  • 1 September 2017

Rory Hamilton had nightmares the night before he played Panorama Bar: equal parts “mindblowing and terrifying,” he says. Luckily it turned out to be the best gig he’s ever played. Right now the 30-year-old’s raking in gigs across Europe, but his life very nearly went in a completely different direction. An original member of the Feel My Bicep blog, he was already performing with the Belfast duo when Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson moved to London to pursue music as Bicep. Rory, meanwhile, stayed in Glasgow where he was at university and chasing a career in rugby.

“We were trying to keep it together, but it wasn’t viable, ” he explains over coffee near his East London studio. “It was tough because all of a sudden they just exploded. I was stuck in Glasgow trying to do rugby – and then I realised I didn’t really want to do that at all.”

A regular at Belfast’s Shine for many years, Rory was introduced to techno early. His best friend Matt got involved as well; they learnt to mix together and messed around on Ableton after school. It wasn’t until he swapped Belfast for Glasgow that he began DJing regularly. Keeping his hand in by running the night Thunder Disco Club at Glasgow’s Sub Club, Rory learned a lot from the club’s other residents. “Seeing Optimo playing weird rock tunes in the warm-up,” he says, “you realise when things are done differently they can be legit.”

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